Sunday, December 8, 2013

Blog Post #16

Part One: If I Built A School

If I built a school, the students would still love to learn. They would come in everyday, grab their iPads, look for the QR codes and find their early bird assignment. I would focus a lot more on learning than making sure that students are just having a good time. In the end, that isn't what it is all about. I feel that it is a very important aspect but not the most important.

I will focus heavily on project based learning, and I will use a lot of hands on activities, experiments, and projects in order to help students learn more effectively. I will give students the chance to get on the iPads and class computers (because in my school, everyone will have one no matter what) and let them explore through iCurio, Discovery Education, Brainpop, and so many more resources that are available to second graders. The students will work collaboratively through SMARTboard activities and produce group texts for our class blog.

The students will all learn to work together, but they will also grow independently through tests, presentations, and other criteria. Students will come in and expect to learn, and they will understand that school is a place to explore all areas of learning, not just stop after the test. I will push my students to always ask questions and want to know more. My students will love coming to class because it is going to be somewhere that learning takes place.

Tools that will be used on a daily basis in my second grade class will include iCurio, SMARTboard, Blogger, iPads, video cameras, podcasts, and so many other things. This will advance the learning process because they won't be sitting at a desk all day doing the same worksheets as the class next to them. Learning will be an adventure that will take us to new places everyday!

My classroom will be an environment for everyone. The students will be able to peer review and do group activities in order to further their education. The work that students produce will cover the walls so that students can have that sense of accomplishment and pride. My classroom is going to be something that makes a difference in the lives of not only my students but also me. I will not only teach; I will learn.

How my classroom changed...
After re-reading my blog post one, I see that I have really grown as a professional through this class. I was reading and I see that my school would be about having fun and building friendships. My hands on activity involved the dry erase board? I'm not exactly sure how that would work now. I wanted my school to be a "kid environment, not a professional environment".

Now that EDM310 is coming to a close, I have all new ideas running through my head that I would use to create my own school. The biggest thing that I would change about what I said at the front of the semester are the "resources" I would use. These items -  iPads, SMARTBoards, QR Codes, Computers, and cameras - are just so small in number now that I know the multiple, never-ending resource types such as iCurio, Discovery Ed, Padlet, Prezi, iMovie, Movie Maker, and so many more. I would use more than the term hands on learning. I would put much focus into project based learning, another thing that we spent a lot of time focusing on. I wouldn't just give students work for them to burp it back. I want to give students the opportunity to love learning by experiment and experience than to think they love school because they don't have to do anything.

Part Two: My Final Reflection

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Assignment #15

E. Teaching Mom What Her Deaf/Blind Child Is Learning On the iPad
F. 50 Must-See Blogs For Special Education
By Haley Smith

Apps for the visually impaired.
For this blog post, I began the assignment by looking at E and F from the instruction list for blog assignment 15. For section E, I watched a video regarding how blind people are able to access the iPad and use it effectively. I really enjoyed this video. The question for many is how someone that is blind can use something that has no buttons or grooves. That question is answered in this video demonstration. It goes into detail such as the direction that you need to move your fingers, how many fingers to use, how to “turn the knob”, how to type if you can’t see the keyboard, and so much more. The only problem I had with this video is that it didn’t tell you how to put it in the mode where it will read everything or the gadgets will work. It just started the video demonstrating how to use it. This video was very helpful in regards to how to handle using the iPad if I would happen to have a blind student.

Section F was really interesting. This was a collection of 50 blogs that have been collected that focus on special needs in children and adults whether in the classroom or in daily lives of these people.  Although I looked at many of the blogs, I primarily want to focus on four – numbers 17, 22, 30, and 46. Blog number 17 was titled Teaching All Students. This blog focused on different apps that an educator can use for special education. My favorite part of the blog was that it gave the different apps that were either free or apps that you need to purchase. It also gives reviews of the apps that are great for the special needs students. Blog number 22 was titled Barto’s World. This blog focused primarily on Dyslexia and ADHD. These are two of the most
Kids with special needs are still kids.
common disabilities in children in school. This blog helps teachers with students with these disabilities and teaches them how to handle it in the classroom. This blog also gives teachers the resources that will help them understand what is needed to do. My favorite part of this blog is that they didn’t refer to students with disabilities as “creative thinkers”. This takes the part where students with disabilities feel abnormal away. Blog 30 was titled ADDitude: Linving Well with Attention Deficit. This blog had to be my favorite blog of the list of 50 blogs on the list. I loved this blog because it had different blogs and different points of view from people who are influenced by ADD. There is a section for parents that have children with ADD, adults who live with ADD, and experts that study ADD. This blog also gives resources on how to parent children with ADD, treatment for it, and a way to get the newsletter for ADD. The final blog that I looked at was number 46. This blog was titled Children with Special Needs. This blog focuses on things to do for children with special needs for holidays and other special occasions. This is also a site that explains what special needs are. There is one final part that I loved about this blog was it gave stories about children with special needs whether they are happy, sad, or hopeful.

C. Teaching Math to the Blind
D. iPad Usage For the Blind 

For my post, I began by watching videos C and D from the Blog Post 15 Instructions. Video C was entitled “Teaching Math to the Blind, and video D was entitled “iPad Usage for the Blind”. Both videos introduced teaching materials that were new to me and required some additional for a full understanding of these materials. 
The first video, “Teaching Math to the Blind”, was produced by Professor Art Karshmer. Professor Karshmer is the Department Chair of Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at the University of San Francisco. In this video, Professor Karshmer introduces a tool that can help blind students see math in two dimensions as seeing students visualize math. In the past, blind students could only use Braille to read math problems. This method places mathematical problems in a one-dimensional line for interpretation. For example, 
Braille New Tool One-Dimension Two-Dimension 2 2+2=4 +2
His students have created a new tool that uses a block system allowing blind students to set up a math problem in the more tangible two-dimensional form. Blind students no longer have to solve math problems in a linear setup. As stated in the video, this type of device will help blind students understand math at an earlier age. Thus, providing a foundation for later math studies and providing the proper tools for learning basic algebra. 
My second video, “iPad Usage for the Blind”, highlighted the abilities that an iPad offers for the blind user. Its program, voiceover, allows individuals who are blind to navigate their way through his or her iPad. The program voices the application as a user’s finger grazes over the App icon on the home screen. In the past, our blind community was limited to what tools they could use, such as braille. With the emergence of computers and related technologies, visually impaired individuals have struggled to maintain an understanding with these limited resources. Luckily, additional complementary technologies offered today allow the blind the opportunity to enjoy the same computer tools that seeing people enjoy. Before this video, I was unaware of the iPad’s and iPhone’s ability to provide such a useful tool for individuals with visual disabilities. 
Additional Resources: 1. A cumulative list of Online Resources for Teaching the Blind 
2. A list of useful software programs and their websites. Screen Readers: Screen reading software reads aloud everything on computer screens, including text, pull-down menus, icons, dialog boxes, and web pages. Screen readers run simultaneously with the computer's operating system and applications. (JAWS, Windows-Eyes, and ZoomText) Scan/Read Systems: Scan/read systems combine software and a flatbed scanner to read aloud any printed text. Textbook pages, class handouts, and tests can be scanned in and then read aloud by a computer. (Kurzweil 1000 , OpenBook) Portable Notetakers: Lightweight, portable notetakers provide speech output without a visual display and can be connected to printers and computers for printing and uploading text. Braille keyboards and refreshable Braille displays are available for Braille users. A QWERTY keyboard version is available for people who prefer touch-typing. (Braille Lite Series, Braille ‘n Speak, BrailleNote) 
3. Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired The Standards for teaching the blind math concepts using Tactile Graphics. California Braille Mathematics Standards (2.1 mb) 
4. What are tactile graphics? Tactile graphics, sometimes referred to as the haptic sensory modality, deliver information through touch. They often accompany Braille textbooks to convey content in maps, charts, building layouts, schematic diagrams, and images of geometric figures. Tactile graphics are often handmade by Braille transcribers as part of Braille textbook production. In some cases, the creation of tactile graphics is facilitated by automated processes using various software applications. Some methods used to create tactile graphics are described below. A hand-tooling method produces a raised image on paper or aluminum diagramming foil. Specially-designed tools hand-emboss raised lines and textures. A Thermoform device creates multiple copies of originals produced by this method. A partially-automated method prints computer generated graphics onto capsule or swell paper, which causes the lines to rise when the paper is sent through a special heating device. In this process, the black portions of the copy swell outward to form a raised line tactile graphic. Some Braille embossers are equipped with a graphics mode that can be used for producing tactile graphics, although additional software may be required to use this functionality. There are also specialized Braille printers, like the Tiger series of embossers by ViewPlus, which are specifically designed to create tactile graphics in addition to standard Braille. The University of Washington's Tactile Graphics Project provides a number of resources designed to increase access to mathematics, engineering, and science information from graphical images by students who are blind. One helpful application is the Tactile Graphics Assistant which, when combined with regular software applications, enables the rapid translation of visual graphics to a tactile form. A valuable resource for creating tactile graphics is the Tactile Diagram Manual produced by Purdue University. This downloadable manual is for educators who need to convert science and math diagrams into tactile graphics. PIC PIC

A. Watch Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children
B. The Mountbatten

When I was a senior in highschool, I had the privilege of working with students with special needs through being a teacher's aid. This was definitely an eye opening experience, and I would have to say it taught me more than any class ever could! While working with these students, we had to teach in ways that were not used in regular classrooms. Its not that special needs students cannot learn, they just learn in ways that differ from other students. One great Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children makes is that learning needs to be personal. Every student, whether they have a special need or not, learns differently. One great way for teaching the vision impaired is through podcasts, like we learned about earlier this semester from a group of kindergartners. Through these podcasts, students would not only be able to use them during school, but they would also be able to access them at home as well. Having devices like the braille writer talked about in The Mountbatten provides students with special needs the ability to be engaged in regular classroom activities just as any other student.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Project #2 Final PLN

Throughout EDM 310, I have learned so many resources and tools that I can use to better myself as an educator and incorporate technology into any lesson. For my final personal learning network, I went back to Symbaloo. It has grown over the last few months as I have been in this course with resources such as Padlet and Blogger and iCurio. I really like Symbaloo because all of the resources that I have learned about are in one place. It is hard to believe that EDM 310 is almost over and the end of the semester is creeping on us. I will never forget the resources that I have come to understand and love in this class. It will make teaching technology way more fun, as well as way more effective. 


Blog Post #14

For blog post 14, we were asked to create a post that Dr. Strange didn't include in our semester. I thought and thought about what I could do, and I finally realized what I needed to work on. I found myself looking at videos and blogs and other resources that we have learned, and I finally decided that I didn't need any of that. EDM 310 is all about technology and how we can use it as educators in the classroom. For the assignment that I am creating, I am going just at the surface of what this class is truly about. More than that, I'm going to dig into the minds of myself and potentially other EDM students. 

Assignment: Answer the following question in a blog post. Be sure to include detail and explain your answers thoroughly. 
In your opinion, based on the learnings from this class and prior to this course, what are some pros and cons regarding technology in the elementary school classroom?

I chose to do this assignment because it focuses on the elementary school, and it is an important question regarding technology in it. 

Part 2: Do the lesson

Technology is something that is taking its toll on the world, very rapidly in fact. Every corner you turn, there is an app for that or a new electronic device coming out or even a new trend on
There is an app for that
social media. The important question is "Is technology a good thing or is it hindering our students?" Technology is everywhere, and there is nothing that any of us can do about it. I don't want to do anything about it. It is a great resource. 

Teaching is something that will start in the lives of students as soon as the day they are born. They learn to hold their head, talk, walk, and read. Students don't stop learning. However there is one thing that I think technology in the classroom is preventing. When I was in school in elementary school, I learned by using hands on activities. I wanted a way to be creative or I wasn't going to learn anything. I feel that technology takes that away. I understand that you can have project based learning and do hands on projects for a student. That isn't what I mean. I know that the most difficult part of this class was to figure out how to add technology incorporation into a lesson plan. It is hard for me to think about using it when that wasn't how I learned. 

Future, future, futureNow before you think that I hate technology, you are wrong. I can think that it is hindering children in the way of removing that specific area of creativity in the lower level grades such as first, second, or third. I love technology, and I love what I get to offer students one day through it. Some pros of technology are that it will prepare students for the future. Jobs look for people that can do work on a laptop or desktop. It also has the ability to teach new skills and ideas. The final thing I love is that no matter what, you can get on any laptop and pull open the files that you needed. The resources are unlimited on the Internet. Unless the Internet goes out, you can access work files, social media, emails, and more with a few clicks of a button. I love what technology has to offer, and I can't wait to being using it. 

C4T Summary #4

Ms. She directing a student in her classroomIn my first C4T post, Jenny She discussed the lead that her student Tatiana took in one of her lessons. Tatiana is a very smart girl that takes the technology that she understands, even if it is just a little, and goes from there. Ms. She allowed her students to pick a lesson to do and Tatiana took it among herself to use the resources she had to create a project. In the process, Jenny She got SNAPPED!! You don't always have to give students a lesson. Sometimes, you just need to give them the resources. 

Comment #1 - 

Hello Ms. She, 
My name is Haley Smith and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, in the United States. I loved reading your post about Tatiana. Reading this post made me so excited about preparing my future to teach in the classroom. I love that your students want to go one step higher than you ask them to go. I love how you used the phrase "I've been snapped!" I hope all of your students keep up the good work, and know that they are blessed to have you as a teacher. 
Thanks for sharing!

Using the iPad in the classroom
In my second post, She discussed her experiences with experimenting having iPads in her classroom. She explained how she would direct her students, and she even told the readers what she would do as a reward for those that go above and beyond. Getting used to the technology at your fingertips can be a difficult thing to do, and Miss She made it clear that it took some getting use to. Learning isn't for just the student; it is for the teacher too. 

Comment #2 - 

Hello Ms. She, 
I really enjoy reading all of your posts. They are so full of life and excitement from your classroom. I know you didn't need to spend much time on teaching your students how to use the iPad. My niece is three and can fly through it! I'm excited for you that you get to experiment with these iPads. Although it may take some getting use to, iPads are a great tool for the classroom. It also teaches that learning doesn't stop at the student. The teachers learn too!

Haley Smith
A student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama
My blog:

C4K Summary for November

C4K Week #1 - 
Dancers are both athletes and artists
My first post for the first week of November was on Emma's blog in Ms. Horst's Grade 7 class. Emma posted about dancing, and she discussed whether it was a sport or not. She defined dancing as: SPORT~noun 1) an activity involving physical activity and a skill which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment. 2) to play in a lively, energetic way. Her argument was against the people that say that dance isn't a sport. She did an excellent job with her argument. 

C4K Comment #1 - 

Hello Emma, 
My name is Haley Smith, and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I am studying elementary education in order to be a teacher one day. I really loved reading your post. The definition that people have of sports is fairly wrong. People think football, baseball, or soccer are the only “sports” worth mentioning as actual sports. They are wrong. If you work hard and remain active then dancing is most certainly a sport. You wrote this post very well. Keep up the great work!! 

C4K Week #2 - 

In my second week of November for C4K, I had Sione from Pt England School. She described that her class was going to Kawau Island. I really thought she did a great job with her post to

Kawau Island
her blog. In her post she described the things that she will do such as swim and play volleyball and go walking. Her class will also go on a dinner cruise and enjoy Mr. Coop's cooking. 

C4K Comment #2 - 

Hello Sione, My name is Haley Smith, and I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL. I loved reading your post on your soon to take trip! I hope you have a wonderful time at Kawau Island. I love to swim and play volleyball. I remember taking trips out of school with my class when I was in school, and they are so much fun! Have a blast, and great post! :)

C4K Week #3 - 

My final C4K of this course was a class post. I commented on Team One: Rock Stars blog post, Stacking Bottle Tops. The post focused on a picture of the bridge that the students made out of bottle tops. It took them a long time to make the bridge, but it was covered with colors and looked great! How many do you think is on the bridge? 

C4K Comment #3 - 

My name is Haley Smith, and I am a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama.
Stacking Bottle Tops
think you did a fantastic job building your bridge. This is a great way to use recycled materials to make beautiful art. I think you used 147 bottle tops. Great job! Keep it up!