Guided Response: Respond to at least two peers. Ask your peers about their reflections to encourage further conversation. Consider discussing the factors that might have contributed to your lists’ differences and similarities. Comment on and ask questions about your peers’ discussion on technology use to improve instruction and learner experiences. Though two replies is the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and learning, you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you.
Over the weeks, this course has opened my eyes to many tools that incorporate technology and better serve students. Of the many useful resources, the 3 that I feel I could immediately implement in my classroom would be the UDL model, using technology for student motivation and how technology can change the future of the classroom. The UDL model we saw in several weeks of discussion as a tool to serve all students in a way that meets their individual needs. The idea is that teachers incorporate all learning styles all the time. It was said in one of the videos that students, even if it’s not their preferred style can benefit from hearing, seeing and doing something. Another concept that I found to be an excellent tool to bring into my classroom is using technology as student motivation. Not only can technology make the data driven classroom stronger by lessening the workload of a teacher, it can also give students a clear and concise classroom experience that meets their individual needs thus making them more eager and motivated to learn. Lastly the “classroom of the future” idea is that of technology changes the dynamics of the classroom. The traditional classrooms of teacher lecturing and students sitting passively are over. Classrooms are melting pots of many learning styles and technology can be the glue that brings everyone together by giveing each students what he or she needs to successful in a quick manner with a click of a button.
Technology can absolutely enhance instruction in the classroom. As a reading specialist, I have spent hours assessing students phonics skills and abilities. This year my district has adopted “ISTATION” which is a computer software application that students get on for 10-15 minutes each day. When they first log in, they take an assessment to find their instructional level of phonics instruction, After that each time they log on a game pops up to work on the skill they had didduducutly with on their assessment. As they do well on the games, they move to other skills they struggled with. If they do not do well on the game, other games will pop up each time covering the same skill. Teachers can print the data in trend lines and can even monitor how fast students are clicking through the games to make sure they are doing their best. The data we receive from this technology has impacted our phonics instruction in a positive way as teachers and myself can spend more time actively engaged with students rather than doing assessments.
In the example I mentioned above, the concepts of differentiation for different abilities of students is really supported. Technology can play a huge role in differentiated learning. It is extremely difficult for a teacher to teach everyone when you may have a range of 20 different reading levels in one classroom. I teach in a area of Texas, where we have a huge number of students coming on from Mexico. There have been many cases, where we have a student entering at different points throughout the year without any school experience. I recently had a 10 year old girl who came into our school and started in the 5th grade. She had never been in school, could not recognize any numbers or letter, and could not write at all, even her name. How is the teacher suppose to teach that student who is so far below grade level, technology! We put that student on ISTATION right away and I was able to find digital games are a kindergarten level for that student to work on throughout the day. It has been a great learning experience for both myself and our teachers. Technology helps students to find instruction where they may have not been focussed or available before.
Construct a list of the top three concepts, skills, and/or resources that you have gained in this course and that are most relevant to your current or anticipated professional role. These could be knowledge, skills, or attitudes related to the course topic, related to your abilities as a graduate student, or other relevant learning for you professionally that has come from this course experience. Include a brief description of each item in your list.
One of the things I found most interesting and helpful was the UDL concept. I plan to go into special education where everything is differentiated on some level so to see that there’s a way to provide differentiation in everyday lesson planning that the entire class has access to in order to make students not feel singled out is amazing. Another thing I found interesting that will be helpful are the software options for students with disabilities. My current district only has access to one so I figured that’s all that is available. Turns out there are several options available and quite user friendly. CAST has to be my favorite and will be my go to for lesson planning to start because it makes sure you understand step by step what each category consists of.
Describe how technology enhances instruction in the classroom and your current and/or anticipated professional role.
Technology is going to ensure that my students now are able to participate on whatever level they are capable. There are so many options and programs out there to choose from to allow students with special needs to participate. At this point when my students are left out of an assignment because of the difficulty, I am going to go find them something they can work with to complete the assignment anyway and show the teachers that they are under estimating our kids.
Discuss how technology supports differentiated learning experiences for a variety of learners and their unique needs.
As I stated above, technology will allow our special needs students to participate no matter what the assignment is. With all that is available now in the way of technology, there is no reason our students cannot be successful scholars on some level. They should at least have the option to try everything.