Sunday, November 29, 2009

Module 3-software

I think the use of some of the software programs now available would have assisted me great because I am a visual learner and I would have benefited with the use of Inspiration . I liked to use Inspiration for students to design their own plot diagram for a story (when I was an English teacher) we read or to explain other literary concepts. For example, I used Inspiration for literary circles to explain certain themes in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Students were able to go out onto the web and find clips and symbols to explain their concept to the class.

Probably a great tool that I use is the Gutenburg project. This created a database of novels and short stories that someone would be able to read on screen or convert it to an audible file. I like the use of InfoEyes. I think it would be great for the student I discussed in the hardware discussion.

Module 2--Hardware

As an intro...I lost total track on my calendar so I am a week behind.

One thing that I noticed on the EnableMart website is the vast array of tools that are available to students and teachers. I can see that this could be very overwhelming and very useful for all parties involved.

While reflecting with some of the adaptations and accommodations available for students and co-workers I realized that this could be an entire job. There is a student in my school that is constantly being adapted and accommodated. He has learning and hearing difficulties. One thing that is adapted is for his listening. All of his teachers have a microphone attached to their clothing that not only amplifies the teacher's voice but also records the lectures or classroom happenings into a MP3 file for the student to access later. Also, this same student has an adaptive keyboard that he uses for notes and all his classwork so his handwriting is not a concern.

I also think about my co-workers who have to be at a computer screen constantly throughout the day. Some of the secretaries in my building have had issues with their backs and their eyes. The school has resolved this by providing the ergonomically correct chair for their use as well as lowering the lighting for their offices so their eyes are not as strained while looking at the computer.

In my needs assessment I am trying to focus on the autistic classroom recently added to my school district. The students are becoming a great asset to my school. However, I think some of the faculty and students do not think that these students will be able to adapt to technology and other adaptive devices. I would like to show them different.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Intro/Modual 1

This is something, i.e. the adaptive technology, I feel I need to get stronger at creating and learning about. I think the library is a key place in any school that needs to be able to assist all students in their needs.

I liked the youtube videos about the different organizations and the special stories about regular people adapting with their different disabilities.

While reviewing the NFB website, I learned quite a bit regarding the various issues that effect a person who is blind, especially while trying to learn different subject areas. This is something I never looked at before. I did not consider the difficulty of having to teach a visual concept to a blind student, like decimal points or other technology or engineering topics. I noticed in the lesson plans and other activities that a concept that I learned visually is taught to blind students using a tactile approach. For example, trying to describe the phases of the moon in a cycle, I would probably be shown the different phases thru pictures. A lesson plan on the NFB website showed that the teacher could use a stryrofoam ball to deomonstrate the phases. Very creative and simple to adapt.

Since I am coming from a classroom prior to my move to the library, I have sat in on several IEP development meetings as well as Chapter 15 meetings. Something that I learned is a lot of the adaptions are generally the best teaching practices. Using the SOAR website, I looked up some of the frequent disabilities that I'm meeting with parents about to decide upon the best teaching practice for their child. After viewing some of the lists that employers should try to practice, I only have apprciation for the employers who would make the check lists for the ADHD employeek, or create visual cards for concepts of teminology or recording directions. It is to benefit the person to be a better student or employee. I have sat thru the same meetings and had teachers complain that they had to teach their lessons using a microphone for the hearing impaired child in the classroom or adapt their 15 year old test for the student who needs a larger font for reading purposes.

Even in the library, I have looked into and purchased a few headphones for students who have reading difficulties and are listening to the book online or CD while following along in the book. This is a cognitive disability that is becoming more prevalant in my school district.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Week 9, thing 23--the final post!!!!

I am sad that this is coming to the end. I have enjoyed this journey and I think that I have grown as an educator, a librarian, and as an over-all student. I think a benefit that I had already some prior knowledge for some of the tools but I was able to play and learn some new tricks!

I think my favorite discoveries were Flickr and mashups. I did not have a lot of experience with any of these but I liked them because they were easy to navigate thru with tutorials and help links.

I think this blog/program assisted me as a life-long learner by giving some more tools in this ever changing environment. Something I think should be emphasized in this type of learning environment is the fact that this technology is ever-changing but for the better. I think a great example of this is the productivity tools. I think that the Google Docs and Zoho were great and are great tools for classrooms to subscribe to.

The Rollyo lesson was not the best tool for me. I had difficulty geting the link to work and for the page to load. I was unsure if it was because the page/creator was updating so other aspects were especially slow.

I would love to participate in a later discovery program, I would enjoy participating. I thought this was the most beneficial thing to work my way through.

My one word I would use is ever-changing.

I would love to maintain my blog! I want to be able to communicate in this forum for book reviews and other educational endeavors that I am taking people through. I'm thinking as I teach teachers certain Web 2.0 tools.

Week 9, thing 22

I see a great advantage to the use of e-books but I think this will be a technology that might be a while until it is fully caught on by the public. I asked some of my colleagues about the e-book and they did not seem thrilled about the concept. Some even said that there is something about the feel of the book in your hand and turning the pages. I agree with that because there is something about holding the book on your porch on a nice summer day. I don't know if this is where I want to talk about the kindle but I think that is a similar issue for me--the feeling of the book.

I found the website World E-book fair difficult to navigate but I can see value in it. I used the search and browse features to find classics and some contemporary titles.

I am familiar with the Gutenberg project and have used the texts in my English classroom and in my online classes.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Week 9, thing 21

WriteRead Podcast

I will say that I have not completely submersed myself in the podcast world and I can actually see great value in the podcast. Especially for some educational concepts and things like booktalks or quick concepts for possible reinforcement. I think that I can find great use to having a podcast feed so I can feed my need for whatever information I needed.

I have wanted to create a podcast on various topics like booktalks or quick technology and Web 2.0 tips for teachers.

Week 9, Thing 20

The video associated with this blog I hope is not offensive to people. But I received it through facebook and it is fascinating to me. I'm thinking of it as a public service announcement...for the parents of college students....think about how they are spending their time. Enjoy it!

I love YOUTUBE!!! My husband and I are always on it for new information, finding old episodes of shows, and for just finding cool things (beer pong video!). The quest one night was to find a Seinfeld episode and with some quick tag search terms, we found it!

I think for a librarian and for really any teacher, I think the use of Youtube is great for creating a point of a lesson, for adding to a lesson, and for even creating a front-loading technique. I used Youtube for a clip to show the trailer of To Kill a Mockingbird prior to reading the book. It is mysterious but provides a visual for characters.

I know through my own family use that I can create a playlist. Something I would love to do in the library is create a playlist dealing with book talks or author interviews. I would alredy have clips that I want to use ready.