Sunday, December 8, 2013

Blog Post 16

This is It

Now that I have spent an entire semester learning about important tools that every classroom should have, I think I have a better idea of how my classroom will be set up. My classroom will have at least three desktop computers for students to use, a total of 20 ipads, organized bookshelves, a SmartBoard, a white board, along with 22 desks. I plan to teach second or third grade students, therefore I will be teaching all subjects such as: reading, math, science, social studies, and English. There will be a wall in my classroom that will be called the wall of words. The wall will contain vocabulary words that my students and I have worked on in class.

In my future classroom I hope to engage my students by using projects and technology. Even though technology is good to use I hope to still be able to teach using the traditional way of teaching. I still think that students can be taught using the white board. However, through my journey in EDM 310 I have opened up to the idea of using the Smart Board, blogger, prezi, and ipads. The SmartBoard will be a great tool for me to use when explaining to students how to look up sources that they can use in projects. I can also pass out Ipads to my students when we are doing research and allow them follow along with what I am doing on the SmartBoard. Using the SmartBoard will allow me pull up websites I want my students to look at via the internet and I can also come provide students with the opportunity to come up and use the SmartBoard on their own. When I was in elementary school teachers used those old projectors that required a worksheet made for the projector, which is one of the reasons why I think SmartBoards are unique. In my classroom I hope to be able to show my students games, play videos, and use tools from my Symbaloo Account.

During writing sessions I will assign students the opportunity to use their blogs. We will have a classroom blog that parents, friends, and other teachers will have the opportunity to comment on. The blog is designed to guide students with their writing skills. Every parent will have a link to the blog and I will ask the parents to check the blog regularly as well as leave comments. I hope that having friends and family comment on my student’s blog will encourage them and provide them with useful feedback. During our parent-teacher open house meeting I will inform parents that they do not have to comment on just their child’s blog and I will also explain why their child is blogging and inform them of privacy rights set up with our classroom blog so that no one will be worried about safety issues. I will check my student’s blog twice a month; however they will not know when I plan to check their blogs. My reason for conducting random blog checks is to make sure that every student is writing to the best of their ability at all times and so I can have accurate information when I get ready to assess how well they are doing in English.

In addition, I stated that I plan to use ipads in my classroom. I hope that there will be enough ipads in my classroom for each student to use. EDM 310 has revealed some amazing applications that I plan to use on my own ipad in the next couple of months. I am excited to learn more about how to use these applications so that I can incorporate them into my classroom instruction. I really enjoyed learning how to make book trailers using imovie this semester. In my classroom I plan to group my students in groups of three and have them create an inspirational book trailer. By the time I actually start teaching in the classroom I hope that Apple will have more options and features available to use on the ipad for imovie. Did you know there is an Accelerated Reader on the ipad? Students no longer have to go to the computer anymore to take test I can have student’s checkout the classroom ipad and take their AR test right from their desk. This will be convenient for most students! There are so many resources on the ipad App store for students to use as well as myself as a future educator.

In blog post 1 I said that I would like to use candy such as M&M’s as a way to help students with their math skills. Candy is always nice, but sometimes it can be a mess to clean up. The SmartBoard has many clip arts and shapes that students can use to count with and I even found some math worksheets that I can pull up on the SmartBoard to substitute using candy. My students can take turns coming up to the SmartBoard working out the problems on the different worksheets that I found for them. Candy can help students get involved with what they are learning and it also causes them to get hyper, but I believe that the SmartBoard will spark more interest in elementary students.

I also said that I would teach my students using PowerPoints in blog post 1. After finding out about prezi, I realized that PowerPoints are dull and boring. Prezi allows you to add websites, pictures, videos, and music just like PowerPoints, but I feel like prezi is more appealing to the eye. Prezi has slides that are animated and there is no fee to use this website. How will my students use prezi in my classroom? My students can use this website to make presentations about a book we have read in class, create solar system and use the slides to tell about each planets, or I could assign them a biography project and have them include pictures a video that relates to them on their presentation.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post 15

Assistive Technology

Ipad Usage For the Blind By: Shakeya Andrews

Watch Ipad Usage For the Blind

Ipads are good tools to use in my classroom because they have what is called VoiceOver. VoiceOver is a resource that students with vision impairment and students who are deaf can use. This gives them the opportunity to navigate through email, ibooks, itunes u, and more with just the click of a finger. Using VoiceOver on the ipad will help the student become independent. According to VoiceOver Accessibility “VoiceOver is a revolutionary screen reader that lets you know what is happening on your Multi-Touch screen and it helps you navigate even if you cannot see what is on your screen.” Voiceover is built into the ipad therefore, I will not have to worry about buying and installing this application to use on ipads in my classroom. There is also an application on ibooks called ereader that will be helpful for my students with disabilities. You can buy and read books to students to through this application. Students will be able to hear a description of items that are on their screen and from there they can choose where they want to navigate to on their ipad. Students can also use braille and international voices through VoiceOver. VoiceOver is accessible for almost any student.

Teaching Math to the Blind By: Shakeya Andrews

Watch Teaching Math to the Blind

Instead of using the traditional method of teaching math by pencil and paper or using the whiteboard, I can use number blocks as an assistive technology tool. The blocks have braille on the back of them and the visually impaired student will be able use a barcode scanner to identify what the numbers are. All the student has to do is hold the button on the barcode scanner, then place the scanner over the block and the computer will identify what the number on the block is. Math is already a difficult subject to teach so I think it would be wise for me as the teacher to have a one on one session to teach the student math using this method.

What is Assistive Technology

Wikipedia defines Assistive Technology as an umbrella term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and also includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them. AT promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to, or changing methods of interacting with, the technology needed to accomplish such tasks.

A couple of assistive technology tools that I think will be available when we become teachers are the IPad and the EBook. Both of these tools can be used across all grade levels. Both will enhance learning for both the vision and hearing impaired student by involving them in the classroom assignments and making them feel apart of the classroom community. The IPad is equipped with apps for communication such as voice over as well as apps for screen reading and navigating.. These features will make learning personal by enabling the students’ independence. The EBook also contains apps that can be utilized for features such as voice-over, text to speech, magnification and large text for all subject areas.

 After watching The Mountbatten, we learned that the students who are identified as struggling learners rely on immediate feedback from their teachers as well as their peers.One of the best things about this type of technology is that the teacher does not need to know Braille in order to communicate with the student because the machine converts the braille text into print. The blind student is therefore able to research, explore and create on his own with the help of this assistive technology thus including him into classroom assignments.

 Having a Great Time Teaching Mom By: Emma Boren

Watch Having A Great Time Teaching Mom

Technology Tools
 The iPad has a lot of great tools that can assist blind children in using it. Blind children can use the iPad due to it’s talking feedback. You can use a finger to scroll over all the icons, and it will tell you exactly what you are on and how to open it. It also talks to you while typing. There are two modes for this, standard typing mode and touch typing mode. This way, the children know what letters they are typing, and it helps them know that they are typing the right thing. It also talks to you when you have apps open. If you scan your finger across the screen it will tell you what you are clicking on. This is a useful way for these children to get the same benefits of technology as the children who are not blind. The students would still be able to interact in the classroom with the iPads and not feel left out. They would be receiving the same education. I think this an excellent tool to have in a classroom where there are special education students that are visually impaired. I would use it in my classroom!