Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
CITE Journal: http://www.citejournal.org/vol4/iss1/
I was going to start off with talking about T.H.E. Journal, but since it was given to us, I figured I would find others that you might not have heard about. The first one I found is called the AACE Journal (Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education).
This journal began as a print journal and is now an online journal. The people who subscribe to the journal are allowed to add their opinion or start a discussion to an article. One does not need to be subscribed to read the articles.
The next online publication I found is called the CITE Journal (Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education). It is monitored by 5 organizations which specialized areas of education. The think I liked best about this journal is it breaks down each discipline and applies talks about how to apply technology to that area. Like the AACE, the articles can be read for free online.
If you decide to subscribe to either of these journals, there is an option to subscribe to seven different educational technology publications. The AACE monitors the subscriptions to all of these publications.
Q: Are the sites easy to navigate?
A: Yes! They both were incredibly easy to navigate through. I think I liked the CITE Journal better, because it broke the technology down into subjects. If you want an article more specific to your needs, this would minimize the search time.
Q: Do you have to pay to use these sites?
A: If you only want to read an article every now and then or it is a one time use, then no, I wouldn't recommend to pay to subscribe. If you want to read it often, I would say to subscribe to the journals.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Social networking is a way to build a community of people on the internet who have a similar interest. The social network community can provide useful information as well as a support system. These teachers were having trouble getting their colleagues to join and participate. One man talked about how he had to put up useful tools that others could only get through joining. Even though he got them to join, many of them do not participate in discussions. There needs to be topics that people can relate to in order to further a discussion. The people who are not really comfortable with the site will most likely not start a conversation, but would probably respond to one already started. In another discussion, a teacher talks about how he wants to create a Wiki to tie in with his science class. His vision is to have his Wiki be in collaboration with others all over the world. Other teachers sounded very interested and enthusiastic about joining in on it. The Wiki would include lessons, videos, pictures, and comments/suggestions from those involved. The major problem I see with this is making sure that it incorporates all the curricula of the schools involved. Then there was a discussion on the content that is blocked by their school districts. Web 2.0 is blocked for some and the teachers were complaining because it can be a useful tool. Others were saying that all sites that include blogging, social networking, and file sharing are blocked. I could see how these sites could be abused and not used in a educational way during school hours. I liked the way one district had the teachers apply to use the blogging site and if it was acceptable, they would be approved. If the blogs are limited, then the district can keep track of the content easier to ensure it contains appropriate material. I think social networking can be incredibly useful if it is used properly.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Dr. Reid, Richard. “Innovations in Prevention & Intervention- RtI.” 10th Annual Summer Leadership Institute.
Dr. Reid was not as entertaining as Dr. Villa, but he had some interesting things to say. There was even an overlap at one point. They both agreed that in order to produce change, there needs to be vision, skill, incentive, resources and action. His presentation was focused on RtI (Responsiveness to Intervention). He said that he thinks that relationships are important criteria that need to be met in school. He stressed that schools need to have a leadership team who influence, support, and challenge their colleagues to participate in the change. Change can only occur if everyone is involved in the process. The leaders of the school act as coaches as they assist and support those around them. They also need to remember to take care of themselves while taking care of others. Like Dr. Villa, he stressed that change cannot occur immediately, but instead it is a gradual process. He listed the stages that need to occur when implementing change and they are: exploration and adoption, installation, initial implementation, full implementation, innovation, and sustainability. He talked about how many people will go to seminars and watch presentations, but they only use about 5% of what they learned there, even when they think that the ideas are great. There needs to be motivation and support from others to try to implement more of the ideas. With the support and feedback from others, they can figure out what is working and what isn’t. This requires fidelity and integrity on the teacher’s part.
Q: If schools across the country are losing 7000 students a day, shouldn’t there be more motivation to figure out the problem?
A: The simple answer is yes, but sadly, many teachers (administrators too) don’t want to put in the extra energy to ensure that students are receiving the proper monitoring. Granted students drop out for different reasons, but many of them slipped through the cracks and are way too far behind to catch up. Teachers should be able to tell if their students are improving throughout the year and if there is little/no improvement, there needs to be some sort of intervention. Teachers need the tips, support, and encouragement from their colleagues in order to get the motivation to monitor all their students. No one said it would be easy, but I think it will prove to be worth the effort.
Villa, Richard. “Special Education.” 10th Annual Summer Leadership Institute.
Dr. Richard Villa was a very entertaining presenter. He talked about how he considered special education as the last form of segregation in schools. Dr. Villa was enthusiastic and hopeful toward the future possibility of special education in schools. He focused his presentation around 5 questions to answer. While he gave the answers to these questions, I started to think about how schools work as I know them to. His ideas did not seem to be unrealistic and in fact, he even stressed that it would take time and energy to achieve what he was proposing. Schools need to bring their focus back to the students. It is there where we are raising our next set of adults who will run the country, invent things, be our doctors and lawyers, etc. Schools should help all students realize their potential, work as a team and still have the motivation through what he describes as “equalence.” Through all of our trial an error in schools, equalence seems to be the best answer for solving the issue of special education as segregation. Through equalence, all children will be able to play and win in the game of school. Dr. Villa used the game of musical chairs to show his point and I thought that was a great way to show what he was proposing. I especially liked his stress relieving tips he gave at the end.
Q: Is mainstreaming all subjects beneficial to all students?
A: I honestly do not think so. I do think that special education is holding some students back and they should be mainstreamed into some of the subjects. It is important for all students to interact with those who are different than them. At the same time, special education allows for more one-on-one time and they are given extra help where they need it. I am not sure where the happy medium is where the benefit is maximized for all students.