Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blog Assignment 3

Technology In Special Education

I really enjoyed this video. I had never considered the role technology could play in the learning processes of students with special needs. It's so wonderful that students who either can't speak or have trouble speaking are now given a voice through the use of technology. Special education teachers are able to effectively communicate with their students and build stronger deeper relationships with them. The students on the video were so engaged and seemed to really be enjoying learning. Technology gives special needs students more opportunities and helps prepare them to have a more active role in mainstream society. I think the use of technology will also help to improve the self-esteem of special needs students as well as give them more independence. In my future classroom, when dealing with special needs students, I plan to use technology to teach them more effectively and help them to enjoy what I am teaching them. Technology will help me communicate with students who have trouble speaking, electronic books will help those with difficulty reading, hearing aids and visuals such as powerpoints will help those with hearing problems. There are countless ways in which technology can aid students with special needs and the educators that are teaching them.

How the iPad Works with Academics for Autism
Apps for iPads That Assist Students With Special Needs

It was awesome to see the possibilities the iPad offers children with Autism and special needs. After exploring many different apps available for helping with the education of students with special needs, I was very interested in the app, "Language Builder". Basically, the app displays a photo depicting a scene. For example, a photo might show a girl petting a dog. You then have a few options. There are three levels of hints you can choose from to help the user describe the photo. Level one displays a sentence that has left out a few words such as: "The girl is ________ the _______. The student can then fill in the words that describe the depicted scene. Level two shows only the beginning of the sentence and level three shows no sentence but a voice speaks that asks the student to form a sentence about the photo and gives them one or two words to include in their sentence. One of the coolest options available with this app is the ability to record the student's sentence as they say it aloud. The spoken sentence can be saved as an audio file and played back along with the picture it is associated with. The teacher can play back the student's sentences and focus on the areas of speech the student is struggling with. This app engages the student,allows for creativity and helps the teacher see if the student effectively understands the action or situation depicted in the picture (comprehension). This app would be great for many areas of special needs,including those with speech impairments and Autism. There are endless possibilities from the iPad to aid in the education of children with special needs and I am thrilled to know I will have so many resources at hand.
language builder app for iPad

Gary Hayes Social Media Count

Wow! Once again, I have been shown just how huge technology is. People are constantly tapping in to the internet whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and so on and so on. I think this media count shows that technology has become a priority in many people's lives, including those of our future students. We have to find new and interesting ways to make learning fun and technology can definitely help to do that. Kids would much rather check their Facebook or play a game online than learn their multiplication tables. However, technology offers the opportunity to teach things like multiplication tables through the use of an interactive game on a computer, smartboard, iPad, etc. As future teachers, we have a responsibility and a necessity to learn and stay up to date on ever changing and growing technology. We need to "speak the same language" as our students and stay on their level so we can teach them effectively and keep them engaged. We can't effectively teach our students if we don't teach them at a level they can learn on. Technology is growing at a rapid rate and we have to keep up. Our students shouldn't have to teach us how to do something we should be teaching them. However, after teaching our students the basics of technology, then I think it would be great to let them explore and show us the new things they have discovered. Social media sites have taken over and we have to find a way to keep our students interested in learning. Technology is a great tool to help us do this!

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

This video showed some of the negative aspects of technology. As with anything,though, there is usually a positive and a negative side. One major point that stood out to me was the fact that people don't tend to read books for pleasure as much anymore. This could partially be due to the overwhelming use of technology. However, we must try to find the positives. In this case, students could read electronic books. This way they are still reading books, just using the method of technology to do so. I think the goal is to figure out how to combine technology with the traditional methods of teaching that are still effective. Teachers and other heads of education must try to work with technology rather than against it. Technology is too big of apart of our student's everyday lives to try to completely cut it out of the schools. Teachers are still teaching their students, just with different methods. Another problem technology poses is the practice of texting and social networking during class, however, if the teacher is engaging the student effectively and using things like technology to keep things fun and interesting, then the student might not be as tempted to stray away from the teaching. Technology can help to keep the interest of the student up. Students will have to use technology in their careers one day as well as in their daily lives so we need to prepare them properly!

I came across this website and thought it gave some great rules for the use of technology in the classroom. Check it out :) (I explored the rest of the website too, it had some great ideas and information about the use of technology in schools.)
The 7 Golden Rules of Using Technology in Schools

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Kate! It was well written and creative! Keep up the good work!