Wednesday, April 29, 2015
However, there are other pages that suggest that iPads somehow improve classroom instruction. According to this article entitled "8 Studies Show iPads in the Classroom Improve Education," there are research studies that suggest a link between iPads and student achievement. However, it is important to note that correlation does not equal causation, especially with the use of technology in the classroom.
Consider the first bullet:
Sunday, April 19, 2015
TopTen Reviews website, there are numerous benefits as well as disadvantages to using eBooks. As you read, consider your own students and classroom when deciding if eBooks are the route for you.
Pros of eBooks
Pros of eBooks
- Eco-friendly (no killing of trees!)
- Purchase any book in an instant from your seat
- Only requires 1 device to carry instead of several books/materials
- Generally cost less than print versions
- More adaptable to fit reader's needs (zoom-in features, brightness settings, etc.)
- Multi-media components (audio and visual enhancements)
- Can mark and highlight pages without needing Post-It notes or highlighters
- Piracy concerns with the unauthorized sharing of a publisher or author's work
- Not the same feel as a book in your hands and turning the pages
- LCD screen may cause glare and eye strain
- Struggle for consistent formatting of pages and spacing on an eReader device
- Requires plug-ins and battery life to operate
- May be a trend that will die out, risk of losing digital books
Friday, April 10, 2015
When a friend told me about a special type of "smartpen" that transfers your notes to a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, etc., I was intrigued yet skeptical. How exactly would this type of technology benefit my students?
After exploring the Livescribe website, a company that carries several smartpens, I found some interesting facts about their smartpens:
- They can pick up words, sounds, symbols, and sketches
- By tapping your notes, you can hear what was said while you were taking those notes (i.e., the voice of the teacher) and play back the recording as many times as needed
- You can control the speed and volume of the play back
Advantages for students: reduce stress in taking notes, can replay instruction an infinite number of times, promotes collaboration among students
The smartpens on the Livescribe website range in price from $119.95 to $199.95.
In my opinion, the cost is pretty steep considering what you get from the product. A lot of the same benefits could be achieved by both teachers and students by using a simple tape recorder. Therefore, I don't think the smartpen is something every student needs or should have; however, perhaps it would be reasonable for a school to purchase a couple of pens for English Language Learners to utilize.
Image entitled "Livescribe Pulse smartpen" by Anoto AB taken with permission from Flickr.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
As we all know, no two people are exactly alike. As such, no two people learn in the exact same way, either.
To learn more about what assistive technology entails, watch this quick video:
According to an article on Microsoft Accessibility, there are many types of assistive technology devices:
- Alternative keyboards: Larger keys, ability to type with one hand
- Keyboard filters: Word prediction capabilities, spelling checkers, quick access to the letters people want to use
- On-screen keyboards: Keyboards that are on the computer screen in which people can select letters using their mouse, touch screen, etc. (Good for motor difficulties)
Know of any other helpful AT tools for an English classroom (or any classroom for that matter)? Feel free to comment below.
Image entitled "Detail of Ergonomic Keyboard" by cobalt123 published in 2006 used with permission from Flickr.