Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Reading Reflection 8

In the article, Testing Kurzweil 3000, authors Barbara Green and Joan Thormann give insight on a software called Kurzweil 3000, which is targeted to help aid those with special needs. Kurzweil as a number of different functions including text to speech, voice adjustment, word prediction, note taking, test tools, and other resources for the students. The program was tested in a number of different school settings, including a variety of different aged-students to see how it could benefit them in their learning environments. Graduate students at Lesley University were the ones conducting the research and they looked at ways the program could be improved by listening to teachers and students about what they liked and did not like about the program. What the graduate students saw was a number of benefits from the program. Some of them being that students who had the program were more likely to take tests with their peers rather than having to be placed in a different testing setting. Also, the program encourages independence with the students as well as promoting more critical and higher-order thinking. But there were some issues with the program. Those issues were costs of the program and how well the students would be able to adapt and understand the program.

I think this is a great article that looks at students who would really benefit from technology in the classroom. Kurzweil 3000 will be a tool that can be utilized in classrooms where there are students with special needs. Working with a special needs child regularly, I have seen and heard his frustrations with working in the classroom and I think that this program would really aid him in being able to be more a part of his class and not feel that he cannot participate.

This does not meet ISTE NETS. 

Green, B., & Thormann, J. (2009, March 1). Kurzweil 3000. Learning and Leading with Technology36.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Reading Reflection 7

In Blogging in Ancient Rome, discusses the introduction of blogging into classrooms, focusing on the middle school ages. They used the program kidblog, or, so that the teacher is able to go over all the posts and comments before they are put into the web as well as having little risks of inappropriate content being put in the blogs. The assignments were based around stories they read that had to do with the culture and history of ancient Rome. The students were to write from the perspective of a character from one of the stories they read. Before the students began writing the blogs, there was instruction and guidelines put in play for handling the blogs and Internet safety. This assignment really allowed students to be creative with their work while learning about Ancient Roman society.

I really liked the idea of the assignment. Being a history teacher, I see this assignment as doing a great job with connecting the students of today with a culture that was thousands of years ago. With just a textbook, a student can have a hard time finding the material interesting. But adding technology to it makes it more fun for the student and they are more likely to absorb the material. This assignment had its guidelines, but room for the students to be more creative. I am a firm believer that students learn a great deal by being creative and going beyond the textbook with their learning.

This follows the ISTE NETS Performance Indicators for students because the assignment uses technology to allow creativity and innovation. The students’ creativity with their blogs and acting as a character from ancient Rome helps them learn more about technology but history and culture as well.  

Barrett, J., & Goldsby, C. (2013, November 1). Blogging in Ancient Rome. Learning and Leading Through Technology, 41.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mobile Learning

Part 1: Seven Rules of IPad Use

1.     Please no personal social media use (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) while instructions are being given as well as if a task is at hand
2.     Be respectful of the Ipads. Treat them as if they were your own. That means no tossing or being rough with them
3.     No taking pictures/videos that are not assignment-related
4.     No eating or drinking when on the Ipad and make sure your area is free of drinks/food that may spill on it
5.     No going to web sites that are inappropriate or not school friendly
6.     No downloading apps without receiving permission by a teacher


Part 2: App Evaluations