Another school year is just about over. I just finished my final project for course 4. I still have a ton of things to do before the end of the school year. First and foremost after I get this post done is to finish report cards.
However, I thought I would talk about my wonderful year of digital learning. Being involved in Coetail has really taken me a huge step forward in the way I view and use technology in my elementary art room. Things have changed and for the better.
This year I was able to work with grades 1 through 5 using technology. The technology could be as simple as walking through a museum using Google Galleries to learning about the “Rule of Thirds”. Sometimes, it was more complicated when I had to use iPads with some of my students in grade 5 and Macbooks for the others to complete an animation project with varying degrees of success depending on the machine and software the students were running.
I learned about different issues that the digital world is facing. Again some are minor such as who should teach tech standards or how should I brand myself? Others such as cyberbullying, digital citizenship, and copyright are huge issues that will take time to come to terms with. All issues need time to be solved and the more we learn about them, the easier they will be to understand and solve if need be.
Throughout the year the issues that were brought up have led to some great discussion. Our Tuesday afternoons and Saturdays always went very quickly as the discussions were always very lively and thought provoking. Seeing and hearing people’s perspectives on things always broadened my understanding of things and led me into different directions that I would not have thought about before. I think it also helped to have the great food that was always provided for us.
The course I enjoyed the most was Visual Literacy: Effective Communicators and Creators. This was because it was the course most applicable to my teaching ES Art. I got a lot of ideas out of that class and have already applied a couple of them (Rule of Thirds and Infographics) to a couple of grades I teach. In some ways this course was kind of like a kid in a candy store. There is just a lot of things I wanted to try out in the future.
My favorite part of the program was having the opportunity to meet so many great people. Being together as a group as often as we were was a big bonus. Everybody was very friendly, willing to share, and learn from each other. I always came away energized and ready to try new ideas when meeting with them. Reading everybody’s posts helped out with relating to new perspectives, understanding and learning. The wealth of knowledge within the group was amazing.
When I initially signed up for this program I was very apprehensive as it had been a long time since I have been back to “school”. However, this was quickly put aside as I grew more comfortable. By taking this program I have become a better student, but more importantly, I have become a better teacher.