Sunday, December 8, 2013

Blog Post #16

Final Reflection

I took the time to reread my first blog post about "If I Built a School" and I don't believe that I would change anything about my previous post. I still want my school to be a hands on learning center and for the students to have numerous types of labs to go to everyday. I want my students to be encouraged to move around and be active. I want them to be able to move about the classroom and talk with other classmates and see how they are solving the task in front of them. Using technology in my future classroom isn't up for a discussion about whether I will use it or not. If I don't use it, I will be doing my students a disservice and hold them back from learning. How I will use technology in my classroom is still up for debate. I have a strong desire to be a Special Education Teacher and therefore, my teaching style and tools will constantly be changing depending on the student. While I have been shown how blogging can be used in 1st grade, if I taught 5th grade, there are many more options as to what I could do.

The main idea for my school that hasn't changed is my desire to teach through interaction. One thing that I would like to incorporate into my classroom is connecting with other classrooms around the world. Similar to pen palling but doing it through technological devices now. Being able to Skype with another classroom and learning about their culture and what they do for fun would be a great asset to a child's life. Building connections with other classrooms could also help me in my teaching as I would be building up my personal learning network too. Most importantly I want my students to be invested in their education and give them every source available to them to succeed.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post #15

What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?
By: Jennifer Hamrick and Dominique Jones

child using a keyboard with oversize buttons states that “assistive technology is any device that helps a person with a disability complete an everyday task.” This does not have to be something “high-tech” like an iPad but can be a “low tech” device as simple as a magnify glass to assist with reading. Some useful devices that can be used in a classroom are augmentative/alternative communication like a picture board to help support a child who cannot speak or be understood. Visual aides like talking computer software or books on tape can help students with visual difficulties.

In the video iPad Usage for the Blind Wesley Majerus is an Access Technology Specialist who works for the National Federation for the Blind. Wesley is blind and he shows how people who are blind can use an iPad. The person can scroll over the apps and Siri will say which app is which. Siri will then tell you to double tap the icon after you scroll over it. You can also use three fingers and move them to the left like you're turning a page to change to the second page of apps. Also, the ibook on the ipad is the best for those who are blind compared to kindle and other tablets. You can click on the titles of the book and double table which book to chose. You can choose which chapter and it reads aloud and some of the books have the pictures described.

Microsoft offers a wide range of alternative input devices. Alternative input devices are devices that help an individual control a computer when unable to use a standard keyboard or pointing device. One example is a sip-and-puff system that works by inhaling or exhaling. A light signaler alerts the user to computer sounds with light. If a new email arrives, normally a sound is made to notify the user. With light signals, a light will flash alerting the user of a new email. Large-print word processor magnifies text without adding screen enlargement to help with the visually impaired.

Assistive Technology for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children was an inspiring video to watch. This video shows the importance of assistive technology for hearing and vision impaired children. It shows the different technology that can be used and also give them the same opportunity to learn with technology as everyone else.

Mountbatten device
Immediate feedback is vital to our struggling learners and the Mountbatten helps with blind students. The Mountbatten is a device for the blind that allows for audio and tactile feedback. The Mountbatten looks like a typewriter with a plastic form that fits over where the keys would normally be. As the user types, the machine types in braille and repeats back what is being typed. This machine is very advance with the ability to save and transfer files to a computer and receive files from another computer