Sunday, July 29, 2012

11 tools - tool 11

What an amazing training this has been.  This is possibly the most useful information I've ever received through a self-paced assignment!  I found many new tools I had not used before and am excited about using in my new classroom!  Animoto is possibly one of my favorites, though i think I'll have to get a paid for account because I'm going to want to do videos that are longer than 30 seconds!  I'm excited to have finally learned how to create my own Blog, which after these assignments I plan to continue to use to post activities, schedules, PECS, work box ideas, etc with fellow teachers.  I am excited to have learned how to use Google docs.  So much better than e-mailing everything!  The list is endless and I will be referencing the 11 tools blog links a lot!!!

I'm not sure any of this training has transformed my thinking, but it has helped develop the ideas I've had and did not know how to accomplish! 

11 tools - tool 10

The digital citizenship of my students is different than those of the typical classroom student. Most of my students will be supervised and assisted in most of their digital interactions. However, I do believe my student population must learn about personal protection and safety and appropriate content access. My students need to know that there are guidelines for communicating with others. They need to understand they are not to give out personal information and they need to let an adult know if any inappropriate communication is made. Students need to be aware that even sites that are cool and fun may not be appropriate for the school setting.

I will most likely teach digital citizenship systematically and through ABA techniques. I will provided guided instruction on how to access any tools or sites we use in our class. I will make work systems that guide students through the activities and expectations of computer/ipad/etc use.


11 tools - tool 9

With all this technology available to our kids, the uses are endless.  This assignment asks questions on ways to incorporate devices with classroom objectives and instruction.  
Tool #9 Assignment, create a new post in which you respond to the following:
  1. Why do you think it is important to tie the technology to the objective?
It is important to tie technology to an objective because this leads you in the planning of exactly what your expectations from students are and what outcomes you expect from their learning. If you just hand them a device with no objective, how do they know what action they are supposed to form?
  1. Why should we hold students accountable for the stations/centers?
Holding students accountable gives them ownership over their actions. It shows them that they have responsibilities for materials and items used and that there are rewards and consequences for their actions with those materials.
  1. Visit 2 of the applicable links to interactive websites for your content/grade level. Which sites did you like. How could you use them as stations? How can you hold the students accountable for their time in these stations?
From the list provided, I particularly liked learninggamesforkids and PHet. In learning games for kids, there are multiple games that could engage my kiddo. In PHet, there are multiple activities that would bring science concepts to life without having to gather expensive materials. In addition, I have many interactive sites that I enjoy using with kids that are bookmarked on my computer. In the near future, I will do a blog post for these!
  1. List two to three apps you found for the iPod Touch/iPad that you can use in your classroom. What do you see that station looking like? How can you hold the students accountable for their time in these stations?
ABA flashcards (all subjects), DTTwords, matches. All of these would be independent work stations where students would sit and follow a work system to complete the activity. Accountability would be ensured through teaching procedures and expectations, and then with active monitoring by staff.
  1. What about other ways to use the iPod Touch/iPad? Share another way you can see your students using the device as a station.
I have used my ipod touch in the past as a transition object for kids. They carry the ipod touch with them and listen to music or do a specific game to calm them. I also have used the Ipad in the past for providing leisure instruction. There are also apps that inherently encourage communication and sounds by repeating what students say and providing visual feedback for their sounds.

11 tools - tool 8

I am so excited to be getting an I-Pad for my classroom use.  I have a TON of apps that are made specifically for kids with autism.  I plan to use the I-Pad as a station/work center for kiddos.  They will have their own apps with a work system for using it.  Management will be easier for me than others as any student working with this particular technology will have a staff member at their side at all times.
In the video, I learned where to find SBISD approved apps.  I'm glad I watched this video as I may not have realized I needed to only use approved apps if I had not!

11 tools - tool 7

It is often hard for my students to share their work because there are so few "paper and pencil" tasks! I will be using a classroom blog to share student work. With parental permission (and following any district guidelines, which I will need to research) we will photograph students throughout the process of completing tasks and skills so that we can share their accomplishments with others. I will allow comments and posts from fellow special educators who can provide feedback on the learning process and provide ideas on how to improve our skill acquisition. I plan to implement this as soon as I get the permissions required! I will use Google Blogger. I hope to get some of my past classrooms and the other life skills and Apple classrooms in the district involved so that we can network our classrooms!

Here is one great example of a classroom blog:
Mrs. May's Class

11 tools - tool 6

I decided to try a few of the social commenting tools from the list SBISD provided.
My first was Voicethread.   Using Voicethread, group conversations are created and shared with anyone around the world. These collaborative slideshows allow navigation and participants can leave comments in 5 different ways.
I began began by searching for "autism". I found that there were multiple slideshows created by others on the subject of Autism and a few created to use with students with Autism. One I really liked and could see myself using in a classroom was the following on emotions, created by Chris:



I then decided to try to create my own.  I chose to upload a powerpoint presentation I created that explains the differences between student schedules and work systems.  I didn't make any changes or updates, just created to test the process.  It was soooo easy!  Here is that product:

I must admit, I'm not sure about how useful the "commenting" will be for my students, but I do see this as a great tool for creating lessons for my kiddos!  I also see where it could be an amazing tool for collaborating with other special education teachers!  I plan to explore this product much more in depth.  I have already seen multiple presentations that I want to comment on, use with my kids, and share with other educators!

After Voicethread, I attempted to check out multiple other tools from the 11tools list.  I tried Edmodo, but it requires a school code.  I am awaiting that code so I can see what it's all about.  I then attempted to use Todaysmeet.  I could create a meeting, but I do not see any purposeful way to use this for my particular class or field.  I then checked out Coveritlive, but it kept directing me to ESPN sites on the Olympics and I didn't see how to make comments and other things.  In addition, once again, I didn't see any purposeful use for my class.  I finally tried Wallwisher.  This is a pretty simple message board.  I do not see a use for my kiddos, but it is a cool tool.   Here is the quick wall I made in an attempt to figure out a way it might be of use in a classroom for my kids:



I also uploaded a few items into googledocs.  I can see this as being useful in maintaining communication with team members and therapists that work in the classroom.  We can create data sheets, ABC logs, etc and keep the dialogue going to make sure everyone is informed on student progress.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

11 tools - tool 5

Using Web 2.0
I had heard of, used, or seen quite a few of the tools mentioned in the post.  I decided to attempt a couple of new ones as ideas for things my students could use in the classroom or I could use to create lessons/activities for them.
My first attempt was with TikaTok, a book creating tool.  I thought maybe this would be useful for kids to create simple sentences using a repeated format.  They could create color books, concept books, etc.  It was easy to join and the book was easy to begin.  However, once I began the process of creating pages, I found that their included clipart was bizarre and barely useful for anything and to upload your own photos you had to go through 6 different steps (upload, find folder, find picture, click on picture, click upload).  I believe this is too complicated for my students.  I did spend the time to create a short example of an application for the tool.  In the end, I also realized that the only way to share the work is to purchase the book you created.  I do not see this as useful in the class.  Here is a link to the very short, very basic book I created. (as a note, I did get to upload this into my Google Drive and share it that way - very exciting!)
Sports Book

My second attempt was with Wordle.  I have seen many of these and wondered if I could use them with my students.  I tried to make a wordle that had sight words listed multiple times.  I could use this to quiz students (touch the word stop), or have them practice reading words.  However, I never could get the Wordle to show any word more than 1 time!  I looked through the FAQ's and they provided no help.  I will continue to play with this tool because I do think it could be a cool resource for my kiddos.  Here is my simple
Wordle
Wordle: edmark

My third tool was Animoto.  I LOVED IT!!!  It was easy to upload pictures into and extremely easy to navigate.  I think it could be used with my students to create short videos to show a sequence of skills, create a task analysis, or even kids could use to put together videos of their schoolday!  I am excited about this one. I created a quick video of pictures of me and my husband through the years.  Man have we changed!!!


Try our slideshow maker at Animoto.

11 tools - tool 4

I have been attempting to use Google docs for the past year or so.  I stumbled upon it when browsing other blogs and attempting to see items that they were sharing.  I quickly realized this was a wonderful way to collaborate and share items!  Up until now, I had no idea how to create my own!  I think this will be a great way for the special education teachers to share data sheets, lesson plans, ideas, schedule pictures, PECS. . . the list is endless!
Google Forms:  So far, I have to admit, I do not see a practical application for this tool in my specific classroom.  The students I teach will not typically be "quizzed" in this fashion.  If I do find that I have students that can use this, I will explore it more thoroughly.
I am excited about using the spreadsheet and presentation applications.  I feel this will be a great way for me to share data with my teammates and to create and use presentations with my students.  I have always used powerpoint extensively, so I see the google presentation as being something that will not only replace that software, but allow me to easily share my created work!

Friday, July 27, 2012

11 tools - tool 3

Inserting videos into your post!  How exciting.  Because I teach all subjects, I find that MANY video sites are useful for my needs.  I love using Discovery videos to bring concepts to life.  I also use brainpop on a fairly regular basis.  Today I discovered that if you search for "video modeling" and "autism" on youtube, there are tons of videos I could use to teach kids specific skills.
Here are some videos I could use with students or to plan my instruction.

Kate Ahern at "Teaching learners with multiple special needs", one of my favorite blogs,  makes FABULOUS videos in slideshare.  Here is one of her videos on recipes:
craft recipe book

Autismvideomodeling on youtube has MULTIPLE videos to model appropriate skills for students with autism.  Here is one modeling appropriate greeting skills. . . 
Here is another showing appropriate bathroom routine procedures.
In this assignment I was asked to think about fair use and copyright laws.  I must admit, I have trouble with this one.  As an educator who loves to share work, I forget at times that credit is due to those who share with me!  I must ensure I am careful to credit any person or site that I borrow information and videos from. I must also figure out how much I am willing to allow others to borrow from me! 

11 tools - tool 2

I have always been an avid follower of blogs and sites of people who share my passion for the education of children with disabilities.  I often post comments and share ideas with others.  This assignment was quite easy in that regard.  What I did love about this assignment was learning to use the Google reader.  I have added many blogs to this reader and will now enjoy being able to access my favorite sites without having to search around the web.
I have added a "blogs I follow" onto my gadgets.  This will give an idea of what I enjoy reading.  Each of these sites offer lessons, activities, freebies, ideas, and thoughts on teaching kids with autism!

11 tools - tool 1

My first blog post!!  I am excited about this assignment as I have often been told I needed to start a blog to share my ideas and lessons with other special education teachers.  I look forward to being able to connect with others and share ideas!
To introduce myself to everyone, I am Erin Stevenson-Bennett.  I am the new APPLE teacher at Northbrook Middle School.  I've been a special education teacher for the last 13 years.  I taught in Georgia for 12 of those years in self-contained classes for kids with low incidence disabilities.  I also spent my time in Georgia as the director of Project START, a summer program that provided Extended School Year and Summer Camp in the same setting!  I moved to Texas to be closer to family and moved to SBISD to be close to home.  I am so excited to begin this year with my new Knight family!!!
Creating this blog has been extremely easy.  I feel the directions from 11 tools are clear and concise and that the blog dashboard is easy to navigate!
I look forward to posting more and learning how to include content, links, and pictures.  I also look forward to learning how to connect to other blogs and sites that I follow frequently.