Saturday, November 30, 2013

Blog Assignment #15

Assistive Technologies

Student using the Mountbatton
With today’s technologies helping special needs students achieve so much more than in the past. The assistive technologies allow students with disabilities to participate in the learning activities and curriculum. In the video Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing impaired Children we see students learning using assistive technologies. The students read a book that uses words like “Zoom” to describe the sound a boat makes. This allows hearing impaired students to imagine what a boat really sounds like. We also see a blind student reading a book written in Braille. These are only two of the more simple assistive technologies available. These simple tools allow students to interact with their classmates and learning environment. With the ever advancing technology world we as teachers should always stay knowledgeable on the tools available to us. Also to ensure that the student is receiving the best possible learning experience a thorough assessment of the student’s abilities should be done to know where they are struggling.

The video about the MountBatton, we learn about a system that is used to help enhance learning for the visually impaired. This system allows students to write Braille and hear what they are writing as they are typing it. This allows students to learn Braille while also staying involved in the classroom discussions and group work. Another way to enhance a student that has learning disabilities to participate in class is to teach the other students how to work with the student. For example, a visually impaired student may be more willing to participate in peer reviews if they know their paper will be read by a peer and not the teacher. So teaching the other students how to read basic Braille may help strengthen the learning environment. When planning lesson plans involving these assistive tools it is important to combine multiple tools to allow the student a single tool will not meet all the needs of your student. While researching assistive tools we found the website EnablingDevices which is a website that sells devices for all disabilities. This site is a very good site to have. It shows you what tools are out there and what tools you could need for your students with disabilities. The most important aspect of helping a student with disabilities achieve their goal is to work together, with the students parents and other administrators to guarantee that your student is achieving their goals.

Teaching mathematics

Learning mathematics can be tough for anyone, but for blind students, it can be a challenging task, in learning math. In the video, Teaching Math to the Blind Professor Art Karshmer, who is a professor at University of San Francisco School of Management, introduces a tool he has created for blind students. This tool uses blocks and a grid. His device lays out simple math problems to more advanced math problems using small blocks. On the front, there is braille and visible numbers. In the video, he demonstrates that the blind student will use a barcode scanner, on the blocks. The device reads the number back to the student. The student places the block on the grid to set up the math problem. The math problem is laid out on the touch bed. Professor Art Karshmer shows how the problem is laid out the way a sighted person would put it on paper. A blind person can rub their finger across the problem and read it. Now, a blind student is able to work on a two-dimensional problem. By using this program, it will help educate young blind students. It can cover areas like: basic Math and the beginning Algebra.

Student using an iPad
After watching Professor Art Karshmer video, we did further research on math tools for blind students. We found information on a blind woman named Sheila Schneider. She majored in sculpture at the School of Art Design. Under the supervision of Deana McDonagh, a professor of Industrial Design. Sheila Schneider has created six small hand held sculptures that have mathematical equations written in Braille. The math equations will be written in Nemeth Code, a form of Braille used with math and scientific symbols. This tool will be used to help students with visual impairments that will help them to learn math.It is great that there are assistive technology available for the blind. In the video, iPad usage for the blind Wesley Majerus who is an Access Specialist for the National Federation for the Blind. In the video, Mr. Majerus demonstrations how blind people can use different apps with an iPad. The iPad has a voiceover that tells him, which programs he is opening. The voiceover helps him to navigate around the home screen. There is an app that can read a book aloud. He expresses that it is very liberating to buy and read books. This tool, is a great assistive technology device that can help blind people.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Blog Assignment #14

Blog Post 14 teacher blogs

Not every one wants to teach the same grade or subject. Find a teacher blog for the grade and subject you plan to teach and write about 3 useful things you found on their blog. The blog you use cannot be one that you have been assigned in your C4T assignments.

I really enjoy working with 4th graders so I chose a 4th grade teacher. She goes by Farley and her blog is title Oh' Boy 4th Grade.
In this blog Farley writes about all school related things including strategies that work for her as a 4th grade teacher. The portion of her blog that I found most useful was the section she titled creations. In this section Farley includes items that she has created that she found useful in her classroom. These items include the words to the pledge done in a creative background, to do lists that are broken down and made simple for students to use, inspirational quote posters, and printable activities for students to do.

On her blog Farley also includes a section titled teacher block party, this section is broken don by grade level and in each grade level she includes links to other teacher blogs of that grade level. This section is great because you can find other teachers in the grade level you teach and communicate and find ideas through the blogs. In her posts Farley's topics range from classroom activities to her personal children and experiences. She also includes products that she has created or found to be useful in the classroom. One of the more recent products he posted about was a thanksgiving themed game that helps students review skills while having fun with thanksgiving.

Final Report PLN Project #2

My PLN Before Shot

For my PLN I have continued using Symbaloo. I found that I really enjoy having Symbaloo as my home page because it makes going to my saved pages much easier because I can just click a button. On my PLN Symbaloo page I started out with only a few links to some educational sites and the blogs I followed for EDM310. Now after working on my PLN for a few months now, I have added many educational sites and even blogs that I have come across while working on my lesson plans and other assignments. My PLN is much more full than it was the last time I reported on it and there is far to much to explain every tile.

A few of the tiles I have added are:

I have added blog tiles for David Truss, Lisa Thurmann, and a blog I found on my own called E is for Explore created by Erin Bittman. I have also added a link to the student blog site EDUBlogs so that I can find it n the future.

Since my last report I have added tiles to many of the sites that we have used in EDM310 but also a few that I have found useful. These sites include TeacherLED, SMARTExchange, and Learn360. These sites are very useful when creatng lesson plans using interactive white boards.

My PLN After Shot

C4T #4

Post #1

Lisa Thumman
The fourth teacher I was assigned was Lisa Thumman, her blog is Thumann Resources. Lisa works with educators to improve teaching with technology. The post I commented on was about state common cores, and how she worked with the School for Global Education and Innovation at Kean University to form the Common Core Communities of Practice. These communities will focus on improving practices and they will provide a collaborative onsite and virtual work space for teachers. Teachers will be able to connect and discuss instructional practices and how to enhance learning for students.

Post #2

In this next post titled 20 Percent Time. Lisa discusses her findings on how teachers are implementing google's 20% Time. She gives examples on how certain teachers are using the 20 % Time to have their students choose a project and complete over a period of time and having them document there work as they progress. One example that Lisa gave I really enjoyed reading about was the organization that Rory Fundora's daughter Mallory created. This was not designed with the 20% Time project in mind, but on her own she decided to raise money to sponsor two students. Not only was she able to surpass her goal but she is now managing countless resources and raising much more money than she ever thought possible. I commented on her post and said how excited I was about the idea of 20% Time in the classroom. I really enjoy community service so I plan to use the 20% Time to have my students enhance their learning by helping others.

Google's 20% Time Logo

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Blog assignment #13

To This Day...For the bullied and the beautiful

still from Shane Koyczan's video
In this video Shane Koyczan talks about how we are given titles and then asked what we wanted to be when we grow up. Shane talks about his experience as a kid and how he was asked what he wanted to be and then as he said what he wanted to be he was told what not to be. He was being told to accept the identity that others would give him, because they were "silly" in the eyes of others. Shane talks about his experience of becoming a bully due to the way society expected him to become. In this video Shane recites his poem "To This Day" accompanied by a video that went right along with his poem. This poem was inspirational and absolutely true. This poem brings to life the damages that are done daily from bullying and the affects of those we trust simply saying "kids will be cruel" and never actually doing anything about the bullying. This poem is one that could be used over and over again to really show the affects of bullying with words and pictures. Shane's poem is humorous and haunting but does a wonderful job bringing forward the ever growing problem of bullying.

Written by: Jacquelyne Mckiernan

A girl who demanded school

is an amazing and empowering video to watch. When she was five years old, she found out she was engaged to be married. Her mother was denied an education. So, she wanted her children to receive an education. Her father was a policeman. Her father was hardly ever around. When her father returned things changed. Her mother grew crops, took care of the cows and goats. Her father would sell the cows, and went drinking, with his friends. Since, her mother was a woman, women could not own property. So, her father got everything by default. If her mother, ever questioned her father. She would be beaten and abused. In her county, there is a rite of passage ceremony for young girls. Kakenya Ntaiya made a deal with her father; she would undergo the rite of passage female circumcision, if he would let her finish high school. Kakenya describes the horror of the circumcision ritual, at thirteen. She explains, that many girls die from this mutilation. This was very heartbreaking to hear, that so many girls are going through this. After her circumcision, she went to high school. It was very heartbreaking to hear this story.

After finishing high school, Kakenya wants to further her education. Kakenya meets a young man, from her village who has been to a University in America. He has nice clothes, shoes and is very happy. She applied and was accepted ,at a college, in Virginia. Her whole village, supported her trip to America. She made a promise to the men who sponsored her trip, that she would come back and help her village. While she was in America, she learns that it is illegal, how her mother, other women and herself were treated. She keeps her promise and works with village elders to build a school for girls, in Kenya. This school has saved 125 girls from being mutilated, beaten and being married at 12 . With a college education, she returned to her village and negotiated for a school to be built for girls. It was amazing, seeing this one woman’s strength and determination to make a better place for girls, in her country.
Written by: Shernaye James

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

C4K Summary for November

Rain Forest from Crusader's story
My first student for November is in Mr.Mark's grade 6 class at Pt. England School in Auckland, New Zealand. The writing assignment was to write a narrative that was based in the rain forest. Crusader's story was very creative and very well written. He was very descriptive on how the rain forest looked and how he felt. Crusader did a great job describing how he was attacked by an Anaconda and how he called for help and was saved by James. I commented on this post and told him how creative his post was and that he did a very good job describing the rain forest.

Haley Jean
Haley Jean's painting
For my final C4K I was assigned Haley Jean, a student in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. Haley is a six year old in Ms.Cassidy's class. The assignment was to choose a medium and convey an emotion of their choosing. For her assignment Haley chose to convey Happiness using paint. Haley’s post was titled Colours and feelings. Haley's painting was beautiful and easily conveyed happiness with her bright pinks and purples she used in her painting. In my comment to Haley I told her how beautiful her painting was and how I was able to recognize that she was conveying Happiness as her emotion.

SMARTBoard Project # 12 Part B

For our SMARTBoard project #12 we used our collaborative lesson plan on Hurricanes. We chose our lesson from day 3 about Hurricane Safety to create our activity for. In this presentation we show two different activities involving Hurricane safety. The first activity is about a Hurricane Safety Kit and what items you should have in the kit. The second activity is deciding what would be safe to have or do during a hurricane and what would not be safe.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Project #15 Lesson Plan #3

I have created a site for my personal lesson plans title My EDM310 Lesson Plans. I found using a site to be easier to keep my information organized. My second personal lesson plan is centered around Mardi Gras and the history of Mardi Gras in Alabama. In my lesson plan I have also included small lessons on recycling and measuring geometric shapes. The lesson plan is titled Celebrating Mardi Gras!

Blog assignment # 12

Changing Educational Paradigms

Ken Robinson
In the video Changing Education Paradigms, Ken Robinson talks about the changes being made around the world in public education. He explains how there are two reasons for these changes. The first being economics and the second being cultural. He asks how we educate our children to take our place in the economy. He also asks how we educate our children so that they have a source of cultural identity. He starts his explanation by saying we are trying to meet the future by doing what they did in the past. I really agree with this quote, and think it is a very strong and representational quote of today’s society. This type of thinking is alienating many kids who do not understand why they need to be in school, because the education system was created for a different generation.

Robinson believes there are two types of education abilities which are economic and intellectual. The academic are considered the smart people who go on to get higher education degrees and the intellectual are the non-smart people, who struggled in school or could not afford to go on to get higher education and who are judged for it. Robinson states how he thinks this has caused chaos. Robinson goes on to say that the non-smart people have had to suffer the ADHD “epidemic.” He believes that we are penalizing our students with drugs because they are distracted by all the technologies of today. He states how we are getting our children through education by anaesthetizing them, or deadening their senses. I really liked what Robinson says when he states that we “should not be putting our students to sleep, we should be waking them up.” This is a great statement, because many students are bored and uninterested in school today.

Robinson explains how school’s today are similar to a factory line, and if we want our students to succeed we need to change from the factory line mentality. Robinson ends his lecture talking about divergent learning and shows a study that was done on a group of students starting in kindergarten through 9th or 10th grade. This study showed how the students’ ability for divergent thinking or creativity deteriorates as the students grow and go through school. He explains how the students’ have gone through years of school being told there is only one answer and that collaboration is bad. Robinson ends saying that in order to change the way our students learn we must think differently about human capacity and not split education into sections. I really liked the final quote he uses “Great learning happens in groups.” This quote goes right along with project based learning, and collaboration in groups.
Written by: Jacquelyne Mckiernan

The Importance of Creativity

I really enjoyed watching Sir Ken Robinson’s video titled, The Importance of Creativity. Sir Ken Robinson talk is about why creativity is important. He is very funny and engaging. He started his speech by saying that students starting kindergarten this year will retire in 2065. Robinson explains that, we do not know what the world would look like the in next five years, but we are to educate and prepare students for the future. He shares that creativity should be treated the same as literacy. He had a great quote, “If you are not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything original.” He speaks about today in education; we are stigmatizing mistakes. In the education system, a mistake is the worst thing you can do. Robinson explains, that the education system has the same hierarchy of subjects, Mathematics and Languages, Humanities and then the Arts. Under the Arts, there is another hierarchy Art and Music are given a higher status than Drama and Dance. In schools, there is not a class that teaches dance everyday to students, like Math is taught to students. During his talk, Mr. Robinson included a quote from Picasso, “ All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” Robinson says that educator’s task is to educate the whole being so, that they can face the future.

I really liked Sir Ken Robinson’s story of Gillian, who became a dancer because ADHD had not been invented yet. The school wrote her parents because they thought she had a learning disability. Gillian went to see a specialist. The specialist turned the radio on, and the girl began to dance. She was a dancer. The specialist recommendation was to take her to a dance school. It turned out that he was right. She found other people just like her; people who could not sit still. She became a ballet dancer and a professional choreographer. Today, in schools too many children are mislabeled. I really enjoyed watching Sir Ken Robinson’s video. I learned that the arts should be held in the same hierarchy of content areas. It is important to create an education system that nurtures creativity not destroy it.
Written by:Shernaye James

How to Escape Educations Death valley

In the video, How to escape education’s death valley Ken Robinson talks about . He makes a comment that who ever thought of the title “No child left behind” understood irony because the program left millions of children behind. The United States spends more on education that other countries but yet still has a 60% dropout rate. He believes that America is going in the wrong direction. He talks about 3 principles for education. The first is that humans are naturally different and diverse. He talks about how no two kids are alike. He goes on to say that 10% of children in America are diagnosed with some time of ADD. He says that most children are not suffering from a physiological condition, they are suffering from childhood. Children learn best when the curriculum is broad and can celebrate their different talents that just one. The second priciple is curiosity. When a child’s curiosity is sparked, they will go and learn themselves with no push. He goes on and says that children are natural learners. Curiosity is the engine in education. He says that the main point of education is learning. He talks about how you can be doing something but not be engaged in it. He applies that theory to teachers. Someone can be participating in the act teaching but no real teaching going on. The third principle is the human life is creative. We create our own lives. One of the points of education is to awake the power of creativity. He talks about how Finland has high test scores and such. He says that the reason they do is because they individualize teaching and learning. By doing this, they don’t have a dropout rate. They realize that you have to spark student interest and support the teachers. He says that education is not in the government, it’s in the classroom. Teachers know what needs to be done. Education is a human system not a mechanical one. The schools should not be command and control, but should be climate control. If you change the climate or atmosphere, possibilities are endless.

Written by:Savanah Moore

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Project # 12 A Using the SMART Board

In this video I demonstrate how to do the basic functions on a SMART Board.

Project # 10 Interview

For this project I Interviewed Nicole Godbold, she is the coordinator for the computer program for k-6 at Gulf Shores. She loves the use of technology in the classroom and was the perfect fit for this interview.