Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Module 11 Debrief

I really liked this module. I found it user friendly and very fun. After completing this module I have come to the conclusion that I will be using Microsoft Publisher for newsletters and such for my future classroom. I could have sat on the program for hours messing around and creating various items. Microsoft publisher is very easy to use and there are a variety of tools there to help you. There are so many different templates to choose from and different fonts and colors available for use. I really liked how easy the program allowed to copy and paste pictures and to be able to position them and resize them with no trouble at all. I found Microsoft Publisher to be a fun, easy and creative use of technology that more teachers should take advantage of. It could be used for so many ways. Especially for newsletters to keep the parents informed and involved in the classroom. After using this program I am very disappointed I do not have this on my laptop. I will be looking into getting it for the future. Side note big thank you to my boss for saving me a trip to campus and loaning me her laptop to complete my newsletter.  

The drop box was also user friendly. I found the downloading fast, easy and simple just a few clicks of the mouse. I loved this because sometimes things take forever to download. Once downloaded I found it easy to navigate and access. This entire process has opened my eyes to the many different and free technologies and websites that are available to the public. Most of which we never hear or see about. The drop box would be an interesting technology to take advantage of and use with secondary students like in high school. The program could be a part of their technology learning and have them submit things through there such as writing assignments and such. The drop box could also be used to share student’s works with one another and such.

The online Sign up is actually a technology I knew about from my advisor using it for sign up for meetings. I found it simple to use then. With creating my own sign up for an event I found it to be very easy and the steps and such to be very helpful. Literally to create an event you just follow the directions step by step. Anyone would be able to use the sign up to create an event because it is so user friendly. I think more parents would respond and get back to you with a count for attendance at an event because almost anyone and everyone is connect to the internet in some way now a days. Especially with the code right on the newsletter people might have the app to just can the code and go right to the sign up page to RSVP. Teachers who use the online sign up would be eliminating the clutter of extra paper on their desk of parent forms RSVPing to events and such. I would most likely use this website in the future also. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Social Story-When I ride the Bus to School


When I Ride the Bus to School

I think social stories are great to help students learn social skills. Students need to be taught social skills to learn how to act in public and in social settings. Social Stories can be just one way out of many to learn social skills. “Social Skills intervention is most successful when the intervention is implemented using many modes of learning” (More article). Social stories help students to visually see their expected behavior. They can follow by example. Social stories help those with disabilities to “learning and understanding certain social situations and replace any problem behaviors.” (Child Autism parent cafĂ©)

“Digital Media and computers have created dynamic opportunities for teaching and learning” (More article). Digital media is great for social stories because repetition can be used for learning. Visual learning is supported and relationships among others are promoted. Use of digital media “linked to increased motivation, attention and student reinforcement” (more article)
Using digital media for social stories can help students better grasp the skills needed for social activities needed for everyday activities. With the use of any social story students can follow by example. 

I choose riding on the bus for my social story because not many parents have the option of taking their children to school due to work. Therefore many students have to ride the bus to get to and from school. All students should know what to do when riding the bus.
I would use my social story for a child with a disability because they like to know what is going on and tend to follow by example and repetition. Children with disabilities also tend to like routine this social story would help them with the routine associated with riding the school bus. Riding the school bus would help children with autism to know exactly what is expected of them. They will not get over stimulated because they will know it’s time to be quiet and read their book keeping themselves busy. 

I loved using PhotoStory 3 if was very easy and user friendly. The steps made it easy to piece together my story as a whole video sequence. I could really see myself using this tool in the future with lessons and such. I enjoyed using this tool and found the assignment to be fun and resourceful. I enjoyed using the tool I even started another photo story just for fun to become more familiar with the program. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Google Shared Documents

I really enjoyed using the shared document. I found it to be very helpful. I was able to take my own notes and share my reactions to the reading material. Members in my group were allowed to do the same. Once they posted their reactions and notes, I found it very interesting to read their thoughts and feelings about the reading material. While reading their material I found it very interesting and informative. I picked up on things that I didn’t really pay attention to when I read the article. Things that were somewhat important and that I should of picked up on but missed.      

                While reading the shared document with my fellow group members I loved being able to see their input on or their take on the different subjects. Reading their thoughts and feelings and interpretation of the information being presented helped me to see the different view individuals may have. I think that the shared document is a great communication tool to use inside and outside of the classroom. Although students are not face to face communicating they are bouncing ideas and thoughts off of one another and sharing information. 

                For future students the use of the shared document in the classroom could show students that the computer can be a use of communication. Their ideas can be typed out and then in a matter of minutes shared with a friend. They can give each other feedback and share ideas, thoughts and feelings. The shared document could be used during peer editing. Some students are shy and nervous about sharing their stories and written work with one another. Each student could make up their own name/email to create a Google account. This way unless they tell one another their identity could be kept to themselves. A shared document could be set up and students would be placed in random groups or pairs to edit one another’s work. Students can edit and provide feedback on the work they read. They would only know whose paper it was through the username or email. This way they are although not communicating in person but communicating in some form. 

                Even if students wanted to share their name they could still share work through a shared document to work on their computer skills as well as their typing or keyboarding skills. Students could also work on their writing skills providing written feedback to one another using technology in front of them. Shared documents could be used throughout the schools for projects, writing assignments, homework assignments and so much more. The possibilities are endless.

Monday, October 15, 2012

WebQuest and Assistive Technology Debrief

I think that my WebQuest went good. I found it a little time consuming. Although time consuming I found it to be very informative. A great way to see the many different websites and other resources available for Assistive Technology and AAC. I liked that all of the links could be found right from the case study website. When looking at the case studies it was easy to go to other resources just had to use the click of the mouse. Although using the click of the mouse was easy, all of the different websites and other resources were a little overwhelming. I found myself getting confused and frustrated because I would use a link and then when I needed to go back it took me a little while to find the one I was looking for. Although a little overwhelming, it was just a lot of information to process. All in all the WebQuest was very informative and I enjoyed going through all of the resources and even learned a few things.

As a special education teacher I would use a WebQuest for a variety of things. Most importantly I would use it as a resource tool. A resource tool for further research into tools and to keep myself educated to help my students inside and outside the classroom whether its classroom tools or individual tools for my students such as Assistive Technology and such. I would also use WebQuest to help the parents of my students by finding them resources and funding and just help and information in general that my help themselves as parents and especially parents of a special needs child. To help parents realize there is help out there and that they are not alone.

In completing this WebQuest I learned that there are many types of assistive technology out there for students and individuals. They range from mild or low key to more complex. I never realized the amount of tools out there for use in the classroom and real life. For my skills as a special education teacher I would want to research and stay up with the technology and tools out there to assist. I would keep up to date and attend training and such to be up with the times and the tools. In doing this I would be available to help my students more to achieve their maximum potential as learners and individuals.

Using AAC is great in the classroom for special education students it can help them communicate in ways they never could before. AAC can be as simple as using the eyes and body language as well as signals or tools and devices. I love the idea of using AAC in the special education classroom because it can help give a voice to a student who otherwise has difficulties communicating and learning with others.

This module with the WebQuest was full of information that will be useful for me in becoming an educator as well as once I am a special education teacher in the classroom. I was overwhelmed with all of the information but I found it to be a great way of learning as a future educator. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Facebook as an instructional Tool in the Classroom

I think that social media, particularly face book is a good thing to use as an instructional tool in the classroom. I do feel it is a good tool, but one must monitor and watch as an adult and professional. With anything in this world comes negativity and yes, face book does have negative sides. As long as monitored and used correctly face book and other social media can be used as an instructional tool in the classroom. The younger generations are of the technology age. Social media is the in/new thing, using a computer and other technology devices are the in thing. Students engage more and have more interest in things they know and things they enjoy.
                Allowing students to use the computers and social media as an instructional tool not only helps them learn and develop in an academic sense but also in computer skills and fine motor skills (using the mouse, typing). Like almost anything comes pros and cons. With social media like face book there are pros or benefits in the classroom and for individuals. As stated in article “5 Best Practices for Educators on Face book” face book group activities can be effective in continuing class discussions, connecting students for help creating study groups, help provide academic and personal support, last but not lease students who maybe shy would be able to communicate and participate in a less intimidating way.
Using face book can create a sense of communication between students and teachers (100 ways using face book in the classroom). In the 100 ways article face book as a learning tool is informal, students feel more comfortable and less stressed. This may allow them to want to take part more. Also in the 100 ways article #30 states “students engaged outside the class”. Students who have a face book do tend to spend a lot of time on face book. While they are on they could check the classroom page; check notes, do homework, etc. “When accessing the class content more often, that means they will be thinking and engaging more frequently.” Posting information such as the ocean field research can create an “interactive resource” (5 Best Practices for Educators on Face book).
With pros also come cons. According to the Sarah Stewart article she is right “face book is not a quick fix for your teaching and learning problems” it is a tool but we as teachers need to be creative and think outside the box for its uses. Not all students have a face book and some parents may not want them to have one. Have to respect the parents’ wishes. This is a con because then not all of your students would be able to access the face book pages. Another con stated in this article would be that “clear concerns about confidentiality and what face book does with personal information”. Once you create a face book it is out there for people to see. You have to take precautions so that the wrong person or people do not get your personal information. There is always a risk of someone getting the information once it is out in “cyber world”. . “5 Best Practices for Educators on Face book” hits on the con of being friends with students on face book. Students and their teachers should not be friends on face book it is inappropriate. Personal life and teaching life should not be put together. Once students find out that you have a face book they will want to be friends with you, they won’t understand why it’s not okay to be friends. A solution to this con is creating a classroom face book that way it stays professional. 
With any use of the internet especially face book there is always the risk of “inappropriate or objectionable material” (Poole article). Sometimes viruses or spam are of pornography or inappropriate items/materials. This is the risk of any internet usage. They can even pop up on face book pages and such. Getting a good antivirus software may help but as the teacher you should always be aware of what is going on, on the internet especially.
An idea for future face book use in my classroom would be biographies. When focusing on a specific important person in history, I could create a page for them, with factual information the students need to know and learn. Creating a profile picture of that person, creating photo albums of pictures of important events the person took part in. The about information would be up to date and contain important information such as birth date, job position, home location and possibly the day they passed way. The wall posts on the face book page could either be from that person or others. Wall posts could also be more information/facts for that person’s life. Some people I may use this idea for may be Johnny Appleseed, Lewis and Clark, the many U.S presidents, Martin Luther King Jr., etc. the possibilities are endless. This would be a fun and interactive way students could learn about the people in history, they could maybe even post questions on the different walls and I could answer them if possible.
Another idea for the use of face book in the classroom would be for current event exercises. Not very many students watch the news and know what is going on in our communities let alone the world around us. For homework students could each bring in information on a current event and then in class create a face book page or event page for that event. With the dates and times, locations and background information. If students do not create the pages I could take their events and make them. We could even link these pages to our classroom page for easy access. We would have a set time during the day for the students to read through the current events and gain the knowledge and information related to each. As the teacher I may have a worksheet to go along with out “Current Event Time”. Students would have to fill in the date and time and location of one or two events. As well as the important facts surrounding the event and a couple things that they learned or found interesting.
I feel for my classroom creating a Miss. Austin’s Classroom face book page would be cool and creative way to keep in contact with the students and their parents. I would have the activities and assignments posted. Parents would be able to see what their children need to be doing and when things are due and such. Parents could also possible use this as a communication tool, with me and other parents.  Along with a link to the school’s website to keep the parents updated. With this page parents would be constantly informed of activities and such.

Monday, September 24, 2012


I chose Fotobabble because the description on Larry’s website really caught my eye. It sounded interesting to be able to record discussion my own picture or website.  Fotobabble would help a student  who may be hearing impaired. It may also assist a student who needs to see things visually when they are learning. A child with a disability in an inclusion classroom who may have a hearing impairment may need sound or discussion amplified. For this student I would allow them to go to the computer center and go to the fotobabbles that I have set up. I would also have headphones plugged into the computer on a higher volume setting. Student would be allowed to sit by themselves with the headphones on and listen to the fotobabbles I have created. Depending on the grade level student maybe allowed to take notes. After a student has watched the fotobabble they would be able to complete the worksheets and activities that go along with the information they were presented with. For example I created a fotobabble about King Penguins. The picture available is a photo of 3 king penguins. As they look at the image my voice would play in the background stating the facts about the king penguin.
This could be used during a science lesson on animals. I could use many different animals and create a recording of information related to each animal. Using fotobabble allows for a student who maybe hearing impaired to focus in on what they need to learn with no distractions and to hear my voice and only my voice through the headphones with no other voices or background noises. Since fotobabble is used online through the computer students could also be getting practice using basic computer skills.
Fotobabble would also be good for students with autism because it can be downloaded as an APP. Lately researchers have shown that the use of IPads and tablets help those with autism. Students with autism could have their learning recorded with a picture or video. Once again they would be getting the basic technology skills, fine motor skills of using the devices. As well as a more hands on and verbal approach.