Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Journal #9: First graders with iPads?

Getting, S. & Swainey, K. (2012, August). First graders with ipads?. Learning & Leading with Technology, 40(1), 24-27. Retrieved from

'iPad' photo (c) 2010, FHKE - license: the article First Graders with iPads? researchers set out to discover whether using iPads could help increase reading skills among the two lowest reading groups at Hilltop Elementary School.  The researchers monitored different things about the students, one of which was their Time On Task (TOT).  To ensure the students remained on task they kept several things in their control.  For starters they made sure the students knew that using the iPads was a privilege, they made sure the students remained in one place when working on the iPads, and took other steps to ensure the importance of the iPads were understood and that the children respected the use of the.  The researchers used tools like Google maps for the students to be able to build a global awareness when they studied non-fiction selections.  My favorite aspect of the article was that they have a list of the favorite apps used for Sight Words, Fluency, Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Literacy.  This will be very useful as I learn to incorporate technology in the classroom.  Towards the end of the article it was clear that there were problems with using the technology, having funds for things, but the students worked with each other more often which helped create a more unified and collaborative learning environment. 

Question 1:  How would you incorporate iPads into higher levels of education, like middle school and high school?

One of the things the article touched on was how the iPads allowed students to look at different parts of the world to build up global awareness so when it comes to studies of older students, they could hopefully use the iPads for more specific research.  So if the students are studying European History, the can look at the countries more directly using things like Google Maps but also can look up different cultural things in the area, and maybe even get pictures of specific references in the stories.  This same interaction can happen throughout other history classes as well as Language Arts, Sciences, etc.

Question 2:  How could the students build up stronger networks using the iPads?

I think it is extremely important to be able to apply one’s learning and with the iPads it seems like it may welcome more global interactions.  Students could possibly interact more with other students not in the classroom, take part in discussion forums online, create and post videos and papers and get feedback from other students from other schools in the same district, other districts or even other countries!  It seems that iPads have a major potential to allow students to connect with others around the world.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Journal #8: Adaptive Technology

Adaptive Technology


What is AAC?  Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) refers to all forms of communication other than oral speech used to express thoughts, needs, concepts, etc.  Common forms of AAC the general public uses are facial expressions, writing, pictures, and so on. 

 High Tech Tool:  The AAC tool I researched was called CDesk.  This is for those with impaired vision.  The system has white writing on a black background, which makes it easier to see, with large print.  The system makes it easier for users to use basic computer functions like email, media/book, word, etc.   Also as the user scrolls through the options the computer reads what is selected. 

 Low Tech Tool:  Another such ACC  would be a battery operated recorder.  This is important for many who are visually impaired to make notes to themselves when it comes to phone numbers, dates, appointments, etc.  In a classroom students may be able to record lectures, take notes for homework, and record assignments.  Our friend who is blind actually used a device like this and the most interesting thing about it to me is that it can read things back at such a high speed.  Often recorders like this will have ways of reading things quickly so it doesn't take real time to gather information. 


What are Input Devices?  Input Devices are devices that allow students with motor skill issues to interact with a computer and input information in a variety of ways through specific devices.

Software:  One software that would be useful would be the word prediction software called WordQ.   The kinds of softwares vary but generally when the user begins typing out a word, the software predicts what word they are trying to type and allows them to chose it and move on instead of having to enter the entire word.  This is especially useful for those with limited motor skills.

Hardware:  As far as hardware goes, I have found alternative keyboards that are also useful for students who have limited motor skills, the one I specially looked into is called the Maltron Single Handed Keyboard.  This keyboard is useful for those who have only one hand.  In a classroom it will be important to have access to tools which work best for each student depending on their capacity.