9-C-1 2020 Vision

The year is 2007. We are separated, segregated, and disconnected. There is resistance, and we are fighting against limitations. We are in the middle of a revolution.

By the year 2020, much of this will change. Technology will be in everything that we do, everything will be connected, and security will be at a whole new level. Technology use will be a seamless, natural, and virtually invisible part of everyday life.

The future is here; however, ignorance is getting in the way. Technology will continue to play a larger and larger role as time goes on. This will force out the ignorance and resistance. People will be force to use technology. Remember those people who claimed they didn’t need a cell phone? Where are they today? Much of the same thing will happen over the next 13 years on a larger scale. The wall of resistance is going to fall because technology is going to continue to play a larger role in our lives. Once this happens everything will be connected by THE network. Television, phones, computers, people, everything will be connected. Furthermore, these connections will no longer be seen as interactions with machines but with people. Technologies like skype, facebook, and second life are making a social virtual world. These technologies will only continue to get stronger and more powerful as time goes on. I’m sure most people are afraid for security issues; however, security will be much better than every before. Computers and systems will be able to recognize people not just usernames and passwords. Biometrics is the answer. The use of your fingerprint or iris as your login is way more secure than a simple 8 character login and password. This is already starting to happen at airports across the world. Technology is going to continue to grow, become more powerful, and respected. In the same respect, eventually technology will be unnoticed because it will be the typical everyday way of life.

As technology is growing, education will be growing as well. Education is going through its own changes; however, it will also change because of technology. Certain aspects of curriculum will begin to change over the next 13 years, and we will begin to see students learning at earlier and earlier ages. The composition of the classroom will also alter over the next several years. There will no longer be regular education and secondary education. There will also be several adults in any given classroom; there will be at least two teachers and a person care aid. These changes will not be a result of technology, but a result of legislation. However, integrating technology into the classroom will make this type of learning environment thrive. Technology will allow this setting to be successful. On the other hand, technology will create some curriculum changes. Students will need to learn the proper uses of technology and how to use some of the tools. Unless new courses are introduced to teach these types of things, we will have to incorporate these items into our lessons as well. As educators our leg work will be more existent in the preparation of the lessons then ever before, and we will act more as a facilitator once the class time starts. The students will take charge of their learning and the technology will help get them be life long learners.

By 2020, technology will have infused itself in everything to a point that the resistance barrier has been broken and we are actually able to move on as a whole. We will all be connected, learning, and interacting in an environment that is more secure than ever.

The future is here, it just hasn’t hit everyone at the same time.

9-A-1 Web Applications

SketchUp 3D modeling software will be great for visual spatial students. Ironically enough, exactly like the video, I have a project where my students create a floor plan of their dream home, and I see some of the exact same issues. Autistic students and even regular ed students struggle through the drawing portion of the project. Most students have a hard time “seeing” what a floor plan is; however, this software would be outstanding for helping them work through this difficulty. Software like this will definitely strike a cord with visually spatial students, but I think I’ll find that it will help all of my students when it comes to this project. There are a lot of possibilities for this in the classroom. As in instructor, I could use SketchUp to model math concepts that would otherwise be to large to bring into the classroom. For example, in the near future we will be examining indirect measurement. This is where you use proportions to typically solve for a missing height. For example you can measure your height, your shadow length, and the shadow length of a tree or building but need to calculate the it’s actual height. Sounds like a mess already? Yeah, that’s why my students and I will be using SketchUp to create models of our problem situations. This way we will be able to SEE exactly what is going on and what we are calculating!

 

8-B-1 Paperless Class

A paperless class would enhance both teaching and learning. The world is really at your finger tips when it comes to being able to integrate technology into the classroom. The teacher’s role changes in so many ways. The students are working in a whole new medium and the rules and objectives of this medium need to be clearly outlined and monitored. This is much different from the traditional classroom. Furthermore, the teacher’s role shifts more towards a facilitator who guides the learning. This obviously changes learning and allows for more learning channels to be opened. Learning has moved beyond gaining knowledge to also knowing where to access knew or important information. Both of these need to be measured formally and informally throughout the class. A learning network is created in any type of class; however, a paperless space would make it much easier for that learning network to continue well beyond the class period or even semester. A paperless space may also allow for others to reach out to the students if the students aren’t reaching out for assistance. In the end, this is not a replacement for face to face interaction and the two need to be meshed together.

8-A-1 Big Shifts

#9 Mastery is the Product, Not the TestWell, all I can say is that I wish a whole lot of people would buy into this as much as I do.  Unfortunately in the world of mathematics all I hear about are state standards and “the test”.  It’s hard to toss all of that out the window, but I work a lot around the creation of an end product or authentic assessment instead of tests.  When it comes to this shift, my views haven’t changed a whole lot since I’ve started this class; however, they have been greatly reinforced.  I can see better than ever how the tools out there can help facilitate mastery.  Most of these products my students have completed are in hard copy form; however, I’m eager to start to incorporate digital content into a lot of my projects.

7-A-3

This is in response to the Connectivism Pro Group. You can find their arguement at: http://bcefall07pls.wikispaces.com/PRO+Group

The arguement in question is that connectivism is a learning theory. There are ways to learn and how we learn. Connecting to networks in order to learn is great, interesting, exciting, and the way of the future; however, is that how we are learning? Learning theories examine and describe the complex process of how people learn not how the obtain information. Connectivism does an outstanding job of outlining learning networks, but this is simply the flow of information and mentions nothing about how it is acutally learned. Seimen’s does take the time to mention or define learning when he is talking about learning networks; however, there isn’t anything that hasn’t already been mentioned in any other learning theory.

7-C-2 Skype Ideas – Guest Speaker

It would be great to have someone other than myself talk to the students about math. I’m supposed to teach them math, talk to them about math, and tell them that it does really exist out there. There is only one problem with all of this; they know that is my job. If I could bring anyone in who does math for a living other than a math teacher, it would really hit home that they can use this stuff and they may even want to persue a future with it. The only thing that would be better than finding someone to speak to my class about mathematics would be if I actually took the students to that persons office or workplace. Realistically, this wouldn’t be the easiest thing to accomplish with all of my classes; however, Skype could take us there. Skype would give us the ability to set up a call with any professional willing to tell my students a little bit about what he or she does during the day and show them where the math comes into play. This is very beneficial for both sides. Either way you look at it, a lot of travel expenses and meals are eliminated along with any of the other headaches that go into a field trip or all the paperwork of allowing someone into the school. Furthermore, his would give my students the ability to interact with a professional from a field outside the normal realm they are use to dealing with.

7-A-4 Blogical Discussion

Special Education or Segregation?

Is segregation really finding its way back into our schools? Many people feel that is exactly what special education has become in America. As the five year window after the Gaskin’s settlement narrows, Pennsylvania educators and administrators have a lot to worry about. In fact, many schools are jumping through the hoops as we ponder this idea. In short, this settlement basically calls current special education trends discrimination and segregation, and schools are rated and will be punished based on their “segregation” levels. Furthermore, the new policies require “IEP teams to consider and school districts to provide a full range of supplementary aids and services in regular ed classrooms to all students with disabilities, including those with significant disabilities who can benefit from education in regular ed classes. Supplementary aids will be provided in a manner that is ‘sensitive’ to avoid stigmatizing the student. ‘The Starting Point’ for children with special needs is regular ed before removal is considered.” We all know what this means. The flood gates are cut loose, and IEP students are tossed into regular ed classrooms. We hope that there is enough funding for a TSS or two and a handful of PCAs. I know we are all reading and writing teachers, but now we are all special ed teachers. Some questions you might want to ponder: Is special education segregation? Is anything needed/occurring to remedy your current special ed situation and is it working? Overall, are we doing these students any justice?