Friday, May 10, 2019

Technology and Special Needs

I am now at the end of the second unit of IICT Part 2. Upon starting this unit on technology and special needs, I thought it was definitely out of my comfort zone. I think that this is down to my experience, having taught in a private school for the majority of my teaching career. But saying that, working through the unit, I was able to draw on software that I have used and skills that I have acquired and apply them successfully to my learning. I did find myself returning to the same software a few times. I wondered why this happened. In the past, I have used software that was touted as the next best thing, only for it to be discontinued or replaced by something else. So I do hold back little when looking at new software to ensure that not only is it right for the students to use, but is easily accessible, works with the technology within the school, and will last beyond the class when I no longer teach them.

The software that stood out for me was Mindmeister and Tellagami. I have previously explored and used mind mapping with students, but this was when the software was installed on computers in my lab, and the students rarely used it. Now that computers are used throughout the school and are more readily accessible, especially Chromebooks, I can see my students using this more actively in their learning. The other resource is Tellagami. My initial thought of this was that it was gimmicky. I still hold back a little on using it, bearing in mind that it might not work on the iPads in my classroom. But that being said, I can see the opportunities for the students' learning and will be exploring it further. Even if the app does not work, I will be looking for similar software to use within my classroom.

One of the things I enjoy in the course is being to read the posts and comments from a wide and varied group of teachers. I do tend to hold back and take in what others are saying, both in online posts and group conversations. I think it is my personality and while that does make it look like I am not contributing, I am taking everything in and trying to make connections to my own experiences. (I do subscribe to the notion in social media that while everyone has a voice, not everyone has to hear it ;) ). So I find myself really connecting with a post when I do like to comment on it. 

So far in the course, I have learned a great deal and have shared some good insights from my own experience. I am looking forward to unit 3!

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