Throughout my coursework in EDUC 581, I have had many worthwhile experiences that have enhanced my understanding of social justice and how to use technology to better convey the topic to students. Working with undergraduate students through our fieldwork has given me an insightful perspective of what it means to be a Technology Specialist. Reviewing lesson plans and making recommendations to incorporate technology was something that I have not had experience doing until this course. There are a plethora of tools and programs I have learned about through the program. The opportunity to make recommendations taught me how to connect what I have learned throughout my coursework to real-world lessons and curriculum. It was sometimes difficult to be able to connect and apply the EdTech tools but I have learned to be a successful Technology Specialist one must be creative and see lesson through a different (technology) lens. The role also requires a lot of research and ingenuity. Reviewing games and finding different applications that connected to the topic of social justice showed me how many resources are available and how to identify if they are a good match for the topic. A good Technology Specialist should build a metaphorical ‘toolbox’ of EdTech resources. The more ‘tools’ the better equipped a technology specialist will be. Throughout this course, I began to make a document of all the technology tools I have learned about. I have begun to categorize the resources into subgroups and have noted successful ways to implement them into the classroom. There are so many ways that technology can enhance the standards and topics that are being taught in the classroom, and as Technology Specialist, one is responsible for identifying the best tool to bring the topics to life.
Working with a team of Technology Specialists was also a wonderful experience. As I said, being a technology specialist requires a person to look at material through a creative and technological lens. While working with the ELL group and participating in the discussion board each week, I found that my classmates were able to be resourceful and create recommendations that I did not necessarily think of at first. Working collaboratively allowed me to view the lessons and topics from a different perspective. It also gave me many new resources and tools for my Technology Specialist ‘toolbox’. This experience taught me that collaboration is key and it is imperative to discuss challenging topics and pedagogy with our colleagues. Our students, especially ELL students, come to class with many different experiences and challenges each day. Speaking to other people in the profession helped me to create new values and goals for my teaching practices. By doing this, I am able to better support my students in the future and have a better understanding of their daily lives.
Overall, this was a wonderful course and I have learned so much from of each of you, and of course you, Lee. Thanks for an amazing semester!