Because my students have learning disabilites, I have to move slower and repeat myself alot. So even though I keep thinking that I am far behind, I need to remind myself that my kids can only absorb so much at a time. So in other words we have not started blogging yet. It is a process….
This last week I have worked more on my website and set up student accounts that are password protected. I made a faux student site to see how it looked. I added more hyperlinks to learning websites with links using pictures instead of words. I had my students watch a video that explained what a blog is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjwUHXoi8lM and put it on my website so that they can watch it again at their leisure.
I showed them the class website on the projector screen. The students thought the site was pretty cool! I next had them to go to our classroom computers(only 4 currently working) and log on, look at the site and save it on their desktops.
They used google chrome as the browser to look at the site, but when they saved the icon to the desktop it was “Explorer”. Another investigation is in order to figure out why it did that!(perhaps a conversation with the school tech guru is in order).
Once they all get into the website, I will have them use the webpage to access the other programs and applications, which is much more organized and user friendly.
I have created a class on weebly.com for my students and have usernames and passwords for them to start. They simply log into https://students.weebly.com/
and enter in the user name and passwords that I have for them and start building their sites. We will have 1:1 chromebooks next year so that we can all access the sites at the same time.
I have also set up a Skyping session with one of the classrooms from the transition program we have in our district. It is the program that my students will attend after their Senior year. It is a vocational program for students who are 18-21. We will compare and contrast our classes via this Skyping session! I will let y’all know how it turns out next week!
I enjoyed the speed geeking sessions this week. So many cool applications! I like how Sway is so interactive and has built in formatting. There is so much you can do with it!
Flip Grid is a fun application. Very interactive and prpmotes collaboration with peers. It definitely is a great engagement tool for students. I can definitely see my students using this.
I absolutely love Toontastic! The only thing I don’t like is that it cannot be used for PCs. I downloaded it on my IPhone for my 4 year old grandson and he had a blast. I do have a classroom IPad that I can use…So frustrating that not all apps are universal and we have to go with what our districts decide to use for hardware!
The Book Circle projects were amazing. Some very talented folks in our class.
So my website is coming along, but I feel like I am soooo slow… I tend to jump into things and then have to go back and figure out how to make things work the way I want them too. I plan to publish it this week and have the student accounts set up. I didn’t want to publish it until I understood it better and it was more organized. I know it shouldn’t be so scary, but it is…
I did figure out how to hyperlink text and pictures! I was able to add the links to my page and all students will need to do is click them and go to the learning site. I am so excited! (It’s the little things after all..)
I also introduced Skype to my students and a couple said, “Oh I use that all the time”. I said, “Humor me”! We skyped with another teacher in our school via my lap top. It was really fun, she was great! I have been working on getting another Life Skill teacher from a different school to Skype with us this week. Before we go out to the world, we want to start local and then branch out.
I have set up accounts for them on my school Website. I have written a permission form to send home with them and then I can have them set up websites and blog from them. http://mskrislifeskillsclass.weebly.com/
I am working on figuring out how to view student blogs and monitor them easily from the website….
We used many text messages to connect to finish the video we make for our book circle.
The concepts in this book, tweeting, blogging, Skyping, were all new to me and this book (along with class) helped me to do them all! Many thanks to my book circle group for all the help, encouragement and teamwork.
Connected from the Start- Book Circle Video
I read Chapters 1 and 3
We all want our students to be engaged in the learning process. As a High School Special Ed. teacher, some of my students are tired of the same old paper pushing routines. They cannot read or do math at grade level because of their disabilities and get frustrated. One thing that they all enjoy is Technology. Integrating technology into the special education classroom is needed in many ways. As I delve into more and more aps, I find myself learning with them.
Honestly, the transition into the technological world has not been a piece of cake for this teacher lady. I am working on it! But I know that it will give my students the tools and skills that they need to do the best they can when they go out into the real world. Differentiating instruction in my class is like juggling 6 different kinds of apples. Teaching Applications, differentiate instructional levels and some of them even track progress (my favorite).
I have students who cannot speak, augmented speaking devices and aps such as Proloquo2Go and LAMP have given them a voice. I have students who cannot see and also have autism who use Switch2Scan devices to open up their world and give them more control over the applications they use. They are becoming connected.
I have to admit that I was one of those people who thought that all this technology got in the way of actual socialization. I liked how in Chapter one of our text, socialization is shown to be strong within the classroom, and students are helping and learning from each other. In our own BEDUC 566 class, students have collaborated more than most of the other classes I have taken!
The word and the world
I am starting a blog forum for my students and want my students to connect with others in meaningful ways. I myself am new to blogging and am really enjoying it! I admit it, I love getting comments and Likes! The magazine project outlined in the text is a great way to inspire students to write and build character at the same time. So empowering!
I enjoyed learning about Padlet during Speed Geeking. I want to use it to do a report type of project. I think that this AP would be much more engaging than the powerpoints I have had them do. I proceeded to download the padlet Application and get an account. The email message I received from them said that I was beautiful! Padlet is now my favorite! I do think that much more can be accomplished by paying for the upgraded version, but I want to play around with it before I commit.
The other Speed Geeking session was about QR codes. Wow! So cool! I love using scavenger hunts with my students and would love to make one using QR codes. I am wondering how we could use the codes for lessons out in the community. I also liked how a simple poster report could use a QR code to either show a video of what was presented or even better a recording of the student’s voice talking about the report.
I have the best book circle group. We all worked together to get our movie done. We had a few technical issues with our microphone and a few other problems. But, with a bit of patience, humor and determination we finished the project..Whew! And did not get a parking ticket……
I met with our schools resident tech guru on Thursday. I wanted to talk to him about the website I was building and he totally convinced me to use something other than google….Now I have started on a new site using Weebly, which will work better for me. Here I go again. He taught me how to Skype and we found out that there is a lot of feedback if you try to Skype close together… I have been practicing using Skype all weekend, driving my friends crazy, I’m sure.
He also introduced me to google hangout, which is kind of like Skype but is more like a chatroom that you need to be invited to and can see each other and can come and go and hangout with peeps. I am going to introduce skype this week to students, but the blog will have to wait until I get my new site up and running and published, hopefully next week. Another exciting thing I did was meet with another colleague who showed me the application that I am going to use for Speed Geeking. It is called Read and Write for Google Chrome. I am going to present it this week to our classroom staff and have them practice using it before I present it to the students. It will also be good for me to practice showing it to someone else before I present it to our class.