Thursday, November 29, 2007

Assistive Technology

After reading the two articles on assistive technology, I feel as if technology in the classroom has come a long way. There are so many options for students who have disabilities. The only drawback is funding and not being able to get tools or equipment that students need. My favorite tools that we read about was the eReader. eReader can create books for students and reads the words/sentences outloud. I think this is a great tool because it not only benefits students with disabilities, but it can be used by any student as a fun reading tool.

Going to School Online

I do realize that there are some people who can benefit from virtual high schools, but it is just really hard for me to grasp the idea. They say it is very helpful in low income areas, but how do these students get the computers, high speed Internet, cameras, and other expensive tools to make the virtual classroom work? The rural students who may have to leave school in order to help on the farm might also have similar issues. I live in the middle of no where and my house still has dial-up because nothing else is available out in the corn fields.

Besides the availability of technology I also cannot understand how one teacher can effectively reach 300 students at one time from hundreds of miles away. Student-teacher interaction and person attention are vital to a quality education and I just cannot see how either of those is possible in a virtual classroom like the ones mentioned in the article. As a future educator I want to see my students, be able to notice when they raise their had and imediately attend to their question. I want to be SURE that they are understanding the material. Especially in math I want to visually present the material and see the reations on my students faces to assure me that they are following along with full understanding. These issues may be addressed regaurding virtual high schools in the future, but right now I just cannot see how it is effective enough to provide a quality education.

Assistive Technology

I found both of the articles and reading various sites about assistive technology to be very informative and eye opening for me. I was able to find a product that helps to put books and other reading materials on a screen and then with either the push of a button or on a timer will turn the page for you so that you dont need to hold the book yourself and it can be seen in front of you. I think this would be very helpful to use with children who have just had surgery and are unable to use their arms to read. This could help them to stay up on their class work they might be missing but accomodates for them at the same time. It was ideas like this that I found to be very interesting and give me ideas for what kinds of things are out there to help children with. As I read more and more I find more things that can help me to use with the kids I will be working with. Even though I will not be necessarily working with children who have learning disabilities, there may be some kids who are having some troubles doing normal daily functions because of the disease they are getting treated for or possibly have been handicapped in some way from the operation and are waiting to get healed so they can continue with normal daily life. I think it is great that there are so many ideas out there for teachers and others to use, but I really dont think many people are aware of everything they have available and so through articles like this we can learn about the new trends and see what all is out there for us to use. As technology continues to evolve, I believe there will be even more things out there for people who have a disability of some kind to help them be like other kids and not feel as though they are being left out because of a disease or having an operation.

Assistive Technology

After reading the two articles on assistive technology, I realized that it is important for all teachers to be aware of technology that can help students with learning disabilities. Many times, people associate students with learning disabilities as special education candidates. This is problematic, however, because there are some students that have slight learning disabilities that can participate fully in any classroom. It is important for a teachers to be aware of their students' disabilities and accommodate them accordingly. This is where knowing assistive technology becomes important. If a teacher is aware of the helpful tools that can assist students in completing their work, learning the lessons, or just participating in classroom discussion, then a teacher can help create a positive educational experience for every student despite disability or iniquity.

Virtual Classroom

After reading the article about virtual classrooms in the United States and around the world, I had mixed emotions. First, I was not aware of the growing popularity of these virtual classrooms. I knew people at the college level who took online courses, but I did not know they were offered at the high school level. I think these virtual classrooms need to be more publicized because I do not think many people are aware that they exist. I think the virtual classrooms also need to be highly monitored to ensure that students are using them in the correct manner.

I do not think that these virtual classrooms will eliminate the need for actual teachers. Even if classes are taught online, someone has to create the lessons and monintor tests and discussions. I do think that the personal interactions are cut out if students are taking an online class, but I do not think that the virtual classroom will completely take over. Many people do not like interacting with a computer and learn better when actually interacting with people. I think the virtual classroom is a great way for students to earn extra credits and it is perfect for students that cannot get to school or have other committments.

Assistive Technology

Classroom", not only did teachers find the possibilities of The concepts of Assistive technology, yet again, has great potential in helping those students struggling because of either mental or physical disorders. However, it is important for teachers to not only be familiar with the technical advances but also familiar with the students to know whether or not the assistive technology is truly necessary. When reading the articles "Special Technological Possibilities for Students with Special Needs" and "Assistive Technology in the technology beneficial, they also found them to be blocking student progress.

One teacher found that the assistive technology the student was using, with her cerebral palsy, actually caused more fatigue and struggled with her creativity in the classroom. So according to this case study, assistive technology might not be the answer to every problem in the classroom. I see the concepts of assistive technology a great way to help a student, but I believe the creativity of the teacher and their one-on-one interactions/friendship with the students can develop a way to help them in the classroom.

Ultimately, technology is a great way to help others, but in the case of funding and learning new technological advances, sometime I feel that it takes away from overcoming problems by diminishing thoughts of creativity. I don't know...I feel that turning to technology for solving issues should be one of the later thoughts, only because funding for programs is so difficult in most situations.

Assistive Technology/tech integration

I am struggling with understanding how to use assistive technology in a Spanish classroom. I just wonder how practical and realistic it is to use that kind of technology. At this point in my professional development, it is hard for me to imagine myself using assistive technology in my classroom. I have worked in Special Ed classrooms, and I can see how useful the technology would be for those students. But because I never had a student with special needs in any of my high school classes it is hard for me to understand how that would work. I think if I ever had a student with special needs in my classroom, then I could research technology to help that person. But it is hard right now to blindly understand how to integrate this technology.

I think that integrating technology is extremely important to the future of education. There are so many more opportunities and resources for students that are in tech-friendly classrooms. However, I think that there is a limit to how large a role technology should have. I still think there is a lot of value to some of the more traditional forms of learning. I think technology should be there to enhance learning and not take over learning. I do not agree with virtual high schools in most cases. I can see how they would be useful in areas where other forms of education are not available. But I do not think they should be taking over areas that have perfectly good schools. I think the role of the teacher and other classmates is essential to learning. I don't think the same quality of education would ensue from a virtual classroom.

Assistive Technology/Tech Integration

There seems to be a number of different ways to integrate technology into the classroom, including the use of assistive technology. I think that teachers should do all that they can to find different forms of assistive technology that could possibly help any and all of their students that have any type of learning disability or disorder. All students should be given a fair chance to succeed. So if the use of a certain form of assistive technology helps to put a particular student on the same playing field as the other students, a teacher needs to recognize that. Even when assistive technology is not needed, teachers should still find ways to integrate other forms of technology into the classroom. Using technology can help teachers and students alike achieve many things they could not do otherwise.

Assistive technology

After becoming more familiar with the growing trend of virtual high schools, I have mixed feelings about it. I, along with the rest of our class, really feel that the social environment of a high school is super important in the educational and maturation process of each student. A high school, which often times can be seen as a social war zone with all the different types of social groups and organizations, provides students with a glimpse of reality. Throughout life, we all have to learn to communicate and associate with all types of people with all different personalities and I think that high school provides students with an opportunity to begin interacting with and learning from the students surrounding them. On the other hand, virtual high school is a great tool. By providing advanced and diversified classes, it opens up more opportunities for each student. Not every student progresses at the same pace or learns in the same way and I think that virtual high schools do a good job of providing students who are more advanced or prefer learning on their own a way to really succeed.

Virtual High Schools

This idea bothers me a little bit. I understand that the opportunity for virtual classrooms can be a valuable asset for some students, but I believe that the traditional classroom is still an asset. These classes are great for the student who has an extended leave from school due to illness or because of a rigorous training schedule for a sport, like ice skating in the article. However, I can't say that I would ever seek this type of an education for my own kids. The experience of being in school and the interaction and communication skills that children learn is invaluable. How can you expect adults to work cooperatively on a project for a business if they were never expected to work on a project with their classmates? I'm sure my idea of this may be a little exaggerated because I'm so unfamiliar with this technology, but I don't see it replacing most schools. The article also talked about how this was a great opportunity for kids in low income schools with classrooms that were filled beyond capacity, but that doesn't seem to make sense to me either. If a student is from a low income community in a school that can't get appropriate funding, where are the students getting the money for a computer, internet service, or a webcam that may be necessary for videoconferencing with a teacher? If states can't fund schools so they have appropriate facilities and simple necessities like desks for each student, then how can they support and fund online schools? I think a lot of other needs in our school systems need to be addressed before we can create a successful online school. I guess I'll just learn about this as the technology develops, maybe it'll grow on me, but as of right now I just don't understand it.

Tech Integration/ Assistive Technology

I think there is a lot of skeptism about virtual high schools. I understand the concerns that many people offer, however, I see a lot of benefits from these schools. I think they can offer a great opportunity for students who may not have the ability or the chance to take that specific course. Many people were expressing concerns about the possibility of not needing teachers anymore, but I feel this is as little far fetched. There will always be schools, especially since not all students can handle online courses. Learning online requires a new way of thinking and learning and some students may not want to do that or may not be very good at that type of learning. It is because of these students that teachers will still have jobs. I see virtual high schools as a way to enhance a student's learning, not to replace it.

Assistive technology is a great way to incorporate students with disabilities into the classroom. The education system, as a whole, has been making a tend to incorporate students with disabilities into a classroom so that they feel a little more "normal" and not so much as an outsider. By providing these technologies to different students, they will be able to have that chance to be able to be in a main stream classroom and to actually succeed.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Flickr and Webquests

While I think that it is really fun to work with digital images I'm not sure how I feel about Flickr. There are definitely a lot of good tools, like notes, tagging, and the map but I felt like it was a very confusing program to use. I had trouble uploading my pictures and then rotating them. It is hard to organize the photos and even rearrange them. I feel like there are a lot of limitations to this program. We also had trouble getting everyone into the groups and seeing everyones photos. In the group, the photos are not even organized. That means that if I wanted to see one person's pictures and see their story I would not be able to. I felt very constrained by this program.

I think WebQuests are really cool and I never knew about them before. I never did one when I was in school. I think they are extremely applicable to a Spanish classroom and I think it would be a good comprehesive project for students to work on. If you pick a good one, many skills can be practiced all in one project. Oftentimes, the WebQuests get students to think about Spanish outside of the classroom and lets them experience the language in different contexts. I think that is really important in helping students understand future goals and opportunities that they have with a languge skill.

Webquests in the Classroom

I think Webquest will be VERY helpful in the field. Coming up with lesson plans can sometimes be very difficult. It is great to have a way for teachers to share their ideas with others. I can see myself looking at other's Webquests and then modifying it for my own classroom. Many of the Webquests I have found are ways to use math in everyday life. I think this is especially excellent because many students do not understand the importance of math in their own world. There were lessons dealing with vacations, weather, sports, shopping, etc. Students will most likely be interested in one of these topics if not all of them. I have found that students are more motivated and willing to put in extra effort when they are interested in the project. With the thousands of Webquests out there I know I can find one that fits each individual class and I might even be motivated to create my own! It will be difficult to choose one that I think is the best, because there are so many that I like!

WebQuests and Flickr

I think WebQuest can be a very useful addition to a classroom. Today we were able to scan a couple of different WebQuests and figure out which are good and which don't really qualify as a WebQuest. I think they are beneficial because they can teach about a specific topic related to the class as well as involving higher order thinking. WebQuests are designed to make you think, not to just give you the answer. They help students learn while having fun. I really enjoyed the WebQuest about mathematicians. Students get the opportunity to learn about different mathematicians as well as being creative and picking which one they like the best. This WebQuest also includes a lot of other fun games and activities which are hyperlinked form the original page.

I am beginning to feel more comfortable with Flickr. I can see the benefits from it, however, for beginners, I feel it is somewhat difficult. There are a lot of different options to pick such as public or private. These desicions can make it difficult when trying to work with Flickr as a class. If the teacher is very fluent with Flickr and knows what they are doing and how to explain it, then I think it can be beneficial. The teacher really has to know what they are doing because I know a lot of people can become frustrated with Flickr. I mean, we had a lot of difficulties in our own classroom and we are all pretty compentent with technology. In other words, I feel one has to be careful when it comes to Flickr.


I really like the idea of WebQuests. I think that it's a great and useful technology and use of the web in class. There are so many great WebQuests out there already, so why not make use of them? I like that the purpose is plainly laid out and they are intended for higher thinking, so I feel that their standards would make it difficult to come across a bad WebQuest. I had no idea that this was out there, some of the projects that I read about while browsing the English WebQuests seemed reminiscent of projects I did during high school, but my teachers always presented them as their own ideas. I wonder if they got inspiration from similar WebQuests. I think the article, which talked about modifying WebQuests for students who have learning disabilities was very interesting as well. The modifications don't take that much time but they could do a world of good for students who need modifications. I also like that WebQuests teaches students to look at quality websites and it is more interactive than text books. Text books were not my friend in high school, I thought they were big and heavy and I never enjoyed reading assignments out of them, and I don't think I was alone in feeling that way. I think this technology definitely has a place in high school, and should be utilized.

Flickr and WebQuest

As with some of the other projects we've done this semester, I didn't really see the application of Flickr to mathematics at first. After some time, however, I saw how a math teach teach could be resourceful and find a use for a technology such as flickr, even if it is a stretch.

On the other hand, I can see clearly how WebQuests could be useful in teaching mathematics. I think that using WebQuests would be a great way of having students do projects or even just homework. WebQuests make students use the resources of the internet to accomplish the same tasks that they do in class. One advantage of WebQuests that we haven't really discussed yet is that they are environmentally friendly. I'm sure that any WebQuest project could be assigned using a paper format, but having the online format saves paper.

Flickr, LD Webquest

The introduction to both Flickr and Webquest this week has been so informative. Flickr is a really neat way to post, organize and share pictures. I feel like I have to investigate and learn more about the available tools for Flickr because right now I only am familiar with the basics. I think Flickr can be a really resourceful learning tool with the ability to label certain parts of pictures as well as using the notes application as a way to further explain the significance of the picture. Webquest is another new teaching tool to me that if it weren't for this class I am afaid I would have never learned about. I think the concept behind Webquest is very dynamic and can really be beneficial for all types of students. The process and direction that a Webquest provides a student increases the student's capacity to learn about the topic. The internet can sometimes be too vast and can become overwhelming and I think the Webquest does a great job of making the web a navigable and possible task for student's of all ages.

Flickr & Webquest

I like the Flickr tool because it is easy to use and upload photos. I liked the slideshow we were able to create, but I do not like that Flickr can only handle so many photos. We could use other websites or even powerpoint to create a slideshow with more photos. For classroom purposes, however, I think Flickr is an appropriate addition to lessons and projects that students will enjoy using. I especially like the note feature that allows you to add text to the photos. This is very handy for imagery analysis, ect. and could even be used on text if a text image was uploaded.

I LOVE webquests! I think they are so much fun and students enjoy doing them. They are similar to research projects, but much more entertaining. I was overjoyed at all the English related webquests there are out there. I think this is one of the most valuable resources we have found all semester. I would incoporate these webquests any chance I get in my classroom because they encompass so many resources.


I believe that webquests are a great tool to use in the classroom. It reminds me of many of the projects that I had to do as a student, but in digital form. For example, I found a webquest about "To Kill a Mockingbird" about looking at life through another character's perspective. I did a project like this in high school, but instead of using resources on the internet, we had to spend class time going to the library and research about the book, characters, time period. Though researching physically through books is a great way to do it, a webquest cuts out a lot of time in the process and enables you to work more on the project.

Webquests are a fun way to learn and engage students in technology. I noticed that good webquests do not just GIVE information but enforce the concepts of researching and critical thinking. I was also surprised while searching that I found many useful webquests that were of high standards. It is nice to have a layout of many webquests, because you can always modify them later to fit your classroom, students, and time period.


Webquests are useful because they are an interactive project that allows students to think on a higher level than most regular classroom projects. Webquests separate the work in groups evenly, giving distinctions for each member and help students really focus in and out of the classroom. Most webquests are also fun and allow students to create an interactive project that can be shared and enjoyed amongst the classroom. Because they are so specific to a single topic, webquests are also incredibly informative and applicable to lessons. When I start teaching, I would definitely use webquests if I had the resources because they help focus students and show students that they can discover facts and information on a given topic all by themselves. All a teacher really has to do is provide a little bit of structure and instruction and students are able to explore multiple resources about their topics.

Intro to WebQuests

I really didnt care for the Flickr project because the topic was a little harder for me to write a story about the pictures I took after going on a campus tour. I think if the topic was a different one then I may have enjoyed it more, but overall I didnt necessarily care for it more than other similar projects we might do. I think it may be a topic that is a little too advanced for the age of children that I will be working with.

I had never even heard of WebQuests before we were assigned to read the article about them and then started to explore them in class today. First, I thought the article was very informative and could really help someone who would be working with children who have learning disabilities. I also think that something like a WebQuest could be good for them since the steps are broken down more and there is a lot of explanation involved with what they are to do. I dont know if I am personally going to be working with children who have learning disabilities but I could see me working or interacting with a child who will be slower in learning possibly after they have a large amount of treatments done or do through some extensive surgery that has altered their life.

After getting a brief look into some WebQuests, I think it is a really cool idea and something that I could see myself using in the future. The one that sticks out the most is the one that had to do with children making their own board game up and focusing on a part of the body and a system and ultimatly becoming a "doctor". I could see using this to have the child create a game that focuses on the part of the body they are having the treatment or operation done on. This would let them get to know their body better and how that system works. The more the child knows about their body and what is going on, the less likely they will be to be nervous about everything and unknowing of what is going on. I think these can be very helpful for young children to learn about a variety of topics through technology and not just me talking to them about different things. I look forward to finding more and more WebQuests that can be applicable for my job in the future.

Just a little fun...

by Jeff Foxworthy
1. You can hear 25 voices behind you and know exactly which one belongs to the child out of line.
2. You get a secret thrill out of laminating something.
3. You walk into a store and hear the words 'It's Ms/Mr. _________' and know you have been spotted.
4. You have 25 people that accidentally call you Mom/Dad at one time or another.
5. You can eat a multi-course meal in under twenty-five minutes.
6. You've trained yourself to go to the bathroom at two distinct times of the day: lunch and prep period.
7. You start saving other people's trash, because most likely, you can use that toilet paper tube or plastic butter tub for something in the classroom.
8. You believe the teachers' lounge should be equipped with a margarita machine.
9. You want to slap the next person who says 'Must be nice to work 7 to 3 and have summers off.'
10. You believe chocolate is a food group.
11. You can tell if it's a full moon without ever looking outside.
12. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says 'Boy, the kids sure are mellow today.'
13. You feel the urge to talk to strange children and correct their behavior when you are out in public.
14. You believe in aerial spraying of Ritalin.
15. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.
16. You spend more money on school stuff than you do on your own children.
17. You can't pass the school supply aisle without getting at least five items!
18. You ask your friends if the left hand turn he just made was a 'good choice or a bad choice.' 19. You find true beauty in a can full of perfectly sharpened pencils.
20. You are secretly addicted to hand sanitizer and finally,
21. You understand instantaneously why a child behaves a certain way after meeting his or her parents.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Virtual Field Trips

I really like the idea of a virtual field trip as a supplement to a real field trip. I don't think field trips should be replaced electronically because they are so valuable for students, nothing is as powerful as seeing something for yourself, something real. However, I feel that virtual field trips are a great option for a museum out of state, such as the Smithsonian, which have great exhibits but are impossible to get to for some schools. I also think they're a good option for either pre-field trips or post-field trip review. I don't think they can replace field trips for schools that can't afford busses and the other expenses associated with field trips, because if they can't afford bus fares how can they afford computer labs? On the whole I do think that virtual field trips can add to the classroom experience during a single class period.

I also think Digital Images have a potentially great place in the classroom. They can add so much and they address the needs of kids who are visual learners. Digital images can be very powerful in stimulating a students senses. I really look forward to incorporating images into my classroom, I think it is very possible to incorporate images into almost all aspects of English, as long as you're creative.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Digital Images

Digital images are quite useful in a classroom because they have so many uses. I really like the idea of a virtual field trip. As we mentioned, some schools cannot afford to go on field trips and some places are just too far away. With virtual field trips, students can explore without ever leaving the classroom. Digital images also add a lot to lessons and projects. By the time we are teaching, students will be so much more knowledgeable about digital imaging and videos that they will have to be an integral part of our lessons. Many students are learn better with visual aids as well. With all the databases and resources, it is so easy to incorporate digital images into almost any lesson.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Virtual Field Trips

I think that taking a virtual field trip is a great alternative to taking an actual field trip when funds, time, etc. are not readily available. However, I do not think that virtual field trips should take over the real thing. There is just no comparison to up looking at a 2-story dinosaur; seeing a picture cannot do it justice. Teachers need to find a balance between using virtual field trips as a resource in the classroom and taking their students on actual field trips. As one of the articles pointed out, a virtual field trip could be a great way to get students ready to go on an actual field trip.

Digital Pictures

Digital pictures can be very useful in the classroom. They help students experience a hands-on lesson that is interesting and breaks the monotony of classroom activity. Taking the project that we were assigned on Thursday, we were able to get out of the classroom and create something using our own methods and tools. By creating a visual story, students are able to explore many levels of imagination and creativity. The technological benefits are also important in the development of students in a world that is always progressing in terms of innovation.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Digital Images, Virtual Field Trips

I think that digital images are a really useful tool in the classroom. It can make a lesson very clear by bringing it to the outside world. It is also good to incorporate images to meet the needs of visual learners. But in general, I think all students benefit from visual representations of things. It is also a good tool for students to use in their own projects. Using different media types keeps things new and interesting for students. There are a lot of ways to be creative with images and creativity is also a valuable skill to learn.

I think the idea of a virtual field trip is really interesting. While sometimes, it is better to take a real field trip, I think that virtual ones have a lot of potential. I never really had a virtual field trip when I was in school so I'm not exactly sure how it would work, but it sounds interesting. Someone made a point in class about being able to "visit" places that are otherwise unaccessable for a classroom. For example, in Spanish students can "visit" the different countries we study. They can investigate museums in other countries, and do other activities that would otherwise be available to them. I am really excited to learn more about this technology and learn how to implement it in my classroom.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Lots of Images

I thought that the article about the museum tours and virtual tours was very interesting. I am not sure how exactly I would be able to tie something like that into working with a patient but if the child I was working with had a big obsession for art work or loved going to a museum and was not going to be able to for while because of their situation. This would be something I could pull up on a computer or possibly something like a Smartboard if I would have access to one and let the child pretend like they are actually going through the museum themselves. I think this could be really neat especially if it could get enlarged onto a really big screen.

After getting a quick introduction to Flickr, I think this could also be a problem that I use with children in some way. I was thinking about a project idea and thought that I would be able to take pictures of different parts of the hospital and operation room and other areas where the child will be and title them and add in notes and a description so if the child can not go on a physical tour of the hospital they would still get to see where they are going to be so they can ask questions and try to feel as comfortable as possible. I think this can be a program that would help me and I am looking forward to finding out more about it and how I will be able to use it.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Virtual Field Trips

I enjoyed reading these two articles. I thought they offered a lot of good suggestions about virtual field trips. I think virtual field trips are a good idea for any class, but especially for those schools who are short on money. Now, I think actual field trips are good and beneficial and should be kept if possible, but virtual field trips have many benefits as well. One of the best things is that they can only take up one period which is nice because they don't disrupt any other subjects. Actual field trips usually take the whole day and so the students end up missing all of their classes instead of just the subject they went for. I think they can offer a lot of substantial information, especially since a lot of museums are handing out information and programs to schools. You can learn just as much from a virtual field trip as from the actual one. Virtual field trips also save a lot of money. They cut down on the cost of transportation, admissions, and a meal. They also cut out the need for a permission slip. Virtual field trips are good not only for a replacement, but also as an enhancement to the actual field trip.


New project time...and the introduction is Flickr. Yet again...this is a new program for me and hadn't heard of this before. I can already see how beneficial it can be. Students can learn from it (especially using the notes options) to see what is important in the pictures. I don't know what exactly I would use this for in a classroom. Maybe to discuss different cultures, histories, maybe tie in media when teaching different types of literatures. Possibly use it to help show speeches...but it is nice to have a new tool introduced. It should be interesting to see how everyone uses it to benefit their students.


We only had a quick introduction to Flicker, but I can already see how it would be very interesting. I like that you can add notes in order to highlight the main objects of your photo. Also, for Spanish it would be very helpful to point out the objects for vocabulary practice. As for math, I wish I could change the size of the note box. The objects that I want to highlight are larger than the tiny box that appears. I am curious what else we are going to do with Flicker.