I’m going to be honest, this class was really difficult to keep up with. I prefer face to face classes, and having that interaction makes it a lot easier to stay on track. I was really bad about waiting until the end of the week to work on everything (like right now.) I would open the assignment sheet up earlier in the week and keep it in the back of my mind, but I wouldn’t buckle down and start until Friday evening. I’m not a writer and I post very little on social media, so this whole blogging and tweeting thing was difficult for me to get through. I’m also not a fan of keeping up with it every week. I could see keeping up with blogging in the future, but doing it at my own pace. I definitely couldn’t keep up with doing it multiple times a week, but I could blog every once in a while. I can’t say the same for Twitter. I’ll keep my account and try to stay up to date with it, but I’m bad enough at posting on Facebook. I don’t think I’ll be tweeting on a regular basis.
It was also really hard to stay motivated at first while working on my independent learning project. I treated it as more of a research project than anything. I originally picked bad habits and technology to avoid in the classroom to research, but that became very repetitive so I expanded it to include good teaching methods, technology, and teaching in general. I feel like I got a lot more out of the independent learning project after I did that. I think that the best part about that specific project was being able to explore different methods and the dos and don’ts of teaching.
After changing the focus of my independent learning project, I think I got more out of it as far as learning how to teach than I’ve gotten out of some of my other classes so far. I’ve noticed that, for the most part, the education classes cater more to general education teachers and not quite as much to majors like art education. While I’m learning good things in those classes, it’s been nice to research methods that will help me in my future classroom. There is so much more that goes into teaching art. It is difficult to incorporate technology like you would in general education classrooms since almost everything the students would be doing would be physical, such as painting and drawing. I learned some tools both from our modules during the class and through my independent learning projects that I can see being useful in my future classroom, such as using digital storytelling and blogs to catalog students’ projects and progress through their time in my classes. Keeping a digital record of artwork is something I need to get started on as well.
All in all, I did get something out of both this class and the independent learning project, even though it was difficult to stay motivated. I wish I had a little more guidelines on the independent learning project so I could have picked something more sustainable over the course of the class, but I was able to get a lot out of my project.
Photo CC: Mary Lee Hahn