[ETEC 527] Final Reflections

Wow, I really can’t believe I’m at the end of my first semester of grad school. Starting school again was actually pretty unexpected considering I made the decision in about 24 hours and rushed to apply immediately after I graduated. Now that I’m here I find myself extremely excited about the future and really tuned into learning all that I can about Educational Technology. These last few weeks have opened up a new world of learning and discovery for me with technology and in education that I already feel is making a difference in my personal and professional life.

In this course I learned quite a bit that I am using on a regular basis now. Social Bookmarking has become a go-to for me to stay organized and reference web pages, but Diigo has taken it to a new level with its groups, sticky notes, and website annotation features. YouTube is back on my radar for saving videos I like and also many that will help me learn and review EdTech lessons and practices throughout this program. Now that I have my account set up and have created playlists, I am able to work with it faster and I am considering even doing some instructional videos of my own since I’ve learned how to screen record using Camtasia.

Slack is a Web 2.0 tool that I will be integrating into my work to collaborate with my team and possibly other departments. Its workspaces give you the ability to organize communications by channels for group discussions and allow for private messages to share information, files, and more all in one place, which is perfect for all of us now that we are all working from home under quarantine.

My favorite new tool has been Adobe Spark. I am an Adobe Creative Cloud user personally and professionally, and even though I had heard about Spark, I didn’t know its capabilities or about its web platform until this course. Once I began playing with it, I fell in love. Initially it reminded me a lot of Canva, but it’s so much better to me with the ease of use and seamless collaborations between graphics, presentations, and video production. I already know I’ll be using this tool the most in the very near future.

Overall, the Web 2.0 tools I have learned about are all tools that I think will have a long productivity life. I try to avoid web tools that are limited and do not “play nice” or collaborate well with other tools and platforms. I do not like to be limited or have to use more than one or two tools at one time for the same project, so I look for a lot of features that can be upgraded, redesigned, and have multiple features in one place.

I used to be afraid of learning about too many things at once because I would become overwhelmed. While I still feel that way about some things, this semester made me realize how much I’d been missing out on. I’ll be taking what I’ve learned and carrying the mindset of not being afraid to look for new tools with me as I move forward.