Foundations of Instructional Technology, LT 8000, provided more information than I could possibly absorb in 1 semester. From the psychology of IDT, PM in IDT, HPI, Higher Ed, Global Trends and more, this semester was filled with a plethora of information. I especially enjoyed learning about gamification and the apps available for students. The next day after the presentation on gamification, my 4 grade students were racing each other in multiplication math.
The most useful information to me was the research of my final term paper, online environments and students with learning disabilities. It is exciting to be entering a field that is on the cutting edge of educational online learning. We are beginning to develop web 2.0 tools that are accessible to students with learning disabilities, providing alternative means of instruction that cater to the needs of students. As a profession, we still have a long way to go in order to provide public education with all the appropriate resources, and teachers with the training they need to be successful facilitators of learning.
The struggles I had this semester was being able to focus on research, juggle multiple projects, keep up with the readings and the discussion questions. Juggling 2 graduate classes and working full-time, left no room for anything else. Even dedicating all of my time, I still felt as though I didn’t have enough time to provide all that I would have liked to contribute in response to the discussion forum.
The biggest take away is learning the concept of UDL. I know now, as I design and instruct, to make sure to incorporate the 3 principles of UDL; engagement which needs to be a muli-approach to learning in order to motivate the learner; provide a variety of representation that is meaningful, resourceful and knowledgeable; strategic goal-directed instruction in the application of action and expression. This class has afforded me the opportunity to see the many aspects of IDT, and it has given me a better view of the opportunities available in the field.
“Critical Considerations for Teaching Students with Disabilities in Online Environments”
In the article, Critical Considerations for Teaching Students with Disabilities in Online Environments, the authors provide an overview of the K-12 Online Learning Environments. As a parent, who experienced my child attending online classes through K-12, it is a huge commitment on the part of the parent. Essentially the parent becomes the coach, and mentor. The online instructor is a facilitator/teacher. While it was not a good fit for my son, I can see the promising future in K-12 online classes.
Above is an interesting table from the article, illustrating the common misunderstandings and the current practices in K-12 Online instruction. ( Greer, et al., Pg.83)
Greer, D., Rowland, A. L., & Smith, S. J. (2014). Critical Considerations for Teaching Students With Disabilities in Online Environments. Teaching Exceptional Children, 46(5), 79. doi:10.1177/0040059914528105
This Will Revolutionize Education
By – Veratasim
This 7 minute video is worth the review. It begins with a quick review of the history of technology and how it relates to education. That gives and interesting take on the future of education and the learning process regarding technology. Some of the concepts review were introduced in LT 8360.
The narrator sums it up by saying “as transformative as technology can be, what matter is what happens inside the learners head and making a learner think seems best achieved in a social environment, with other learners and a caring teacher.”
Short 3 minute video – very cool stuff
Technology in Education: A Future Classroom
Technology is opening up new worlds for children with Autism and Apple has teamed up with Autism Speaks to connect to their world with IPads and IPhones. Read about how a young boy with autism connects with Siri on his IPhone.
Article title: To Siri, With Love
Also check out the video - Dan Smith Discusses Autism and Technology on Al Jazeera
In researching Diversity and Accessibility I came across a book review by Stephanie L. Moore, on David H. Rose and Anne Meyer’s book Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning. What was specifically interesting was her argument that the focus of UDL is solely on the learning materials, strategies, and sometimes environments (classrooms and buildings), yet fails to focus on what she states to be “systematic-level barriers to performance”. Things that need to change in order for learning environments to achieve “universally-designed environments.” She discusses the idea that “if we pit a good idea against a bad system, the system will win every time.”
In the next five years technology will change the way school systems operate and the role of teachers will change to facilitators. As we see the rapid advancement in technology and all the many instructional design and performance improvements, how do we address the failures within education, government and business?
Moore, S. (2007). David H. Rose, Anne Meyer, Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning. In, Educational Technology Research & Development (pp. 521-525). Springer Science & Business Media B.V. doi:10.1007/s11423-007-9056-3
Senate rejects plan to allow parents to opt out of standardized tests
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) speaking during a news briefing at the U.S. Capitol last week. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
By Emma Brown July 14 This story has been updated.
The Senate on Tuesday defeated an amendment to the Every Child Achieves Act that would have allowed parents nationwide to opt out of federally-mandated state standardized tests without putting school districts at risk of federal sanctions.
The chamber voted 64 to 32 against the amendment, proposed by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) amid a backlash against mandated standardized tests. “Parents, not politicians or bureaucrats, will have the final say over whether individual children take tests,” he said.
[Parents across the country are revolting against standardized tests]
But Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) — the Republican co-sponsor of the carefully crafted bipartisan bill — spoke forcefully against the proposal, saying it would strip states of the right to decide whether to allow parents to opt out.
“I say to my Republican friends, do we only agree with local control when we agree with the local policy?” said Alexander, who has framed the bill as an effort to transfer power over education from the federal government to the states.
The vote sets up an important difference to reconcile between the House and Senate bills to rewrite No Child Left Behind, the nation’s main federal education law.
Current law requires school districts to ensure that 95 percent of children take the exams, a provision meant to ensure that administrators don’t encourage low performers to stay home on exam day. The Senate bill mandates 95 percent participation of students who are required to be tested, but allows states to decide whether children who opt out are among those who are required to be tested.
But under the House bill, parents who opt their children out of tests would not be counted in the participation rate of any state, effectively removing them from the accountability system altogether. Democrats and civil rights groups opposed that provision, saying it opened a loophole to hide achievement gaps.
[House passes No Child Left Behind rewrite]
Emma Brown writes about national education and about people with a stake in schools, including teachers, parents and kids.