- Jul 2018
What has changed, what remains the same, and what general patterns can be discerned from the past twenty years in the fast-changing field of edtech?
Join me in annotating @mweller's thoughtful exercise at thinking through the last 20 years of edtech. Given Martin's acknowledgements of the caveats of such an exercise, how can we augment this list to tell an even richer story?
- Apr 2016
tools typically include speech-generation functionality, eye tracking, and other advanced features, such as those shown in the DynaVox suite of devices.2 In other cases, these artifacts represent activities that will take place (or have taken place) arranged in temporal order to augment understanding of time, events, and places, a tool known as a visual schedule
What types of tools are used; visual schedule
In these cases, visual supports are used to augment communication, in much the same way that sign language can be a visual representation of language for someone with a hearing impairment. High-tech devices for augmentative and alternative communication can also help children with special needs build language skills over time
VI used as a means of communication for individuals with autism; similar to sign language
wide variety of visual tools. These artifacts draw on words, images, and tangible objects to represent both concrete and abstract real-world concepts. Use of these visual artifacts has been shown to reduce the symptoms associated with cognitive, communication, and social disabilities, in particular for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) .
Question: Why is it important to integrate the use these visual tools/supports into the classroom for children with autism?
The inherent communicative nature of educational settings makes learning challenging with limited verbal communication
Some children with autism experience difficulty with communication, and this often makes learning challenging
Visual supports are “those things we see that enhance the communication process”  and can be an incredible aid for children learning about the world around them
One reason why visual supports are important both in and out of the classroom
Specifically classroom setting?
Visual supports can be the kinds of things that we see in everyday life to support communication, such as body language or natural cues within the environment . They can also be tools explicitly created to support individuals who may have trouble interpreting naturally occurring visual cues (Fig. 1). These constructed artifacts sometimes use images or tangible objects to represent simple everyday needs and elements of basic communication
Question: What are visual supports and what do they consist of?
Eliminate boredom by minimizing repetition for students • Increase students’ independence, motivation and class participation
I think these two go hand in hand and are important because if a student is "bored" of the content that the teacher is trying to convey then the students will give minimal participation and feedback when the teachers asks.
Learning Contracts are written agreements between students and teachers that grant the student certain freedoms and choices about completing tasks yet require the student to meet certain specifications
I like the idea of Learning Contracts because while they give students the opportunity to complete tasks in their own unique ways, they also hold students accountable for their actions while completing assignments. With learning contracts, both the teacher and the student have an equal understanding of what material is being learned, as well as the steps that will be taken/met in the process.
Which one seems the clearest to you? Which one seems the most challenging? Why?
expect all students to like contracts.
What experience do you have with them? What do you think of them?
Components of Learning Contracts
How does our class statement of inquiry assignment include, neglect or extend these components?
Select specific tasks to be evaluated; it is not necessary to evaluate every task.
What might you accomplish independently, and responsibly? What might require evaluation along the way? How might peers evaluate your work? How might the professor?
laborators be geographically distant, but they can also participate in a discussion when it works best for their schedules, regardless of time zones or office hours.
All the new gadgets that we have today are so convenient to us. We can access information at literally whatever time we desire with our smartphones. Workplaces, schools, etc. are all stay connected so easily now-adays. I think sometimes we take these things for granted and don't realize how much easier we have it than other generations.
I think the third trend is not to be looked over. Making sure you have someone there to both support and encourage you can have a huge boost in finding ways to learn and succeed.
I like the Learning Environment section that includes the ideas of flexible learning spaces and multi-age co- teaching. I think it is important for people of all ages to collaborate and provide input about different ways to personalize and utilize a functioning PLE because each age group or individual is going to have a different point of view about how to create an effective learning environment, and it's important to share ideas because you never know what may work for you.
use it as is or modify to suit your needs. Or create your own
Adding or modifying someone else's PLE would be easiest for me in identifying what learning environment I best work in. Either way, creating something that fits your PLE is what will make it personal and unique.
The Four C’s Model
Not only do I like this model because the Four C's are easy to remember, but also because it encourages a person to work independently (i.e. gathering information, data, etc.) as well as collaboratively with others, such as sharing and discussing thoughts and ideas.
is this: a self-directed and evolving environment of tools, services and resources organized by a person seeking a way to accomplish lifetime learning, to create, and to connect with others of similar interests.
I like how this definition uses the terms 'self-directed' and 'evolving' when referring to what type of environment a PLE is. As we continue to grow as individuals, our needs are constantly changing, and thus we must change things around in order to meet those needs. The words 'self-directed' highlight the fact that we are in control of our own unique personal learning environment and we can change it any time we want to in order to meet our changing/'evolving' needs.
Because it is personalized, everyone’s PLE will be unique. Because it is collaborative, information may be continually created and shared. In the workplace, designing a personal learning environment has the potential to partially replace conventional courses.
I think this is interesting because it brings meaning to personal learning, while helping build knowledge in a collective. I wonder how different individuals help shape a collective understanding, and even shift its directions because of the questions they raise or the diverse experiences and background knowledge they have to offer.