Friday, November 22, 2013

Blog Post #14

We all have learned so far that students in a regular classroom get to blog on iPads and computers in the classroom, but that leads to another question. Do students in a special education classroom get the same chance as those in a regular classroom. Do students in special education get to use iPads and computers to improve their learning? To learn more about this, you are to do your own research and inform us on what you learned.

I decided to look more into special education on this blog post because it is part of my major. I can one day be teaching in a special education classroom and I wanted to see if teachers use iPads in there to teach or what tools/technology they use. This semester we have not studied a lot on this subject because students in this class are majoring in all different fields of education. I am really excited to see what information I find on this.

The first article I came across was from a teacher named Neil Virani who taught special ed in Los Angeles. There was one piece of technology that Virani decided to buy for his classroom that changed his perspective completely. And this would be the iPad. Virani opened and unwrapped the iPad, and 30 short minutes after it had been out of the box, something inspirational happened. One of his students who has Cerebral Palsy and only has access to one finger, had written his name for the first time on the iPad. Not only did he write his name for the first time, it was also the first time he has even written a word. Being in a special education classroom, there are many students who have different disabilities. Some students may not have any use of their limbs, while others may not be able to communicate. They all have different ways of learning also, and the iPad lets students have the one-on-one and learn. One quote that Virani says that I really like was "The philosophy is my classroom is to have the highest expectations for students, in an area where expectations are traditionally low". This article was so inspiring to read to me! Read it here!

I also found another source about iPads being used in the classroom. This post was a blog from a teacher named Glenda Anderson. Anderson is watching the progress in her classroom just from her students using this tool. So far, she has figured out that the iPad is not usually used as a tool for collaboration, that it works better as an individual tool in isolation. In reality, there will not be enough iPads in the room for every student to have one, so Ms. Anderson gave some tips on how every student gets a chance at using the iPad. Some include, creating a center with it after doing a lesson so the student can have the independent time and learn. Also, during the lesson, you can pass the iPad around and let each student in a team or individually look at the iPad. Ms. Anderson also can tell in her students a dramatic difference of her students wanting to do better work. She has overheard her students say to each other such things as "Oh, look what I did!" And the other student say "How did you do that?" This motivates the students to want to do their best work and show off everything they do.

Ms. Anderson can also tell in her students that they want to work together and help each other. They want to solve problems together, and they are helping each other more and more.

After researching on this subject that I knew very little about, I have really realized just how important the use of technology in the classroom. I love this quote that I found on Ms. Anderson's blog that made me want to help the students learn more everyday. It said "For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible."

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