Thursday, June 4, 2015

First Course as an Aggie

     After watching the introductory video and completing the first assignment, I am more excited than ever to take my first course in Educational Technology from Texas A&M.  I love that in the Course Introduction, the instructor said that distance learning is current and relevant.  My first thought was that if the professor is eager to share information regarding this topic then I am eager to learn it! (Isn't it crazy how much a teacher's attitude can influence the student???)  Upon reading my first article, I quickly realized that the focus topics will be interesting, timely, and cause students to become more forward thinking.
     This is my first class at Texas A&M, so the fear of the unknown and wondering if I would be able to meet expectations were initial concerns.  I soon realized that there is no need to worry.  Project descriptions and deadlines are detailed on the syllabus and there is a Help Thread on the discussion board if further clarification is needed.  Already, everyone seems so nice and helpful and I realize that other students are like me in that they are seeking to grow professionally to better meet students’ needs. The available support helped reassure me that I would be able to be successful in this new environment.
     I think that what I will learn in this course will help me imagine new possibilities about education on a broader scale.  Too often I am limited by my own narrow thinking and the thinking of those with whom I surround myself.  I have witnessed first-hand that teacher leaders tend to repeat what they know.  Many educators, schools, and districts are doing school the same it has always been done, because that is all that those who lead know.  There is a saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”, but the issue is that education is broken when decision makers continue to treat schools as factories designed to turn out identical products.  We can no longer believe that there is only one way of doing things. Consider this TEDTalk by Sir Ken Robinson:
     I think that it is time to dream and to ask, “What if…” questions often!!!  What if we more thoroughly integrated technology to better serve students?  How come we can't take a school-wide blended learning environment to allow for flexibility for our students?  Why not broadcast lessons around the globe for anyone who wanted to take a course or just conduct a virtual field trip to a small school in Louisiana? After just two days in this course, I feel more energized and alive.  I am eager to expand my vision and learn.  If you like me, have been a bit nervous about starting something new...don't wait any longer.  Dive in this summer, the water is fine:)

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