I very much enjoyed this week’s reading. It made me reflect on my personal learning preferences and how this presents in my own teaching style. My preference for teaching are print and video. I enjoy both of these formats and tend to utilize with my students or colleagues in the same manner. I particularly enjoyed reading about audio format because it is not something I have used or considered using in my teaching or personal life and I would probably agree with Bates that it is sometimes audio is a format that is overlooked!
When I was in the classroom teaching students with special needs, we did use some technology but it was usually specific or individualized to each child. In other words, we utilized specific tech based on an individual’s needs – we rarely used technology as a whole class. In the classroom, i would use technology/video but it would be on an overhead projector, at the time. Fast forward to today’s classroom, I would continue to use print but i would use more technology. When i was in the classroom there was limited availability and/or access to technology. When I first started teaching in a high school education program, we had to book out and/or share a large computer lab! With greater access today to computers and the internet, i would be accessing these tools more greatly!
One of the other challenges for many of my students was that they had limited ability and/or exposure to technology – so everything we did took a long time! For example, turning on the computer and logging would be a constant challenge! So, i began to ask myself if this was a best use of our time? Again, fast forward to today, there is much greater access to technology for society in general, including students with special or additional needs. I think with greater access there should be greater opportunities!
The goal in our special education programs today has always been to increase a student’s level of independence and utilizing technology can really help many of our students! Today, i see laptops, iPads, and cel phones being used and learning being applied in these areas. In high school programming would be: learning how to use technology independently, safely as a function of their everyday lives. For example, learning how to access Google Maps to get around the city, City of Regina Transit maps, City of Regina activities, Library’s, or things like the LeaderPost, etc.
I have enjoyed taking this class with Alec and Katia for many reasons but i especially appreciate the exposure to many different media that we incorporate and allowing us time to give thought to our current pedagogy and where we might want to go in the future! Thank you for this opportunity!