Course 5 Final Project & Reflection


Flickr – LindasyEnsing, Starting Line

Final Course 5 Project. We’ve reached the finish line for COETAIL, but really it’s the starting line for our new learnings and understandings. The final project seemed so far off, and daunting, when I first started COETAIL. While I am going to continue on and get my Masters, I have to say, I may be as proud or prouder to be an official COETAILer in a few weeks.

I am definitely a changed educator thanks to my learnings through COETAIL. Yes, it has greatly influenced my tech integration in my classroom and on my team, but (possibly) more importantly it has shifted the way I plan and deliver instruction. I welcome change and new ideas. I don’t go in with a preconceived idea of how I want it to look or turn out. I am open to the many directions a lesson or unit may go when applying these new structures and ideals. Having this open mind and more relaxed approach has led to greater success in my students’ outcomes.

I had a few different ideas originally that would impact our grade 4 program at my school, but after more consideration, I felt they were positive initiatives and changes for our program but not necessarily project worthy in terms of the best interest of students learning. I continued to brainstorm and push my thinking to move towards a more meaningful learning experience for my students.

A fellow COETAILer is also one of my fellow coworkers and this year she moved from literacy support back into the classroom. Angela Spitzman moved to 4th grade and is now a part of my team. We are making a lot of changes to our units and really wanted to do something together that could potentially be something that the other 4th grade teachers use and strengthens our program.

Our brainstorming has brought us all over the map. We have considered all aspects of content areas, integrated units, global connections, and so on. Ultimately, we felt our reading units needed a progressive push. Our first step in implementing that change was our course 5 project, using Tour Builder.

I included a reflection and new learnings in my presentation, but want to reiterate that while I do plan on using Tour Builder more in the future, the greater learning here is the great potential that our reading comprehension units still hold. I now see how we can make some of our fundamental skills like comprehension enriching, creative, and fun for the students.

I included some potential cons or issues with Tour Builder in my video presentation but what I forgot to mention, in addition to the inability to edit collaboratively (like other Google apps), is the sharing component. Yes, you can share the tour with others. But you must have the tour shared with you to view, which poses a problem in terms of posting it to blogs, etc. That being said, while there are a few potential hang ups in the Tour Builder program, overall it offers great possibilities.

One thing I still have not learned is…to rotate my phone or iPad horizontally while recording video. I definitely see the upside of investing in a DSLR camera or similar to create online content. #futuregoals

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