My blogging journey began just over four months ago. At this time, school had just started back up and was fully virtual, teachers were stressing about how to engage students in a digital setting, and my research was just beginning to take off. As the districts only instructional coach leading the pathway on EdTech integration, I felt the need (and burden at times) to keep up with all of the latest EdTech tools and to read anything and everything around EdTech integration. My first three blog posts are an indication that I was still at the novice level of my journey:
- Why is electronically mediated teaching/learning important for the desired skills and knowledge of the future?
- The A, B, and C’s of motivation and social learning theory- what do you think are the positive real world applications of the various components of Social Learning Theory for the 21st century teacher? Where are the connections to motivation?
- Reflective about my experience this week with my partner on a Prezi activity.
As I reflect on these posts, I am reminded about how grandiose everything seemed around EdTech integration. I am reminded that all of these theories that seemed to be overwhelming, were only overwhelming because I could not yet visually picture them coming to fruition in my head. I was still acquiring the content knowledge necessary to see the typical paths a student (or teacher) would encounter while engaging in new EdTech tools and new learning theories. If I could go back in time (four months), I would share with that version of me that it is important to chunk this information and take it in digestible bits. I would also encourage this version of me to picture each new idea, theory, and skill playing out in the classroom. I would ask:
- How does this relate to practices from your previous classroom experiences?
- What pushback or resistance could come from engaging in this new theory or concept?
- Why is it important to have a better understanding of this concept/theory/strategy?
Having a set of questions in place as I take on new concepts/theories forces me to take a more genuine approach to my learning. This next phase in my learning journey focuses on learning design and authentic application. Moving forward, I am excited to begin putting many of the theories that I have learned into practice. I am also looking forward to taking a deeper dive into the impact and benefits that this will have on student learning. Students are the focus and heart of my work. As an instructional coach, I want to support teachers in their understanding of Social Learning Theory so that they can better meet the needs of their 21st-century learners. I want develop an expertise in this area so that I have the metacognitive ability to provide input and strategies for teachers to provide engaging lessons that meet the needs of each individual student.
While I am still learning and growing, my level of expertise around teaching the 21st-century learner has increased tremendously. This journey is a marathon, not a sprint, and I look forward to continuing my learning.