Technology’s Adversity

http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/6917?ref=search

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.

Dog with a Blog

http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech217.shtml

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

http://edtechteacher.org/tools/multimedia/podcasting/

Podcasts are very beneficial for projects or interactive group work. Podcasts are a great way to get students to interact with others through interviewing or story telling. Recording podcasts gives students an opportunity to get into role as a reporter, journalist, or public speaker. Podcasts can also be helpful from the teacher’s point of view. Teachers can record podcasts and provide to the class/ any absent students on major lesson points of the day. Podcasts can also be great for students during writing. Students can record their thoughts or ideas about a topic, and then listen to themselves and begin prewriting and organizing thoughts. This can be very beneficial for students who struggle with fine motor skills or are slow writers in general. This gives them the chance to get their writing started by just thinking out loud and talking to themselves.

Smart Boards

http://www.governorsolutions.com/the-advantages-of-smart-boards-in-the-classroom/

SMART boards are a great asset for teacher’s to use in the classroom. Obviously, SMART boards are an excellent tool to provide visuals to the classroom. The above article discusses the usefulness of SMART boards for interactions with students. Due to its touch technology, students can use the board to write, draw, or circle answers. Interactions like this during a lesson can keep students involved and engaged in the lesson. It is also an excellent way to quickly get access to the internet in the middle of the lesson. The board automatically will project what’s on the desktop to the board. This is very helpful if you do not plan ahead but think that something on the internet or a visual on your computer could help to enhance learning. Another great attributed of the SMART board is that it is eco-friendly. You are not wasting resources such as chalk and paper when you can simply provide a strong visual to the whole class through the SMART board. Overall, access to SMART boards is a great way to enhance student learning and keep lessons interesting and interactive.

Digital Photography

http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech147.shtml

The above article discusses various ways to use digital photography in the classroom. One activity described that I think is great for all grade levels is the “All About Me” project. Students can help one another by taking pictures of their peers and using it in a project designed to describe themselves. The digital photography can also be used to take pictures of important people or things in the students’ lives. As a new teacher, this is an excellent way to get to know your students and get visuals of the things that matter to them. It also helps put names to faces by having pictures of your students! Other things are suggested such as taking pictures of body parts or taking pictures of nouns or verbs. This is an excellent tool to help all students. Visuals are also highly beneficial specifically for ESL/ELL students. You can use digital photography to match English words to the visual of the word. Digital photography is a great tool to use in the classroom because it is simple and enjoyable for kids and really can enhance learning.

Questions for Molly

1) Did you have issues keeping students on track and focused when working on their computers?

2) Were there any issues of plagiarism, as the internet is such a wide source of information?

3) Was time spent teaching children how to use different programs, or did they already know how to do most of them?

Television in the Classroom

http://www.wgu.edu/blogpost/teaching-strategies-using-educational-television-classroom

Television in the classroom, when used appropriately and effectively, can be a great tool for teachers to use. First, as the article discusses, television makes great connections for students. Things that are read on a piece of paper can be brought to life through television. For students who have a difficult time imagining things that they are reading, television can provide a visual. Another great point in the article is that television can bring students and teachers together in group discussions. Since students are very used to having teachers teach while they listen, enjoying a television program together can enhance community and lead a great group discussion among teacher and student as they all experience the film together. Television can also provide a virtual field trip for students. Some districts do not have the funds or resources to send their students on field trips. Therefore, television provides a great visual of museums or even countries that students may not get the chance to experience otherwise. Overall, television is an excellent medium in order to reinforce lessons and expand students knowledge and understanding of major topics.