As this semester comes to an end, I can’t help but to reflect and realize how thankful I am that I was required to take this course. To be completely honest, I was dreading it with all that I have. I heard that we had to blog, tweet, and be creative with technology, and all of those things scared me to death. I don’t know how to blog, I don’t like to tweet, and I am neither creative or tech-savvy, so this course was basically my nightmare. I am so happy to report, though, that not only has it not been a nightmare, but it has been a Godsend. I have learned so much about myself, and I can’t wait to continue doing so.
My Independent Learning Project was fantastic. I loved everything about it. I loved that I did it on my own time, that there were no rules, and that it was something that I chose to do, not something that I was assigned to do. Although it was difficult to find time, tools, and space to cook in the dorms, I had to become creative, and I was mostly successful in doing that! I am proud to say that I have improved as a chef, and I have learned more about cooking in one semester than I have in 21 years of living. The ILP is something that pushed me outside of my comfort zone, provided me with challenges, and then rewarded me with a feeling of confidence that I have never truly experienced as a learner. I was forced to be dedicated, and it paid off in a great way.
My role has a learner has completely changed throughout this course. I used to get on Sakai, check my assignments, and robotically go through the emotions of completing an assignment, turning it in, checking for the grade, and then repeating the entire process over again. In this course, I have learned how to learn again. I have learned how to be excited about what is to come because it is a mystery, and I have to learn as I go. I have taken so much away from the information that we have gone through, and I have learned a lot about ways to excite my students, engage them in technology, and show them new ways to express themselves in the classroom. I definitely think that allowing some freedom within learning is the most effective teaching strategy that I have experienced thus far. I want to teach my students how to think, not what to think, and letting them be creative and learn on their own is a great way to do that.
Thanks for reading,