Thursday, July 19, 2007

July 19, 2007

Wow, I can't believe how much I have learned in such a short period of time. From the first day when I could not even log in until today, I have learned something new every day from all of you.
I would really recommend assistive learning training for any teacher at any level. it will help you analyze your students' needs and help you better prepare lessons that are accessible to all of them.
I would like to use blogs with my students as a new way of doing interactive journals. I will have to work with the technology department at school to make this possible.
Enjoy you summer.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday July 18, 2006

More interesting discussions today. I wonder how freedom of the press and speech are being influenced by technology or how the freedoms are being limited? How can schools limit what you say on a blog if it is not slanderous? Are standards different for teachers?

I have used Inspiration with some students with learning disabilities and found it very helpful. Many of these students are much more willing to use the technology rather than a pencil and paper. they like the graphic quality. It makes it easier to move on the the outline section and begin writing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Smart boards
I really prefer the rear projection boards to the front projection Smart boards. In a classroom with special education students there might be a danger of students, or teachers, tripping over cords or knocking the board and then having to reorient the board. A rear projection board might be worth the investment. Another solution would be mounting the projector on the ceiling.
I was also interested in the technology that Anne mentioned in class where the students have a wireless device to answer projected questions. I like that the data can be saved, analyzed and used for reteaching.

John Edwards blog

I just visited the John Edwards Web site. I was looking at his blog. They have two types of entries. The first is a home blog. People can post and vote on the entry which should go on the Web site. The second kind is a diary entry in which anyone can post.
Not only are there blogs, but now sites are using various kinds of blogs.

Monday, July 16, 2007

July 16, 2007

I enjoyed all of the discussions we had in class today about technology in the news. The most upsetting was the article about a family that was so engrossed in playing video games that their children were starving. It is just so hard for me to imagine how a person could get so involved with on line gaming that their children were allowed to stave. I heard a report on NPR that said addicts sometimes strengthen their addiction when there is an endorphin release. Maybe these parents were having and emotional connection made to the game. I still wonder how a connection to a game could be stronger than the connection to the welfare of their own children.
After talking about distance learning I checked the SUNY NP catalog for online courses taking place in the fall. I was surprised that there were none listed at the graduate level.

The emerging technology presentations have been very interesting. I didn't know anything about open and closed source programs. I wonder what kinds of programs will be created in the future that would be open source if there is no financial benefit for the creators. I want to do more reading about electronic voting as a result of what Vincent was saying. Here are some links:

Friday, July 13, 2007

NYSCATE survey

I just received a link to a survey from NYSCATE, NYS computers and technology in education. They are planning a conference for downstate NY and they are looking for input.

New technologies

Today I began researching a new technology called the iCommunicator for my emerging tchnology PowerPoint presentation.
The iCommunicator is a tool that was developed to increase literacy for the Deaf and facilitate communication between hearing and Deaf individuals. I have reviewed the website and links provided by the manufacturer and this looks, on the surface, to be the most amazing machine since sliced bread. It has even been featured on Extreme Makeover Home Edition. This seems too good to be true so I thought about its use in a classroom and read some blogs to see what real users are saying.
I think this product has real advantages and disadvantages . I will be talking more about these in my presentation so I will keep you guessing as to what they are.

I was glad to here that some classmates posted information on their blogs regarding APA format since I have never used that before. I even misheard what it was originally, I thought I I heard, ABA. I would have been lost looking for that.

I have also begun thinking about what I will do for the lesson plan. I think I may teach how to do an interactive story in PowerPoint ( that may take too long to do in one hour) or well, I'm still thinking.
Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

WebQuests and websites

Today we showed our WebQuests. There were many creative ideas. All of last night's work paid off and I think I will create more WebQuests in the future.

My husband is a photographer, , and I have seen him put hours into his website. I hear him talking on the phone helping friends set up their own websites and those conversations go on for hours too. I think part of the difficulty is that they are working with images that have to be presented in a very professional style, this is their art that they want the world to see.

After seeing Gene's experiences with his website I was not sure what to expect with today's assignment. I was pleasantly surprised with how, after a few questions, I was able to create a very basic website. I emailed my technology department at school to find out how I can use it on our school's intranet. I did say in the site that I would be updating it weekly. After listening to some ideas from Janet, that might be too ambitious a project. I think I will change what I said to check back here often for updates. I will also change the link to the opening page to the standard home label.

We also talked about copyright issues in connection to the images we use in websites. I've noticed that photographers will often specifically say that all images on the site are copyrighted. they will also but words across the photo so that it can't be used. We really need to respect the work that photographers do by not using their images without permission.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Well, if I thought yesterday was a bit overwhelming, toady was more so! We discussed several topics today where I felt comfortable such as PowerPoint and Digital Storytelling. I was following along and feeling fine, then we got to WebQuests.

I don't have any experience with WebQuests, so before class this morning I checked some of the links from our class information. I felt overwhelmed looking at the webQuest format and samples. How could I come up with an idea for a good project, learn the correct format and complete one by tomorrow? I didn't think it was possible an hour ago. I did come up with an idea and Ms. Luch gave me some hints on how to get started. Her idea was to create 6 blank slides in PowerPoint and then begin to fill them in. She said once I created the task the evaluation would fit right in with that. The process and resources were a good match to work on together. I had spent a lot of time just creating the opening page rather than getting to the task at hand. I think that was because I was avoiding the next step, the actual WebQuest creation. After talking with Ms. Luch I think the rest of the process will be doable, at least that is my hope.

While I was attempting this new task I began to think of my students. It made me remember to think about how I approach new tasks with them. I try never to say, "Oh, this will be easy for you to do," because it may not be for them. Just because I grasped a concept right away doesn't mean that they will. I think it is better to say, " We will go through this step by step and make sure you understand each part."

This class is challenging me to try new things everyday and although it can be overwhelming at time, if I remember to breathe, I can do it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

FURL accounts

Today I learned to create a furl account. At first I was confused as to why a furl account was necessary when I have favorites on my Internet connection account. I learned that I would be able to see these favorites on any computer with furl. I can also make a comment about an article that others could view. This gives me an additional tool to share articles and ideas with others. I am thinking of using it with a group I belong to that raises awareness of Shaken Baby Syndrome. I am trying to learn how a group could use this tool to alert folks about new articles. Maybe I'll know the way to do this later today.
More information, for the SBS group we could all share one account with a shared password. We could subscribe to it on bloglines and then know if there are new postings. We could also have separate accounts and subscribe to each others accounts. We'll have to try that.

I also meet with teachers of the deaf on a regular basis. We like to share interesting articles, but copying them costs money and takes time. we could post articles to a shared furl account. This way we could read a specific article before our meeting and discuss it when we get together. This would be very helpful.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Word prediction software

I recently had the opportunity to evaluate some students with learning disabilities in the areas of reading, writing and spelling. They were both able to use word processing programs, but spelling limited their written expression. Spell check was not able to correct many of their errors. Additionally, due to their reading difficulties, the two boys were not able to read the choices provide by spell check. I did a trial with word prediction software and text-to-speech capability and was amazed to see the improvement in their writing. The gaol was to promote independence for these learners. This article from ldonline summerizes the power of this tool. It provides researched based information for how word prediction can help learners become more indendent. I have even used text-to-speech software myself to edit my writing. Listening to a report I can catch errors that the speel check alone might miss. I have collegues that also use this tool for the same reason.

I was interested to see that the research showed little improvement in spelling ability. The article also stressed how all decisions for assistive technoloy be evaluated for eachusers specific needs.


I am practicing adding posts to my blog. QIAT is an acronym for Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology.
This site has wonderful information for using assistive technology. You can also sign up for their mailing list. People have so much information and can help with almost anything having to so with assistive technology from evaluation to choosing correct tools.

Assitive Technology helps Develop Independence

Hi all.
This is the first day of my Technologies in Education Class. I just read an article oh how technology can foster independence and help individuals find jobs. I think that fostering independence is always one of the main goals of assistive technology. I follow the SETT framework when working with students: Student, Environment, Task and Tools. I liked this article because it shows a center that finds the tools an individual needs to perform the tasks important in his/her own life. Here is a link to the article.