Major Challenge One: Scenario Two

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To whom it may concern,

It has come to our attention that there has been problems in the general education classroom involving the integration of students with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We believe that by implementing a Universal Design for Learning (UDL), these students, and typically developing students, will benefit most from their educational experiences.

According to Cast, UDL is “a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.” This method of teaching allows every student equal access to the curriculum and provides flexibility for all learners. Through multiple means of representations, expressions, and engagement, all students can learn using methods that support their learning needs best. UDL reduces barriers to learning, so that every child can be successful in the classroom.Screen shot 2014-03-17 at 1.51.28 PM.png

It is important for teachers to be equipped and knowledgeable about how to create a Universal Design for Learning. This can be done through holding seminars and workshops that introduce teachers to this design for teaching and also provides them with ways in which they can implement UDL in their classroom. Four areas of focus of these seminars, as found in Maryland Learning Links, would be the goals and purposes of creating a UDL, instructional materials that will be used, instructional methods used by the teacher, and assessments.

A classroom that incorporates the UDL will be barrier free. According to Globalpost, common barriers for students with disabilities found in a general educational classroom include communication deficits, academic challenges, struggles forming relationships, and sensory overloads. Some suggestions of removing these classroom barriers are found in this article. Simple things like reducing and organizing text on a page can aide students in successfully absorbing information from text.

Also, incorporating technology in the classroom can help structure a UDL. The following video demonstrates the power of technology in supporting students with Autism in a general education classroom.

http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/ReadAbout/research/webinars_rose.htm

Although some teachers may be hesitant to restructure their curriculum, it is necessary in order to create an inclusive learning environment for every student. With the help of the seminars and workshops, our hope is that teachers become more comfortable with the idea of creating a UDL. One way to alleviate the worries of general education teachers is to encourage co-teaching. This allows general education teachers and special education teachers to work together and combine their expertise to create a differentiated curriculum.

We hope that you will take our proposal into consideration for creating a Universal Design for Learning. We believe that this is necessary for all students to have equal opportunities to excel. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Hannah, Jamie, and Macey

This video is to show to parents in order to inform them on the Universal Design for Learning:

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Major Challenge One: Scenario One

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As a teacher, it is part of the job to best prepare our students for the future. Technology is becoming more and more relevant as curriculum is trying to meet the needs of 21st century learners. There is no telling of what the future will demand for our students, but it is best to prepare them in as many ways as possible. According to Forbes, the most common job for our students will be teleportation operators. With this in mind, technology is so important for us to teach our students, for them to be successful in the future.

Technology is something that is being used every day. Whether it be through social media, fun apps, or through gaming, our children are utilizing devices on a daily basis. It is our responsibility, as a teacher, to make learning relevant and engaging to our students. If we power-down our students, it is hard to meet their needs. For most children, technology has grown to be apart of who they are. As a teacher, if we take technology away from our students, it is as if we are not allowing our students to be who they are.

However, with the concerns of our students health in mind, it is important that we teach students how to moderate their own use of technology and become digital citizens. Although the article mentions addiction, sleep deprivation, obesity, radiation, and aggression as risk factors involved in the use of technology, we want to teach our students how to use technology appropriately in order to avoid these potential problems.

In addition to this, we need to teach our students how to become digital citizens. It is our job to educate our children on what is appropriate and what is inappropriate uses of technology. The following article discussed the nine elements of digital citizenship that we hope to instill in our students through the use of technology in the classroom.

Additionally, technology in the classroom helps teachers implement a Universal Design for Learning. Technology is a way for teachers to meet the individual needs of students by using different software appropriate for students’ levels of learning. The Edge Foundation is a proponent of technology in the classroom to benefit students with ADHD. They claim the technology helps students organize their thoughts, engages students in reading, and can help students focus better.

For these reasons, it is crucial to incorporate hand-held devices in the classroom, as long as they are used appropriately in moderation and students are developing into being digital citizens. Using technology in the classroom, students will learn all the benefits of their everyday devices and understand that they can be useful tools for learning and for any aspect of their future.

Effective Teaching: Twitter Assignment

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As a teacher in this age of technology, it is important to find the most effective ways of communicating with our students and our students’ parents. What are the most efficient ways of reaching out to our students? This tweet is a helpful resource because it provides pointers of how teachers should connect with their students.

 

 

In special education classrooms, there is often a very high ratio of adults to students. The classroom size is small, and there are many teachers and aids in the classroom. This tweet shows the importance of classroom size. Could a smaller classroom benefit the students in a general education classroom too?

 

 

In class, we have discussed the importance of using Google in the classroom. It has many applications and can enhance a student’s learning experience in many different ways. This tweet shows 10 more applications that a teacher can use with their class when using Google.

Using Twitter for Teaching Tips

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I found this tweet to be very important because I could resonate with its message. During my schooling, I had many poor experiences with learning math. I found math class to be very boring and would count down the minutes until the period was over. But why did it have to be that way? Currently, I am in a curriculum instruction class for the subject of math. My cohort is learning about how to engage and get students excited about learning math. We want to give our students a more positive experience with mathematics than what we had as students.

In this tweet, I learned a lot about what blending learning is and how I can incorporate it in my classroom. Blended learning is when students learn some of a lesson from online sources. Blended learning is a good method of teaching because it is efficient, effective, and engaging. Through the tips written in this tweet, I will be better equipped to teach through blended learning.

When reading this tweet, I found this so useful for my future teaching practices. In the digital age that we are in, it is so important to incorporate our student’s devices in the classroom. If we do this, it will teach them how to use their electronic devices for an educational purpose. However, how do I ensure that my students are not texting each other during my lesson? This article offers tips on how to avoid situations like that.

Instilling Digital Citizenship in our Students

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The article, “Egyptians Demonstrate Digital Citizenship” by Stephen Balkam, really brought to light some concepts that we, as Americans, often take for granted. It is almost unimaginable to think of not being able to use social media and the internet. For me, this article really put things into perspective. We are so lucky to be able to access the digital world and everything that it encompasses.

Another aspect of the article that made me think was the question, “How can we promote new social norms of behavior in a seemingly rule-free, anything goes environment that much of the web seems to exhibit?” The internet is a place that seems like it is a free-for-all. There is not really a set of rules and pretty much anyone could get away with anything while using it. However, for some reason, people still follow a code of rules while using the internet. When people follow this artificial set of rules, they are considered a good digital citizen.

As teachers, it is important to teach our students how to become good digital citizens. With that, we need to instill the idea that the internet is not a free-for-all, rather it is an aspect of our society that needs to be handled with the same delicacy as any other real-life situation. It is important that our students know that having freedom to use the internet is a privilege and not everyone in the world has this freedom.

Part of being a 21st century citizen means that you are equipped to use technology and the rules that govern its use. If teachers instill and teach the values of good digital citizenship to their students, students will be best prepared to safely and appropriately use technology.

The following is a video of a teacher teaching her elementary aged students a lesson on digital citizens. The video also explains the importance of  being a good digital citizen.

Being a Digital Citizen

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This tweet is extremely valuable to teachers. It explains the importance of using Google technology in the classroom. Teachers should be able to utilize this technology in their classrooms because it allows students to collaborate with each other. Teachers should encourage their students to do their school projects using the Google Drive because this technology fosters students to work together effectively. Additionally, the Google Drive allows students to easily access their work at school and at home. Students can begin an assignment at school and then finish it at home without having the hassle of having to put it on a jump drive or emailing it to yourself.

This tweet is linked to an article that highlights some of the benefits that video-games can bring to students. As a future teacher, this is information that is vital for my future teaching practices. Video-games are viewed negatively by society. They could be a useful teaching method if teachers realized the potential that they could serve for their students. Video-games would engage students in a lesson and also create a fun atmosphere in the classroom.

When volunteering in an elementary school, the teacher I was shadowing was teaching her student how to tell time. The method that she chose to use when teaching her student how to tell time was using apps on her iPad. As I watched the student match digital clocks to analog clocks on the iPad, I was wondering how the teacher found all of these apps. So, when reading this tweet, it resonated with me because I was able to see a clear correlation of how apps will be used when I become a teacher and how I, as a special education teacher, will find the best apps to use with my students.