An Effective Approach toward EdTech

I’m currently putting together my presentation for this week’s class and I want to stress about connecting with your students. I’ve mentioned many times how EdTech in Special Education has been effective for students with their school work and critical thinking skills. One of the best effective approached would be listening to student  about their strengths and interests. This will allow the instructor to base their learning preferences to the learner and the instructor’s goals.

One good point from this article is that “we must focus on “purposeful technology” that extends the teachers abilities-not replaces them,” (Lynch).  I think that this approach will be better for education and an important piece to add to my presentation for this week.

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2018-12-01-how-do-we-make-edtech-more-effective-hint-it-has-nothing-to-do-with-technology

 

Problems come with solutions

As I get ready to do my presentation coming up next week, I wanted to continue to share the current problems with technology within special education and some important facts/statistics.

You’ve probably noticed that one of the main problems is the use of textbooks and worksheets. These modes of learning methods will not work because of its inefficient and not accommodating to different student learning modalities. Also because of the wonderful resources of technology application we have in 2019. I’ve pulled some stats from mastersinspecialeducation.com to share some of those results with others:

 

  • 8.4% of students 6 to 21 receive special education services.
  • 30% increase in special education programming over the last decade.
  • 7 million students with disabilities in U.S. public schools.

In addition to these facts, they also break down the percentage of students with specific disabilities.

One of the most interesting facts I found were the products used to aid special education students in their students. Even though a lot these programs and devices cost hundreds and thousands of dollars, there are still some that cost very little and can be covered through grants or from school district funding (ex. Read180)

Take a look at this website and lehttps://www.masters-in-special-education.com/technology/arn more about what some of the states are doing with their technology used in the classroom and have a discussion with other fellow teacher and administrators.

https://www.masters-in-special-education.com/technology/

How to Gauge their outside interests in the classroom

While I’ve been focusing on providing educational resources for special education students, I want everyone to look at some of the other options for students who may want to participate in elective and/or outside activities. Students that are in special ed may not have the advantage to be in elective classes because they usually have to sign up for extra math and reading classes to stay on pace. There should be fun activities that gauge their interest and to have a stronger appreciation in going to class each day.

By participating in online electives, they will have the self confidence in being smarter individuals and expand on their critical thinking skills.

https://www.edutopia.org/article/empowering-special-education-students-technology-kathryn-nieves  

My strong passion for technology for special ed students

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Why Educational Technology Is Essential for Students with Special Needs

I saw this article a couple days ago regarding special education students and I wanted to share it with everyone. As you can tell from my recent postings, I am heavily engaged in providing technology resources and success for special education students in the classroom. Even though this is tough for children to learn in a different way, it doesn’t have to be the end.

One of the most important points I want to point out are the improvements in learning when presenting students with a new technology. It gives them hope in what they can learn and become independent to do activities and assignments. In the article, when you present technology in class, this will “equalizes the learning experience.” You can have the students perform a lot better and follow along with classwork, reading and writing. This will enable independence and better communication among others.

Take a look at this article and see if this would help you for your special ed students.

Facts about Digital Tools in the classroom

https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2019/09/18/digital-learning-tools-are-everywhere-but-gauging.html 

For this week, I found an article on Education Week talking about digital learning tools in the classroom and some of the statistics they found.

Obviously, many teachers are using technology in the classroom than ever before to reach students and gauge their learning. Although more than half the teachers are using technology to their benefit, there seems to be a disconnect that needs to change: training educators on how to use technology that’s presented. From the article, “94 percent of teachers say they most likely to get information on digital learning tools from other teachers.” I see this a little problematic because teachers should not be getting full instruction with new technology from another teacher. With doing lesson plans, teaching classes and grading teachers, then it takes additional time to train teachers on new digital devices. School districts should take the time and introduce classes for educators who want to use digital technology in the classroom.

As you look at the article, notice the amount of teachers that use technology and the subjects that they use it in their schools/classes.

No access to digital writing tools

As I start to reflect on my Teachnology Philosophy Statement, I’ve started to wonder what my writing would be like if I didn’t have the access of technology in my hands. The answer: I think that it would stay the same. Before I had access to a computer at home, I still had to write clear and legible sentences to teachers, friends and family members around me. There was a time in high school when I used to text my friends and stated that I would always explain everything in full sentences. My friends thought it was weird but I didn’t think it was. I feel that I don’t want to shorten anything up because I don’t want people to think about what I said or question me after the fact. Try taking away a computer, tablet and the many other writing tools in the classroom from me for two weeks. I would be an even better writing by just thinking about what I want to write and not have lights and autocorrect at my disposal. I know if I did it to a high school senior English class, they would have a fit and struggle with the assignment. Overall, digital writing can be a blessing and a curse.

Blending technology and learning

For this week, I want to talk about blended learning in the classroom. I think that a combination of blended learning (which is a combination of in person learning and online learning) is essential and game changing in the learning environment for the 21st century. We have to demonstrate what the youth know about that particular subject and how to frame it toward the student. I believe that blended learning started over 20 years ago and has evolved during the internet era. With more resources for students to learn online and courses not offered in schools, this would give students the best of both worlds.

 

See the source image

There’s also a TEDx video that talks about blending technology in the classroom and wonderful resources in eLearning.

 

Current writing technology in school and work

Oh wow! I really had to think about this for a minute. Technology is all around me every single second of the day. When I was in undergrad at the University of South Florida, I spent a lot of time on my computer, either personal or in the classroom. I also had to use some computer programs (Adobe Photoshop, InDesign) to work on posters and projects for class. The technology environment on a computer in a classroom feels like a workspace. Plain, bland and no excitement. At least with my laptop, I have designs on my computer and some type of incentive for me to actually do my work. When I graduated and moved into the working world, I see that the technology is structured with some flexibility. At my last job, I worked a lot with social media and designs. The purpose was to have people come out to events and regular programming that our non-profit was holding to raise money. When I had to start using Facebook again for work, I felt a little out of place. Only because I haven’t used the social media site in 6 years. When I got acclimated to Facebook again, it felt like a little kid riding a bicycle. I had to look at various pages on how to post and analyze whose looking at our pages. This also comes in with the logos and design of each event. I had printed posters all over my cubicle highlighting each event and what is was shaped towards a certain audience. Moving forward, I would like to see how much I would evolve using more of my digital writing in the classes I will teach after the Master’s program. I really want to see an impact towards the students I’m serving.

Using a new tool or technology (90s flashback)

I remember back when I was in elementary school, when our class had a project, we had to save all of our information on this square looking contraption: A floppy disk. I had flashback memories when I looked up a picture to post on my blog. I remember I had to learn to use in around 1997 or 1998. I thought that this was the coolest thing ever. But then again, I had to think to myself why I had to carry around such a sized memory disk with me. It was a little difficult at first, but I got used to it after the first assignment. Also, since floppy disks were cheap back then, my mom bought a lot for my brother and I to use for school. Even though floppy disks are no more (or possibly a function somewhere), I think that this was one of the first introduction to technology for me when I was a kid.