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.