Final Reflection

I can’t believe it, but this week was our last class! This semester has really flown by. It’s hard to believe that this was my last semester of regular classes- I’ll be student teaching in the spring!

After this semester is over, I will have officially completed my IT Certificate! I’m so glad that I decided to do this program. I’ve learned about so many valuable technology tools that can be used in education, and I can’t wait to try them out in my future classroom. Making engaging lesson plans is something that I enjoy doing (and not to toot my own horn, but according to my professors, it is something that I excel at as well!), and incorporating a variety of Web 2.0 tools will enhance my lesson plans and make learning more interesting, engaging, and relatable for my students.

FAVORITE WEB 2.0 TOOLS

My favorite Web 2.0 tools that we have used in Webpage Technologies are:
Pixlr
Animoto
Voki
Amara
Tackk

All of these tools are engaging, vibrant, free, and easy to use. I can use these tools to create educational materials for my lessons, and I can also give my students assignments and projects where they need to use these tools as well.

I also really enjoyed using WordPress, both to run this blog and create my digital accessibility website, Digital Accessibility Now.I had heard of WordPress, but had never actually used it, and I like how easy it is to use and how professional it makes the blogs look. And I had no idea that WordPress could be used to make a website, so I thought that was pretty cool!

I’ve enjoyed all but one of the Web 2.0 tools that we’ve learned about and used in Webpage Technologies. Which brings me to my next point…

GOSH DARN GOOGLE SITES!

A picture of a man with a frustrated expression.
Frustrated by Kay Kim is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Come on, Google! I really expected better from you, especially since your other apps are so efficient and useable. This seems to be the one thing you haven’t gotten right yet.

Working with Google sites was a lot more frustrating than I thought it would be. I found it confusing to navigate, and I was annoyed that there wasn’t really an autosave feature, unlike Google’s other apps. At first, I couldn’t get my pictures to show up, and when they did, they would randomly disappear. The spacing between sections on a page seemed to change every time I opened the page. Sometimes random things would go missing, and other things wouldn’t go away. I couldn’t control the page order or embed my Voki.

My list of complaints is seemingly endless, I know, but I just plain don’t like Google sites. WordPress is much easier and more straightforward to use, and I find the WordPress templates more visually appealing and professional looking as well. My suggestion for this class in the future is to have Google sites be optional to use for the final project. A lot of us seemed to have trouble with it and would have preferred to use WordPress.

I did eventually get the hang of using Google sites when making my final project, Adopt, Don’t Shop, which is a website all about why you should adopt a pet from an animal shelter or rescue group instead of buying from a pet store or breeder. I’m pretty proud of it, so feel free to check it out!

If you’re trying to use Google sites and you’re having a hard time, the below tutorial might help!

SO LONG, FAREWELL…

Overall, this class exceeded my expectations. I learned how to do basic code, create my own website, and use a variety of awesome Web 2.0 tools. I also learned about important issues such as digital accessibility, copyright, and making online content interesting. Coming into this class, I wasn’t sure what to expect, and my knowledge of Web 2.0 tools was limited. I had never made a webpage before, and Tumblr was the only blogging experience I had. Now I have a lot of new skills under my belt, and plenty of ideas that I’m excited to try with my future students. These skills and the IT Certificate that I’ve earned will make me a more marketable teacher as well, which is definitely a must in this economy.

I’m much more excited about incorporating technology into my classroom, and I feel like a whole new world has opened up for me!


And with that, I’m afraid it’s time to say goodbye. Now that this class is over, I will no longer be posting on this blog- my plate will be full with student teaching next semester! Thank you to everyone who has followed this blog for the past few months! See you on the flip side.