Sunday, December 8, 2013

Blog Post #16

Final Reflection

Thinking Cap

Part 1

Looking back on my first blog post I see a lot of good things I had planned for my classroom. I was enamored with Sugata Mitra. It was the first time I started to comprehend Project Based Learning. Now I know even more about Project Based Learning. I was proud of myself at the time of my first blog post, because I believed I knew everything I needed to know about technology's role in the classroom. I was arrogant and mistaken.

Over the course of this semester I have learned more than I expected. I wouldn't change the passion I had when I typed my first blog post, but I was vague because I just didn't know the things I know now. I stated that I wanted to use technology in the classroom, but in my mind that was limited to iPads and computers. I didn't know much (if anything) about blogging, iMovie, Google-Docs, and iBooks Author. Also, I didn't realize that I could network with teachers from all over the world through blogging and the internet. I considered networking to be simply talking with someone in person about ideas.

Now when I think about the methods of my teaching I think about a concept known as flipping the classroom. I learned about a flipped classroom from my first C4T assignment, Ken Halla. I want to implement that in my classroom on top of project based learning. I also want my students to use google docs and google hangouts to collaborate with fellow students, and students from all over the world. Google maps is another tool I will use when teaching Geographical concepts. All of these tools can be used on the iPad. I've always used the kindle app on my iPad, but after learning about iBooks author I think I will create my own lectures on iBooks and share it with my class. If there's one thing I want to always remember it's that I will always be learning new things. Being open to learning new things requires humility. Humility is something I will have to continue to strive for.

Part 2

Blog Post #3

Peer Editing

Peer Editing

Peer editing is extremely important in any profession. The role it can play in the classroom can only be limited by us as teachers. When peer editing it's important to remember not to be a Mean Margaret or Picky Patty as this video shows. However, it's important to be honest. If you see a mistake in a peer's blog you're not doing that person a favor if you don't mention it. The What is Peer Editing video and the Peer Edit With Perfection Tutorial provide you with great advice on peer editing.

I believe I do a good job of being honest when I peer edit. I want to continue to strive to be fair. When I become a teacher I plan to utilize peer editing in my class. I think it's important for everyone to be familiar with peer editing. This semester I have in improved in my peer editing tremendously.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post #15

What Kind of Assistive Technologies are Available for Teachers?
           Lance Wilkinson, Erin Crane, and Wesley Etheridge

Every student deserves the right to a quality education. Assistive technology is extremely important in education to make sure that every student has the right to a quality education despite disabilities. Assistive technology is more accessible than ever before with technological advancements. From physical applications such as Braille keyboards and grids, to the voice over feature on the iPad, assistive technology is making learning for students with sight and hearing disabilities more accessible every day.

Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children is a video meant to inspire teachers to develop methods of learning for students with hearing or visual disabilities. By developing new methods of learning for disabled students, these students can be prepared for a variety of career options. In this way, education would "break down walls that students can jump over". 

The creators of "The Mountbatten" carried out the mission to accommodate learning for disabled students. "The Mountbatten" is a braille typewriter that gives audio feedback as it is being typed. This works extremely well in a classroom where the teacher doesn't know braille. 

The Universal Accessibility Mathematics Lab at the University of San Francisco also made mathematics more accessible for blind students based on a grid they developed to help blind students see math problems in a two dimensional format. The ability for blind students to do more advanced mathematics opens them up to a more diverse career field. 

iPad Usage For The Blind details the benefits of the voice over application on the iPad. To use the voice over feature one must drag one's finger across the screen and a voice will tell you which app you're on. This makes iPads easily accessible for blind students. In addition to this, voice over makes iBooks completely accessible to blind students. Voice over makes the text of the iBook audible, allowing students who couldn't read with an iPad before to now do so. In Having a Great Time Teaching Mom What Her Deaf/Blind Child is Learning on the iPad, a disabled student's mother is given instruction on how to use the iPad. This video details the depth of the voice over application, which has both standard and the more advanced touch typing mode. 

Ibooks Logo

The Assistive Technology blog from 50 Must-See Blogs for Special Education Teachers is an extremely relevant blog. It details the different types of assistive technology available for teachers as well as keeps them up to date on upcoming and developing assistive technologies. This "Teach Thought" article also details different types of assistive technology that are affordable for students.

Overall, as future History teachers we find "The Mountbatten" to be extremely effective for writing assignments for students with visual disabilities. In addition, the voice over feature of the iPad makes it an invaluable tool for students with visual disabilities due to the ability to read and participate with their classmates. Assistive technology is one of the best examples of how technology is pushing education in a forward direction.