Throughout the program, I will take two courses each semester. This semester, I began with ITEC 7460 (Professional Learning and Technology Innovation) and ITEC 7480 (Introduction to Online Learning). In ITEC 7460, there were multiple discussion posts to be made each week, as well as collaborative wiki project with groups. This was surprising to me, as I had not expected group work with an online program. The quantity of posts was difficult sometimes, especially when factoring in that I missed a week of coursework towards the beginning of the semester for a vacation that had been planned nearly two years ago. Additionally, I was quite nervous about the need to coach a colleague on technology integration during the summer. Working to find someone who was willing to work with me was an additional challenge, as was revisiting my professional and educational writing skills after a hiatus of more than a decade. ITEC 7480 was a challenge in other ways. I teach in a district that has been incorporating technology into the classroom on a daily basis through the use of Promethean interactive white boards and an online learning management system (ANGEL) for nearly 10 years. As a result, it was a challenge for me to remember that not all teachers are as fortunate as I have been and that not all districts are as focused on being leaders in technology as mine is.
On the other hand, there were aspects of both courses that were extremely rewarding. In ITEC 7460, the "Change Game" that we played to realized the steps needed to enact change was eye-opening. I realized that there is more to creating long-lasting change (even in one's own classroom) than simply approaching a few people and getting them to try something new. The experience of interviewing my principal was also rewarding, as I have not had much personal interaction with him in the past. I hope that future projects will cause our paths to cross more often so that we may develop a professional relationship built upon more than my simply being a teacher who is trusted by a leader he trusts. In ITEC 7480, the Communication Guide that was part of our Course Syllabus project was extremely helpful. I plan on using it with my classes this fall, and have been asked already to share it with other members of my departments.
I'm looking forward to next semester but hope that the coursework will not be as daunting as the semester will be longer. I will be taking ITEC 7400 (21st Century Teaching and Learning) and ITEC 7445 (Multimedia and Web Design in Education). I am excited to see what both of these courses hold in store and can't wait to apply some of my new-found skills in my French and Literature classes!