The resources digital environments course provided me various opportunities to analyze digital resources and apply new learnings to my learning environment. Such a process was done in various collaborative environments but mainly through a Facebook group of 26 colleagues who craved for learning from each other. I truly believed that the main goals for the Resources Digital Environments course were met.
During the first two weeks, I dove into the ISTE standards and other articles that pushed my thinking. For example, the article Publishing: Can I really do that? provided the guidelines for exploring the idea of publishing what I do in my classroom. As an educator, I feel I undermine the work I do. However, this article really encouraged me to share what I do or implement in my room because it is valuable. This journey sent me to explore and evaluate digital resources through which I could share my teaching and learning experiences. I discovered that my innovation plan – How the station-rotation blended approach can increase engagement – has value and can support other educators that want to learn how to use technology to enhance learning.
The first step I took when I embarked on this journey was to develop a publication outline. This process allowed me to refine my ideas and think about the intended audience. I have to say that I struggled with this step. I believe I am a big idea person who most of the time think about details last. I had not thought about publishing my ideas before so it took me some time to come up with a coherent outline that had a clear direction. I researched some of the agencies that would publish posts from educators, like me, who wanted to share what had been implemented in their classrooms.
I pre-selected three sites where I planned on submitting my publication. This step helped me when writing my draft because I had a clear goal and audience.
- Edutopia: In order to submit an article to Edutopia, I need to send them an email with a few sentences describing my proposed post and a high-level outline. I know that the finished outline should be around 750–850 words. In addition to that, I need to have a clear audience. In my case, the intended audience is all educators who want to implement the Blended Learning Approach in their classrooms.
- We Are Teachers: In order to submit an article to We are Teachers, I need to resemble the tone and style of their blogs. Their blog posts run between 500–700 words.
- ACTFL Language Connects: I can submit my article to the In the Classroom Department as the article will be on a topic directly related to languages in the classroom.
Another piece that helped a lot was the class discussions regarding digital tools in digital environments and perusing and sharing publications. I realized that I was not the only one who felt vulnerable when sharing their work.
Once the outline was created, I started developing my first draft. In order to refine my publication post, I engaged in a feedforward loop with three more educators – Jennifer Marlor, Angie Ariza, and Christine Glenn. All the communication and collaboration happened through a Facebook group. Each participant posted the rough draft and requested feedback using the assessment rubric. When I received the feedforward, I “listened” to it carefully. Writing is a process that never ends, which means that there is always something that can be changed. My main goal was for my peers to hear my “voice” and for the article to be coherent and meaningful to most educators. I have added an example of the interactions that took place on the Facebook group.
The feedforward allowed me to see different perspectives and adjust my writing piece to the intended audience. In addition to that, the course pushed me to step out of my comfort zone by creating a media pitch for my publication. I have to say that I see myself as an introvert. However, the media project gave me an opportunity to dig deeper into my WHY so that I could share it with others. I tried different tools to create the media pitch such as Doodly, Prezi, and Powtoon but I decided to use Canva and uploaded the video to my YouTube channel. The goal is to present my ideas to influence others in a positive way. The video showcases my “WHY” and “HOW” I want to bring about change in my classroom to increase engagement and student agency in my classroom.
Media Pitch Project
Sharing my ideas in the digital community – Publication Article
After the feedforward provided by my peers and the revision and editing process, I can say that I am ready to submit my article to Edutopia and/or We are Teachers. The article will be submitted in August with the main goal to share my ideas with other educators.
Throughout the Resources Digital Environments course, I engaged in a highly collaborative environment in which I felt out of my comfort zone. The different assignments allowed me to dig deeper into the implementation process of my innovation plan.
Reflection: The videos and readings of the course allowed me to push my thinking. As an educator, I have learned how to share what I do in my classroom with informal posts via Twitter or comments via Facebook groups and discussion boards in the course. I truly feel that I have grown tremendously in this area (discussion posts). The readings and videos gave me the context to make connections and share my thinking with my peers about the variety of ways technology can enhance learning, how my learning environment is changing and how I can share the changes I am making in my classroom. These discussions gave me the tools and experience to step out of my comfort zone and share what I do with a wider learning community. I blogged about all the contributions to my learning in one of my most recent posts: Contributions to My Learning Community.
The reflection process and collaboration I engaged in this course also helped me grow as an educator. My next step is to publish the article. I will submit it in August to We Are Teachers.
Self-Assessment Marking: 92