Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Journal #9: "First Graders with iPads?"

Getting, S., & Swainey, K. (2012). First graders with ipads?. Learning and Leading with Technology,40(1), 24-27. Retrieved from

In reading Sarah Getting and Karin Sawainy article I was fascinated at the outcome of first graders using iPads. When the idea was first brought up many were skeptical, for the idea revolved around placing expense technology in the hands of first grader. Yet results don’t lie, after completing the first year with iPads test scores were higher and teachers noticed students spending more time on tasks (TOT.)  Teachers also learned that iPad could be used within the award system, behave and you will be able to work with iPads. On the downside of things the teachers found the iPads had little resources due to the idea being fairly new. They also stumbled upon issues with the technology staying up to date. I really liked how Sarah and Karin also gave a list of apps that would work great in the classroom. It really helps teachers build a better network of sources and activity’s. I have high hopes that with more support of iPads with in the classroom will prove to be a benefit and help heighten the learning curve.

Q: Would you use the iPad in your classroom?
 Having worked with the iPad in a special needs classroom, I fully support and will use the iPad within my classroom if able too. Having a hand held, touch screen device is a wonderful tool with the classroom. It would allow me as a teacher to have flexibility to move around the class allowing each of students a chance to interact with the app. 

Q: What other problems do you believe the iPad could cause within the classroom?

One of my biggest concerns is that iPads will lead to students using them for other purpose. For many high schools, Youtube, Facebook, and other social networks have been band from school computers. With iPads also giving students access to social networks I am afraid will cause students will no longer use the iPad for learning. 

Journal #8: Adaptive Technology

NETS IV: Promote and Model Digital Citizenship


Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ACC) is a method of communication used by individuals with language disabilities. AAC is for individuals who are unable to use verbal speech yet are cognitively able. In using Low Tech and High Tech tools helps achieve AAC. Low Tech is a tool used that does not require any technology or batteries. An example of a No/Low Tech tool that I would use within the classroom would be a Choice Board. A Choice board can be homemade or bought online. In using symbols and/or pictures students can pick and choose and place them onto the board. This allows students options when communicate the languages of operation. Teachers can also use the Choice Board when asking a question allowing the student to have a visual as well. 

When using a High Tech tool in the classroom I would use a Super Talker Progressive. A Super Talker Progressive is a word generator that allows students to communicate with the help of a computer generated voice. With using pictures the tool can adjust to the needs of the user which will be quite useful in their day to day life. With the right training, the Super Talker Progressive can give a AAC user the liberty to communicate with no difficulties.


Input devices for students with special needs are devices that help students overcome their disability and come in the form of either hardware or software. Good examples of hardware are keyboards and headphones where an example of software is auto spell check. In using hardware in a special needs classroom I would use a SimplyWorks For iPad. How a Simplyworks For iPad works is it gives the student better access in using a iPad. Being completely wireless allowing the child access to a easy power button, joystick and keyboard. With this tool being compact it will be easy to use and store within the classroom. As for the software tools I would use in the classroom I would use a communication software.

Using Tobii Communicator a ACC software platform will allow my students to communicate with in the classroom. The Tobii Communicator is designed to convert text and symbols into clear speech. This software also allows you to control devices and appliances in the surrounding area. Having these tools in the classroom will enhance the learning experience for the student as well as the teacher.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Journal #7: Personal Learning Network.

PLN which stands for "Personal Learning Network" is a collection of resources that help teachers in their career. The PLN allows individuals to share information and engage with one another. In using the PLN helps new teachers build a network of information on classroom ideas and educational matters. Some of the PLN tools that I have used are Twitter, Diggo, and The Educators PL. In using these tools has helped me chat with more experienced educators on matters like using technology in a special needs classroom. With these three tools alone I am unlimited with ideas on using technology for this up coming year.

One of the first PLN's I used was Twitter an online social network. By communicating through a text based message system allows one to share and discuss common interests. By using Twitter I was allowed to follow other professional educators who I felt could expand my PLN. I chose to fallow @edutopia to find what works in classrooms; @wereteachers for it will give me support on all types of social networks, @educationweek to find primary sources on America's education, @lapetiteacademy due to them focusing on early education, and @forteachersonly to receive teaching tips. In addition I also used Twitter to engage in a live chat, #cistudy on the topic of "Back to School." The chat was held on Sunday August 5 at 5pm. Having never took part in a Twitter chat i had  a hard time keeping up. I found myself confused as to who was taking to whom and what they were talking about. Though i may have looked as if I took no part in this chat, I was fully engaged in trying to understand and absorb all the information presented. I am hoping to take part in another chat #ntchat this week, praying it will be easier to fallow and understand.
Another PLN I used was Diigo. Diggo is a social bookmarking tool that allows the user to not only bookmark but highlight text, add personal comments, and included tags. With using tags allowed me to organize and share my bookmarks with other Diigo users. I chose to fallow five Diigo users; Tom Whitby, Tim Lauer, Nikki Robertosn, Tim Heck, and Susan Glassett. Choosing Principles, teachers and the founder of PLN I feel they will be a great assets in launching my teaching career. I also chose to tag handful of educational blogs; Teacher Challenge Blog, We are Teachers Blog and Michelle Special Education Blog. Tagging them with PLN helped me in jump starting my PLN.

Last is "The Educator's PLN" a digital discussion forum I used in my PLN. Being a online form allows educators to share resources and network. In using this form I came across a blog called "Wordle - Creating Word Clouds." In reading this blog I learned how to make a word cloud. It shared with me that Word Cloud allows me to change the color, font, layout and choice of language. Allowing me to receive the html I can embed my Word Cloud in a website or blog. With learn this great tool shows me just how amazing and useful "The Educator's PLN" in helping me become a great teacher. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Journal #6: Ten Reasons to Get Rid of Homework

Spencer, J. (2011, September 19). Ten Reasons to Get Rid of Homework (and Five Alternatives). Retrieved from 

Summary: Homework has always been a hot debate in Education. John T. Spencer who wrote the article Ten Reasons to Get Rid of Homework finds the topic to be quite simple. There should be no homework. John argues that homework main purpose in teaching students good working habits is actually creates bad habits. Kids need to have fun in John's eyes and after school is the time to climb trees and ride a bike. With his five alternatives which involves homework being optional, he believes that the key is not to grade these assignments. Another alternative is to push the idea that learning comes naturally. By parents allowing their children to engage in something simple as the skate park will allow their child to learn and grow in all the ways needed to succeed in life.

Five Alternatives to Homework
1. Allow students to create their own project sharing with the class their interest and hobbies outside the classroom. Have them share with the class how this interest/hobbies helps them within the classroom.
2. Allow kids to invest in their community. Have them either do community service or share with the class how they give back to the community outside of school.
3. Have students write about their daily lessons at the end of class, allow them to share with the teacher and students what they liked and what they did not understand in class. Allowing them to reflect on the material presented will give the teacher a better understand of were each student is in his or her class.
4. Have the students share with someone at home what they learned in class, see if they can teach and quiz the family member/friend on the material.
5. Teach the students how to research. By researching an important historical figure students will dress up and stay in character for the day. Allowing them to be creative and have fun.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Journal # 5: Video Games: Harmful or Helpful


Butcher, G., & Dunbar, K. (2012). Video Games; Harmful or Helpful. Learning &Leading with Technology, 39(7), Retrieved from

   Being three weeks into my ED422 class I have learned that technology should not be hindered within the classroom but allowed to flourish. Having read articles from Learning & Leading has also demonstrated how important technology is within the classroom as well as outside the classroom. For today's post I decided to read a article that touches on the debate between video games being harmful or helpful. Butcher who is a IT instructor believes that video games can be quit harmful. Educational technology and video games play two very different roles in a child's life. When students play games on the computer it gives them a rush of excitement in which learning just cant compete with. Butcher continues to argue that video actually can cause more stress, giving it the opposite affect.On the flip side Dunbar who is a technology integration specialist argues that video games are helpful. Dunbar believes that it is the task given by the video game and the easiness that the child knows they can complete the task, that proves video games are helpful. He believes that by spending more time focusing on what kids are learning will help in improving the image of kids and video games. 

Q: Do you believe that video games are harmful or helpful?
     Both gentlemen bring up very good points in their arguments, but I base my chose from personal experiences. Growing up I would use Reader Rabat to practice math problems, or perfect my writing. There are so many computer and video games out their that allow children to take more then just excitement. I would say that video games though can be at sometimes harmful are more helpful to the younger generations.

Q: How does this article relate to the class and NETS?
      I believe that their is always two sides of an idea. With technology a lot of the class is for technology. In reading about how video games (technology) can be harmful I am able to make a better decision as to how I want to base my classroom. As for the NETS, I believe that this touches on NETS-T 5. It helps me as the reader grow as well as share knowledge on the matter of video games.  

Journal 4: Join the Flock & Enhance Your Twitter Experience!

NETS-T: 4 and 5

Ferguson, H. (2012). Join the flock! Learning & Leading with Technology, 37(8), 12-14. Retrieved from

Miller, S. M. (2010). Enhance Your Twitter Experience. Learning & Leading with Technology, 37(8), 14-17. Retrieved from


In reading Learning & Leading with Technology,many of the articles educate the reader on was to use technology with in their classrooms and also within their lives. Join the Flock written by Hadley Ferguson and Shannon Miller introduce the reader to a PLN and then go into detail on how Twitter and "Tweeting" can help ones PLN. Ferguson states "A PLN is a community of individuals around the world who are learning together." (Ferguson 2010) PLN stands for Professional Learning Network, its purpose is to allow individuals of common interest to share ideas and thoughts. Breaking down the basics of Twitter and how one should place things of interest and importance in their summary as well as a picture will help enhance the readers PLN. Ferguson explains that Twitter is just as easy as making friends, allowing one to learn and share with others. Fallowing Ferguson is Miller who pushes the reader to get involved in responding to ideas on Twitter. By tagging, exposing, and being organized allows Twitter to help build ones PLN. Overall Miller gives a tour and guided to Twitter only enticing the reader to take a chance and get on bored with Twitter.

Q: Did Ferguson persuade you as the reader to take part in Twitter?

Ask me about Facebook and I can tell you anything.....Twitter on the other hand, nothing. Reading this article by Ferguson has really opened my eyes up to the word "Tweet." I am not going to lie, I was agents Twitter when my teacher told me that he wanted us to make accounts. I felt that Twitter was just like another new social network looking for followers. Learning that I could find other fellow U.S. history lovers as well as people who enjoy DIY projects pushed me to begin to hashtag and really use my Twitter.

Q: Did Miller proved you with beneficial information?

I love how her basic and straight to the point attitude allowed me to understand basic tools like TweetDeck. I love staying organized and on top of things. With TweetDeck it is all about keeping your friends, messages and more organized. I would love to use this information that Miller has provided to help me branch out and find new and creative ways to teach.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Journal #3: Flipping Classrooms (NETS-T II & III)

Fulton, K. (2012). Upside down and inside out. Learning& Leading with Technology39(8), 12-14. Retrieved from  

Summary: Kathleen Fulton's article Upside Down and Inside Out educates the read on "Flipped" classrooms. Only created a few years back, Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams two science teachers at Woodland Park High School in Colorado, decided that adding technology within the classrooms was the next needed advancements within schools. In "flipping" a classroom pushes to students to watch the lessons at home and then doing their homework in class. Math teachers at Byron High School have used this system in order to help with harsh budget cuts. Students after watching the lesion the night before will first participate in a little review fallowed by a handful questions to answer. Being allowed to work in groups, individually, with music or on the floor allows students to work at their own pace and their own comfort. Kathleen even talks about the statistics of schools that have flipped their classrooms. Students who took calculus have on average have improved by 9.8%. With new advancements in the field of education always popping up, I believe Kathleen had a good idea in education the world about "Flipped" classrooms. As stated "the flipped classroom is an education innovation with legs, if not wings!" (Fulton, 2012)

Q: Can I see myself using this method within my classroom?            
 In reading this article about "Flipped" classrooms I find that this new way of teaching would be interesting but not one I would use. Always being a student that thrived off of classroom experience and teacher student interaction I would believe that as a student I would come to class behind, irritated and lost. I would hate for my students to feel the same way. Though I could see myself taking parts of this idea, using the "flipped" classroom method for only certain lessons. I like the idea that students are allowed to work in their own manor, it gives students more of opportunity to feel relaxed and comfortable. This would be something I would also take way from this method of teaching. 
Q: What problem(s) can you see arising from the "Flipped" classroom method?              
 What if your student does not have a computer? This is a question that I found myself asking throughout the whole article. Though we live in a heavily technology based world where over 75% of house holds have computer, this still leaves a few homes with no computer. People can argue that public libraries can be the answer to this problem, though this all so would rely on the student having transportation.