Week 6 Reflection

Week 6 Reflection 674

This week we wrote about assistive or adaptive tools that could be helpful as we create online courses. There are many assisted tools out there that can be helpful. The one I want to point out is ACTIONS. Bates (1990) provides the ACTIONS model for making decisions about the use of technology, suggesting that the factors to be considered can be summarized as follows:

A ccess: where will students learn?

C osts: what are capital and recurrent; fixed and variable?

T eaching functions: what are presentational requirements of the subject?

I nteraction: what kind of teacher and student interaction will be possible?

O rganization: what changes in organization will be required to facilitate the use of a particular technology?

N ovelty: will the“trendiness”of this technology stimulate funding and innovation?

S peed: how quickly and easily can material be updated and changed? How quickly can new courses be produced using this technology? (Moore, 2011)

In responding to others’ blogs this week, Josie made a good point: “This means that many schools may not be able to afford the kinds of special tools and equipment that may be needed” (TeachThoughtStaff, 2013).  This is why we as teachers need to be aware of the assistance technology that may be helpful for some of our students. I know I was not aware of many of the apps that we read about. I agree with Josie in that the ACTIONS method is good for making decisions on technology to use. She liked how the teacher assigned students to watch the lesson early. I mentioned that I worry about the students who don’t have access to the Internet. There are still many parents who can’t afford it, and I don’t want their students to worry about this. This is why I don’t do anything with the Internet out of school. I don’t want students to have that feeling—like they don’t have what others students have.

Amy made a good point, quoting Moore and Kearsley (2012): “Our challenge as educators is to be creative in deciding what is the best medium or mixture of media for a specific course or program, and what is the most appropriate technology for delivering it” (p. 87). I like the three principals that she mentioned from the National Center on Universal Design for Learning. We need to provide the “what” of learning, the “how” of learning, and the “why” of learning. She also provided a great graph that showed other assistive tools without technology. I was just thinking of technology, but it can also be no technology. It was good for me to see the graph she provided.

I like what Dan said here: “Moore (2012) states that effective use of a technology depends upon having adequate experience with it in distance-learning applications.” I agree with him on this and also believe that variety needs to be introduced. I think the more variety you have the more different learners you may engage.

Genevieve wrote, “One golden rule for teaching by any technology is that the technology must be reliable and near-transparent, with sound quality good enough not to interfere with the message.” This is a good fact to know. Whenever I introduce a new technology, I make sure that it works first before I try it out with my students. She also mentioned using Screen-cast-o-matic. I have heard of Screen-cast-o-matic and encountered it before with our instructor in another class but have never used it myself. It sounds like a good tool to use if you can audio record and also display your PowerPoint at the same time. I will have to check it out.

This week Dan, Cherie, and I presented on Blended Learning from Chapter 4 of our reading. It went well and I learned that there is so much assistive technology out there that I have not heard of. It was good to find out about some of the technologies that would helpful to some of my students. I look forward to learning more about them and bringing them into my classroom to benefit my students. It was a very busy week, but also productive and enlightening. I look forward to another week of reading and interacting with my peers.

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