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Friday, December 6, 2013

Blog Post 16

I am an Elementary Education Major at the University of South Alabama. I imagine myself as a Kindergarten or First Grade Educator. As a Kindergarten or First Grade Teacher, I will be teaching all subject matter to my students in a school day. I want my classroom to be fun and inspiring for my students. I want my students to want to learn and become lifelong learners, and I want to be a positive role model for learning.

When I start teaching, I believe my classroom with different learning stations. These stations will include a reading station, computer station, and an art station. I think it is important that children have different opportunities to learn the required material. I think that with the different stations it will allow my students a chance to explore different techniques to learn the material. In the reading station, I will use as much technology as I can, to aid in the process of their learning. I will have several books that my students can read; there will be audio books, videos and podcasts of books. In my second station, it will include computers. I will educate my students the proper way to use computers to help them succeed in their education. I will have a class blog; it will be used as a tool to showcase their class work, and writings. I will also have educational websites located at the computer stations, so the students know which sites are safe for them to play on, as well as interactive programs that will be downloaded to the computer. The last station that I will have is an art station. It will be here that students can paint, color, draw, and make collages on the material that we are learning at that moment. For example if we are learning about adding, my students can paint some addition problems.

My method of my teaching will be a progressive style. I want my students to be able to experience and practice their learning rather than just memorizing the material that is being taught. So with my style in place I will use Project-Based Learning in the material being taught. With Project-Based Learning, I will be allowing my students to explore real world problems and challenges. With this way of learning, I hope to inspire my students to obtain a greater understanding of the material they are studying. I will incorporate in my teachings that my students will appreciate each other for our group projects and group learning activities. By allowing my students to work as a team or group, they have the ability to share their thoughts and ideas which increases their learning and communication skills. Secondly the participation in the learning process benefits all of the students in the group.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog 15

Assitive technologies that are available to us as teachers by Katlyn Lusker, Tarcela Kohn, and Jake Dukes

According to, "assistive technology is a term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and also includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them." "Assistive technologies promote greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish, or had great difficulty accomplishing, by providing enhancements to, or changing methods of interacting with, the technology needed to accomplish such tasks." There is great diversity in today's classrooms. It's one of the most remarkable aspects of modern education. Students of all disabilities study in all classrooms from kindergarten up through college now, due to mainstreaming and inclusion policies. This benefits both disabled and non-disabled students. However, this can create challenges for teachers. Thankfully, teachers today can implement many new technologies to assist and aid students with disabilities, whether those students are in a traditional or online classroom (

Assistive Technologies umbrella

Screen Readers by: Tarcela Kohn
Some Assistive Technologies include: screen readers for the blind individuals, or screen magnifiers for low-vision can be used for the vision impaired. Screen readers are software programs that allow blind and visually impaired users to read text aloud that is displayed on the screen in word processor, web browser, e-mail programs or other applications. The user sends commands by pressing different keys on the keyboard which instructs the speech synthesizer to say and speak the text. The screen readers are available for personal computers that are running Linux, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems. Screen reader’s benefit the blind and vision impaired, but it could also be used for an individual with vision. This software can be used when traveling and an individual struggling to read text while leaning close to the computer screen.

Hearing Assistive Technology Systems (HATS)
Hearing Loop Installed
Hearing assistive technology systems (HATS) are devices that help individuals with hearing impairments function better in their day-to-day communication situations. There are several types of assistive listening devices that are available for improving sound transmission for hearing loss. Some of these devices are found in the classroom, theaters, airports, and place of worship and then one-on-one conversations in a small setting or group. The ALD systems for the larger facilities include hearing loops, frequency-modulated (FM) systems, and infrared systems. I will be explaining the hearing loop system; it is a system that uses an electromagnetic energy to transmit sound. There are four parts to a hearing loop system: a sound source, such as a public address system, microphone, or home TV or telephone, an amplifier, a thin loop of wire that encircles a room or branches out of the carpeting and a receiver worn in the ears or as a headset. The sound that has been amplified travels through the loop and creates an electromagnetic field that is picked up by the receiver that is being worn.

Word Talk by: Katlyn Lusker

Word talk is also an assistive technology available to teachers. It is a free text-to-speech plugin developed and designed for use with all versions of Microsoft Word. Word talk is very beneficial for people with reading and writing difficulties. Having text reinforced by having it read out loud can be very useful. Children especially who have reading and writing difficulties, benefit when they have text read aloud to them. In schools this may be done by an assistant, however, assistants can be expensive, and their presence may be greatly needed somewhere else. Word talk has special features that include: speaking the text of a document and highlighting words as it goes, the voice and speed of the speech may be adjusted, the speech may be saved as an audio file, and a person is able to choose whether it speaks the entire document, a single paragraph, a sentence, or just a word (

Word Talk

Model me Going Places by: Jake Dukes

This is an application that can be used on any apple product such as an ipad, iphone, or itouch. This app is for kids that have autism. This app puts the kids in situations where they would have to choose what they do themselves. It puts the kids in social situations where kids with autism would have hard times dealing with. This app can make it where kids that suffer from social awkwardness make it easier for them to deal with being around people. In this app you decide what you say and do in the group of people or wherever you are at in the game. We feel like this is a good idea for kids and think that it would help them out going forward in life. It also tells you things that you should do at every particular place such as restaurants and playgrounds. This is a very useful app.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Blog Post #14

Teaching Channel

In the Teaching Channel, have students click on the videos link at the top right hand corner. Once the page has loaded, scroll down to topics; it will be on the left hand side. From here, click on Digital Literacy, there will be 48 different videos that your student can choose from, just have them pick five and have students summarize the videos. You will be able to find videos that are designed to help with lesson ideas and teaching practices that are designed for specific grade levels. I think that this website is a great resource to have. I have to give thanks to Mr. Tashbin, who taught EPY-355-701 at the University of South Alabama. As a student in his class, we were assigned to watch a few videos and write papers about the videos we watched. The videos are very helpful to a new teacher, and a new student in EDM310!

C4T #4

Risk, Policy, and Technology
For my first C4T #4 post, I had Educate the Governors by Beth Still. In this blog post of Beth Still she explained that she read a blog titled Tech and Trust written by Doug Johnson. The Tech and Trust post compares two different philosophies on how to manage students and their new high tech devices. One way that the Tech and Trust explains was a lock down method for the iPads if a student mishandles their learning utensil. This philosophy was apart of the LA Unified School District. The other way was to teach safe and responsible internet usage in all lessons. In this second philosophy, the students are allowed freedom to make mistakes. It is here that the mistakes are looked at teachable moments. This philosophy was part of New Canaan High School.

But just a few days before the post of Doug Johnson, Beth conversed with a colleague from her region. In the school, it had a 1:1 ratio of children to iPads, however, a colleague explained that if a students violates the policies that are set for their technologies and the students will have computer access revoked for 15 days. An of the reason for getting access revoked was leaving the device out; it was by a seven year old boy. Beth Still was upset, why are you going to give students devices to use for their education, but as soon as they make a mistake teachers are to take the device away, and it is the teacher’s responsibility to get other materials ready for the student until their access is granted.

Beth Still made very interesting points, for instance: What would be the consequence for Little Johnny if he forgot his textbook? Would Little Johnny be denied access to his book? No! What about if he left his crayons across the room, would Johnny lose his color time? No! So Beth’s question was “Why do some schools feel the need to punish the student by taking away the very tools they must have access to in order to learn?”Beth Still did make a great solution to burning question. Her solution would be to assign different internet access. If a student is not responsible, they would lose their full internet access and join a group with limited access to the internet. Once the student has proven themselves, they can be moved back to full internet access. I explained that in our public schools here in Mobile, AL, do not have iPads yet, but it has been debated and talked about heavily. I thought that this post was very interesting, because I liked her opinion on the topic. I especially like her solution for the students.

For my second C4T #4 post, I had Beth Still. The post of Beth’s that I read and commented on was No Potty for You! In Beth’s post she discussed that while she was in her second semester of her second year of teaching, she had students that would constantly ask to go the bathroom. She thought that she would be smart and make a new bathroom rule. The rule was a limit of 3 passes to the bathroom each quarter. Beth Still was so proud; she went to her principal to share her new idea. Her principal guided her to the realization that it was not reasonable. Beth Still gave great advice to new teachers: “never make rules that are based on all action of a few, empower your students and pick your battles wisely. I explained that I was an Elementary Education Major and that the restroom passes probably would not work for me. In the Kindergarten class we have to set aside time to go as a class to the restroom, however, there are still a few that will ask in the class. But these are very young students, and there is no need to procrastinate with the issue. I also thanked Beth Still for the great advice.

PLN Project #2

My Personal Learning Network or PLN is a set of tools that I will be able to use for help, consultation, and other assistance. After learning the importance of a PLN in EDM310 with Dr. Strange, I have found that Symbaloo would be a perfect match for me. With Symbaloo, I am in control of the tiles that I feel is important for me as a teacher. The tiles that I found that will help grow my network is LinkedIn, facebook, Blogger, and Twitter. So I have added tiles of my accounts. This way I will always be able to get assistance from other teachers that I have subscribed to. I also think that it was important for me to put our class blog for EDM310 in my Symbaloo. My purpose for this discussion was because Dr. Strange is great at finding new technology and having his students experiment with it. Also, the class blog has a link of all students so I see how the technology can be used.
My Symbaloo
Now, the tiles that are white running down the right side of the Google Search tile are tiles that I can use in the process of making my lessons. The first is Pandora; it is a free app to listen to music. The reason I choose it was because there is different channels one being just for kids. I think that it is something great to use in the class if we are at centers. The second is Discovery Education; it is a resource that we learned about in EDM310 with Dr. Strange. The one thing that I like about the website is that they offer free resources for teachers. Next, is “r-t,” it is a Reading tutor tile. I really thought that it was a unique website because you can build a tutoring program for English readers and ESL readers. Since this EDM310 class is about teaching student how to become technology intelligent, I found a website that will use technology in a transformational kind of a learning experience. That website is Desire2Learn; it is here that you can find lessons and technology that can be used by students for a greater learning experience. The tile neoK12 has educational videos, lessons, quizzes, and games for every grade level and subject. The last two tiles are the Teaching Channel and Story Bird. Teaching Channel is a video library of teaching practices from other teachers and creative lessons. Story Bird is just what it says; it is a website where you can create, read, and share visual stories. I thought this would be a great tool to have I a classroom for beginning readers, and students that are writing short stories. There are many different activities I can use with this tile.

So my blue tiles on the right side of my Symbaloo, are tiles that I liked and did not want to forget about. Most of the blue tiles are tiles that my students will be able to use in the class for writing papers, and conducting research for instance the title with the squirrel, it is a website of flash cards. IXL is a website that, as a teacher, I can look up state standards for Math and Language Arts for each grade level. I also have a pencil and the notebook, with is a Paper Rater. It allows students and me the teacher to check spelling and grammar and helps with proofreading. The plus side it is a free website. I also have Skype, so I have interviews or guest speakers in the classroom even if they cannot be present. The last two tiles I have been for blogging. In EDM310 and seeing firsthand the outcome of teachers using a classroom blog, I want to use blogging in my future class. So I have and both websites are free to set up and use in the class. I still have empty tiles to use, but I cannot wait to find more resources for my Symbaloo and classroom.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Blog Post 13

Shane Koyczan: "To This Day ... for the bullied and beautiful," by: Tarcela Kohn

In this video by Shane Koyczan “To This Day… for the bullied and the beautiful,” he shares his own experiences in a beautiful poem. This video was very moving, funny, and relatable. The way he opens the floor with “I’ve been shot down so many times I get altitude sickness just from standing up for myself,” was just a part of his poetic journey in his video. Shane express that this is what we are told- “to stand for yourself, but it is hard to do if you don’t know who you are.” However, to do this, he explained that “we are expected to define ourselves at an early age, and if we don’t, others will do it for us.” Such as nerd, geek, and fatty just to name a few that Shane expressed.
 Dream Big
Shane Koyczan goes on to explain his childhood. When Shane was a kid, he wanted to be a man, and he wanted to shave. However now that he is older, he does not want to shave as much. By the time he was eight, Shane had wanted to be a Marine Biologist and at nine, he saw the movie “Jaws,” and he said “No, thank you.” At ten years old, he was told that his parents did not want him, at 11 Shane just wanted to be alone, when he was 12 he wanted to die, at 13 he wanted to kill a kid, and at age 14 he was told to “seriously consider a career path.” Shane replied that he wanted to be a writer, and the response was “Choose something realistic.” So he answered “Professional wrestler,” again the response was “Don’t be stupid.” Shane explained a great point: “We were being told that we somehow must become what we are not, sacrificing what we are to inherit the masquerade of what we will be.” This statement was a beautiful analogy; and is true. We are dismissing children’s dreams, to tell them what they want to dream.
 Ouch! Bullying Hurts

Shane said that “at the age of 15 poetry hit him like a boomerang; the one thing that he loved came back to him.” He remembers the first thing that he wrote “I hated myself for becoming the thing that I loathed: a bully.” This words from Shane: “Standing up for yourself doesn’t have to mean embracing violence,” are very positive and everyone can learn from his statement. Shane Koyczan, then delivers his poem of two kids, one a girl and the other him. The little girl was called names and made fun of only because she had a birthmark on her face. Shane expresses because he was adopted; he went to therapy and had a “personality made up of test and pills.” He was called a “popper,” and because of the cruelty he wanted to end his life and he tried to in the 10th grade. He explains that they are not the only kids that grow up this way being bullied , and that it still goes on today. Another great message that we can received from this video is “I want to tell them that all of this is just debris left over when we finally decide to smash all the things we thought we used to be, and if you can't see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer, because there's something inside you that made you keep trying despite everyone who told you to quit. You built a cast around your broken heart and sign it yourself. You signed it, They were wrong."

This video would be worth sharing with students to stop bullying and to show kids that are bullied that they are wanted, and there is something special about them!

Shukla Bose’s “Teaching one child at a time” by Katlyn Lusker

In Shukla Bose’s video "Teaching one child at a time" she tells the story of her Parikrma Humanity Foundation that is growing more and more each day. This foundation brings hope to the Indian slums by “looking past the daunting statistics and focusing on treating each child as an individual.” Shukla Bose began her speech in this video by explaining what led to her forming a foundation. She explained that they first walked through the slums of India. Of course, they could not go to all of them, but they tried to cover as many as they could. As they walked through the slums, they tried to identify houses where children would never go to school. They were excited about doing something, to bring them education, and then the numbers finally hit them. She said, “they’re 200 million children between ages 4-14 that should be going to school, but do not, they’re 100 million children who go to school but cannot read, and 125 million who cannot do basic mathematics.” Mrs. Bose also said that one in four teachers in India do not go to school the entire academic year. They have absent teachers, and that is harmful to children's learning. These numbers are overwhelming! She said it is hard not to get worried and scared about them, but instead they should and they want to focus on taking one child at a time. To make sure that child completes the circle of life.

The first Parikrma school was started in a slum where there were 70,000 people living below the poverty line. In this first school, they had 165 children attend. After six years, 4 schools, 1 junior college, and 1,100 children from 28 slums and four orphanages have developed. English was taught, and they adopted one of the best curriculum's possible. The curriculum is tough, some believe it is too tough, but the children actually do very well. Through this foundation, they have also started many programs for the children’s parents, as well. Many of the parents want to learn, and after-school programs have been developed just for them. They have started all kinds of programs just to make sure the kids come to school. Mrs. Shukla Bose started this thinking she wanted to transform the world, however, now she believes she is the one who has been transformed by the impact the children have played in her life. I have learned a lot from Mrs. Bose. She is very inspiring. Her dedication and commitment to helping these children is so moving. “Educating our poor is more than just a number game.” Instead of trying to reach as many children as possible, it may work so much better to help one child at a time, to make sure that what they are being taught is working and it is effective. Many children go to school, but not all of them learn.

Mrs. Shukla Bose TED talks

Alison Gopnik “What do Babies think?” By: Jake Dukes
In the video "What do Babies think" by Alison Gopnik, she explains how babies think and how they learn. She explains how babies think as if you were in a new place and you're just trying to learn your surroundings for the first time. In an experiment that Alison conducted, she used broccoli and goldfish crackers on a 18 month old child. The first thing she did was ask the baby which one they wanted and of course they wanted the crackers. The next time she did the same experiment but then switched it up. She tried to fool the baby by acting as if the the broccoli was yummy by eating and saying that it tasted good. Then she ate the goldfish and acted as if they were gross and said that it didn’t taste good. This didn’t fool the baby she again asked which one they would like, but the baby still went back to the goldfish. By this experiment she found out that babies already know at 18 months old that not all people like that same things. Alison says that as babies grow, they try to figure out how things work and how the world works. Another experiment she did was done on a five year old boy. This experiment involves a child putting shapes together in a particular order to make a light come on inside of a box. One of the sides of the box was already lit up, to show how it is works. After a couple of tries the kid was able to turn the light on in the other box by just placing the objects through a series of trials.