Saturday, October 19, 2013

Final Reflection for Bridging Learning Theory, Instruction, and Technology

After reflecting on my personal learning theory from the beginning of the course, my beliefs have evolved to incorporate my new knowledge. I would add more teaching strategies, and learning activities that correspond to promote deep learning in my classroom. I have learned the cognitive reasons that support learning strategies, and technology that corresponds to these strategies.

I have already started to add more strategies to my teaching tool belt. Instead of using a verity of strategies throughout the school year, I used a multitude of strategies in each lesson. I have also started to explain the reasoning behind the different learning activities and teaching strategies to my students. My students are receptive to the explanations and are willing try new types of activities.  

My school focuses on six instructional strategies that they feel are most important to see in the classroom. After taking this course, I am able to understand these strategies from a new perspective. All of the strategies my school pushes are ones we covered in class. I feel that I am more equipped to teach using these strategies in partnership with technology. Incorporating these instructional strategies based on what I learned in class will help me stand out as a proficient teacher.

Earlier in the course, I took my students on a virtual field trip and created a graphic organizer online. Thee two tools will enhance students learning. Bringing art to my students will create new real world experiences for them. My students will gain cultural experiences in which they can use to connect new information to. Online graphic organizers were a hit in my class.  This tool gave my students a cause to learn in a collaborative group. The students also were willing and eager to participate in class discussions without getting distracted.

Two long-term goals I have to improve my teaching practice in regards to technology are to utilize technology with my students outside the classroom and to update/ transforms my best lessons using technology. I would like to create more flipped classroom experiences for my students. My class is project heavy, and students can learn, and get assessed outside the classroom leaving class time for the creation of projects.  I would also like to implement an online classroom environment where students can have discussions, share ideas, and also be a part of a larger artistic community beyond our school. I will start this goal by first making a link to all students through the online grade book system. I will be able to communicate with my students and share new information with them. I will also conduct research about my student’s technological resources at home and plan based on my findings. Every teacher has lessons in their arsenal that are highly successful, engaging and fun. I would like to take those lessons I have and update them using technology. This may be as simple as adding a virtual field trip to the lesson, more complex by adding the construction of a Wiki page.  My goal is to start adding bits of technology as I learn them. I will then take the time over the summer to assess and keep what worked and re-think what did not. This lesson overhaul will take some experimentation and time.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Social Learning Theory and Cooperative Learning

Cooperative learning is something I am no stranger to. My school has highlighted six particular teaching strategies, two of which fall under the social learning theory.  These strategies are collaborative group work, and classroom talk and were mentioned in their week’s resource video (Laureate Education Inc., 2011).

This week, in our resources we explored social learning and technology within collaborative group work. When student work together the learning is enhanced (Pitler, Hubbell, & Kuhn, 2012).  The zone of proximal development can be stretched when working with others (Laureate Education Inc., 2011). The key factor when placing students in groups is the grouping itself (Orey, 2001). Students who are placed in balanced groups will all learn in an extraordinary way.

Students working in groups can benefit by using technology.  There are two main ways technology can be used when student work in groups: as the form of communication and as the product of their group work. Students can communicate using technology through social media such as Facebook/Fakebook, Edublogs, Skype/FaceTime. The use of technology can ease the hassle of getting together for group meetings outside of class. When using Facebook and Edublogs students can communicate at times that suit them. This would be helpful for students are on a sports team, have a job, or other obligations that would prevent them from attending group meetings. Students can meet at real time from anywhere using Skype and FaceTime. When students use technology as the product of the group work, the possibilities are endless. Students can create blogs, YouTube videos, websites, a Second Life environment, VoiceThreads, etc. When students are working on a large project together there are many problems that come up, and students must learn how to solve these problems and learn from one another. Learning from others and/or the environment is a fundamental aspect of the social learning theory (Laureate Education Inc., 2011).


Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program eight: Social learning theories [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from

Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


This week, I used voicethread to introduce a problem-based lesson to my students. I would like feedback and comments before I  use this voicethread in the classroom.