Throughout my EDTC600 course, I was able to learn about some concepts I have never heard about. I was able to investigate concepts such as TPACK, UDL, Marzano's Nine, and Digital Equity. TPACK includes the idea of Technology Knowledge, Pedagogical Knowledge, and Content Knowledge are all intertwined to create the perfect educator! It is important for the teacher to not only know the content, but also he or she must be able to teach the content and utilize technology to stay current and relevant with the content. UDL, also known as Universal Design for Learning, uses principles and guidelines to meet each student's individual needs. The beauty of UDL is that it provides resources that may be helpful to meet the needs of students with special needs or learning disabilities. Marzano's Nine Essential Strategies focuses on the idea of nine topics that is vital for teachers to use in their pedagogy design. Finally, Digital Equity introduces ways to narrow the digital divide.
As I have investigated each of these concepts, I have definitely changed my teaching style for the better! I always took pride in creating lesson plans that were engaging and met the required state standards. Now, I have the knowledge to take the same lesson plans and make them even better!! I now have tools such as webspiration and colorcontrast to provide different ways to show vocabulary to my students. Things such as this blog and delicious.com, I'm able to take my new found research anywhere or have the opportunity to share with other educators. Also, I'm able to defend to my administration why I do certain things in my lesson plans. For example, I can tell my principal the purpose to iPad apps is to engage the students (a UDL principal) or Venn Diagrams is a great way to incorporate Marzano's strategy of identifying similarities and differences.
Due to my new found knowledge, the next step is to share this information with others. As I've seen in many of my observations, so many educators are feeling disgruntled in their careers. This is due to lack of knowledge of new and exciting ways to teach topics. So, it is important to provide this information to others!! Ways I plan to do this is to create professional development opportunities as well as through this blog!!