This is the website for a school that I work at over the summer. The school is for children with disabilities who need more attention than they would get in a general ed classroom. In the classroom that I have worked in, technology is very very helpful with helping every student learn. Each student is on his/her own track meaning that some are more advanced than others. Having computers and iPads in the classroom for students to work on allows each student to work at their own pace while giving the teacher the ability to give each student the attention he/she needs.
As discussed in the article, technology is great because all technology is different and can be implemented for various reasons. As technology keeps advancing, the options continue to grow. Technology supports a variety of disabilities. There is technology for communication disorders, motor problems, blindness, deafness, etc. The important thing to remember when using technology in special education is that there is technology to support many different disabilities if you find the proper resources.
Blogging can be used in various ways for an elementary school teacher. One way, discussed in the article, is for whole group journals and conversing with peers. Our students are often referred to as digital natives. They have grown up surrounded by technology. One disadvantage to people who work in the field but are not used to working with technology is that they fail to implement things like this into their lessons. Blogs can be developed as a fun and technology friendly way for students to converse. For example, providing students with an in class assignment where they have to blog about their findings on the same topic. Each student is able to provide a different part of the topic and the other students can read what their peers have to say. It is a fun and easy way for students to share their thoughts and findings. It is also easily accessible at home if students wanted to use the information from their peers.
Blogs are also an excellent way to converse with parents. Parents are very busy and do not always have the time to come into the classroom for conferences or meetings. Blogs are an easy way to update parents on student progress or what is happening in the classroom, field trips, etc. It is a considerate and time friendly way to keep parents in the loop.
Podcasts are a great way for students to learn things that interest them. They are able to download podcast to any device they want and listen and learn. Teachers can also use podcast for homework or in the classroom to teach something. They give or play the podcast for the students to listen to and then have an activity or assignment to complete once the podcast is over. One of my professors did podcasts and we would listen to them for homework and then the class following it would be reviewing what we learned, going over our questions and going into more detail about the topic as well as completing a little assignment on it.
Digital photography is not something I really think of immediately as a learning tool in a classroom but it really is! One really cool thing I have learned to use with digital photography is constructing a webpage and updating it to keep parents involved in what is going on throughout the day. I really like this because parents sign off to have photos of their children added to it and are able to see what they are up to while they are in the hands of someone else for the rest of the day. I can imagine when I’m a parent I’m going to want to know what my children are doing. It also gives parents and teachers a way of communicating in a fun way
With all the safety concerns now of days, taking a class on a field trip is a lot more difficult than it ever has been before. The use of Webcast in the classroom is like being able to take students outside of the classroom without actually leaving the classroom. This new technology for classroom is very for learning new things from people that aren’t at your direct face to face advantage. I have learned so much for the two classes we had webcasting with education people that I never would have learned otherwise. Also to Webcast someone cost no money to the students what so ever like a field trip would so everyone gets the equality chance to learn from it. I can only imagine how excited an elementary school class would be seeing and talking to someone new and interesting on a board!
Here is a free virtual trip about dolphins at an aquarium. http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3752492
Growing up I always had SmartBoards in the classroom with me. They were the coolest part of every classroom I was in. Now teaching in urban areas, SmartBoards aren’t as common to see due to the cost of them and funding the school has. This makes me sad because SmartBoards are great to “accomodate different learning styles” and students with “limited motor skills can enjoy the board use” and how interactive it is. I wish that all the students I work with got to experience the great things a SmartBaords can do in the classroom. I hope that when I am a teacher I am able to have a SmartBoard in my classroom because there are so many different ways to use it for lessons to help engage your students throughout the day!