Assistive Technologies

http://popplet.com/app/#/1742053

Advertisements

ICT & Assessment

Assessment in classrooms happens in many ways. ICT provides us with a variety of tools and hardware that can be used for assessment.  Assessment as and for learning provides students with ongoing descriptive feedback.  ICT gives teachers and students a place to record ongoing data, and pictures so teachers can look back on work and provide ongoing assessment and next steps.  Work samples, discussions, videos, and pictures can easily be documented now with the use of ICT, for example tablets, iPads, computers.  “A variety of assessment strategies and tools that meet the needs of all students are used to improve learning and inform instructional decisions (e.g., observations, demonstrations and presentations, projects, work samples, conversations, portfolios of student work).” (School Effectiveness Framework Pg. 11)  Teachers and students can use a tool to record students completing a task (e.g., reading, presenting), and play it back to students along with some descriptive feedback.  This allows students to take a look in the mirror, and reflect on their work so they can improve the next time they complete a similar task.

Art Tool

I’m always looking for new ways to integrate technology into my classroom.  Today I looked at a variety of Art tools, and selected a tool to review which could be used in my Kindergarten classroom.  Destination Modern Art is a Web site for children ages five to eight. An interactive online gallery offers an introduction to The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and its affiliate, MoMA PS1. This site gives children the opportunity

  • to learn about works in MoMA’s collection and site-specific works at MoMA PS1
  • to look carefully at works of art
  • to learn about artists, their techniques, and their inspirations
  • to engage in online and at-home activities (Source)

The website allows students to travel through a digital art gallery, and browse through famous works of art.  After clicking on a work of art, students can then listen to a brief history about the author, listen to how the art was produced, play a few games and create their own art work in the same style as the artist.  I enjoyed exploring this website, I found that it was easy to use, and I loved that it had sound so all of the instructions were read aloud.

This tool/website could be utilized in Kindergarten to Grade 3 classrooms. Since the site shows students how to create the art works, it could easily be incorporated into art in the classroom.  Students could use a variety of media tools to create art in different ways, and then share them with their classmates and the teacher.

Since this is a tool for gathering information, teachers will use it in conjunction with another tool or tools in order to assess their students on the task.  For example, students will use Destination Modern Art to learn about a new style of painting/art, and then bring their knowledge back to the classroom and create a new work of art.  They can then write a reflection, or a description of their work and share it with their class.

Twitter

What is the purpose for using Twitter with students?

Twitter has been a great resource in my classroom! I use it in a variety of ways:

I use Twitter to inform parents of activities that we are doing in our classroom.  If we are playing with shaving cream, or painting with corn syrup I take a picture of it and post it on our Twitter account so parents are informed about our day (They also then know to expect their child to come home messy!).  It is a conversation piece for  my students, they go home and have a picture of what they did at school that they can discuss with their family.  We also use Twitter to post information about pizza days, upcoming assemblies etc. It helps save paper, and parents are informed immediately about activities happening at home.

If my students make or draw something at school, they often ask if I can take a picture of it to post to Twitter so that their family and friends can see their art or their creation.  Since my students are beginning to write, I often encourage them to add writing to their work.  The students use the keyboard on the iPad to type out “I mad a hws.” (I made a house), and then they post it to our Twitter page.

The students love interacting with the information on Twitter.  We have had lots of positive feedback from parents saying how much they enjoy seeing what their child did at school that day.  We post links to songs that we are singing, and sites that we visited – so students can bring them into their home and show them to their family and friends.

Students also scroll through the Twitter feed at school.  Since we are following other Kindergarten Twitter accounts, we get to see what other classrooms are doing, and the songs that they are singing.  We then get some ideas of things we would like to try in our classroom!

Students can interact with other students in other classrooms through Twitter in other parts of the world! It’s amazing to see the learning that has been happening by using Twitter in my classroom.

Here are some examples of how Twitter can be used in the classroom

50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom

 

 

Podcasts

I recorded my first podcast last night discussing Badges in Education.   I had a hard time recording my podcast without mistakes, and found myself redoing it multiple times.  I’m sure that there is another program out there that would allow me to pause my recording, and talk over the part where I made a mistake… Ideas anyone?… It also took me a while to find a platform to use to record my podcast.  (Mostly because my computer did not have the flash that was needed to voice record).  I ended up using SoundCloud, because I could use the app on my iPad, and then access my recording on my computer.  I found this process similar to writing an essay.  I had to first do some research on Badges in Education.  I had never heard of them before, and had to research many websites and articles to get a variety of information to include in my podcast.  I also had to know how to use search engines, in order to find accurate information.  My podcast is also formed like an essay, it has an introduction a body and a conclusion.  I can see how podcasts could be like large essays (if they are multiple episodes long) or, like mine, a mini essay which was only 3 minutes.  After recording my own podcast and listening to a variety of different kinds on iTunes, and SoundCloud I can see the value in creating and using podcasts for educational purposes.  I like how they can be downloaded and listened anywhere, and can be revisited if the student needs clarification or missed something the first time.  Unlike lectures, where if you missed the information you can’t re-listen to it.

Critical Evaluation & Search Engines

I had no idea that there was so many different search engines out there… I looked at four different ones for today’s lesson. Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo and Yandex.  Since the students that I teach are four and five years old, they don’t spend a lot of time online researching information, I decided to search for something that I might use in class.  I searched for “Canada & Olympics” on all four search engines, and to my surprise the results were very different!

Bing – This was the first search that I did, and I was impressed with the information that came up.  It showed a chart of the medals (however, the only country that it showed was Canada). It included videos, articles and a variety of related sites.

DuckDuckGo – I thought this search engine was not very good.  It was boring to look at, there was a lot of writing, and not ANY pictures.  It had a lot of news articles on current information, however I found that it was just too much to filter through, and Google and Bing were better options so far…

Yahoo – This search engine was amazing! I am normally a Google person, but… after using Yahoo Search I felt that I may need to switch over.  The information that I found was presented in videos, pictures and charts.  There was a summary of the Canadian Olympic team, as well as the upcoming schedule of events.  I thought that I would also do the same search on Google, to see what would come up.  I was surprised that the Google results were not very visually appealing, and did not have the same information.

Yandex – This search engine did not seem to have very many pictures, articles and information that were relevant to my search.  Upon further investigation I found that it was a Russian Search Engine…

I spent a lot of time today on Kathy Schrock’s website.  It really made me think of how important it is that we teach our students to be critical thinkers not just about what they read online, but about all text that they will see, hear, read or watch.  I enjoyed reading through some of the links that she has on her site, and thought that it may be helpful to share this information with the teachers at my school, so we can teach our students to be digital citizens.  I enjoyed browsing through the different surveys, and thought that the Elementary Critical Evaluation Survey would be useful for the students at my school, and the iPad Content App and iPad Creation App could be utilized by the teachers when browsing though the thousands of apps available on the iPads.

Creative Commons

Today we tried out a new site called Easel.ly.  It is a FREE infographic site, which we used to create a Creative Commons infographic.  While using this site, I was thinking of all the different ways that I could use it in my Kindergarten classroom! The software is web based and very easy to use that even my students (who are 4 & 5 could figure out how to use it!) I loved how the images were simple, and yet eye catching. Creative Commons