Final Class Reflection

I am a very structured person. I depend heavily on my 2009 planner and class syllabi. When I entered this class, I was literally shaken to the core by the “free spirit” the classroom took on within the first hour of class. I was utterly confused. People around me seemed to have a better understanding of the material and I was thinking to myself, “Ryan Grey has failed me, for the first time in my entire life, Ryan Grey has suggested and failed.” The girls sitting next to me were staring at one another, telepathically planning with one another which day they would drop the class in unison. I, however, did not have that option. I was frantically taking notes on EVERYTHING, even down to the color of Cheryl’s dress. Yet, as the class moved forward, structure began to show itself in our community goals. Our plan for the semester, really. I was encouraged to know that we had goals, and this was what needed to be met throughout the class and the semester. My reflection is heavily based off of these goals, and is provided in a list form. I will suggest what this goal did for me, and what I did for it. Then I will end this excellent piece with a bite of desert, a.k.a., what this class did for me as a whole.

Goal 1: To Develop your reading and composing skills in multiple media.
As a future educator, I felt that this goal was essential to my learning. I will be facing many students who possess different ways of expressing themselves. This class has helped me understand how to navigate through these types of expressions in a way that will not only benefit my understanding, but will open up many doors for my future students.
As for composing, I think I’ve grown immensely as I have moved forward in this class. As we began our work on our final project, I was delighted to find out that we would be mimicking a twitter home page. Near the middle of the project I struggled with the idea that one member of our group was doing the majority of the technological work. I soon complained and was able to figure out how to use Dreamweaver. Though, I cannot say I’ll ever use it again, I learned patience with technology.
I also feel that I experienced another branch of composing in creating my iMovie version of the assigned CFP. Not only did I enjoy myself and feel that I had really put my creativity to the max, but I learned how to piece things together and allow any type of audience to observe my suggestions. I have become so tech savvy in regards to this specific program that I have created video presentations full of pictures for all of my fellow senior graduates and friends. The biggest thing here is that I took a task and applied it to many different aspects of my life, and with this understanding I will be better able to approach teaching with a more broad outlook.

Goal 2: To experience multimodal composition as a process that includes analysis, invention, drafting, and revision across modes, media, and genre of texts.
This goal is so utterly confusing, but I will try my best in explaining how I achieved it and what it did for me. In regards to looking at multimodal composition as a process, I really think I grasped that very early on in the process of THIS class itself. When we turned in our very first multimodal project, our CFP, I was concerned when we had to return to our projects and revise. Yet, again, it really taught me patience. I was able to go back to my project, renovate it, make it what the editor had suggested and I was able to present my best work. The idea of revising had not stuck out to me for a long period of time. As an English major, I have been advised to revise all of my papers before turning in a final draft. I haven’t done that in nearly two years. That is, until this class. Because we were told how important revision and drafting was in regards to multimodal composition, I began taking the habit over into my other classes. Revising became a habit.

Goal 3: To use and interrogate traditional writing processes when composing in multiple media.
My group decided to research the microblogging and social networking site, In doing so, I learned many new was of incorporating multimodal composition in my future classroom (huge plus). As a group we decided that we would present our research results in the form of tweets, which are supposed to be 140 characters long. This was a writing lesson within itself. It really forced me to get to my point and focus on clarity. Which is why I intend to force my students to use this site, if it is still around, in my classroom. I think that this project really allowed me to reflect upon my writing skills. Which is weird, because looking back on it, I would consider writing to be a priority in this class, but it is the activity that is most effected.

Goal 4: To reflect on your processes as readers and writers as you read, write about, and discuss the texts of the course: published work, peers’ writing, and your own.
This class did not allow for anyone to get away from reflection. Even if a student had managed to get through the entire class without looking back on what they had read or created, they would be forced to do so during the final project peer review.
The reflection in regards to the published works we were asked to review and read was done in classroom time. THIS REALLY HELPED ME. A lot of the information provided in written form was so frustrating to read because this topic was something I had never dealt with before. Yet, the class time spent on reviewing and discussing the works really helped in my understanding and growth in this class.

Goal 5: To become more practiced at using multimodal composition as means of investigation, scholarship, and play.
As mentioned under Goal 1, I have already decided to use multimodal composition to share with my senior best friends how much I care about them. I decided to do this rather than write them a drawn out emotional letter. I chose to form a picture collage using iMovie. I have found myself wanting and producing more creative works through multimodal composition and dream weaver in the most recent weeks of this semester. In participating the way I have in this class, I have been able to hear a lot of awesome ideas that have lead me to further research multimodal compositions for my own understanding.
In regards to practice, that class was just that. As I read more and more information regarding blogging and different ways it aids in students growth, I was able to practice new ways to incorporate certain programs into my classroom. Now, when I want to create a class blog or wiki, or have my high school students create a video, I will be more able to aid them in the process due to my experience in this class.

Goal 6: To understand that multimodal composition is both rhetorical and creative, and thus can be useful in many disciplines.
During the first day of class, I was very aware of Cheryl’s fight to get us to understand that this was not just play. That the topic of multimodal composition was serious business. The readings and the class discussion also made that very clear. The information shared within our projects, within the readings, within previous class projects is all factual and intellectual information. No one is turning in videos about how to bake chocolate chip cookies, they are turning in videos to make an argument and using their creativity to create or invoke some kind of emotion in their audience.
No task had ever made me more aware of my audience. In forming this final twitter project, we, as a group, were forced to take certain people into consideration; future teachers, people who could do this better, and even people who have no idea what twitter or the internet it. I think that this is also something I have taken with me outside of this class this semester, I have taken my audience into consideration more times than I have in any previous semester. For example, I decided to write my Senior Seminar thesis paper on Multimodal Composition in high school classrooms. My professor is NOT technologically aware, in fact- at this point- I am unsure how she emails anyone as promptly as she does. Regardless, I had to spend a lot of my paper explaining to her and my audience members like her what multimodal composition was. Regardless of the situation, composing multimodal composition and learning more about it has made me more self aware of my opinion as well as my description of.

Goal 7: To investigate the impact of digital technologies on reading and producing multimedia texts.
I feel that as a student in this class I have taken huge steps into understanding the effects of digital technologies on reading in regards to education. That research has been done for my project and is evident in my project. It appears that reading multimodal texts is a new type of reading and really allows more of a non-structured way of gaining new information. This new way of researching will really provide new ways for learners who may not take well to the ordinary approach.
As mentioned in Goal 6- producing multimedia texts has really allowed me to focus on my audience members’ understanding of the information I am providing.

Goal 8: Wow each other.
I’d say I have been “wow’d” by each member of this class, myself, and my professor weekly. I have been helped, taught, and supported throughout every part of this semester. I felt that I received valuable peer feedback that was constructive and full of learning experiences. I got to know my peers on a different level than I have in most classes due to the need for each others help. Wow.

Final Reflection (Desert):
This class has really dominated my entire semester. In taking three other courses, two have been centered around teaching. Each aspect of this class has been brought into those classes. In my English 297 Methods course, I created an entire unit that used multimodal learning through a website that encouraged students to organize their information in a different way. My Senior seminar class was taken over by the idea of microblogging, blogging, and social networking sites and the wonderful things that they can do for the classroom. I really took a lot from this class in regards to education. I have a lot of new ways to engage my students now that I know how to use them.



1 Comment »

  1. cheryl said

    Kate, I’d love to read that 300 paper! And good luck in teaching. You’re going to do marvelously!

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