Next week, December 3-7, is Inclusive Schools Week. The theme this year is "Social Inclusion: More than a seat in the class!"
The classes that I work with this year will be teaming up with another classroom to create awareness buttons for distribution at our school. We will read stories to learn ways that we can be friends to all students and discuss what it means to feel included. The focus of social inclusion goes beyond accepting others with different abilities. Social inclusion encompasses appreciating diversity of ability, language, culture, age, gender, and socio-economic status.As a mom of three children, it is important to me that they all feel included at school and in society. As an educator, it is my responsibility to
teach others about the importance of social inclusion and give examples of how we can do it. The first suggestion I have for adults is to lead by example. When your children or students see you interacting with diverse individuals they will internalize what they see. If you are accepting and compassionate then they will learn to be accepting and compassionate too. If you are cold, dismissive, or disinterested then children learn that it is not important to treat diverse individuals equally.Until recently, I had not realized that my own actions have influenced my children's actions when interacting with children of varying abilities. I was speaking with a teacher at one of my sons' schools when she began to tell me about this boy who amazes her (she was talking about my son). She went on to describe her impressions of this young child. She explained that she sees him everyday on the bus ramp at the school. She said he is always smiling, talkative, and kind to others. The students in her classroom have various physical and mental abilities that affect how they look and navigate the school community. What really touched me was when she said that she had never witnessed, in all of her years of teaching, a child accept the students in her classroom as equals.
This was a proud mommy moment I will never forget. I cannot say that I have specifically taught my children about disabilities. I just explain how we all do things differently in order to accomplish the same task.
I decided to put together a quick resource list for inclusion week. However, I hope you will think about using these resources all year not just during inclusion week. The first set of resources can be used by educators or parents. These three books are a great way of introducing how we can be supportive of others and the importance of acting in a kind way towards others.
Fill a Bucket: A Guide for Daily Happiness for Young Children
by Carol McCloud
This first book is perfect for ages 3-9.
Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily happiness for Kids
by Carol McCloud
This book is perfect for ages 9 and older.
Growing Up With a Bucket Full of Happiness: Three Rules for a Happier Life
by Carol McCloudThis book is an extension of the book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today?Visit the Bucket Fillers website for teaching resources to go along with all of these books.
I was interested in finding a resource for educators to help with lessons on inclusion. I came across the following resource and was able to look in the table of contents on Amazon.com. I have ordered it and hope to get it at the beginning of next week. Take a look for yourself by clicking on the image of the book.
Teaching About Disabilities Through Children's Literature
by Mary Anne Prater and Tina Taylor Dyches
Below are a couple of different picture books that can be used at the elementary level to learn about different abilities.
Don't Call Me Special: A First Look at Disability
by Pat Thomas
Special People, Special Ways
by Arlene Maguire
Thank you, Mr. Falker
by Patricia Polacco
What I Like About Me!
by Allia Zobel Nolan
Ian's Walk: A Story About Autism
by Laurie Lears
Hooway For Wodney Wat
by Helen Lester
What will you be doing for School Inclusion Week? Comment below.
If you are a teacher in the United States then you will likely be expected to implement teaching practices utilizing the Common Core State Standards
(CCSS) to drive instruction in grades K-12. As of today, only five of the 50 states in the US have not adopted CCSS.
Click on Map to See CCSS Adoption by US States
What you may not know is there are organizations who are providing FREE information sessions through webinars for educators. Two organizations that I know of are Education Week and Kappa Delta Pi.The first webinar coming up next week is Common Core State Standards: Literacy and English-Language Learners
. This webinar is provided through the Edweek.org site and will take plane on Tuesday, December 4, from 2-3PM ET. Can't make it at that time because you are working? No problem! Just sign up for the webinar and once it is recorded the link to archive will be sent to you in an email. Then you can watch the recorded webinar at a convenient time for you.A second webinar is also being held next week
on Wednesday, December 5, from 8-9:15PM ET. This webinar titled Common Core: Challenges, Opportunities, and Next Steps
is presented through Kappa Delta Pi.If you are able to attend either one of them or listen to the recording afterwards, please comment below and share your reaction to the webinar experience.
One of the great things about living in Florida besides the weather is being so close to one of the most popular areas for conferences, Orlando. Each year FETC holds a national conference to showcase technology integration and emerging technologies relevant to the field of education.
his will mark the 3rd year I have attended FETC. I am proud to say that it is the first year that I will attend as a presenter. I will be co-presenting a session on flipping instruction in the classroom using podcasting.If you are an educator looking for creative new
ways to use technology for instruction this conference is for you. All the information you need is on the FETC website.
FETC 2013 National Conference
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL
Our session will be held on:
Wednesday, January 30 from 12:00 PM-12:40 PM
The following sites have online games that can be used by elementary education teachers or parents with their students or children.
Arcademic Skill Builders
This free game site is an appealing combination of academics and arcade games (hence the name). Students can play against each other in multiplayer games by setting up group games with special passwords. Students can practice math, language arts, geography, and typing skills through this educational gaming site. Make learning facts fun by letting students play games in or outside of the classroom.
Learning Games for Kids
Students have a wide variety of games to choose from on this site. Not only can students play math, science, social studies, and language arts games; there are art and music games too. Music games include identifying music notes being played, wind, percussion, and string instruments. Make sure to share this one with the music teacher at your school.
The Kidz Page
A variety of games are available on this site. Students can choose from puzzles, brain, sports, holiday, word, memory, arcade, and board games. Simon, a memory game, is an old classic from the 1980’s. Another classic kids can play is Battleship.
NeoK12 has games for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The main page for games is a collection of logic brain games that students can play over and over again until they master them. There are games that are specific to subjects too. Clicking on Earth under the Topics with Quiz Games sections allows students to sort features and non-features of the Earth into two bins.
PBS Kids Games
PBS just keeps improving with age. I remember learning along with so many different characters on the various children’s television programs when I was younger. Now, my kids are learning with the old and new characters. This link takes you to a page that has games for elementary age students. Some of the topics covered include addition, measurement outer space, plants, physics, and chemistry.
Launched in 2007, this educational game world is a creation of the Family Education Network (think Fun Brain), a Pearson Company. Students can create avatars that travel throughout different worlds in Poptropica using maps and solving riddles to collect items for future use. Students can save their games to return and play at any time allowing them to pick up right where they left off.
Here are six blogs that I like to visit for interesting articles on instructional technology application in the classroom. Enjoy!
Kelly Walsh is the Chief Operational Officer at the College of Westchester in White Plains, NY. This is his personal blog where he welcomes educators to dialogue about how they have used emerging technology in the classroom to engage students. One of the great features of this blog are the tags that are used to identify the posts on his blog. You can scroll through the different categories and select a specific topic, for example, how to use Facebook for instructional purposes
in your classroom. By clicking on the topic you will navigate to a page that has all of the posts written about that topic for you to read.
Nancye Blair writes an educational technology blog filled with creative ideas and reflections on education topics. She also provides resources for K-5 educators looking for ideas to create tech centers, writing activities, SMART board lessons, or ideas for student created media. Nancye test piloted the Ladibug 3-D document camera. You can read and watch a video about her experience here
The Innovative Educator: Way Out of the Box!http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/
Lisa Nielsen has worked for the New York City Department of Education and Columbia University in the area of improving education through innovative ways. Similar to Kelly Walsh’s blog Emerging EdTech, Lisa has a list of topics she blogs about on the right side of her blog. Interestingly, the topics she has covered the most are “Cell Phones in Education” and “unschooling”. If you are unfamiliar with the term “unschooling” it is a term used to describe students and parents who choose to opt out of public education. A guest writer named Nick Perez posted one story of particular interest titled “Dropping Out was a Great Idea
”. Nick discusses how he learned more at home by skipping school and teaching himself than by attending public school where they had him in enrolled in a secluded class for disengaged learners.
Kathy Schrock’s Kaffeeklatchhttp://blog.kathyschrock.net/
Kathy Schrock is a former media specialist and technology coordinator who travels the world giving presentations on how educators can effectively integrate technology into classroom curriculum. She maintains a blog where she provides reviews of new tech software programs or gadgets that she has personally tested. Kathy provides helpful tips for using each of the technologies she reviews and alerts educators to any challenges or difficulties she has had with the software or gadget.
Monday Tech Minute: Tech Tools for Teachershttp://nancypenchev.edublogs.org/
Nancy Penchev maintains a technology blog that she publishes every week. Teachers can find information about a variety of tools they can use in the classroom. Nancy posts links to free web tools that teachers can use in the classroom and provides explanations of how the technology can be integrated into the curriculum.
The Power of Educational Technologyhttp://edtechpower.blogspot.com/
Liz B. Davis is the Director at an all boys school near Boston, MA. The posts on her blog provide detailed examples of apps for the iPad and how they can be used in education. These entries cover apps that can be used by educators or students. Liz has played a role in organizing the Edcamp Boston conference over the past couple of years. In her reflections from the last conference during the summer of 2012, Liz described how she used that conference to further her knowledge about using the iPad as an innovative tool with students
I will be heading the 2012 AECT conference in Louisville, KY
next week and they will be using Pokens
at the conference this year. I had never heard of pokens before reading AECT President-elect Marcus Childress' blog post "What is a Poken
?" I received an email today with my Poken account information and immediately began to edit my profile. When I arrive at the AECT conference I will receive a
USB device that uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. I can then link my Poken account with the Poken device by plugging it into my computer and syncing the two. Then as I meet people or attend sessions I can exchange contact information or receive presentation materials by holding my Poken close to their Poken or Poken tag to retrieve the data through NFC technology.This sounds like a great way to maintain a professional network. Now, I do not have to worry about losing business cards or paying extra money for my overweight luggage (due to conference materials) on the return flight.
Back in April I attended a workshop
at Nova Southeastern University's main campus titled "Issues in Autism: Applying Tech Resources in Context. Now, don't go well I don't teach kids on the spectrum why should I keep reading this post. If you teach ANY child you should definitely read this post.The presenter of the workshop was Sean J. Sweeney
, a speech language pathologist who writes the blog SpeechTechie.com
. Almost every single app or web based software program that was demonstrated or mentioned is something that could be used in any setting- therapy, school, or home as well as with any student with varying abilities.The first thing that Sean discussed was "The FIVES criteria for evaluating and integrating simple tech resources in Speech and Language interventions. F = FREE I = INTERACTIVE V = VISUAL E = EDUCATIONALLY RELEVANT S = SPEECHIE
A complete description of the FIVES Criteria and several apps that meet this requirement are available here
.Here are some of the apps that were mentioned during the workshop:NASA Lunar Electric Rover App for iPhone and iPod TouchSolar WalkStar WalkTapikeoScribblenauts RemixPictoon
-add text to picsComic Touch Lite
-add text to picsBla Bla Bla
-sound recognition app can aid with voice self-regulationHouse of Learning
-teaches vocab and prepositionsToca Boca
- encourage pretend scenarios like a tea party or helicopter taxiScribble Press
-create drawings or storiesMonkey Thinks
-voice recognition helps with noun identification
If you go to the Autism Speaks Family Resource page
, you will find a long list of apps (in alphabetical order with a description of the app. Many of these apps are not just beneficial for those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder, they can be used for anyone.Autism Spectrum Directory has
a page specifically geared towards ABA apps such as reward charts, data collection tools, and praise phrases.Specific apps for Speech are discussed here. Sean invites you to check out his google docs list of apps and add to it to keep the resource growing.Here are some web based sites that were mentioned:Making FacesGo Animate
-make videosDomo Animate (recommended for younger students)
-similar to Go AnimateKerpoof
-lots of cool animation activitiesPixton
-use to make comicsThese are just some to get you started. I will add more in the next week or so.
It has been a while since my last post. I have spent the last 24 days traveling in a car with my three children from FL to CT and back again. Today, as we were on our way home from our last stop, Sea World (Orlando), I was checking in on Facebook to see what conversations were taking place. There is a group that I belong to that was started by another Nova ITDE student as a way to support each other through our journey in the Ed.D program. Several of my classmates were discussing the classes that they had registered for. I hadn't realized that Fall 2012 registration was open yet. For some reason, I was under the impression that it didn't start until July 9. This made me very anxious as I like to make sure that I register early so I get the classes I want and need.
So, I decided to try to get onto the registration page with my smartphone. I kept going in and out of cell tower service areas. It felt like forever, but I was finally able to select the three classes that I wanted and hit the submit button. It WORKED! I was thrilled to know that I had reserved my spot in the classes that I wanted for the fall semester.
This is just another example of accessing education at a distance.
This week is teacher appreciation week and I received a link to a short piece about Taylor Mali, a former teacher turned poet. He writes about what teachers make in a way that is supportive of the profession and in response after a personal experience that he had at a dinner party. While I was growing up there were many teachers that I can remember that went beyond the job description to assist me in learning something new. There was Mrs. R my second grade teacher. She really got us physically involved in learning how to write in cursive. She would lead us in gross motor movements by having us use our pointer finger to draw the letter that we were working on in the air several times while she gave specific instructions on the formation.Mrs. P was my third grade teacher and she definitely instilled a love of math within me. I do not remember how she did it but I know that without her I would not have mastered my multiplication and division facts that year. She also went above her duties as an educator when she offered to teach me needlepoint after I received a needlepoint craft for Christmas that year.I remember my eighth grade language arts teacher who introduced "The Hobbit" by J. R. R. Tolkien
. This is the first novel that I can remember reading that I actually enjoyed and it sparked a love for literature ever since.In high school, my anatomy and physiology teacher was relentless when it came to knowledge of the human body as well as being excellent surgeons when it came time to dissect our fetal pigs. That desire for perfectionism still resides within me today (I'm not sure if I consider it a strength or a flaw though).For all of these teachers I say thank you for your kind words or your insistence to try harder, do better, and to push myself further than I thought possible. I also appreciate all of the teachers that did not support me, encourage me and belittled me in front of my classmates as you taught me not to follow in your footsteps.It takes a special person to be a teacher, someone who reaches the difficult to reach student. You have to have persistence and a lot of intrinsic motivation to keep going in a profession that is not given the recognition and appreciation that is deserved.After all, who grooms all of the other professions out there...TEACHERS that's who!To read and watch the piece on Taylor Mali click here. I do want to provide a disclaimer that the video does contain adult language and content
After many battles with technology, I have finally finished producing my first video podcast. The topic is SCORM. If you don't know what SCORM is then you will need to take about 5 minutes of your time to watch my podcast
.This project was probably one of the most difficult tasks
I have tackled in a long time. I have great software but I am not familiar enough with how it works to use it effectively. I used Adobe Premiere Elements 9 to edit this podcast.The whole process began with writing a script...no problem. Then we needed to record an audio podcast, again, no problem (listen to the audio podcast by clicking the
Then we needed to submit digital pictures that we might use in our video podcast...got that covered too.
The next step was to plan out our shots for the video production. I made my notes right onto my script, making notes of motion video or still images that would be used to explain the digital media term SCORM.Our professor asked for us to post the production equipment that we would use to produce the video podcast. My list included: Hardware
- Computer: Dell Inspiron 15R N5110 Laptop
- Microphone: Logitech Stereo Headset H149 with microphone
- Digital Camera with still and video capability: Nikon D3100
- Camera Lenses: AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G & AF-S Nikkor 55-300mm 1:4.5-5.6G ED w/ HB-57 Hood
- Memory Card: FujiFilm High Performance 8GB Class 6
- Memory Card Reader: Rocketfish High Speed CF/SD/SDHC Card Reader
- Tripod: Precision Design PD-57TR Photo/Video 57” Tripod
- Photo Editing: Adobe Photoshop Elements 9
- Video Editing: Adobe Premiere Elements 9
- Sound Editing: Audacity 1.3.14
- MP3 Encoder: LAME v.3.99.3 for Windows
After beginning production, I made some additional considerations. I needed to use lighting for the video footage so I created a homemade light set following the directions provided in this podcast. All of the materials that I needed I found at the nearby hardware store and grocery store (yes, I said grocery store...watch the video and you'll see what was purchased there) . Total cost was around $30. I did have one clamp light already and I used power strips as my extension cords since that is what I already had in my possession.
I knew that I wanted to shoot some of my video footage at the Fort Myers Student Educational Center (SEC) of Nova southeastern University (that has been my second home over the past 2 years as I have been working on my doctoral studies). So, I made sure to stop there and reserve some space to do my recordings.
Well, of course, nothing went smoothly after that.
The day of the recording the room I had reserved was already occupied by several students studying for a quiz. I waited patiently as they were supposed to be packing up. The security guard told me that I could head in as they were moving out so I could use the room. When they were still in the room after I had been waiting for 10 minutes I went down and started setting up my equipment. Finally, they left the room to head to another space that was located for them. I breathed a sigh of relief and began to record my footage. About 20 minutes into recording as I was just getting comfortable someone walks into the room as I am recording. I decided I better post a sign so everyone would know that I was video taping. That didn't help much since another person walked in shortly after putting that sign on the outside of the door.
I was so happy to be done with my recording and couldn't wait to get to post production: Editing. If only it was that easy!
Things I learned from this experience:
Have security lock the door next time so no one accidentally interrupts the recording session.
It is difficult to frame yourself in a shot when you don't have a camcorder that has a front facing monitor. I was using a Nikon D31oo to do this (no front facing monitor). It also doesn't allow for smooth camera zooming in and out as there is no toggle switch only the barrel of the camera lens.
Adobe Premiere Elements does not like when you have your project files in different locations. I learned this the hard way after having the program crash on me for 2 days. I was ready to give up but Google saved the day. I read anything I could find on what could be causing the problem and someone mentioned putting all the files in the same folder. This worked much better. The program didn't work flawlessly but it at least stopped crashing on me.
My SDHC card reader failed and I couldn't get my footage off of my memory card. I ordered a new SanDisk MicroMate SDHC card reader and so far it works like a charm.
I also decided to buy a new memory card after reading my camera manual and the Producing Video Podcasts: A Guide for Media Professional by Richard Harrington and Mark Weiser. Both suggested getting a better quality card for the video footage as it would record smoother and allow for faster transfer to my computer. I purchased a SanDisk 16GB Extreme SDHC Card Class 10 45MB/s UHS-1.
I learned that my Nikon did not have the option of attaching an external mic to record sound directly. It only has an internal mic that does not pick up adequate sound. Therefore, I purchased an audio-technica lavelier microphone to use with my Sony IC-Recorder.
After viewing my footage and starting to edit, I thought I just might have to break down and purchase a camcorder. I decided though that if I was going to do this it had to be a camcorder that had a jack for a microphone. This would cut out the need for me to edit the sound separately from the video (or so I thought). I went and purchased a Canon Vixia HF R200 HD Camcorder. Well, my thought about not having to edit audio separately was tossed out the window as the quality of audio that was recorded using my lavilier was horrible. (Side Note: The lavilier microphone worked beautifully with the Sony IC-Recorder so I know it wasn't the mic that was responsible for the poor recording). The file format of the video was also different than that of my Nikon. My Nikon records with a .mov extension. The Canon records with a .MTS extension. When editing in Adobe Premiere Elements the Canon footage would not play appropriately. The footage appeared to bounce on the screen. There is probably a way to fix that but I needed to get this project done so I decided to re-shoot some of the scenes with the Nikon.
When I checked the new footage that I recorded and the audio, I realized that I had never turned on the microphone so needless to say I was back at square one.
Saving the video in an appropriate file type to send to my professor is another story...
Let me just say that the podcast is done but there are several glitches. I know that I will be revisiting it and making improvements. That is just the way of my type A personality. Whenever that happens I will be sure to post the updated version for all of you to see.