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.