Monday, September 29, 2014

Bringing You Along on the Quest to be a Tech Savvy Aggie…

In the spring of 2013, I set out to create a blog {E-Learn in Ag: A Quest to be Tech Savvy Aggie} to begin journaling ways of diversifying teaching techniques by integrating technology.  It began as an online notebook of sorts, but to also {hopefully} help fellow educators in their classroom.  Over the last several years, I have had the privilege of developing online curriculum and taking some post-masters courses in learning technologies.  I have learned a great deal about how effective online learning happens {and doesn’t}.  As I start this journey, I’m not sure how I feel about the title “technologist” - this implies I’m an expert in this field - but I would rather think of myself as a lifetime learner who is focusing efforts in the area of technology and to help out my fellow educators.  I am humbled and feel privileged to be asked to provide information to help my colleagues provide resources to ease the magnitude of responsibilities placed on ag teachers, find ways to be more effective educators, provide support for teacher evaluations and practically integrate technology in their classroom.  So, here we go….

After teaching for nine years in my hometown at the Juniata HS Agriculture program as a single teacher to my current role as a team member of four agriculture educators at Penn Manor High School, I have seen a wide array of differing opportunities available to educators and differences in technology utilization.  My perspective on technology is that no one technological tool will fix poor classroom pedagogy. I feel integrating technology is one more tool for your teacher toolbox.  If managed properly, it can be a way to more effectively manage time, assessments and student engagement.  In addition, I feel we must present students with as advanced technology as our districts will provide to keep them current so they are poised to be successful in future careers.  

In previous educational technology experiences, I have learned in some cases, we end up teaching the platform for the technology as opposed to effectively communicating the course content we want the student to master.  In this time period of teaching the platform (ie Moodle, Blackboard, or MindMeister), we lose them just as if we were standing in front of the room lecturing and dictating from a book with our kids slouched over in their seats daydreaming about what the coming weekend.  {Below is the visual I had of my classroom when things go wrong.}

Through my series of blog posts, I will be covering the following general topics:
  •   Easy classroom integration tools (Nearpod, Socrative, etc)
  •   Why technology and SAMR Model of technology integration.
  •   Google Drive and Education Tools
  •   Open-Source vs iPad Technologies
  •   Agriculture Apps
  •   Moodle and Blackboard use in the classroom
  •   Graphic design, video and using other types of media

I ask you to begin thinking about what you need help with in your classroom: “if I could only do this…it would be so much easier”.  Evaluate how you use technology in your classroom and what you would like to improve on.  In addition, I ask you to begin thinking about how social media plays a role in your agriculture program.  I would like to tailor blog posts to real-time problems and issues.

I hope what I have to offer will be of use to you in your classroom.  If you would like to see learning technology tidbits, follow me on Twitter @DGCornman.  

Yours in the Quest to be a Tech Savvy Aggie,

Diane Glock-Cornman
PSU Teach Ag! Technologist

1 comment:

  1. Diane! Awesome! I will be your first fan! Our task for this year at our school is to put one of our courses online. We are using the canvas platform. I'm going to need lots of help!