Interaction Technology (iPads & Smartbord) and Learning (Weekly Reading Reflection Week 9)

Carly Shuler, author of iLearn’II An Analysis of the Education Category of Apple’s App Store, describes the usage of iPads in the classroom. I am pro iPad use in the classroom. I have seem how much it has improved the learning of young students. It allows them to access a vast amount of information. It also allows students to learn through multiple modalities, which can result in more meaningful learning. It also allows teachers to better differentiate instruction to meet the needs of all students, not just the average ones. This article makes me excited to see what’s to come from not only Apple, but all different types of technologies used in the classroom.

Interactive whiteboards are great for all students. For example, Promethean’s Activboard Touch can be used with any student, regardless of age or gender. The Activboard Touch can be used by students with many different disabilities. Students who may be on the Autism Spectrum, have learning impairments, fine motor skill impairments can benefit from the interactive whiteboards like these. Boards like this or the Smartboard shown in the video allows users to fully customize how information is presented across all three modalities of learning. This ensures that students are provided with multiple options of perception.


ICT & Collaborative Learning (Weekly Reading Reflection Week 7)

Nussbaum, Gómez, Weitz, Lopez, Mena, Torres, authors of Co-located single-display collaborative learning for early childhood education, and Giulia Gelmini-Hornsb, Shaaron Ainsworth, and Claire O’Malley, authors of Guided reciprocal questioning to support children’s collaborative storytelling describe the benefits of collaborative learning in early childhood education classrooms. I believe the more important part of a young student’s school experience is collaborative learning. It teaches students how to work together as a group, increasing social skills. It also allows students to learn from their peers. Being able to learn from peers is essential; it allows students to hear explanations of concepts on their own “levels.” However, I do think that collaborative learning should be structured. Every group member should have a “job” or responsibility. No student should be left staring off into space or fooling around.


Using Online Surveys in the Classroom

After viewing Group 7’s presentation, I now know how to create a Google Survey. I can see myself using this application in my classroom for a variety of reasons. One being as an exit ticket. I can use this to determine what my students retained from my lesson and what they still need help on. I can also use it to monitor my students’ progress. I think that Google Survey is a great tool that teachers of any grade level can use.

Using Podcast in the Classroom

One way in which I plan to use podcasts in my classroom is to provide students with additional time with a lesson. For example, I can record my lesson on a podcast and then provide my students with a link to that podcast for additional studying and review. It can also be beneficial for students who are absent. This way, students do not have to miss out on lessons and they do not have to try and teach the material to themselves.

I can also use podcasts in my classrooms to provide my students with a different source to find information. For example, if we are learning a lesson on economics, I can show an episode of the well-known podcast, Freakonomics. Overall, podcasts are a great resource for any type of teacher to utilize in their classrooms.

ICT & Cognitive Development and Play (Weekly Reading Reflections Week 6)

Sandra L. Calvert, Bonnie Strong, and Lizann Gallagher, authors of Control as an Engagement Feature for Young Children’s Attention to and Learning of Computer Content, conduct an experiment in which they determine how adult-directed control or student-directed control effects the learning and behaviors of students. They also looked at how the study effected males differently than it effected females. First, this article was very interesting to read. However, the results were not surprising. When students have control over learning, of course they are going to be more motivated and engaged. However, I do find it interesting how the boys were more aggressive when their control was taken away. After reading this, I noticed that in many situations in my own teaching. For example, as a guided reading teacher, if there is extra time, I sometimes let my students choose if they would like to do a fun activity (favorite part, new ending, put yourself in the story, etc.). I’ve noticed, when they get to choose, I get paragraphs of responses. However, when I assign one, I get a couple of sentences at most. Because of this, I see some validity in this experiment.

N. Yelland, author of New technologies, playful experiences, and multimodal learningoffers information regarding the concept that young children learn best through play. I have mixed feelings about this controversial issue. On one hand, I agree with it. Playing allow students to hit those developmental milestones that are needed before learning actual curriculum. It’s like that saying, you need to learn how to walk before you run. However, I do think that play is not the only source of “learning” that young children should receive. I think it is important to incorporate some academics into the days of 1-4 year olds. I also think that once a student hits kindergarten, the focus should be more on academics and less on play, only because of the high expectations put on students in later grades.

Steinkuehler, Constance Squire, Kurt Barab, Sasha, authors of Games, Learning, and Society, suggests that the implementation of Augmented Reality games into the classroom can result in a more meaningful learning experience. I could not agree more with this article. AR games allow teachers to integrate technology into the curriculum in a meaningful way. It reminds me of the craze Pokemon Go. This game can be considered an AR game because players use real-life location to “catch pokemon.” If such a simple game can get people motivated to go outside and walk around, maybe AR games can motivate students to learn.



Video Editing and Showcasing

I chose to create an Animoto about when I studied abroad in 2013. I am actually quite familiar with video editing and showcasing. In fact, I used Animoto quite frequently when I was in undergrad for projects and assignments. I use iMovie for most projects. When I was younger, I was obsessed with recording and editing my own “movies.” My parents were convinced I was going to grow up to become a film editor. But alas, the teaching profession called my name instead.

As for communication with my group member, I informed Samantha that I am well-versed in Animoto and if she has any questions, to send them on over! As for showcasing on my blog, I wish there was an easier way to embed my Animoto to my WordPress blog. The embed coding does not work. Other than that, I love the application. It is easy to use and, most importantly, fun!

Assistive Technology Within the Classroom (Weekly Reading Reflection Week 5)

Assistive technology can be defined as any object or system that increases or maintains the capabilities of people with disabilities. The guide Assistive Technology for Children with Learning Difficulties, by Marshall Raskind and the YouTube videoAssistive Technology: Powerful Solutions for Success Preview, describes what AT is and some examples of AT we can find in classrooms.  Most importantly, AT helps students become more independent. Student who may not have gone to school before, can now go and participate with everyday life with the use of AT. For example, a student who has mobility impairments can still go to school with the use of a specialized wheelchair.

As a special education teacher, I’ve seen AT used up close and I’ve seen the tremendous benefits it beings to both the student, the teacher, and peers. For example, I have many students who are non-verbal and use AAC devices (augmented and alternative communication) to communicate. These students, who before could not communicate, can now interact with their peers and teachers. AT also be as simple as a slant board or a pencil grip. With that being said, AT devices are not just for students with disabilities. Many students, whether they have disabilities or not, can be more successful when AT is implemented.