Thursday, December 10, 2009

Assistive Technology Options

As a teacher, one needs to be prepared to adapt to students' needs, including students with special needs such as: visual, audital, or motive disabilities. There fore, it is beneficial to know what options your computer has to help make teaching students with special needs technology skills in an easier and more efficient manner.

For example, if you have a student with motive disabilities one option would be using Microsoft's speech recognition option, mouse keys, or key board short cuts.

The speech recognition option allows students to interact with their computer using vocal commands with their microphone. That way, they can still control a computer and type text, but by using their vocal abilities, not their motive abilities.

The mouse keys option allows the numeric keypad or the arrows to command the computer without having to use the mouse. That way, if the student has motive disabilities and has trouble controlling a mouse, they can more easily control the computer.

As does the key board short cut option. This way the student can still avoid using the mouse, and control the computer even more efficiently.

But lets say your student has visual or audible disabilties, than the text captions and the display captions, are options that you should look into using.

The text caption allows audible dialogue and visual equivalent for sounds. That way a student with visual disabilities can have the computer text read to him/her, making the technology experience much easier. And if the student has audible disabilties the computer can use text to display sounds. That way, if the student can not hear well, he/she still knows what sounds the computer is trying to convey.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


- I have completed my three short term professional development goals:
  • My first short term professional development goal was to learn to create a digital narative video. I did this by completing my digital narative story. While creating this video I learned how to upload pictures from the interned (with proper citation), how to record voice overs, and how to insert text onto the picture. This is the project I came up with.

I feel that I can use this tool in my future classroom frequently. It is effective because it presents relevant information (because I can create what the information is about), it is efficient and quick, and it is also enhancement. The audio presents the information that I want while visual images pop up to make learning more stimulating. I think that this is a great tool. I am very glad that I have incorporated this into my professional development.

  • My second short term professional development goal was to learn how to use blogging software. I wanted to find out what blogging websites were free and available to use, and I wanted to learn how to write basic blogging journal entries. I fulfilled this goal by creating three different blogging accounts, and what I learned is that no blogging website is the same. Here are the blogs I did and a summary of what I thought of them:
  1. I really liked this blogging website. It was easy to use, easy to navigate around, allowed me to upload pictures, bullet points, videos, etc. It kept things neat and tidy. i would definitely use this blogging service for my class.
  2. I really liked this website the 5 times that it allowed me to use it. But then, the website shut down. And for two days I was not allowed to blog in the website. I went ahead and copied and pasted what I had wrote in my other blogs in this blog just so I could have 7 posts-- but I had to do it later. I thought this brought up an interesting point: if you are going to have your students use a tool, make sure that you research the provider and know its dependable. I found that out the hard way.
  3. I didn't like this blogging website. It did not let me upload pictures or videos, and while they would let me type in bullets in blogged without them, making my work unorganized. I would not recommend this website to anyone, and would definitely not use it in my class.
  • My third short term professional development goal was to research different approaches to modeling digital age working and learning by taking notes from my professors and from Professor Leftwhich's video: "Educating the Digital Generation". I did this in my blogs, so please refer to the links above.
- In addition to to completing my short term goals I am also making progress on my long term goals:

  • I have made progress in gaining confidence in developing wikis and blogs. Especially blogs, I was really proud of what I produced above.
  • And I have gained knowledge on different tools and types of assistive technologies. I have been paying attention to Professor Leftwhich's suggestions, and have been using alot of new tools. A lot of which I have used and added to my E-portfolio.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Classroom Communication

When I begin teaching in the classroom I plan on using google groups to communicate with my students. This tool allows the teachers to post blogs, pictures, and podcasts online so that their students can access these resources on their own time. In addition, you can send group e-mails to everyone in your "google group" aka- all of your students, you can send and receive individual e-mails so that you can communicate efficiently with a student on a one-on one basis, students are able to post their work and view other student's works so that they can have an idea if they are doing an assignment correctly, students can work on assignments collaboratively using the googledocs application, and students can even communicate with other students from around the world-- which would be very beneficial to a social studies classroom. I believe that google groups is a great communication tool for communicating with my students. You could also create a group for parents, though I wouldn't because I belive that by the time a student reaches a highschool level I will not need to communicate with parents as often.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Lab #9 Reflection

I thought that our online class was very interesting, and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I got out of it. When Mr. Abaci first announced that we would be using the Adobe Connect chat room for lab this week, I was a little nervous. I was intimidated by the technology and instantly worried about not getting my slide show uploaded properly, or not being able to work the chatroom when the lab was in session and not being able to hear, or see the slides, or talk to present my "google group" presentation. But, as soon as I was in lab I realized that the chatroom was very user friendly and easy to figure out. All of my worries were tossed out the window. I really enjoyed this experience and got a lot out of it, I now feel much more confident in using this form of online discussion in the future. I really enjoyed this tool.
I could, and would, even use this tool in my own classroom. In social studies, field trips are very common... but there are always students that can not go. I could use this tool so that the class on the field trip can communicate with the members in the class room-- that way every one is on the same paige. Or, I could use this so that my class can communicate with people from around the world. That way they can see other cultures and have a more well rounded cultural experience.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Google Earth

One example of a content exploration tool is the resource "Google Earth". Google Earth is an online satelite-based mapping program that allows students to "fly" across the globe and study the actual geography of the whole world. In my classroom I would use this resource to introduce the geographic region of the areas of study in which the material teaches. For example, when learning about the history of conflict amongst Iraq and Iran... it would be beneficial for the students to begin the topic by using this resource and study where these to regions lie in relation to one another and learn first hand what geographic tendencies may be a source of conflict. For example, after using google earth to view the two regions. I noticed that the two regions lay side by side, and the boarder is major sites of oil... so the two regions have historically fought over control of the resources that lay in between the two nations. Causing feuding that has lasted for a long time.

In conclusion, Google Earth ( ) is a great resource that is beneficial to the classroom.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dark Ages Virtual Field Trips

This website allows kids to study different subtopics to a particular historical topic. Example: middle ages. the kids can check out clothing, chaucer, etc. Wider base of knowledge. This is an example of enhancement learning because it is stimulating and very educational. The Student get to explore all of the details of this particular subject. Making learning fun and easy. This is a very great resource.

Meet Amazing Americans

This is a great resource for teachers. This website is enhancement learning because students can interactively learn what famous American's lives were like. They can see time lines, see pictures, read biographies, and have quizzes over presidents, writers, etc. This will help kids learn because they are quick and stimulating.