11 February 2012

Blog post #3

Fulfilling the needs of special needs
Technology in Special Education

Technology in a Special Education class room. There is a thought! I don't know why it seems like these things take so long to come to fruition, but making it easier for a student with special needs to communicate and complete tasks is a no brainer. I can only imagine the frustration involved with trying to complete a written assignment for a child with a physical disability that makes it difficult to use a pen or a pencil. Let them type, use a mouse to select letters, speak to text, or any number of others programs that allow them to share their ideas and most importantly, learn.
Instead of doing things the same way, just because it is the way it has always been done, we as future educators need to think outside the box and use this great technology that is now at our finger tips. Make the class room more enjoyable. Make the education system more inviting. Allow students to enjoy and look forward to coming to school. We are the future of education. It is our responsibility to continue this transition and wire the classrooms.

iPad Works with Autism

This video shows just the tip of the ice burg when it comes to the advantages of using the iPad or other tablet devices in education. The immediate verbal and visual feedback of the Toddler Counting application is what keeps the child's attention and seems to stimulate him to continue with the assignment. Awesome learning tool!
The ground is just being broken on the technological revolution in the education system. I would imagine that in the next 10 years, we will be wondering how in the world did me make it through school with out the electronic devices we will have in the classrooms then. This is a much needed change, and I cannot wait to watch it explode!

The Apple.com App Store has a myriad of applications that can assist the educator in the class room. One that I found interesting was the Math Board application. What a great way to visualize the math problems and receive instantaneous feed back in the safety of your own desk.

Here is a link to an article that I found in the New York Times about iPads in the class rooms... It has begun!
New York Times

Garys Social Media Count

I absolutely love these types of counters. It really puts the technology explosion into perspective. Far too often, Americans do not think about the vast numbers of people that are on this planet of ours that live outside the United States. According to the CIA, the United States is the third largest country (313 million+) but only 4% of the total world population. The website, internetworldstats.com, has the U.S. listed as the country with the second most internet users (78% of population, 245 million people), but only contributing to 11% of the world internet users. From 2000 until now, the U.S. has had a 206% growth in internet users. Sounds like a lot, right? Guess again. Nigeria had one of the largest percentage increases at around 21,000%. India had a 2000% increase in users, but even more impressive was the number of new users in the last 10 years: 95,000,000! The world as a whole saw a 500% internet user growth rate over that same span. There are now more than 2 billion internet users world wide. These numbers are just remarkable! Gary's counter, in the link above, shows the daily increase of new internet users to be more people than the United States has in population. Never before has it been as easy as it is today for people to close the gap in communication and education around the world.

The following image is a 3D representation of the World Wide Web. It can be found at vilb.us

The World Wide Web
"The Internet is not a thing, a place, a single technology, or a mode of governance.
It is an agreement. "
John Gage, Director of Science, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

This illustrates in 3-D the actual domains and connections of the world wide web. Colors have been added to represent .edu, .gov, .com, etc. domains. I've always seen the web as bubbles - some large, some small - and vectors - thick or thin. This is the best graphic device I've seen to show that connectivity. - George Laughead

Michael Wesch: A Vision of Students Today

Michael Wesch, and his anthropology students from Kansas State University, have shared a very powerful video about how today's college student actually lives day to day. I thought the video was very well made and believe it will leave an impression on all of those who watch it who have no real experience with current college aged students. Having children that are college age and currently attending college myself, this video didn't tell me anything I didn't already know, but I am not a part of the target audience. This video is aimed at the current educational leaders in the United States. I wonder how many university deans, superintendents of education, senior professors, or department chairs have watched this video? All I can say is that if I were in their position and watched this video, I would be embarrassed. Embarrassed that I was so far detached from the current state of America's collegiate student. Embarrassed that I haven't done more with the technology that is at our disposal. Embarrassed that I sit in an office that smells of old books and rich mahogany and my students sit in desks while their professor writes on a chalk board and lectures in the same style that was delivered over one hundred years ago. Why?

Class room from 1911:
Classroom from 1911

1 comment:

  1. Where are your comments about the materials assigned for peer editing?

    "This video is aimed at the current educational leaders in the United States. I wonder how many university deans, superintendents of education, senior professors, or department chairs have watched this video?" My guess - very few. certainly not enough!

    Thoughtful, thorough, well done indeed! Keep up the good work.