- As you reflect upon the past 9 weeks, what about yourself were you most aware of as a learner? As a learner for the past 9 weeks I have realized that although I am a slow processor and over analyze everything working collaboratively isn't as challenging for me as I thought. The format of this class being blended with online collaboration helped me to be able to share my ideas more freely than I would have in a traditional classroom setting. I am much more comfortable communicating with people I don't know well in writing. It allows me the extra processing time I need to formulate my thoughts and the online collaboration piece of this class allowed me to work with others without feeling anxiety. It allowed me to break the ice of talking with my team online first which made it easier for me to communicate with them in person in class. I'm sure blended learning could do the same for many of my more timid students as well.
- What insights about student learning have you gained as a result of implementing the 21st Century Learning Competencies? I think the biggest insights I gained from implementing the 21st century learning competencies into my classroom have been that it's not as hard as I thought to grade group work and that I am already implementing many of the competencies and just need to work on implementing them at a higher level on the elevator guide. I was also reminded how important formative assessment is. In a world of summative assessments being forced upon teachers it is easy to forget that the formative assessments you use are far more important then the summative assessments given at the end. They are what guide your instruction and tell you where to go next which is much more important than waiting until the end of a unit to see if what you did worked. Formative assessment allows you to adjust your instruction as you go. I also learned that as our teaching changes our assessments need to change as well to match. We can't change the way we teach but continue to assess our students in the same way we were. We need update our assessments to match the way we are teaching and to allow more student choice in the way in which they assessed.
- As you think about your future instruction, how might the 21st Century Learning Competencies be used as a guide to your teaching practices? Now that I am familiar with the 21st century learning competencies I know that in the future I will think of 21st century learning as more than simply using technology. There is so much more to it. I will use the competencies to guide my planning and instruction and will be implementing more student choice and collaboration in my classroom in the future. I will also be using technology more purposefully than before. I hope to have my students creating technology products together next year as well as using the technology for knowledge construction. I also hope to use more rubrics along with these products so that students can give more specific feedback to each other when critiquing each other's work.