As my journey through Walden’s master’s program, Integrating Technology in the Classroom has brought me to the end of EDUC 6712; I have evolved into a teacher who grasps the importance of the new literacy skills. One of the most striking revelations about my teaching of new literacy skills to my students is the fact that without evening realizing it, I am incorporating these skills without thinking. Because I understand how the definition of being literate has changed to now encompassing the need for our students to acquire the new literacy skills in order to be able to compete in tomorrow’s work force, I will strive to add more of them into my daily lesson plans.
Due to the knowledge and experience of this course, I am more equipped to teach and guide my students through the process of being able to indentify websites that are reliable and valid as opposed to websites that are created with the intent to mislead or spread untruths. Never realizing such faulty websites existed, I take satisfaction in being more conscious and skilled in educating my students in where to find kid-friendly appropriate sites and search engines such as http://www.ivyjoy.com/rayne/kidssearch.html and even researching an existing site by finding out who the true author is by using www.easywhois.com. Will Richardson states, "They (students) must be able to assess its authority by examining the incoming and outgoing links from and to other sites on the Web to ensure it references--and is referenced by--credible sites" (Richardon, 2009, p. 29).
One professional development goal I would like to pursue is to create a wiki for all special education teachers throughout my school district as a collaborative site to post and share ideas and links that have been enjoyed within their classrooms or as a place to ask for assistance from colleagues. This would also be the perfect avenue to share how to adapt 21st century skills to each learner according to their individual needs. Current trends of technology could be shared as to how it is being incorporated into the curriculum. Just think of all of the resources that would be available to share with just a click of a computer button; powerpoints, voicethreads, lessons for Promethean and smart boards, and since special education ranges from K-12, there would not be limited materials by any definition. Another added benefit is that this wiki encompasses all realms of special education, which includes speech/language, physical/occupational therapy, gifted, resource, and co-teaching. My steps to accomplishing this goal is to contact my immediate special ed supervisor and acquire contact information for each school or sped teacher. Then I would set up the wiki and invite all to join. Between word of mouth and a great need for this collaborative effort among my peers, I feel I could accomplish this particular professional development goal without too much difficulty and we all would reap the rewards especially the students.