Sunday, February 12, 2012
Blog Assignment 3
Technology in Special Education
In Lacie Cook's video Technology in Special Education, she speaks about how beneficial technology is in a classroom where her students have special needs. As technology advances, the applications for its use broaden. Ipods, specialized computer programs, applications, and even specially constructed hardware configurations all ease the burden on a teacher by helping address each student's individual needs.
As a teacher, knowing and addressing students' special needs is a priority. With technology, each of those needs can be met with a personalized, tailor-made approach using a computer, iPod, or iPad and a plethora of programs specifically designed to assist a specific need.
I looked at Apple's Education App site (which can be found here), and found a program I think would be particularly useful as a Secondary Education Science teacher. Many words used in biology can be dauntingly long and difficult to read or pronounce. Having something on hand to be able to look up those words can be a boon for students with reading literacy problems. Dictionary.com's Dictionary and Thesaurus app offers audio playback of phonetic pronunciation, which would greatly help students who have difficulty in reading potentially complicated words. In using this app, word mastery can be improved for future classes as well.
Gary Hayes Social Media Count
Gary Hayes Social Media Count, found here, illustrates just how quickly internet use is growing in our world - and with that growth, a different method of networking and information dissemination. Connections between educators can be made around the world, and with those connections comes exposure to teaching methods that one might not have heard of otherwise. By collaborating on a global scale, teachers can improve their methods by utilizing methods already in effective use elsewhere.
But this bodes for changes in student learning as well. Students can now go online and be interactively immersed in information - so, we, as educators, should do our best to emulate this immersion in the classroom, so that this modern resource in teaching and learning does not go to waste.
A Vision of Students Today
"A Vision of Students Today" by Michael Wesch (which can be found here) covers how technology is changing education. Being connected to the internet 24/7 has acclimated students to the anytime availability of music and social networking sites - and this availability is spilling over into the classroom. As more and more students bring their computers to the classroom, less and less actively participate in classroom learning, opting instead to surf the web or get on Facebook (I think pretty much all of us have seen people on Facebook in the middle of class).
This is no fault of the students'. Teaching methods just haven't been keeping up with the way that digital users have grown accustomed to learning. It's not interactive enough, it doesn't keep our attention, and unless we use the digital resources we have available to us when we become teachers, we won't be efficient educators.