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Reflective Essay 2 Antonio Almeida

Walden University EDUC 6665: Technology, Leadership, and a Vision for the Future Instructor: Jacqueline Derby August 8, 2008

Essay Reflective Essay 2

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"Reflection is the essential part of the learning process because it results in making sense of or extracting meaning from the experience." (Osterman, 1990) For this reflective essay, I have reflected upon the skills I have acquired and how I have used them to improve my teaching. These past 19 months have greatly contributed to my development as a scholar-practitioner by encouraging the development of my competence as a teacher and to become a reflective professional. My main goal when I first decided to enroll in the Masters of Science in Education degree at Walden was to learn new strategies, skills, and acquire the knowledge to integrate successfully technology in my classroom to betters assist my students. My experience has been extremely beneficial along this voyage; I strongly believe that this degree will have a life-long impact on my teaching career. Throughout this degree program I have grown professionally in areas that have made me a more effective educator, leader, and team worker, which consequently will have a great impact in the lives of my students. At the initial stage of this program, I was very skeptical on how it was going to work? As time went by, with the help from my colleagues during discussions and my instructors, I became much more comfortable. My first course 6610 Teaching as a Professional was a new experience; I had never taken and online class. In addition, I had to learn from scratch how to use APA formatting. I fast learned to reflect on the priorities and attributes of high-performing teachers, and hold their values. I have used reflection to grow professionally; this has leaded me to better understanding of professional practices and approach the problems that arise with confidence. I now model reflection with my students; I often ask them to reflect on their work. When we work on a lesson or unit we often have time to reflect, then we share our thoughts and ideas in a Socratic seminar. I had made a commitment in my mission statement to become a life-long

Essay learner and I intent to do that by constantly reflecting in my practices and seeking professional development. The following quote supports my philosophy of teaching and that we have an obligation to society as teachers. "For our society to prosper, we must become the best teachers we can be and provide the best for all students". (Frank, 1999)

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Walden has prepared me to use technologies to do things differently and I have embraced the challenged. I now use blogs, wikis, and try to look frequently for disruptive technologies to use with my students. During the second class EDUC 6661 Exploring New Technologies, I discovered that my District has a great technology plan! Until this point, I did not know much about what was happening around the district in terms of use of technology, but after some research, it open my eyes to how much professional development they offer and how much help I can get to write a grant. I have developed a great knowledge of information literacy skills and utilize new technologies like chats, discussion boards create podcasts and my favorite disruptive technology iPod to use in the classroom. It is very important to stay current and to constantly search for new ways to implement technology in the classroom, I am now completely ready to move forward and succeed. The Two classes that had the most impact on my teaching performance throughout the entire program were, EDUC 6625 Habits of Mind and EDUC 6615 Effective Teaching Styles & Multiple Intelligences. Prior to these two classes, I had no idea of what differentiated instruction was. I learned how to create lessons to differentiate instruction and to reach all of my students needs by addressing different Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences. The results have been astonishing, higher levels of participation, more fun, and more positive results. I now have more confidence in my teaching and integrate more often technology to enhance the curriculum. The way I plan my lessons are more detailed and they always take in consideration my students needs

Essay when I use various technology tools. Now I can see and believe that it is possible to reach every single student.

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With a great collection of instructional tools, instructional models and strategies to teach; I was able to make better decisions on when to use them. During EDUC 6630 Instructive Models and Strategies, I was impressed with the amount on new strategies I was missing out. The instruction models and strategies that I have been using the most are Internet Workshops, Internet Project, and WebQuests. I am now a subscriber for ePals and have my class connected with others around the World that speaks Portuguese. I have incorporated WebQuests regularly in my lessons. With technology enhanced lessons, I started to use a many common programs in my classroom, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, these are very powerful tools. During EDUC 6662 Multimedia Tools How to Research, Plan, and Communicate with technology, I was able to learn in depth how to work with these common programs. When I first started the EDUC 6620 Collaborative Action Research class, I was overwhelmed with the amount of information that had to be analyzed. I never gave up and learned how to be a classroom researcher. I conducted my research in class with my students; I collected vast amounts of data, analyzed that data and was able to assemble the paper. During this period I learned to find information in Search Engines, Websites, and Journals and evaluate the information for validity. I now know exactly how to conduct a research and come up with an excellent end product. I hope in the future to contribute with more research projects. Collaborative Research Projects empower teachers and validates teaching as a true profession. The time spent during this Walden program was extremely valuable; it has been an enriching experience. In the near future, I hope to be back for more. Meanwhile, I will be providing in- service professional development for my school. I feel more confident to accept a

Essay leadership role in integrating technology in my District; I know that there are many future challenges, but I will continue to learn new strategies and stay abreast of new emerging technologies.

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Essay References

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Frank, Peter. (1999). Becoming a Reflective Teacher: Define Your Teaching Goals and Continue to Reevaluate them. ASCD Catalyst. Retrieved February 9, 2007, from http://www.nea.org/teachexperience/tresk030605.html?mode=print Osterman, k. F. "Reflective Practice: A New Agenda for Education." Education and Urban Society 22 no. 2 (February 1990): 133-152

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