For my teaching and technology class, we have this book that is apparently sort of a didactic joke. So our blessed teacher decided that it would be more helpful if we each picked a chapter, gleaned the most important points, and posted them to a Westminster wiki for reference purposes.
I realize that this may be funny only to me, but this was the result of that assignment. I might fail. It's hard to know.
For those who may not know, I am attempting to accrue massive debt amounts for a masters at teaching, in order to acquire a modest pay track bump, and to have the ability to look upon fellow inferior bachelors degree teachers with at least a minimal amount of credible disdain.
I spent at least 8 or 7 times as much time doing this assignment as what would have been the case had I not done it in such a ridiculous fashion, so I post this here with hopes that I didn't waste that much time so between 7 and 4 people would read it. Nay, I am hoping to double, possibly triple that number.
Anyways. Enjoy, or don't.
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) has created a base of standards for schools which basically state that all teachers must: understand diversity; teach lessons that incorporate diversity; connect instruction to students experiences and cultures; be culturally sensitive and sensitive to gender; classroom equity.
This chapter focuses on how to accomplish this with the glorious blessings of technology.
Technology is a means by which students who suffer with disabilities can express themselves and participate in classroom experiences and assignments when they otherwise may not have been able to do so. Technology can provide voice for those who can not speak, mobility for those who can not move, and many other glorious possibilities.
Students with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, who may lack the ability to manipulate a writing device, can use technology to veritably negate the rather antiquated craft of writing with one's hand.
Other students with disabilities, while having the ability to participate in activities such as brainstorming, may often write illegibly, and therefore find frustration upon attempting to read what they have written. Word processing programs may excoriate unnecessary frustrations from the learning process.
Word prediction software may also be used to promote writing victories for students who struggle with typing speed. After the first few keystrokes, the supercomputer software program divines the most likely word, thus increasing speed and spelling accuracy.
Custom dictionaries are also a superglorious function of some word processing programs. If, for instance, a student is writing with much frequency about a Scutellosaurus, which is an absurdly long and tedious word to write with multiplicity, the custom dictionary can learn this word, and insert it upon request. Also, the custom dictionary allows one to write such seemingly made up words with spell checker impunity. This causes the spell checker to seem less supercilious and fickle, and eliminates red underline ubiquity.
Talking spell checkers, besides being a valuable source of robotic companionship, allow students to make spelling selections based upon a phonetic suggestion, which is at times helpful when writing in this grammatically and vernacularly nonsensical language we call "English."
While these technologies may be invaluable tools in a teacher's digital tool belt, it is imperative that these tools not become as a prosthesis--a new limb, as it were, replacing the old worn out limb of "teaching." While the talking spell checker may be an admirable tool, it should not take the place of regular instruction. Tenure does not give the teacher permission to acquiesce control of the class to the talking spell checker.
Reading is another area of learning where technology has abundantly bequeathed upon teachers many invaluable resources. A High interest-lowlevel book, rather than simply converting text to sound in a dreadfully androgynous voice, dramatizes text with character voice distinction, thus creating an entertaining dramatization that is deceptively educational.
Scan/read systems, seemingly developed by mighty Zeus himself, allow users to scan any text existing upon planet earth, which is then (possibly via divine intervention, or extra terrestrial technology) converted into auditory output. As the mighty computer utters the text, the corresponding words are highlighted upon a screen, bestowing upon the reader an auditory/visual experience, unsurpassed by any Veggie Tales in existence.
Teachers who are lacking in skills of proper auditory projection may use Assistive listening devices in order to be heard and enjoyed by all students. Poor acoustics and quiet demeanors are no match for a personal amplification system, worn by students as earbuds. Sound amplification systems (external speaker systems), while also opening up the possibility of holding a successful Megadeath concert in the classroom, also create an environment where even the most soft-spoken teacher may never fear miscommunication, nor development of a hoarse voice from incessant yelling. However, with Sound amplification systems, one must be wary of profane utterances muttered under one's breath at every moment.
Expanded keyboards, mini-keyboards, and customizable keyboards, rather than referring to varying models of Casio music devices, are distinct typing units that exist to help students with various word processing needs. For students with limited range of motion, mini-keyboards may be of more practical use than a full sized keyboard. For those who struggle with precision, expanded keyboards may be the "cats pajamas," as it were.
Students gifted with minds immeasurably greater than those of average mortals, may also be blessed though educational technology. Rather than wallowing about in irrelevant, simplistic curriculum, they may use the "internet" to delve into more advanced realms of knowledge, not heretofore known in the public school system.
Technology, we must not fear. Educational technology is the door through which all students should pass, receiving a complementary gift bag of relevant technology, and bumper stickers with intelligent slogans on the way in. Why stand by, O fellow teachers, and let the technological fear train pass by, on tracks of digital wonder and achievement? Nay, let us employ all technological gifts imparted upon us as if from on high, that we may help--nay--usher our students into a new world order of quality, effective public education.
I'm sorry. This was self indulgent.