First, I want to state that educators have a stage of their own in their classroom and that is fine and we are use to it. I have four other adults in my roo_m, so I am very use to acting like an idiot or making fun of myself. But when you bring in a camera.....that's another thing! Thank you to Wendy and Denise for humoring me and letting me film them for the 21things4teachers.net promotional video! We had a lot of fun, and I think it turned out OK! Enjoy! I'm going to get my paperwork ready for Monday and CELEBRATE!!!! So Monday came and I made a slight change because the music was too loud! Hopefully this is better!
The end is near!!!! I have to say that I have really enjoyed this two part class. I like the "webinar" work that gives me flexibility for my own learning, the "things" were all pretty interesting and I have been able to use may of the things I have learned in my own classroom which is always a good thing!
So I went through the different on line materials under "first steps" and perused Homey D. Clown (haven't seen one of these for a long time), Hillary's take on CORE and reflections on schools across the country. How can a school in Oklahoma have 20+ teacher openings at the beginning of the year and still not have them filled before the end of the year? Wow! The article below on failing schools would use the SAMR model and substitution. Here they talk about how you can have all the latest in pots and pans and appliances but that does not mean that the food produced is instantly more delicious just like technology does not automatically mean test scores and student knowledge will increase.
From there I moved to "second steps" and new an innovative ideas that are being developed and used. I enjoy research so I spent some time looking at this particular site about how technology is not only changing quickly for schools but all around us!
I went into the special needs section of the What Works Clearinghouse and looked at the different research projects that were available. This is a place I think I will definitely come back to and look into further!
I listened next to the five future trend and the emerging technologies. For me, I felt the MakeyMakey had the most potential for the young special needs children that I work with. I have four of my children on both low and high based communication devices as they are non-verbal, for the most part. One of my students is significantly disabled cognitively, in a wheelchair and needs support for all her needs. She is not the first student I have had in my years of teaching this disabled but I cannot help but wonder, "What would she like to say or communicate, but cannot because of her significant limitations?" I had a student a number of years ago with similar disabilities and he would laugh, appropriately, at my jokes and could answer yes and no questions consistently. Imagine what was going on inside his head that he couldn't express? I am fascinated with brain research and I truly hope that, in my lifetime, they (science) are able to come up with a way to help these types of students communicate. I put myself in their bodies and can't even imagine how frustrating it must be to have the want to communicate and be locked into a device that doesn't work. You can see it in things that they do that they are listening, watching and learning but unable to express the extent of their knowledge. The most entertaining, by far, was the three dimensional printer. That young man was a hoot!
Finally, I watched the videos on BYOB or Bring Your Own Device. I have to agree that 100 years from now how many people will be using paper and pencil to communicate? Will we even need to know how to type or will we just speak our thoughts and they will appear with correct punctuation? On the other side of the picture, what is it that we need to learn or teach in order for the constantly changing technology to be use effectively? I can hear the arguments now.....mostly from today's less techie adults....inappropriate use and sexual content, increased technical support on an ever increasingly number of devices bringing bugs into school owned technology, students playing games instead of focussing, who is going to teach these students good digital citizenship (another thing on the teacher's plate) and of course theft and who is responsible for outside devices inside the school boundaries? Do I know the answers? Nope! Do I see the advantages of BYOD? Yep! Only time will tell how and when this will happen. I know, for me, that it is something I will continue to learn so I can keep up (I'll never be ahead) of my students and keeping my own children amazed about what mom "really" knows!
I started this section by watching the video on what a blended classroom is. Then I went and watched the video by Aaron Sams and how he flipped his classroom. This is going to be a difficult assignment for me as the population that I work with really is not at the point that they can sit and watch a "lesson" or "assignment" per se and then come to class prepared to discuss the concept viewed. I can see the purpose of this at upper elementary and secondary and think the concept is pretty neat! So I am going to have to be creative on this one. Next I watched C. McCarthy's video which was a big help in learning how to use Screencast-o-matic. Using the SAMR Model I was working at the augmentation level working with my student's parents giving them information that they can then use to help reinforce a concept at home.
Once I got the hang of the screencast-o-matic program I found it to be quite fun! I ended up downloading it to Youtube.com as I could not figure out how to get it off my desktop and linked onto both my sights. (I have learned to be creative in my thinking, as I work through this class.) I showed it to a couple of my kindergarten teacher friends who also work on lifecycles in their classrooms and liked how I also integrated other lifecycles and made the connection to work throughout the year on this topic.
This looks like it is going to be a lot of fun and a lot of work! As you know, I do therapeutic horseback riding with my special needs students twice a year for five or six sessions each. We do one session in the fall between the end of September and the beginning of November, and then another session in the spring that usually begins after our spring break. This year it will start in mid April and go through most of May.
A number of years ago, Brooksie Way Minigrants came out and did a video on our program and it got quite a bit of press through the marketing of Brooks L. Patterson, Oakland County Commissioner. There is a lot to therapeutic riding and people are always asking about the benefits and reasoning behind why I do this with my children. Therefore, I decided to put together my own digital storytelling to put all the pieces in one place.
I put together my digital storytelling video using Animoto. Pictures that were not taken by me came off of Dreamstime. I ended up with 2:40 seconds of video. OK, no words and I did find that the number of letters per caption was limited so I had to work around that as well. But I think it came out pretty well!
I have put it out to my parents on my Face of the Classroom and I have emailed it to a couple of friends for comments. My husband did watch it and said it was really good, always smart to start with a biased opinion! We will see!!!!
My name is Deirdre Dannecker. I have been in education since 1981 and have taught K-6 in general education and special education. Presently I run a resource room with K-3 students. I love my job!!!!