Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
For my Individualized Education Plan requirement in Education 632 at the University of Alaska, Southeast, I chose to learn the Windows Movie Maker program. Having never used the program before this class, I was quite unsure as to how to proceed, but dove right in and attempted to find my way around. It was sometimes frustrating, but when I was able to figure out the complexities of it, the feeling of accomplishment was exhilarating.
I began using the program for my philosophy video, but had difficulty with the computer so I gave it up for awhile. Needing to complete the second semester of the class by creating a digital story, I attempted to use movie maker again. The help topics aided my attempts to build my knowledge of the program, yet were somewhat difficult to navigate and I was unable to find the answers to all of my questions. The inability to find the answers I searched for caused me to revisit the program and attempt to figure out the program by trial and error. The most difficult aspect of the program, for me, was attempting to have an audio track and narration simultaneously. Again, through trial and error, I was able to discern the correct way to achieve my goal. A revised version of my digital story is available here.
As for using this program in the classroom, I believe it could be a very effective tool for learning by having students create projects and present them to their classmates. In this manner students will deepen their understanding of a topic, and aid their fellow students learn about what they have discovered. Many students will also learn how to use technology in their learning, not only by creating something, but also in doing research through knowing what a viable website to gather information is. I can see myself using this program in future classrooms as a way to motivate students to learn.
Monday, June 22, 2009
I had the pleasure of speaking with Sven Haakanson, a local Alutiiq and renowned archeologist, regarding the incident at Refuge Rock and the archeological excavations taking place on the rock. The actual location of the rock was unknown until approximately 2002. The rock is located on the southwestern side of Kodiak Island, near the present day village of Old Harbor. I believe this is an important piece of history that can provide a different perspective of the arrival of the Russians to Alaska. I hope this story provokes thought among those who choose to view it.
Refuge Rock digital story
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/-- This site is provided by the Yale University law school and contains a vast array of documents in law, history and diplomacy. It is useful to history teachers in the amount and variety of primary documents available for use, either in lessons or to direct students to for research.
http://www.loc.gov/index.html-- The Library of Congress website provides many useful resources, including lesson plans and resources, primary documents, music, films and much more. It also contains links to other resources for use in the classroom.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
by Ted S. Hasselbring and Margaret E. Bausch
This article discusses the use of technology to help students with learning disabilities read at grade-level. The authors suggest assistive technologies work in two ways, to offer reading support and reading intervention. This assistance provides a lifeline for students with learning disabilities and helps students feel successful in their learning. The two programs the authors focus on offer support which provides students with disabilities to become independent when reading grade-level material. The first program is text-reader software, called Read and Write Gold, and is in use by Kentucky's public schools. This software takes text and converts it to speech, which is customizable by individual students. It also provides writing assistance to lessen the labor involved in composing and editing a piece of written work by reading back portions of text when directed by the student. The second program, READ 180, is designed for older students and provides reading intervention by individualizing instruction based on the users abilities. It provides background knowledge for text, comprehension aid, and vocabulary instruction. While these tools are useful, it is still vital for educators to provide instruction in order for students to achieve positive results.
- Assistive technologies act as a life-line for students with learning disabilities.
- Learning disabilities interfere with students' abilities in grasping principles of literacy.
- Reading support and intervention through computer based application aid students.
- Classroom teachers must learn to quide and support students with disabilities in using computerized applications to ensure their academic success.
- Teachers must provide excellent instruction as technology is simply a tool.
Assistive technologies are an excellent tool to aid students with learning disabilities. While the article focused on reading and comprehension, there are many more areas of instruction that assistive technoloy is useful. As educators, it is imperitive that we use every possible means to assist our students in their learning. We should be constantly on the lookout for tools to aid our students and guide them to success in their education. It is my hope that as technology advances, the ability to aid students with learning disabilities increases and becomes an integral part of their education.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
by Lowell W. Monke
In this article, the author discusses the debate regarding computers as effective learning tools. While not completely dismissing the need for computers in education, he asserts the need to prepare students to be able to handle the power of high-tech tools wisely. In order to prepare students, they need to have strong inner resouces, such as good moral judgment and empathy. They need inner strength and life experience to balance the power of high-tech instruments. Without strong inner resources, students could use technology to destroy others sense of self and work with a only a few keystrokes. Balancing technology with real world experience is critical to helping students develop as ethical adults.
- Ethical disciple is necessary to help students know how to flex their technical muscle.
- Balance between the digital world and the real world is vital to create ethical adults.
- Technology can create distance from the living world.
- Students should learn how to examine technology's role in human affairs.
- Schools must help students to develop their humanity, outside of the digital world.
Digital technology is a wonderful tool to assist teachers in educating students, but it must be balanced with contact to the living world. Too much technology distances students from the real world, and it is contact with others and the living world that helps to create compassionate, ethical adults. With the high-tech world constantly changing, and arising ethical situations, students need to understand what effect technology can have on humanity and the world. Teaching students to be ethical adults is a very important part of education, and as educators, we must take that role very seriously.