Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


1. My favorite tools that I played around with during this course were the google documents. We used the GMail accounts the district provided last year with our fifth graders but we did not do it justice. The email accounts were used primarily for email purposes which is just the beginning. Next year, I would like to have my older resource students collaborate with their peers to work on class assignments. By partnering them up on assignments, I could support the special education student when he/she is out of class. This is something we could collaborate on either online or side by side. The fact that the documents are saved in one place and accessible by any computer makes the documents mobile! This is convenient when the special education students are often pulled to different locations. Through the online collaboration of google docs, the special education students can stay connected even when they are out of class!

2. Last year I was thinking about an entire grade level in regards to technology. However, this year I am refocusing my attention to my special education students and using technology to boost not only their knowledge but self-esteem as well. At the end of the year, I had already started to mentor a fourth grader who I am going to call on to help his peers. I have found that technology is an equalizer and students who sometimes have difficulty with reading and writing, are not intimidated by technology. This is a medium where we can reach them!

3. Unexpected outcomes from this program was the realization of how much I am unfamiliar with! I have heard of some of the tools but hadn't taken the time to experiment with them. Use it or lose it! So I will definitely make a concentrated effort to expose my students to these tools this year so that together we will fill our toolboxes!

Tool #11

Three topics of digital citizenship that I would address are: digital security, digital safety and online bullying. Students don't realize that they have an online identity. Even adults sometimes forget about simple safety measures. For example- posting that you are out of town announces that your home is unguarded. Girls posting there whereabouts while they are there allows for stalking. I think the best way to teach about these topics is through your own experiences. Keeping the lines of communication open to your students and reminding them that they are creating their online identity which will follow them. I would utilize Brainpop and personal experiences. We have a teacher that experienced online identity fraud and I would ask her to share her experience with my students. This provides them with "real" experiences.

Tool # 10

There are an infinite amount of free applications available for the itouch/iphone. I enjoy the fact that they can be downloaded directly to the device without having to sync with a computer. The delete function is also convenient. I like the following free applications: 300+ sight words, eReader, Stanza, Evernote,Classics, and USA Free. I have also used the timer function to signal students when an activity is finished.

I have played with the ipad in the Apple store. I loved the graphics and the size of the device. This would be great for our special education students with vision issues.  The e-reader application literally puts a book at your fingertips. 
I like the application: iReward Chart. This application would allow the teacher and/or student to track appropriate behaviors. I downloaded the application to my iphone and have been using it with my preschooler. I am using it to reinforce positive behaviors. For example, when he cleans his room he gets a star and then the accumulation of stars results in a reward. There is a pass code on the application to prevent him from giving himself "free" stars. This application would be great for our students who are on behavior intervention plans. It is portable and private. Locabulary lite is an application that provides speech to common vocabulary terms. The vocabulary is divided into - quick phrases, moods and assistance. For our life skill students there is an application- Model Me Kids. This application has mini videos on showing a child going to different places- such as the hairdresser, mall, doctor, grocery store and restaurant. This would be a good reference tool for our nonverbal students.

Thing #9 Jing and Skype

I can see where Jing would be beneficial in illustrating or further clarifying information. Some students need visual representation to refer to when learning new information. The fact that the icon is always visible makes it readily available. I like the fact that there is no need to go to a different site to access it.

Skype makes visual representations available also. I used Skype recently when my father was in the hospital. My friend and I were able to discuss our blogs while talking to each other. We utilized the chat feature when my dad went to sleep. Since I am a Resource teacher and not always with some of my students- I can see where my students could Skype me from the class room at designated times when they needed assistance. This would be an agreed upon time where I would be available.

Tool #7

For some reason I am having difficulties today editing and posting to my blog. Whenever I sign in and then view my blog- I am not staying signed in because I can not edit my posts. So I am going to try just adding a new post.
Photostory was a simple medium for creating a video. I used a digital camera and a microphone. I think students will like the ease of it and it is a great starting point for creating multimedia presentations. I have used imovie and I really like it better. However- it has so many more features that I think it is best to start with photostory.