Endless Possibilities

Endless Possibilities

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Building Block Technology in the Classroom

As I prepare to become an Instructional Technologist I am often taken back by the way everything fits together. A fellow co-hort member, Marty, likened it to a puzzle on Marty reMarks. I personally enjoy how everything builds on top of what I have already learned or am creating. For my Selection and Integration of Technology class final project, I connected all my prior assignments such as evaluating my classroom for 21st century skills, gradual release of responsibility lesson, technology integration matrix, and my universal design for learning lessons. I evaluated my gradual release of responsibility lessons for the 21st century skills present. Then I linked my lessons integrating technology to the technology integration matrix. From this point I checked to make sure my lessons met the universal design for learning principles. If they were lacking in this area I modified them to meet the needs of my learners. Then I configured the appropriate place to put my cybercitizenry lesson for my students would probably be before my gradual release of responsibility lesson started. In the end, I really enjoyed stepping back and looking at how one assignment  built on top of previous one and in the end they all linked together.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Universal Design for Learning in the Elementary Classroom- Apps for iPad

Photo Available: http://www.flickr.com/photos/askdavetaylor/4509519723/
I should state that I have never used an iPad in my classroom. It is something I would love to use, but simply like most teachers just don't have the funds at this time. I co-teach Language Arts with the special education teacher in my third grade classroom. Together we work out strategies and methods to help all of our students meet their learning goals. We recently had the conversation about how helpful iPad could possibly be in our classroom with our students in special education. We thought that not only could certain apps help those students but they could benefit all of our students. I had to admit that while I had done some research on assistive technology I had never researched iPads as a possibility. I knew they had capabilities to assist students but I was not familiar with any apps or how they were used. So I'm thinking these thoughts and along come an assignment in one of my graduate classes to research assistive technologies and share what I find with the world. I went to researching apps for iPad that I felt would be assist special needs students in my classroom. I put this information into a Google Presentation and gave examples of how I envision students using ten different apps. Some of them are free and some you have to pay for. I personally think that these apps can be used with any age level and will make their learning easier and allow students to feel less anxiety. I also found myself wishing I had an iPad so I could try out some of these apps myself. I guess that will hit my wish list for the next year.

Quote of the Month

Choice, not circumstances, determines your success

By: Author Unknown