Wednesday, December 11, 2013

“I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.”

― Albert Einstein.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Blog Post #16

         For my final post in EDM 310 we are to look back, read and reflect on our very first post from the beginning of the semester. Before I started reading my Blog Post #1, I stopped and really thought about how I felt at the beginning of the semester. The first thing I remembered was a Ted Talks video of Sugata Mitra discussing where education came from and how it began its traditions that we still practice today. In this video he talked about how early education goal was to create a global machine; that when an educated person was transferred anywhere
 in the world, they were able to do the same type of work with the same types of tools. He also stated that today's education has changed, still is changing and will continue to change as we advance through technology, and new ideas and forms of teaching. The second thing I remembered before reading the blog post, was being asked something I had never been asked before, "What is your dream school?" This question is enough to make your imagination go crazy! I also remember having to organize my flood of thoughts.

            When I looked back and read my post, and began to read the first sentence, a rush of ideas and activities that I have learned this semester, filled the missing educational space that was once empty at the beginning of the semester. When I was describing my thoughts, I wrote things like, a giant tree house in the library and a bus with unlimited field trips. Can you imagine, having unlimited field trips, being to able to go explore any place you wanted!? Now I remember this part really had me excited about the physicality of my school as well as the mental and emotional aspect. Besides the decorations and the awesome field trips; how would I run my school? How would learning take place? What would the environment be like?

             Going back and reading what I wrote really made me chuckle when I realized I had no idea what I was talking about when  I answered those questions; I maybe thought I had an idea, but I never actually had a 100% dedicated answer. The first question I was asked was, what do you want your students to know, in terms of content? Looking back at my answer, I still hold pretty strong. Part of my answer included, "I want my students to know about life, everything that makes it what it is. What makes things tick. What keeps things moving. What keeps people going." These things are very important to me, however, I now believe that it is our job as educators, to prepare our students for competing with their peers in the 21st century. This also means teaching and incorporating technology  into literacy and various subjects in your classroom.

             Now the answer to these next three questions have made a huge 180 since I last answered them. I almost want to do a before and after picture of how I answered these questions before taking EDM 310 and after taking EDM 310. These questions were, What will be your primary way of teaching your students what you want them to know and to do? What tools will you use in your classroom? What role will students play in your classroom? I am baffled at how much I have changed since answering these questions. My answer to the first question was that I haven't set any concrete methods. Now I could be more sure about how the students are learning and what they are learning with. Now, There is absolutely no way I would not use technology in my classroom, and there's absolutely no way I'd be confused on what tools I would incorporate and use in my future classroom

            The tool I prefer the most is blogging because it motivated students to learn seamlessly. It creates an online audience, it incorporates and promotes literacy and grammar, and it teaches you how to use relevant 21st century technology .I would also include computers, iPads, Nintendo DS's, Video Chat, and the SMART Board 100% in my future classroom, because the possibilities are endless! Now when it comes to the last question, I had a general idea and I was headed in the right direction, but now I feel as if the the students and I are equal, and I am there to guide and support them throughout their time spent with me. The students will no longer be students, but teachers as well. I can't believe what I turn around this class has been for me.

            If you re-winded all of this semester to the beginning then fast-forwarded all the way to the end you would see two different people. When I look at myself now and why I want to be an educator, I see a purpose, as to where before I was walking around aimlessly. Words can not truly express how much I have learning throughout my time in EDM 310 and how the things I learned have completely changed my life. EDM 310 has taught me the importance of technology and why its place has become the classroom. I have learned that through technology our horizons on education have become limitless. Through tools such as the SMART Board, you can create an endless amount of lesson plans and activities that are more interactive and relevant to traditional teaching practices. Just in the last ten years, technology has advances rapidly, there is always something new around the corner, and by around the corner I mean nearly every three months.

            When I say purpose I mean giving 21st century students the proper and relevant education they so desire and need. It is a need for 21st century students to be technologically literate in order to compete in the modern world. It has now become my duty as a future educator, to prepare my students for the future and the ever changing, mysterious world of technology. By incorporating technology in your classroom, you are giving your students the upper hand to succeed in their future, and being a guide to steer them down the proper path of technology and learning. Below I have prepared an outline, that makes what I am trying to say more black and white.

Beginning of Semester:

1. Methods of Teaching
a.       “No concrete methods.”
b.      “Want children to search for answers.”
c.       Student centered.
2.    2. Tools of Teaching
a.       Classic Lectures.
b.      Activities (admitting technology).
c.       Visual Hand on Tools
d.      “Activities that didn't make the students bored.”

3.    3. Classroom Environment
a.       Encouraging students.
b.      Partners in learning.

End of Semester:

1.    1.  Methods of Teaching
a.       Frequent Blogging.
b.      Project Based Learning.
c.       Interactive SMART Board lessons and activates.
d.      Video Chat with other teachers and students.
e.      Students become their own teachers.
f.        Online Audience.
g.       Lectures through YouTube videos.

2.    2.   Tools of Teaching
a.       Blogs/Blogger
b.      Skype/Video Chat.
c.       iPads/Computers/PC’s.
d.      Nintendo DS’s.
e.      SMART Boards.
f.       YouTube
g.      Google Sites
h.      Google Drive
i.       Symbaloo
j.       Twitter
k.      Edmodo
l.       iRubric
m.     Google Presentation

3.     3.  Classroom Environment
a.     Student centered.
b.    Strong encouragement to learn.
c.    Strong encouragement to explore.
d.       Questions are the basis for everything.
e.        I am learning as well as the students.
f.         Learning becomes even more engaging and enjoyable.
g.   Teacher takes on a more of a "guider" role.

You can tell from these two outlines that my ideas and knowledge of how to answer these questions have grown tremendously!! Below is a video/podcast I have created to pair with Blog Post #16.



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post #15

“iPad Usage for the Blind.” & "Teaching Mom What Her Deaf/Blind Child Is Learning On the iPad."
by: Lauren Bradley

            Before I watched this video I had no idea that Apple Products even have this capability! In fact, when I saw the title in the video I thought how in the world could an iPad be useful for a blind person. It turns out, iPads are way more useful than I ever imagined, and a lot less difficult than I perceived them to be. They guide you step by step through whatever process you want to carry out by a voice that reads off what you are touching. For example, when your iPad settings are set for a blind persons use, simply slide your finger over the glass and when your finger grazes over an app, a voice tells you what you are touching. So, if you slide your finger over notes, it will read off notes; to open, tap twice anywhere on the page.

            So far this is the most innovative technology I have come across for students with disabilities. The iPad can seamlessly guides a blind person to complete whatever action is desired. Once you have it down, working an iPad is painless! This technology really enhances and broadens  what people who possess this disability are capable of.

“Assistive Technology for the Blind” by: Malary Booker

            In the video titled “Teaching Math to the Blind” by Art Karshmer, he tells us how to help blind children learn Math. He invented blocks that allow students to do Math more easily. The computer has a touch pad and a scanner. If you scan the block it tells you what the number is and then you just line the numbers up on the touch pad in the order that the problem should be in. This will allow blind students to learn Math at a much younger age than they are currently learning it.

            In the video titled “iPad Usage For the Bind” by: Wesley Majerus, he gives us some helpful hints about the iPad that blind people can use. He tells us that an iPad is equipped with a program called “Voice Over.” What this program does is talk to blind people and let them know what they are touching on the iPad. The most interesting app for blind people on the iPad is iBook. The voice reads the book to you and lets you know exactly what page and chapter you are on. It also describes the images which is really cool.

            On the National Federation For the Blind website we found an assistive technological tool that we thought was great. It was an Audio Newspaper Service for the blind. All they have to do is call a number and it goes to a free telephone service that provides access to newspapers from all over the world. This could be very helpful in a Current Events class or something of that nature. For more information on being visually impaired or blind visit NFB’s website. Here is the link:

“The Mountbatten” by: Sarah Barnett

             The Mountbatten is an assistive type tool for the deaf and blind. It is a great tool because it allows for audio and tactile feedback for these students.  The way it works, when the student uses the machine it starts to Braille, as it does this it uses audio so that student knows what they are doing. The Mountbatten is like a computer, it can do a lot a computer can do. It can send, receive, and share files from/to a computer. It is a pretty advanced gadget and so useful for the deaf and blind. It is also a wonderful tool for those students who do not know Braille. It is a great teaching tool so students can learn Braille and be successful. Overall, we thought this video was awesome! This device has helped many blind and deaf students be successful in learning.

“Assistive Technology for the Vision and Hearing impaired” by: Sarah Barnett

            This type of technology enhances learning, removes the barriers, push boundaries, give hope, and challenge they way we think. 1 in 2500 Australian children have a vision impairment and on a avg. 1 Australian child is identified with a hearing impairment everyday. The question is “Are we doing enough for these children with these impairment?”. We as teachers should help teach these children to overcome these barriers and get over the hump and help them learn to the best they can be! All these children who have an impairment should have the same opportunity to learn, explore, discover, and engage just like a child who does not have an impairment. With technology we can help these  children and if we learn how they learn we can help them to discover and interact in the world.