Friday, December 6, 2013

Blog Post #16


The first day of EDM 310 I never thought I would end up here. This is it. The journey through EDM 310 has been long and very meaningful. Although, I don't think the journey is over, I think the journey just began. I have learned so much throughout EDM 310 that I plan to use in my future first grade class. The tools that I plan to use in my future classroom are the use of the SMARTboard, Blogger, and Twitter. I do plan to use other sources of technology but these are the main three. The SMARTboard allows you to do many things, such as: search for information, animate objects, and many more. Blogger is probably the most useful sources of technology that I have ever used. EDM 310 introduced me to blogger and all of the wonderful sources that is has to offer. I believe that blogger is a wonderful and creative way to submit and complete assignments. I also think its easier if a student has a question because the student can look back and look at the class blog. Twitter is a great way of communication. The students can communicate via twitter for class instructions, questions, and other information regarding assignments. I think that all of these tools are wonderful sources to use within the classroom. Throughout my years of teaching I hope to find more sources to add to my tools of teaching.

EDM 310 has introduced me to several new teaching methods that I will use in my future classroom. Since I will be teaching at an elementary school the method that I found most useful is "Asking Better Questions in the Classroom." Joanne Chelsey provides a wonderful YouTube video of asking a closed ended question and asking an open ended question. I think its important that students understand the difference between the two types of questions and are able to provide the correct feedback. 

I want my future first grade classroom to be an exciting learning atmosphere. I want my students to have fun and remember what they learn, so they can take what they have learned from my class to second grade. For instance, learning math in first grade can be a bit challenging. However, there are so many ways that teachers can teach this to emphasize students in the learning process. I believe that adding technology will help students. Allowing students to use MAC's, PC's, iPad, or even the SMARTboard could help trigger their learning process. Every young child loves to play and be involved in games. I will definitely use online learning activities for my students to complete regarding the math lessons. The students can learn from these online learning activities and be able to complete their assignments. I want my students to love learning and know that learning can be creative. Creating a warm, creative learning environment is what I am going to do for my classroom. I want my students to feel comfortable and welcomed while they are in my class. Wanting the best for your students is very important, and as being a teacher I believe that every teacher should strive to reach this goal. I plan to help all of my students succeed on to the next grade level. If they have any questions I want each and every one of my students to be able to ask me without feeling embarrassed. I will be sure to introduce to the class all of the sources of technology that can help them be better learners. I will definitely encourage my students to work together and help one another. I want them to understand the importance of working as a team. "No one gets left behind." Is a motto that I want to follow in my class. I want my students to help one another and be there for each other. I also plan to keep all of the parents updated on their child and what is going on in the classroom. I will have a blog set up just for the parents so I can post weekly newsletters, let them know what we are doing that week, and upcoming events. I want my students to be successful learners and I will do whatever I have to so they achieve that goal.

I have learned so much this semester in EDM 310 that I will definitely change about myself. Before taking EDM 310 I used to think that PowerPoints and worksheets were a good source of learning. However, I have learned new ideas of teaching and PowerPoint is not one of them. EDM 310 has introduced me to several other available sources such as iBook, Google Presentations, Prezi, and PLN. Instead of using a dry erase board or chalkboard I will now use the SMARTboard. I think the SMARTboard has a lot more to offer for the students. 

In conclusion, my views of technology have changed in a positive way thanks to EDM 310. I was given a wonderful opportunity to work with new technology tools and methods of teaching. Without EDM 310 I would of never got the experience of working with Blogger, Podcast, iMovie, and iBook. I know that I do not know everything there is about technology, but I hope to learn more in my career of teaching.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Project #16

Project 16
"Get Caught In EDM 310"

Group: Raphael
Amanda Weller, Lisa Smith, Heather Smith, Briann Smith

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post #15


Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children 
 By: Briann Smith, Lisa Smith, Heather Smith, Amanda Weller  
This video gave us a quick look at the benefits of using Assistive technologies in the classroom for children with sensory impairments, and a motivational tool for teachers to use assistive technologies in their classroom. We plan to give all students with sensory impairments the ability to identify, explore, investigate, question, discover, observe, engage, and interact with their environment with assistive technologies. Learning needs to be personal so we plan to incorporate text to speech and speech to text devices, iphones, ipads, ipods, screen magnifiers, and sensory aids into our future classrooms. It’s finally time to take the plunge, step up, and be surprised. Don’t give up on the kids that you can enlighten. It’s their future. 

The Mountbatten - Assistive Technology for the Blind 
By: Lisa Smith, Heather Smith, Amanda Weller, Briann Smith

 Immediate feedback is vital to the struggling learner. Using the Mountbatten braille writer allows for both audio and textile. As the student brailles the machine produces the braille by announcing what is being brailled. This machine is very advanced. It can save files, transfer files and receive files from/to computers. This device is also great for mainstreaming the classroom working with teachers and students that do not know braille. As the student brailles text the memic converts it into print and then displays it onto a screen. This is a feature that will allow for the blind to be included into the curriculum receiving feedback from the teacher and participating in peer group projects. 

Teaching Math to the Blind
By: Amanda Weller, Lisa Smith, Briann Smith, Heather Smith
In this video, Professor Art Karshmer, explains the techniques of teaching math to the blind. Mr. Karshmer attended the University of San Fransisco of Management, which was formerly School of business and Professional Studies. He is a pioneer in the use of technology and computer-based systems to teach mathematics to the blind. For the most part, blind students are effectively barred from the study of all the core or "stem" sciences which rely on math as their root language. Using computers and computer-based devices, Professor Karshmer has created a system which translates the two dimensional realities of mathematical problems into the otherwise single dimensionality of braille to allow a blind student to impress those realities into their visual cortex through touch and electronic feedback. This video is a wonderful source for blind students and so forth. We would definitely recommend this video to parents, teachers, students, and etc..

iPad Usage for the Blind
By: Amanda Weller, Lisa Smith, Heather Smith, Briann Smith    
 In this video, Wesley Majerus, shows us how blind people use an iPad. Wesley Majerus is a Access Specialist for the National Federation for the Blind. By watching this video we have learned how actively engaged apple products have become. Its neat to see all of the features that apple products have to offer. Apple provides a voice feedback to show you what is going on and what you're doing. Wesley demonstrates in his video how to use iBooks. The kindle and other sources do not offer the same features that Apple does. The voice activation is very neat and leads you right to what you need. The source is very applicable for blind people. For each individual tap that you click, the voice activation tells you what tab you're on. We found this video to be very neat and a wonderful source! 

Teaching Mom What Her Deaf/Blind Child Is Learning On the iPad
By: Briann Smith, Amanda Weller, Lisa Smith, Heather Smith
In this entertaining video, a teacher gives a student’s mom a lesson in voiceover on the iPad. The parent’s child is deaf and blind and she learns the things that her child does while using the iPad.The teacher explains to the parent what a voice over is. She gives the mom a step by step tutorial of how to use voice over. As we can see from the video iPads can be very useful to teachers and their students who may be deaf or blind. The iPad has a great feature integrated Voiceover software(“Apple iPad, iPod, iPhone”). The software allows the information shown on the display to be read aloud to help students. The gestures that are used on the integrated touch screens were designed to allow a blind person to navigate the screen or select menu items and write text(“Apple iPad, iPod, iPhone”). The iPad has several useful apps for deaf and blind students. A great app is Verbal Victor. This communication app allows people to communicate with their students or children who are developing their language skills or who have language impairments(Hooda). Another great app is iASL. iASL stands for i American Sign Language. This app will translate sentences up to five words into the American Sign Language(“Apps for the deaf and hearing impaired”). This is a great app because it allows for the teacher and peers to communicate effectively with the student. Since it is a app it can be on the classroom iPads and the student can communicate with everyone and not feel left out or misunderstood. A valuable tool for teachers and students is the Braille Lite. This tool is a note taker and it allows students to type their notes in class using a specialized keyboard(“Out of Sight”). On the front there is a Braille display that allows the students to check what they have typed. It also has an optional speech function that reads the text aloud(‘Out of Sight”). The Braille Lite can also be connected to a PC to print notes on a standard printer in a large font, or on an embosser in Braille(“Out of Sight”). The teacher can also use this tool to translate handouts and other papers into Braille.This assistive technology tool is great for teachers and students. Technology has become such a major element in our schools today. It is great that the technology is made useful to all students. The assistive technology tools are especially wonderful and useful to teachers that have students who may be deaf or blind. These tools and the tools that were mentioned above allow the students and teachers to communicate effectively. They also provide independence for the student, because the student can use these assistive technologies for things that they might had to rely on the teacher for in the past. The use of technology in the classroom is empowering and it provides a great way for all students to learn and excel! 

 50 Must- See Blogs for Special Education 
By: Heather Smith, Briann Smith, Lisa Smith, and Amanda Weller 

 In Free Resources from the Net for Every Learner, a Blog by Paul Hami, there are many assistive technologies and resources listed for not only educators, but parents and children as well. We had a couple of favorites that we felt would help us in our Elementary Classrooms in the future, such as MyScript Calculator- a free app for both Android and iOS devices from VisionObjects. It offers a “handwriting calculator”. Another assistive technology we felt will benefit us is SlideTalk. This is a service where you upload either sets of images, or complete PowerPoint presentations. Once uploaded, SlideTalk adds narration via high quality text to speech that can be customized for pronunciation, reading rate, voice timbre and more. There are at least 17 languages available, and multiple voices are available for most languages. You can even change voices or languages within a presentation. Once a video is produced, it is automatically published to Youtube.

The Assistive Technology Blog gives so many assistive technologies that will be useful to all of us as educators. It is too difficult to list them all, so to name a few: Adobe Presenter 9, IPEVO Interactive Whiteboard System, Co:Writer App for IOS from Don Johnston, Inc, Adobe Connect, MimioTeach Interactive Whiteboard, Windows Surface RT, Belkin Tablet Stage, iReadWrite, and Evernote. All of these assistive technologies are geared toward different uses, but are equally beneficial in the classroom. The following is a brief explanation of a few of our favorites we found on the Assistive Technology Blog:

The IPEVO Interactive Whiteboard System is a cost effective way to turn any whiteboard or flat surface into an interactive whiteboard. The IPEVO Interactive Whiteboard System works with both Windows and Macintosh computers and the system is comprised of a small camera, stylus and supplied Annotator software. Teacher will need to also have access to a LCD projector for the classroom to use this solution

 Co:Writer for IOS comes complete with a large library of built-in Topic Dictionaries. You can customize Co:Writer for IOS by determining the base number of words that Co:Writer should access which would depend on the students vocabulary and grade level. You can also set the Text to Speech feature to read letters, words, or sentences and set the rate of the speech. You currently can utilize five different fonts and change the size of the text and utilize a high contrast feature, black background white text. While Co:Writer makes it easy to get your ideas down on the iPad-it also gives you lots of options when it comes time for sharing your ideas. You can send the text to iMessage, Facebook, Twitter or Email. Better yet you can save it to your Dropbox or Google Drive account for easy access at home or in school. You can also copy. paste and print the text directly from the app. 

 iReadWrite is a well designed app that works as advertised. It provides students with text-to-speech , word prediction and vocabulary support. iReadWrite does not require an internet connection to utilize the program which is ideal for students who may be in schools with poor web connectivity. 

Belkin wanted to extend the reach of capabilities and help teachers get the most out of their iPad investment. With this in mind Belkin has just released the Belkin Tablet Stage which turns your iPad into a document camera and presentation system.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Project #2 Final Report on PLN

First, what is a PLN? A PLN, Personal Learning Network, is an informal learning network that involves people a learner can interact with and gain knowledge. A PLN allows you to make a connection with other people with similar intent that some type of learning will take place because of that connection. You can also use a PLN to call upon for help, consultation, and collaboration. At the very beginning of this semester we had to give a summary on our progress for developing our first PLN. I used Symbaloo to create my very own Personal Learning Network. A Symbaloo is one example of a PLN. It's a method you can use to have quick access to the resources, people, and tools that you use the most. When using a Symbaloo, you are able to create your own icons which will take you to where ever you set them up to go. It took me a while to learn how to use Symbaloo, but once I figured it out I LOVED it! I have began to use Symbaloo for all of my resources that I use all the time.

I have organized my icons by different resources that I use the most. The icons at the top of my Symbaloo are personal links. Including examples like Facebook, Pandora, and Google. Towards the bottom are my icons for my own blog, EDM 310 class blog, and blogger. I also have other useful icons for teaching that I found very helpful and resourceful. I have really enjoyed using this PLN and I look forward to exceeding my PLN even further. 



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Blog Post #14

What Did I Leave Out?
My activity for Blog Post #14:

Children’s Author Choice

Oral Presentation
Please reserve your author by signing below with your partner.  If, after exploring information about your author, you feel you don't have enough information, please see me to choose another author.

Author                                     Partner #1                          Partner #2
Henry & Mudge
Cynthia Rylant

Magic Tree House
Mary Pope Osborne

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse
Kevin Henkes

Fun Reads
Margie Palatini

Judy Blume

Jan Brett

Eric Carle

Tomie dePaola

Love her books!
Mem Fox

My Side of the Mtn.
Jean C. George

Non fiction
Gail Gibbons

Good website
Dan Gutman

Coretta Scott King Award
Among others
Virginia Hamilton

Bridge to Terabithia
Katherine Paterson

Because of Winn-Dixie
Gary Paulsen

Picture books for older kids
Patricia Polacco

Holes, Sideways Stories
Louis Sachar

Stinky Cheese man
Jon Scieszka

Maniac McGee
Jerry Spinelli

Good website
Audrey Wood

Picture books:
Kissing Hand, etc.
Audrey Penn

After selecting an author with your partner, please email the above list to

Oral Presentation Guidelines

Reserving Your Author: 
You and your partner may reserve your author before and after your class  at the end of November.  Have several choices in mind in case someone else reserves your first choice.  There will be a “Children’s Author Choice” reservation sheet at the sign-in counter.

Elements to Include in Your Presentation:

Slide One:  Share picture of the author and the most interesting biographical information.

Slide Two:  Newberry and/or Caldecott Awards:  Include a picture of the book cover(s) with award emblem or show the actual book(s).

Slide Three:  Visit the author’s website:  Show information for teachers, parents, librarians and/or kids.  If the author’s website has a video of the author reading or talking, play no more than 30 seconds of that video.  If there’s no video on the author’s website, try to find another site that might have it.  Example:

Slide Four:  Tell something unique or interesting about the author’s books. 
·         Are there recurring characters in his/her books?
·         Are there recurring themes?
·         What genre(s) does the author prefer?
·         Any other interesting facts you would like to share

Practice your presentation to ensure that it does not exceed four minutes and that each partner has equal presentation time.  Points will be deducted for exceeding the time limit.   See the oral presentation rubric for expectations.


Name:_____________________________ Date:_________________________
Children’s Author Oral Presentation

Biographical information and Awards
Weight = 3
Author information is minimal, uninteresting with no mention of awards.
Author information has few details and presentation is not particularly interesting.  Gives only titles of award-winning books.
Student presents information about the author.  Shows examples of award-winning books.
Student highlights most interesting information about the author.  Shows examples of award-winning books.
Author’s website, books, audience and genre

Weight = 3
Student presents minimal information.  Does not elaborate or explain.
Student seems uncomfortable with the information and fails to motivate the audience to know more about the author.  No book list.
Student explains and elaborates. However, explanation could have been more motivating.
Includes list of books.
Student explains and elaborates in a way that motivates audience to know more about the author.  Includes list of well-known books.
Weight = 3
Student's presentation has three or more grammatical errors.
Presentation has two or more grammatical errors.
Presentation has only one grammatical error.
Presentation has no grammatical errors.
Eye Contact
Weight = 3
Student reads all of report with no eye contact.
Student occasionally uses eye contact, but still reads most of report.
Student maintains eye contact most of the time but frequently returns to notes.
Student maintains eye contact with audience, seldom returning to notes.
Weight = 3
Student mumbles, incorrectly pronounces terms, and speaks too quietly for students in the back of class to hear.
Student's voice is low. Student incorrectly pronounces terms. Audience members have difficulty hearing presentation.
Student's voice is clear. Student pronounces most words correctly. Most audience members can hear presentation.
Student uses a clear voice and correct, precise pronunciation of terms so that all audience members can hear presentation.
Total Points:

Here is my Prezi Presentation for this activity.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Project #12 Part B

Part B: Delivering A Lesson via the SMARTboard

Group: Raphael
Amanda Weller, Briann Smith, Heather Smith, Lisa Smith


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blog Post #13

What can we learn from these TED talks?
Group: Raphael
Amanda Weller, Heather Smith, Lisa Smith, Briann Smith

By: Heather Smith, Amanda Weller, Briann Smith, Lisa Smith

Kakenya Ntaiya is from a group of people in Kenya called the Maasais. They are warriors. They are fierce. Most of all, they are set in their traditional ways of inequality between men and women. Kakenya Ntaiya’s village believed in arranged marriages, so as a child she knew that when she turned 12 she was to be married- he was already chosen. If she went to high school, though, she could postpone this marriage.  She decided to make a deal with her father: She underwent the traditional Maasai rite of passage of a very brutal and unsanitary female circumcision in return for being allowed to go to high school. While she was in school she met a man that had graduated from college. She remembered admiring him.

Also during high school, her father had a stroke and become very ill. The custom of her village was that any man of the village was her father by default. She had received a scholarship for college, but without the support of her village she would be unable to get to America. After persistence and courage- Kakenya Ntaiya received support from her whole village to get an education, something that was unheard of, but only with the promise to come back and help with anything the village wanted.

She speaks of her anger and frustration when she came to America and found out that the ceremony she went through when she was 13 was called female genital mutilation and was against the law in Kenya. She found out that she did not have to trade her body to get an education, she had rights- 3 million girls who are at risk of going through this mutilation right now have rights! She found out that her mom had a right to own property and did not have to be abused because she is a woman. She found out that girls did not have to forced to marry unwillingly. She found out that she had to DO something! She had to HELP these girls.

When she went back she decided to build a school for girls. She built a place for girls to be safe and protected from the brutal acts against them for the simple fact that they were born female. She has currently saved 125 girls from marriage when they are 12 years old. She has given 125 girls opportunities to rise and achieve their dreams. She has given 125 girls the advantage of not being beaten. She has started a REVOLUTION.

Kakenya Ntaiya ends her speech challenging the audience. She challenged us to make a DIFFERENCE, to make tomorrow BETTER, to be a LEADER! She challenged us to CHANGE our world, CHANGE our community, CHANGE our country! If she does that and we do that- we will create a BETTER FUTURE for our CHILDREN, for your CHILDREN, for our GRANDCHILDREN!

Kakenya Ntaiya is the image of grace and bravery. She is a truly outstanding woman. She could have moved to America and never went back, but she didn’t- she went back to Kenya and helped others. She faced numerous obstacles along the way but she stayed strong and never lost her vision. Her remarkable accomplishments will be forever gratified by the women she has so graciously helped. She has taught us so much about honor and courage, about self-discipline and drive, and most of all- about compassion and benevolence.
By: Briann Smith, Heather Smith, Lisa Smith, Amanda Weller

In Shukla Bose’s Ted Talk Ted Talk, she tells the awe inspiring story on how she created her foundation, Parikrma Humanity Foundation, which brings promise to the children in India’s slums by focusing on teaching each child as an individual. Shukla Bose did not start out in the field of  philanthropy. She humbly says that she is not a trained academic or a veteran social worker. For twenty-six years, she worked in the corporate world, trying to make organizations profitable. In 2003, she started her foundation, Parikrma Humanity at her kitchen table. There in her kitchen, her journey began. The first thing that she did was walk through the slums of india and identify houses, where the children would never go to school. The number of children that did not go to school blew her away. Against peoples doubts, she decided then that they were not going to go by the numbers. They instead would focus on the children individually and take them through school and prepare them for a better life. The first Parikrma School was started in a slum, where 70,000 people where living below the poverty line. More schools soon followed, including a junior college. In Shukla Bose’s presentation, she included clips of some of her students eloquently talking about their favorite subjects in school. The parents even started to participate in their child’s education and some them were inspired to learn themselves, all because of their child’s achievement. The Parikrma school not only became a safe haven for the children, but it also helped the community and the parents of the students. Many of the non teaching staff members at the school are the parents and relatives of the children. The schools are all English medium schools and they use the ICSE curriculum. They have professors from Berkeley, the Indian Institute of Science and other prestigious schools, who come and teach the students. Art and music are considered as therapy and a way of expression for the students. They believe that content is more important than the infrastructure of the school, the important thing is what is happening in the school. She believes that creating an environment of learning, inquiry, and exploration is what is “true” education. Shukla Bose says that her life has been transformed and forever changed by the children. She says that she has learned so much from them, especially love, compassion, and imagination and creativity. Shukla Bose’s story was so inspiring! It was amazing to see how one school changed a whole community and gave the children groundbreaking opportunities. It was incredible to see the children speaking so eloquently and saying how much they loved school and enjoyed learning. As future teachers, we can learn from her story and remember that it’s not always about the number, but it’s about the individual student and their abilities. The other valuable lesson learned, is to always believe in your students and yourself, even when people doubt your ability!
By: Amanda Weller, Lisa Smith, Heather Smith, Briann Smith

       In this video, Shane Koyczan gives a poem of what it’s like to be bullied. Shane first started off by publicizing that children are expected to find themselves starting at a young age, and if they don't other children would do so. For instance, he stated how name calling would occur. Names such as slut, fatty, fag, and so on. While children are being told these names mean what they do, they are also asked what do they want to be. Koyczan goes on to say that when he was a kid he wanted to be a marine biologist, until he watched the movie Jaws. He also went along by saying that he wanted to be an adult and began to shave. At the age of 10, Shane was told that his parents left because they didn't want him. However, when he was 11 Shane wanted to be left alone. At 12 he wanted to die and when he reached 13 he wanted to kill a kid. By that time, Shane was asked to pick a career. He choose to be a professional writer. 

     Not only was Koyczan made fun of, his dreams were as well. He actually recalls a few of his dreams in his video. He remembers his first line of poetry was in response to a world that demanded he hate himself. Through ages 15 and 18 Shane hated himself and the world that he lived in. Shane mentioned that standing up for yourself should not lead to violence. back when Shane was younger he would trade in homework assignments for friendship. Its so sad to see the cruel world that we live in. Now, with technology it is so easy to sit behind a computer and for children to cyber bully other children.

     Furthermore, he describes how when he was younger he thought that pork chops and karate chops were the same thing. Shane's grandmother thought it was sweet so she didn't correct him. He states in his video how he fell from a tree one day while he was playing outside. Apparently  Shane knew that he wasn't supposed to be outside playing. The gym teacher found the bruises on his right side and turned him into the principle. His response to the questions about his home life was “When I’m sad, my grandma gives me karate chops!” If only he knew this would lead into a full investigation and would be removed from his home for three days. News got around the school and he got deemed the nickname, “porkchop”. 

     In the meantime, the rest of Shane's video is of a wonderful poem with illustrations and a violin in the backdrop covering bullying. Shane's poem is incredible, as well as his other work. The emotion and descriptions used in his demonstrations is very engaging and inspiring!

By: Lisa Smith, Amanda Weller, Briann Smith, Heather Smith 
Salman Khan talks about how and why he created the remarkable Khan Academy, a carefully structured series of educational videos offering complete curricula in math and, now, other subjects. He shows the power of interactive exercises, and calls for teachers to consider flipping the traditional classroom script -- give students video lectures to watch at home, and do "homework" in the classroom with the teacher available to help.

Using video to reinvent education is a convenient way to learn on your own time. Everyone is for convenience so we believe this will be a great tool to use. Using video to upload educational information not only helps the class that you are teaching but it will also benefit others that may come in contact with the information.  Having educational videos available will also give the students resources to fall back on if they need additional help. This would also be great if students want to get read ahead in their lessons.  

Flipping the classroom with doing homework in class and saving the lectures for students to watch at home sounds like an amazing idea. Having homework as in class work will show the teacher what homework problems that students may be having a hard time with. If problems arise the student can then stop and watch a video on the homework problem and the video actually teaches  the correct way to work problem. The student can practice and get 10 problems correct and then move on to the next question.