Hello fellow classmates,
My name is Margarita Garcia and among other activities I enjoy, I am a sixth grade teacher in the Riverside Unified School District.
This is my eleventh year teaching in our district. I have taught a wide range of grades including Kindergarten, First, Second, Fourth and Sixth. I do not have a favorite grade, but I have found Sixth Grade to be a great fit for me at the time because I am able to integrate a lot of the technology and skills I am learning about through the Instructional Technology program.
I have decided to obtain an e-Learning Certificate along with my master’s degree. I really can’t give a good reason why, other than I knew it couldn’t hurt and I also saw it wasn’t going to add too much extra course work! However, through the courses I have taken within the e-Learning section, I have gained so much knowledge and experience with using online learning in my own traditional classroom setting. My students are only eleven years old, but most are keeping up with blogs and submitting electronic assignments that include short projects. When I reflect upon what my students are doing compared to former years, I am amazed! We are using kidblog.org on a weekly basis (somewhat!) along with writing blog summaries, we use Google Classroom as a platform for various subjects. Students receive assignments and submit them in Google Classroom. I am also in the works of beginning a publications club with the students who attend our after school program. I would like it to be an online student newspaper, but we shall see how it develops and progresses since we are beginning on Tuesday! Some of the items I hope to pick up in this class are other technology programs that would enhance my teaching, methods of distributing information to my class, and easy to use programs that I could use to record teacher lectures that I could then disseminate to my students on a learning platform.
As far as my interaction preference, I equally enjoy online and face-to-face interaction. I have enrolled in more online courses than face-to-face courses out of convenience because I work full time and live in Riverside. My professors have facilitated online discourse using Blackboard Discussion Board and blogging. I don’t mind either way of interacting, but I do appreciate that we have either one or the other and not both at the same time! I found that it can be difficult to remain organized when being a commenter to other student blogs. I can’t seem to remember whose posts I have commented on so I could check back for responses. A goal I have for this quarter is to comment on a bigger variety of students’ posts because I tended to focus on the same four or five students’. That will require much more organization on my part! Other forms of interaction I have participated in are Skype and Blackboard Collaborate. When working with interactive groups, we have used Google Docs, email, and text messaging in order to stay connected and on schedule.