Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Twitter reflection

I had a good experience with twitter. I had signed up for a Twitter account before, but I had only tweeted one time. I did not understand how it worked, and it seemed confusing to me. I did not understand what a hashtag was for. I also was not following many people. The people that I was following was people that my little cousin put on there. She knew more about Twitter at the age of 10 than I did. While I think that children are accustomed to Twitter, I do not believe that I would use it in my classroom. I am an Early Childhood major and my students are young. They do not use things like Twitter. I also would not want to use Twitter for teaching unless I knew that all students had access to computers.

When I logged into my Twitter account for this class, I browsed around a little more. I found educators and I began to follow them. I learned that I could click on the hashtag and see what other people had said regarding that subject. I could click our class hashtag and see what other people in the class had said. I could also click other educator's hashtags and read what they said about a subject. I do think that Twitter would be useful in upper grades. Students researching projects could locate information from hashtags. They class could also have it's own hashtag like we did in out class. All members of the class could keep up with one another.

I enjoyed following @coolcatteacher. She posts many interesting things as well as links to other educator's blogs. I read things under #earlychildhood many times. This is my area in education and I was able to find many things by using this hashtag. @_andybryant tweets grammar help. It was very useful for me. I am glad that I got to experience this time with Twitter. I have since began following more people and not just educators. If I ever have the opportunity to teach in an upper grade classroom, I would consider incorporating Twitter into the class.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Assistive Technology

With a student with a mild disability I might use a text to speech product. This would be useful for students with cognitive disabilities. A website for this would be http://www.donjahnston.com This allows students to read and write out loud. A hardware to enhance learning for this type of disability is an Quicktionary Reading Pen. This pen has different apps that help students with communications disabilities.

For a student with a moderate to severe disability there are videos that enhance acquisition, maintenance, and transfer of functional and community-based behaviors. A hardware is an alternative keyboard such as the Intellikeys. These can be used to create customized keyboards. The keys can be enlarged and keys that are not needed can be removed.

For students with physical disabilities there there is a website called http://www.enablingdevices.com that allows students to mount their technology to their wheelchair. This would be useful for students confined to a wheelchair. It would enable them to use things such as the Ipad. A hardware that could be used is joystick device that enables students to move things with just the use of a joystick. This could be used to move things such as a door or a desk on and off of them.

 A student with a sensory disabilities would benefit from the use of from a closed circuit television magnification system. It could be used to see classroom materials such as books. A hardware that could be used is FM amplification system. These systems, involve the teacher wearing a wireless microphone and students with hearing impairments wearing a receiver that amplify the teachers voice.

 For at risk or behavior situations I would use a website called BrainPop it is located at http://www.brainpop.com This website has many interactive opportunities for students to engage and be involved in learning while providing intervention. A hardware that could be used is TrackStar it gives activities that parallel the curriculum.

Students with gifts and talents would benefit from Hoagie’s Gifted Education Page. Located at http://www.hoagiesgifted.org This would be used to engage these students in things that would engage them and give them extra things that would challenge them and keep them interested. A hardware that could be used is by using podcasts. This allows them to showcase their knowledge.

Assistive technology is very important in the classroom. Almost every classroom will have some use for assistive technology in some form. As Roblyer and Doeling (2013) say, “Teachers who were well prepared to be a special education teacher even five years ago have had to keep up with the changing laws, caseload options, and technology or they quickly find their content knowledge out-of-date. This is because technology is always changing. In order to provide what is best for all students including those with special needs, it is important that teachers stay up to date on all forms of technology. There are different types and varying degrees of disabilities. Doeling and Roblyer (2013) point out that, “Despite the efforts on the part of most universities to improve the preparation of teachers to use technology in the classroom, most teachers begin their career with minimal experience using technology”. I think that this is a problem that should be corrected. Technology is such a huge part of our society and has the capability to help special needs children in ways that nothing else can. With the No Child Left Behind Law it is very important that assistive technology be used in the general education classroom to help special needs children succeed (p.402). By using this technology students do not have to compromise anything in order to succeed, they just need adaptions.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ipads in the classroom

This an interesting video about Ipads in the classroom.

aIpads in the classroom have endless possibilities to help children. They make learning fun and exciting for children. They provide another tool for teachers to use in the classroom. They can be used for multiple purposes and can be customized to fit your classroom. They can be used in any grade or subject area. We use them in out prek classroom daily. We use them in centers. We have one actual Ipad and the rest are tablets. We use them for letter and number recognition as well as handwriting. The letters and numbers can be traced with their fingers. There are games that can be played for letter and number recognition.

These are apps that can be used on the Ipad in prek and kindergarten

PreK Letters and Numbers
This is an interactive learning system that teaches children Letters, Words, Numbers and Phonics in a fun and engaging way.

Letter School
Kids practice essential skills as they play four exciting games per letter/number.

First Words
First Words Deluxe is a very straightforward word-building game. Words are either said letter by letter as they are dragged into the appropriate gray boxes or, if chosen in the settings, a smaller set of words can be sounded out with phonics. This makes this game a treat for both pre-readers and early spellers.

Word Wagon
As the little mouse and bird bop along, kids can tap any item they pass and try to spell it. Depending on the level you choose, you can either see the silhouettes of the letters in place, or try to spell it without any such hints. For each word they spell, kids will win an animated sticker for their virtual sticker book. And every three correct spellings earn them a chance to play a connect-the-stars constellation game.

Mobile technology has become a must have in classroom today. It allows students to investigate topics without being in a computer lab. They can move around and have technology wherever they are. Roblyer and Doeling (2013) explain that, "Students can take notes, gather data, or do research from wherever they are and have easy, fast access to resources such as writing labs and digital production labs". This technology has no walls. It is also easy for more than one student to "crows around" and participate in this technology together. Teachers also benefit from this technology. Roblyer and Doeling (2013) point out that teachers can monitor students more effectively by using technology such as Ipads. It allows the student's progress to be immediate and continuous. The technology is also wonderful for students with disabilities. Roblyer and Doeling (2013) point out that this technology is effective for people with sensory impairments and physical disabilities. They can function better in regular classrooms with the aid of things such as an Ipad. There is also a virtual reality for students with visual impairments. I believe that every classroom is unique and all of the student's needs are unique. This type of technology is unique and can fit many different needs. I would recommend a Ipad in every classroom.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Instructional Software

There are many different kinds of instructional software that can be used in the classroom.

Drill and Practice: This type of instructional software can replace worksheets and can let students repeat experiments without depleting chemical supplies or other materials.

I would use the flash card creative site to make virtual flashcards for my students based on their grade and ability level. I like this because it is able to be customized depending on student's needs.

Tutorial: This type of software acts like human tutor by providing all information and instructional activities a learner needs to master a topic.

I would use the U.S. government tutorials. I like these because of the information provided about democracy. It is fun to read and easy to follow. There are a lot of great things about American history as well. These could be used on the classroom ipods or even independently on computers.

Simulation: Models real or imaginary systems to show how those systems or similar ones work or to demonstrate underlying concepts.

I would use the stock market simulation for schools in my classroom. I actually did this in high school, myself. It was not only fun, but I learned so much. It is an experience that I think students could really benefit from. This could be done individually or as a class. It could be used on the SmartBoard.

Instructional Games: This software increases motivation by adding game rules to drills and simulations.

I would use lots of these in my classroom. These can be used for instruction as well as indirect instruction for behavior rewards. It could be done on computers or ipods. I like the game collection. There is a variety of subject areas and games at this site.

Problem Solving: This teaches directly (through explanation and/or practice) the steps involved in solving problems or helps learners acquire problem-solving skills by giving them opportunities to solve problems.

I would use math by design in my classroom. This is an explanatory math activity for students. I would use this in small groups or centers on the Ipad.

Integrated Learning Systems: I would use this to track and record student progress. These are most useful and the most expensive software products. Roblyer and Doering (2013) explain that the teacher usually makes initial assignments for work on the system, monitors student progress by reviewing ILS reports, and provides additional instruction or support where needed.

I would use http://www.compasslearning.com/ for language arts to track the progress of individual students.

All of these software systems are useful in classrooms, but for useful for different reasons and purposes. I personally hate worksheets and drill and practice software allows students to have that practice without the old fashioned worksheets. Roblyer and Doering (2013) says that drill and practice allows them to master higher order skills more quickly and easily. Tutorial software is similar to a teacher's classroom instruction.  This type of instruction should be things that the students can learn without help or materials. Roblyer and Doering (2013) explain that tutorials should be geared towards learners who can read fairly well and who are older students or adults. It would not be very beneficial for me to use this type software in my early childhood classroom. Simulations are computerized models of a real or imagined system that designed to teach how the system works. I would use these for virtual field trips, so that students would be able to experience things that otherwise they may never see. Instructional games would be huge in my classroom. Roblyer and Doering (2013) point out that when students know how they will be playing a game, they expect a fun and entertaining activity because of the challenge of the competition and the potential for winning. I would use this excitement to my advantage, so that students would be exciting and want to learn. Problem solving software is essential because of the correlations with curriculum as well as real life. These skills are must haves. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Article Critique

Article Critique Form

Directions: Read an empirical research article from the list in Blackboard about technology and education. Critique the article by answering the questions below. Make sure you read all of the assignment directions before beginning. Answer each question in your blog post for the week indicated. Be sure to type and number the question and then type your answer below it.

Type your response below each section.
  1. Provide the complete article title and author
    The title of the article is The Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment. The authors of the article are; Kurt A. Suhr, David A. Hernandez, Douglas Grimes, and Mark Warschauer.
  1. State the intended audience. (What is empirical research and how does it help the classroom?)
    The intended audience is school districts who may be considering new technology for their schools. According to Penn State University Libraries (2013), “empirical research is based on observed and measured phenomena and derives knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief”. Empirical research helps in the classroom because it comes from real life experiences. It takes into account if a particular technology works or doesn't work instead of who is trying to sell a particular product to the school system. It is simply about what is shown to be effective and what isn't.

  1. What is/are the research question/questions or hypothesis/hypotheses?
    The research questions or hypotheses are; Were there significant differences in the total ELA score changes in the California Standards Test (CST) over the two-year period from third grade to fifth grade between the one-to-one laptop group and the non-laptop group, after controlling for other factors, Were there significant differences in the six subtests used to compute those total ELA scores for the same two groups, Can participation in a one-to-one laptop program be used to predict changes in ELA total and subtest scores over the two year period from third grade to fifth grade.

  1. Describe the subject (participants) and the procedures (methods) used by the researcher(s)?
      The treatment group for this study consisted of all 54 fourth-grade students who participated in the one-to-one laptop program. This study is based on a student-level analysis, treatment group students from the two schools were considered together as one group. The control group consisted of 54 fourth-grade students who were placed in non-laptop classes in ESD. The control group had some computer access, but the one-to-one laptop group or the treatment group received extensive computer access. The researchers compared the control group and the treatment group to see the effects of the laptops.
  1. What were the conclusions of the researchers? Do you agree or disagree with the conclusions? Support your position.

The conclusions of the researchers were that laptop programs have a strong allure to educational administrators when is comes to promoting the kinds of thinking, learning, and creativity required in the 21st century. Roblyer and Doering (2013) states that, “skills that students need in the future will focus more on “learning to learn” skills, such as thinking creatively and reasoning effectively, than on memorizing facts, definitions, and rules”. When taking this into account, the use of laptops is very beneficial to children despite any research findings. I believe that the laptops promote thinking and reasoning. They promote these things daily while teaching children how to use a major form of technology in today's every changing world which relies on technology. Many of these children will only be exposed to this technology in the classroom. The major question for researchers was; How does this effect standardized testing. For this question, the answer was maybe not what they had hoped. The laptops had only a small effect on standardized testing. This is because the standardized tests themselves are taken on paper. There is emerging literature that suggest that laptop use over multiple years can have a small positive effect on literacy test score outcomes. While there is the possibility that the problem lies on one being on computer and one being on paper, there is also the possibility that the two contain different material all together. The laptop is not a cure all solution, but rather a form of technology that offers benefits in the areas of literary response and analysis along with writing strategies. In short, despite the effects on standardized testing, I believe Roblyer and Doering said it best. The future relies on skills that these laptops can teach.
  1. What suggestions for further research do the authors suggest? What other suggestions for future research would you suggest?
    The article suggest further research with larger sample sizes, more diverse student demographics, longitudinal evaluation, a wider array of outcome measures including both those taken on paper and computer and those involving both standardized tests and alternative forms of assessment, and random assignments. They article explains that these things will help shed light on the effects of laptop use on literacy and learning. For future research, I would suggest doing studies that do not include standardized testing at all. I think that different aspects of learning should be tested along with abstract learning topics such as reasoning ability. While some of these things may not be directly related to subject areas, they are indirectly related. Math relies strongly on reasoning ability. I think that the sub categories would be very interesting to test.

            Suhr, K.A., Hernandez, D.A., Grimes, D., & Warschauer M. (January 2010).Laptops and Fourth Grade Literacy: Assisting the Jump over the Fourth-Grade Slump. The Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment, Volume 9, number 5, p. 6-4. doi:http:jtla.org
            Roblyer, M.D., & Doering, A.H. (2013). Integrating Education Technology into Teaching.   
     United States: Pearson Education, Inc.

Chapter one in the textbook talks about one-to-one computing. Roblyer and Doeling (2013) describe one-to-one computing as allocating a school computer for each student. It says that this is gaining attention and schools are faced with increased costs due to replacing their aging computer systems. The problem is these laptops do not have clearly been established to help students. Many educators do not want to cut other programs in order to fund one-to-one computing. As the article discusses a large deciding factor on laptops is the ability to improve standardized testing scores. I believe that until standardized testing is not so heavily relied upon, laptops may not happen in every school. I do believe that when these tests are not so readily relied upon, students over-all academic success will improve with the use of one-to-one computing. Below is a video that I found interesting about one-to-one computing.
This is my tweet for this week and includes another video on the topic.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship is a new issue in today's culture.
 I chose to talk about the risks of social networking, technology overuse/misuse, and illegal downloads.

Social networking can be a fun pass time as well as a fun way to update friends and family about your life. While updating friends and family others that we may not wish to know our lives are often updated as well. This can be scary and can make one feel uneasy. There are many issues that can arise from the information that we put at other's fingertips. We place our children, our jobs, and often information that we disclose without even realizing it. This can create a heaven for hackers and predators. While we do this surfing on our social networks, we must realize that children are doing the same. They are browsing other's personal information and clicking links that take them to other sites. These other sites too often display pornographic images. According to Roblyer and Doeling as many as 42% of internet users between the ages of 10-17 see pornographic images without seeking them out (p. 16). This is why all home computers and computers that children use should have filters. While these filters do not stop everything, they can curve the problem and help guard children. A problem that hits closer to home for me is cyberbullying. There was a 7th grade girl in my hometown that killed herself over cyberbullying this past school year. It is a hurtful way for children to hurt other children without having to be too bold. This happens often and children should be aware that it is not just them. Children should also be educated on how to stop it from ever starting. This happens with the use of cell phones, facebook, twitter, and other social networking sites.
Technology overuse is something that is becoming more common as people have many different kinds of technology at their fingertips. According to Roblyer and Doeling studies show that safety is affected when multiple technologies are used while trying to complete other teasks (p. 16). While wanting to stay up to date on all information people are beginning to become addicted to technology. They literally can not put it down. Other aspects of their lives are suffering from neglect and simple mistakes because of the inability to concentrate on tasks at hand. Illegal downloads are changing the way that our media works. There is a $51 billion dollar loss in the industry each year (p.19).

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A.H. (2013).Integrating Educational Technology into teaching. USA: Pearson Eduation, Inc.

Below is a link about the risks of social networking

This is my Prezi  which is intended to teach children a little about digital citizenship in a brief form.
<iframe src="http://prezi.com/embed/lxmmk5bhhniq/?bgcolor=ffffff&amp;lock_to_path=0&amp;autoplay=0&amp;autohide_ctrls=0&amp;features=undefined&amp;disabled_features=undefined" width="550" height="400" frameBorder="0"></iframe>

References for prezi

       Common sense media. (n.d.). Protecting Kids From Cyberbullying. PBS. Retrieved June 11, 2013, from http://www.pbs.org/parents/childrenandmedia/article-protecting-kids-from-cyberbullying.html

       Gaylord, D. (April 29, 2012). Too Much Technology. Witchita Eagle. Retrieved June 11. 2013, from http://www.kansas.com/2012/04/29/2315378/too-much-technology-idisorder.html

      Mcmillan, M. (n.d.). A Note on Illegal Downloading. NYU. Retrieved June 10, 2013, from http://www.nyu.edu/its/news/archives/2012/11/a_note_on_illegal_downloading_1.html

      Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A.H. (2013).Integrating Educational Technology into teaching. USA: Pearson Eduation, Inc.