SPED 312

Technology + Assessments

          Technology has been and will continue to change various things within the education system. Technology has impacted on how assessments are given. In the past assessments were given on paper. Now we see more assessments being done using computers. The article describes various assessments used in different districts within the United States. I think it is important that educators are aware of the different assessments being used at other schools.

            One type of test is the computer-based assessment. This usually requires students to have good computer skills. There are grade levels that assign students to type an essay during the assessment. This type of test wants to see the students’ knowledge through this assessment. The educators don’t want students to have difficulties using the computer while they are trying to demonstrate their knowledge through this assessment.

            Another type of test is interactive assessments. The purpose of this assessment is to have students engaged. This test isn’t targeting the students’ motivation. The assessment is meant to show their abilities in the Common Core State Standards. An example the article mentions is if we want to figure out if students can edit text, we need to give them the opportunity to edit text and score his or her performance. Assessments that involve multiple choice usually don’t measure this way.

            The last test the article mentioned was adaptive assessments. These are personalized assessments. Basically, if the student answers correctly the following question will be harder. There was a district that uses adaptive assessment in order to identify students who are having difficulties in a certain area at the beginning of the year. Assessments could be helpful in this way when used correctly. Schools must recognize what type of assessments would benefit their student population. Personally, I believe students shouldn’t just be assessed with one assessment but multiple ones. This will provide educators with more accurate data. I’m confident that we will continue to see changes in the area of assessments in the next few years.

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This picture explains in a simple form how students’ can embrace their mistakes. I would love to put that picture in my future classroom and would totally recommend it to other educators.  I found the explanation of  deliberate practice very valuable. It reinforces that students should work out the areas they are having trouble with before continuing on higher level activities. Students mistakes make an impact on the teacher’s instruction. It basically allows the teacher to see what part of the lessons they must expand on and provide more  support. Teachers must show students what a mistake really should mean. Mistakes should be seen as helpful. A great thing that I liked from this article is how we should teach our students that the red pen is not bad. The article describes many other tips on how to teach students to embrace their mistakes.

 

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This article mentions how teachers are required to fulfill a certain number of professional development hours each year. Often schools don’t provide to teachers the amount required of professional development. In addition, the school might not pay for the professional development. There are various ways schools supply professional development to teachers.  Before reading this article I wasn’t aware of all the options the school can provide their teachers with. This makes me think of what type of professional development opportunities my future school will offer me. At the end the article summarizes how professional development shouldn’t just be a checked-off box on a form but something that is put to use. We need to change how our system is educating educators. A teacher should demonstrate what they gained from their professional development in their classroom and school. I have always seen professional development as new opportunities to learn more about a concepts and teaching techniques. It is unfortunate how it has turned to be just a checked-off box on a form for some educators.

 
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At the beginning of the semester I started working on my own personal learning network. I have to admit it does provide me with many resources. It also keeps me up to date with the latest technology devices that are being implemented into classrooms. I personally like Twitter. I find it easy to browse around and locate topics I want to read about by using the hashtag tool. I can basically connect on twitter from any technology device. Technology has made an impact of the ways we can access our personal learning networks. I really think every teacher should have his or her own personal learning network. I’m still working on receiving my teaching degree and I have already gained many useful tools and techniques to use in the future. I can’t imagine how much teachers who are already in a classroom will benefit from this. 

 

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This could be beneficial for teachers who want to integrate mobility into their practice. The article mentions an app that teachers can use in order to expand their knowledge on mobility. It guides them throughout the whole process. It is important for educators to keep up to date with different technology tools the classroom can benefit from. This app seems great since it serves as an instructional guide for teachers. I can definitely see myself using tools like this in the future. Educators must prepare students for the future and mobility is part of the students’ future. 

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The article gives out valuable advice on how to improve your professional practice. They mention how educators should constantly share what they learn or are using in class with others. I really liked how the article explained that educators are all learners. We can offer a good amount of ideas and continue to expand on those with others. Another topic mentioned in the article is care. Teachers shouldn’t teach students how to care but help them experience acts of caring. It also discusses how teachers should connect with others and discuss their own teaching experiences. This helps various teachers communicate about the challenges they have and challenges they have faced. This can help others solve their challenges. The advices mentioned in the article can truly make an impact on a teacher if they apply them. 

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It is important for teachers to understand this issue. They might think that because the student does have a device they are able to work on any homework assigned to them. This may not be the cause. There are many things a teacher must take in consideration when using technology in their lessons and activities. It is great that districts are now providing internet access at the students’ home. This definitely helps teachers and students. Teachers can now integrate technology into their lessons and activities without worrying about the students having internet access at home. Students now have the opportunity to search academic related information and continue to expand their knowledge. It’s important for teachers to be aware of this topic since it can affect their instruction. Hopefully, this continues to be implemented in other states too. 

HISD struggles with lack of bilingual special-ed teachers

The moment I got accepted to the College of Education I knew I wanted to become a bilingual special education teacher. In the past few months, I’ve been searching for resources that can help me expand my knowledge on bilingual special education instruction. In the process of doing this I concluded that there aren’t that many bilingual special education teachers out there. The article I read confirms this issue. School districts throughout the country are having trouble finding bilingual teachers that have fulfilled the requirements to teach students in special education.

It is unfortunate that students with disabilities who have limited English skills are kept with a bilingual teacher for most of the day due to their special education teacher only knowing how to speak English. After reading this article, I can imagine how in the future I’m able to make an impact regarding this issue. The article also mentions how the majority of colleges don’t offer a bilingual special education programs for students like me. For example, in order for me to graduate as a bilingual special education teacher I need to take additional courses while in my program in order to get my bilingual endorsement. I truly believe there should be a different way for students to obtain this endorsement. At the end of the day, I’m just happy to know that one day I will be helping solve this issue and transforming education programs too.

Parent-Teacher Conference

One of the things I look forward to in the future is conducting parent-teacher conferences. I know that many of the things taught in my education program will help me be prepared for teaching but there are many other things that I will learn on my own when teaching. Yes, I might observe parent-teacher conferences during these years but in order to completely learn I must experience leading a parent-teacher conference. One of the things that is described within the article How to get the most out of a parent-teacher conference is how there is a lack of training for teachers on how to have good communication with parents. Yet, in one of my education classes in college I was told communication between the teacher and parents is crucial for the student’s success. I find this to be an area that definitely needs to be improved since it doesn’t just affect the teacher but their students too.

The article mentions how a student’s education is a shared responsibility between the teacher and the parents. One of the things that is often seen is parents just listening to the teacher during parent-teacher conferences. Parents play an important role in these conferences. Parents should share during this time what type of interests, activities, and clubs the student is involved in outside of school. A parent might think this type of information would be meaningless to a teacher but it can actually have a great impact on how the teacher instructs the student. For example, if a student loves to read about whales at home, the teacher can integrate this interest within their instruction. This can help increase participation within activities that the student can often find tedious. The teacher can also share tips on how to get the student involved and share access to resources that expand the student’s learning outside the classroom. Teachers should keep in mind that they shouldn’t just focus on academic performance. Many of the great things discussed in this article helped me have a better understanding of how a parent-teacher conference should include. There are still many amazing things I will learn through my education program and this is definitely one of the things I look forward on learning more about.

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This article addresses distinctive challenges that low-income public schools encounter when using technology. Yet this article offers a great perspective from a school principal that transformed her school through technology. This principal begins her journey by explaining that it doesn’t matter exactly what type of technology tools you have but more importantly is what you do with them. This brought me back to an older post I created months ago in which I expanded on how technology is a tool, its what we do with that tool, and what we can make out of that tool. The principal suggests to just start building and sharing knowledge with other educators about the technology the school currently has. This allows for all teachers to be properly trained with the technology that is being used in that school. There are many other useful tips the principal mentions throughout this article. Many of her tips I can see myself using in the future. Any teacher in the school can jumpstart this technology journey. This has a great impact on the students’ education and teachers’ too.

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This article has great information on how to build your digital portfolio. Students have to create a digital portfolio at some point in their career. In the past students created their portfolio using printed materials but now technology has changed how this is done. They can display their digital portfolio by using a variety of resources. For example, one teacher might use a blog while another decides to create a website. This allows the teacher to showcase his/her digital portfolio with administrators, teachers, parents, and students.  I really liked how they aligned the digital portfolio with the four domains of the Charlotte Danielson framework. I had heard about this framework at a professional development conference but I didn’t know that we could align it to our portfolio. I can definitely see how this would impact how teachers build their digital portfolio.

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I feel like there are always new things to learn about technology that we have had for a while. Skype was introduced in 2003. I use Skype quite often but I didn’t know it could be included in the classroom in many distinctive ways. This article mentions three main categories that Skype can be used. These categories are collaborating, communicating, and connecting with others. There were different ideas listed under each of these categories that I hadn’t even thought of doing using Skype. For example, it can be used to have a parent teacher conference. We know parents are busy people too and this would allow another type of option to meet with them. Also, using Skype to connect with museums and requesting a tour is a pretty cool thing to do. I can go on and on with all the amazing ideas I found in this article. I can definitely see myself using a few of them in the future. Skype is a great tool to use in any type of classroom.

 

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This tweet caught my attention since cyberbullying has been an issue in schools for the past few years. Teachers teaching social media ethics can have an impact on reducing cyberbullying. Teachers are able to impact this issue through the teachings of social media ethics. Educators must be prepared to teach students how to use the internet properly. There are many ways to attack this issue through technology. I could see myself in the future teaching about cyberbullying and explaining how this can impact many people. Educators can find it beneficial to share different ideas on how to deal with this issue and different methods they can use to teach students about it. 

 

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I was familiar with Google Docs but not Google+ Hangouts in the classroom. I thought this was really interesting. It seems like a great tool that teachers can use when trying to reach students out of the classroom. I did read that teachers need to put in time to learn how to use this but at the end it is worth it. The article shares different tips that can help the teacher use this effectively. It is great resource to use since it can be integrated into any classroom. I can definitely see myself using this in the future when I have to reach students that are out of the classroom. 

 

 

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I found this tweet interesting since I’ve heard about teachers having trouble with technology in their classroom. Sometimes they don’t get properly trained or get no training at all. The article shares ideas of how to learn to use technology. A great tip the article mentions is building a team of educators that are using technology. This provides great feedback on what is working and what things need to be adjusted. I can see myself building a team like the one mentioned in the article. I would find this very beneficial since special education classrooms are filled with assistive technology. There is always going to be new devices coming into the classroom each year and teachers must be prepared to learn how to use it properly. The built team can help with this particular situation.