The Itinerary for My Continuing Voyage
My journey through the Masters of Arts in Educational Technology program at Michigan State University (MSU) may be ending, but the learning voyage continues. Just like any trip, my trek needs a map or a plan to keep me on the road to acquiring the knowledge I need to be a successful teacher. As a lifelong learner, I am constantly seeking knowledge in many things. However, as an educator, I plan to focus on three main destinations. First, I want to continue developing my teaching skills to be a highly effective teacher. Second, I am determined to make my classroom a learning experience for all my students. And third, as a computer programming instructor, I need to keep up with constantly changing technology.
Becoming a More Effective Teacher
Develop a Creative and Collaborative Learning Experience
Another important learning tool I explored on my journey is collaboration. I would like to learn more about how to make my classroom more collaborative. Learning to program tends to be a solitary activity. However, in a professional working environment, programming is actually a collaborative process. I plan to explore the possibility of purchasing furniture such as the MediaScape by Steelcase. I plan to use the expertise of industrial experts to learn how to best use this technology in my classroom.
I would also like to explore tiny and affordable computers that are programmable and fun. There are two types; the Raspberry Pi and the Arduino. A Makerspace is a place where students can work together on projects while sharing ideas, equipment and knowledge. A Makerspace fits in nicely with my plan to continue developing a creative and collaborative learning experience for my students. I plan to look at websites that contain project ideas for Raspberry Pi’s and Arduinos.
Keeping Up with Changing Technology
I also plan to continue learning about computer programming and get more involved in robotic programming and game design. I already own a large collection of technical books and manuals that I’m anxious to read when I have more time. Additionally, there are many websites that I can’t wait to explore such as SoftBanks Robotics and Learning Unity. An unusual way I like to learn more programming techniques is from my students. I love it when they have great ideas for doing something new and we research together to figure out how to do it. One of the best sites for researching computer programming ideas is a forum called Stack Overflow.
When I went to college for a degree in computer science, I wrote programs on one of a few, shared computer terminals connected to a room-sized computer. Technology is changing at an exponential rate and can be found everywhere; your TV, your vehicle, even your refrigerator. It is very important than I keep the content I teach current and therefore, I must continue learning about new technology. To stay current with industry, I plan to maintain a connection with IT professionals and attend the Great Lakes Software Excellence Conference (GLSEC) and evening events sponsored by Software GR.
The day I finish striving to be a better teacher is the day I should retire. My on-going voyage of learning about teaching and learning will continue. Who knows what technology I will be teaching in the future or what educational policies we will have to deal with? As long as I continue to learn new technologies, get students excited about learning and use proven pedagogical ideas, I think I will be ready for anything.