I have really enjoyed this class so far. For the most part, I have found everything we have learned to be extremely practical. The vast majority of classes I have taken have dealt mostly with theory, so learning practical ideas that I can apply in the classroom has been a very nice change of pace. I can imagine a number of different scenarios in which I could apply some of the ideas we have discussed so far.
Perhaps the most helpful aspect of the course, so far, has been my growing awareness of the vast number of ways that technology can be used in a classroom. More than just smart boards and other, often underutilized, technologies, I have discovered that things as simple as blogs could be used very effectively in the classroom setting. Another area that I greatly enjoyed was learning about WebQuests and other Internet based projects. When I was in elementary school, almost all of my research was done with books in the library. By creating a project based upon information available on the Internet, kids could begin the process of learning how to conduct online research. As they get older, knowing how to perform this type of research will be of great importance. I also found the idea of digital storytelling to be wonderful. By using simple, freely available software, kids could create their own presentation, which would be a great counterpoint to the, often boring, PowerPoint presentation.
I have not really found anything to be particularly challenging. The workload has been very manageable and most of the assignments are easy to understand. The work we have done in-class has also been helpful. I enjoy meeting in groups and we have done this often.
As the semester progresses I hope to continue to learn more about the different ways that technology can be applied in the classroom. I am excited about the ways that social networking and podcasting can be used. These would offer extremely interesting new ways for children to interact with the material.
As far as suggestions for the instructor, I have none. Dr. Langran has been very helpful and class is almost never boring. I look forward to the second half of the semester.