Sunday, February 12, 2012

Blog Post 3

Child Clicking on Learn

Adaptive Technologies

Technology in Special Education is so inspiring. This video shows various students with special needs, and how they are each using technology to better their learning experience. The fact that they have this technology helps them participate in class, build relationships, and make connections. The teacher’s use of technology grabs the students’ attention so they are interested in what is going on, and they are eager to work. This teacher is teaching students the value of technology, and how they can use it. Her vision is to teach them about new technology so they can use those skills in their future and in their work experiences.

Technology can be integrated into the classroom in many ways. One student, Corbin, was unable to read on his own, but since he had iPod touch audio books, he was able to participate in silent reading. Two other students, Chris and Sherae, had computers so they could more easily speak to people. Then Sean used his computer because he had trouble seeing small print and writing; however, he could magnify the screen on his computer, and he had no trouble writing on his computer. Because of technology, these students with special needs are getting the learning experience they deserve. They are actually learning and are engaged throughout the class.

After watching, How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism, I went to Apple Apps and found an app that I would use in a classroom with students who have special needs. On this site they have a whole section of apps just to help those who have special needs. I found an app called Speak It! The type the words the want said, and the app says the words out loud. This is a great tool for students with special needs because if they are not able to talk, this gives them a voice. It also makes it easier for them to interact in the classroom.

Social Media Count

The Social Media Count by Gary Hayes is mind boggling. This count shows the great extent at which people around the world are using technology. If the whole world is using technology at this rate, then why are teachers not realizing the importance? Some people may just be stuck in their old ways, but technology must be incorporate into education if we are to prepare our students for their future.

We may not have any say over what other teachers do, but we, as future educators, need to educate ourselves about technology. We also need to educate ourselves on its importance, and that is what this class is all about. Some people do not get the great opportunity that we are getting by taking this class, and we must take advantage of it. We cannot fight technology. We must work with it. This requires us to learn like we will one day expect our students to. We must welcome technology with open arms and take full advantage of all it has to offer.

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

In A Vision for Students Today, Michael Wesch asked 200 students what it was like to be a student today. There were 367 edits made to this document by the students. They talk about how their classes made them feel. The average class size, they said, was 115, and only a small portion of the teachers would know them by name. They also talk about the money they spend on books they never use, the amount of reading they do that is relevant, and the amount of reading they actually even do. They also talked about how they spend their day sleeping, watching tv, going online, listening to music, talking on the phone, going to class, eating, working, and studying. At the end of the day they have 26.5 hours worth of stuff and only 24 hours to complete it in.

Students use technology to make learning easier and more fun. Teachers have to be able to connect with their students and provide a productive learning environment, and this connection will have to come from technology. Making students buy hundreds of dollars worth of books that they never use and giving them reading assignments that aren't even relevant, is not being productive. We need to integrate technology and engage the students.

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