This class has exposed me to new ideas, that I may not have heard of in as much detail had I not taken this class. This class has also given me new ideas on how to better my classroom for all students, rather than exclude certain students due to their differences from the majority of students. Much of this class, especially for the first half, was based on theory which was difficult to understand at times. The final processes of the class helped tremendously in translating some of that theory into real world observation, and then turning the observations into new ideas for positive change The theme study groups were a helpful step for understanding how to create the digital story, since we had to analyze what we saw at our field sites, discuss what these things meant on a deeper level for students and the school, and then discuss with our groups why these things mattered, and if there were any changes that could be made.
While these processes might have been different for other groups, that is the process that my group seemed to follow, and I used those same processes to create my digital story originally I would have said that I would change the vague instructions for the theme study groups and digital story, I think I understand better why the instructions were vague. The instructions were framed the way they were to get us to think critically about our field sites, and to be creative in how we analyzed them and the new ideas for change that we came up with. So perhaps one thing I would change about this final process would just be more emphasis on why the instructions are vague. The digital story was helpful for both the class, and in giving us new methods for teaching students. The readings on digital stories illustrated how a teacher might bring this approach into a classroom, and the effects that is has on students.
The one reading that I remember specifically was using digital stories to analyze students’ own family histories, which I think is just one way that digital stories can be used in a classroom, Digital stories seem versatile enough, that they could be used across a variety of subjects including science, history, language arts, and especially for social justice classes. The digital stories were also helpful for making sense of the class, while challenging us to think critically about the topics we learned in class so that we could apply them to things we saw at our field sites One particular aspect of the digital story that I found most meaningful was using non-cliche images. It tied back into one of the readings, where it covered a school that used cliche’ images of Plains Indians in an attempt to be culturally inclusive, but ended up showing a deep misunderstanding of how modern Native American communities work.
The non-cliche image’s aspect of the digital story helped us understand how to better represent and communicate a deeper understanding of multiculturalism, It also helped us understandjust how deep misunderstandings about multiculturalism run in society, and gave us new ideas on how to clear the air on some of these complicated topics, The class interviews at the end were also helpful in analyzing our field sites, Like the digital story, we had to think deeply about what we saw at our field sites, and then find a way to communicate what we saw in both a deep, but understandable way, I liked the part where we did not know which of our group’s quesLions we would be getting, as that made it so we had to think about all of the questions, notjust the ones that we had an easy time understanding and answering. The thing I did not like, was changing the wording of the questions that we were given For some of the questions, the rewording made the question more difficult to understand on the spot.
For students who were already nervous about the assignment, or find it difficult to speak in front of groups with little to no prior preparation, rewarding the questions seemed to put unnecessary pressure on them. To me, having the paper where we answered the questions in a few short sentences seemed sufficient for making sure we understand the questions, and informing us to think more deeply about the questions after the assignment so that we did not give a pre-written response would have been reasonable. However, despite my dislike of the reworded questions, it did have its benefit for me on both a personal level, and on an academic level. Personally, public speaking has always been a skill that I need to continually use, otherwise I lose it So the interview questions were good for helping me maintain some public speaking skills, and also gave me a new situation where I did not have much prior preparation for a big assignment.
On an academic level, the reworded questions was also helpful in speeding up my thought processes about academic levels. Generally, I like to take my Lime thinking about deeper questions, but having limited Lime and learning how to quickly analyze a question will have its benefits later in college, and as a teacher, I am sure. One of the things I found most helpful about all of the final processes, was that they all tied in with each other at the end Once I understood that the assignments were all related to each other by thought processes and the ultimate goal of describing our field sites in a meaningful way, I had a sense of relief and a can do attitude overcome me. I was able to view all of the final assignments as different parts of the same assignment.
This also helped me realize that I could work on the different parts in stages, and use information I learned from the previous part for the next part. Overall, this course was helpful for me both on a personal level, and on an academic level. Personally, this class has exposed me to new ideas, and new ways to think about topics than what I previously knew about. Having that skill will help me make more informed decisions in the future, be more understanding of other people’s opinions. On an academic level, I will be using the information about pedagogy and multiculturalism through all of my courses, in my student teaching, and later on as a teacher.