Future Learning Goals - Considering the adage, "What's Next?"
Education is a lifelong process not confined to the walls of a school building and I see one of my greatest roles as a teacher as not just educating my students on my subject, but fostering a deep commitment to learning. Perhaps the best way to do this is to model that commitment myself. I have tried to be honest and open with my students as I attempt new things that I have learned throughout this program and I found that my openness with my own learning has, in turn, produced open minds in them. Even though there is so much more I want to do, I have identified three major areas of focus for the coming years. First, I want to embrace and expand my use of the flipped classroom model using Khan Academy and Edutopia. Secondly, I will work towards assuming a leadership role within my school with technology integration and education by becoming a committed member of Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL). Finally, I want to focus on the deliberate integration of technology into the teaching of history by using resources such as the National Archives and the Avalon Project to curate valuable primary sources.
GOAL #1: Integrating the Flipped Classroom Model
With only a short class time, I have had to think critically about how I am using my face-to-face time with my students. Through research, peer account, and trial, I discovered the flipped classroom model is an excellent way to use my time more effectively. In brief, this consists of taking what is normally done in class (such as lecture to deliver content) and transitioning that work out of the classroom for ‘homework.’ Then, class time is used to take content and work with it while the teacher is present to facilitate higher order thinking. One thing that can be overwhelming for a teacher in implementing the flipped model is to begin curating video lectures and other ways to purvey content to students at home. However, two resources that I plan to use to aid me are Edutopia and Khan Academy, which have a multitude of resources such as lectures already created for teachers to use. As I work towards using this model in my classes, I am committed to using these excellent resources.
GOAL #2: Leadership Role in Technology Integration
I teach at a small, Catholic school in Lansing. We are generously funded by a supportive parish and community and we have access to technology that other private schools may not. That being said, we do not necessarily have the integration staff that exists in larger school systems. Thus, there is an opportunity for me to take a leadership role within the school helping educate colleagues and working within classrooms to integrate technology for effective and purposeful use. One goal that I have is to stay abreast of best practices and educational technology through attending the Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) conference on a yearly basis. However, I do not just want to be a passive participant, but it is a goal to present a topic at the conference as well, which will push me to become rooted within a motivated community.
GOAL #3: Technology Integration in History with Primary Source Access
Finally, I want to purposefully integrate technology into history, a subject that I have always loved and now love to teach. Sadly, a lot of people tend to see history as backwards and boring. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, technology can now bring history to life and allow learners to experience it in a way that was never possible before. Periodicals, court cases, photographs, diaries, and so much more are now at the fingertips of anyone, rather than confined to archives and out of reach. I am excited to be able to begin curating a library of online primary document resources that my students can experience in the classroom. I have only just begun to comb through the vast amount of resources available through the National Archives and the Avalon Project, but I am committed to using them consistently.
It is easy to think of graduation and picture putting my feet up and taking a break from learning. But, if I want to do my degree, my students, and myself justice, I have to focus on my goals and work towards meeting them so I can set new ones. Even though this chapter may officially finish, the work ethic and the love for learning that I have discovered again as I have obtained my masters will never be done. In the famous words of President Bartlet from the fictional show, The West Wing (an absolute Guysky favorite), “What’s next?”
MACUL Logo: https://macul.org/
All other images are my own.
All other images are my own.