Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Mainstreaming has been a popular topic in terms of today’s education system.  Mainstreaming is the process of educating children with special needs in regular classesSome believe in mainstreaming, saying that allowing children with disabilities to learn alongside their non-disabled peers will help create tolerance and understanding among the students.  Others feel that children with special needs benefit from having their own individual classrooms to get the attention and help that they need. 
Mainstreaming does offer a lot to children with special needs. It has shown to be effective in increasing student’s academic skills and therefore increases the abilities applied by students in a general education setting.  Mainstreaming also can provide special needs children with high self- esteem.  By being permitted to learn alongside non-disabled children, they will become more confident, and believe that they should not be treated any differently. 
However, there are major disadvantages of practicing mainstreaming in schools.  A mainstreamed student may very possibly require more attention from the teacher than a non-disabled student, leading to a potentially disastrous situation.  Time would be taken away from the rest of the class, and everyone would fall behind.  Mainstreaming could also lead to social issues among students, which could lead to bullying.  Some students with disabilities may feel more comfortable in an environment where most students are working at the same level.
We can see an example of the bad side of mainstreaming in 'Mainstreaming' Trend Tests Classroom Goals. However, we can see the positive side too in the following video,  Hold Fast to Dreams: Helping All Students Succeed. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012


I will be the first to admit I am not a fan of twitter.  I understand the benefits of it, and I know tons of people use it.  However, I can't bring myself to like it.  Now that I finally made a twitter account, I am attempting to make the best of it.  After we started following five educators, I saw a lot of ways I could use twitter in my potential career.  The educators I am following have tons of awesome ideas that I could use in my classroom someday.  It's interesting how teachers, even for elementary school kids, can use technology to help their classrooms.  I also feel like twitter will be able to help me communicate with others in my SEDU 183 class.  If one person tweets an idea or question, it might be able to help all of us.  I am hesitant about using twitter, but I'm trying to be open-minded and hope it will benefit me in the end. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Powerpoint Project

              For my powerpoint project, I took on the task of teaching kindergartners how to add and subtract. I introduced the slide show with bright colors, and a link to a video that contained a song to remember how to add and subtract.  I then went on to give examples of addition and subtraction problems, using fun animation techniques on powerpoint. The slideshow was rather short, but I felt it accomplished my goal and was appropriate for the age group.
           After completing the powerpoint project, I felt a sense of relief.  At the beginning of the assignment, I was somewhat confused as to what exactly I was being asked to do.  Powerpoint can be overwhelming, but as time went on I began to adjust. I struggled with linking one slide to another, but eventually I caught on. I was hesitant about this assignment at first, but I enjoyed it in the long run.
         I learned a lot about powerpoint through this project, and feel more confident using it now.  As technology becomes more and more advanced, I feel it will be a tool I can use in my class room when I become an educator.  It's a good way to get kids engaged in learning and provide them with visual examples.  I liked seeing others projects as well because it allowed me to get different ideas and see how others approached the assignment.

Check out my powerpoint!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Chapter One

While reading Chapter One, David Wiley’s idea that six significant shifts are currently taking place in our society caught my attention.  First he acknowledges that we are moving from analog to digital.  Without even realizing it, “paper as a physical medium is fast giving way to the digital formats we create using technology and formats that are searchable, easier to copy and share, potentially collaborative, and more easily organized.”  Because I grew up during this period of technological change, I was unaware how dramatic this change has become recently.  Paperback books are rarely used anymore, and we are more concerned about how we can attain our information in the most convenient way.  At the rate we are headed, it seems like in the next few years, paperback books will be eliminated completely because we will be able to access every text online. 
Wiley’s belief that we are shifting from tethered to mobile related to my own life the most.  More and more people are switching to smart phones, allowing themselves constant internet access.  I recently switched to a smart phone, and admit that I am unsure how I accomplished anything before it.  It makes it possible for us to have any information right at our fingertips.  The potential is really incredible.  To most, laptops are a major innovation, but they are already on the verge of replacement. 
Another shift I can relate to is that learning is moving from being a fundamentally isolated experience to one that is decidedly connected.  It has always been easy to communicate with those around us, but “the global connections now available have created an expectation of collaboration and cooperation around learning that goes beyond our physical space.”  For me, this blog is the perfect example of what Wiley is talking about.  I am able to share my thoughts and feelings online, and people all over are able to read and elaborate on it. 
The shift from generic to personal is not one I experience as much, but I know it benefits many members of society today.  We are now able to find others with the same interests as us, which was not always easy.  I mostly use the internet for school purposes, only researching assigned topics or articles.  However, modern technology would make it plausible for me to find others who share my interests at the click of a button. 
Creation to consumption has given us the opportunity to not only consume ideas, but to share them as well.  Instead of just “reading, thinking and synthesizing ideas”, we now can turn them into creative acts.  I feel like this can only benefit society in the long run.  If people are willing to delve out of their comfort zones and look into trying new things, access is easily provided. 
Finally, Wiley touches on the shift of closed systems and ideas to open ones. This is one shift that I am unsure about, simply because “open content is becoming more ubiquitous; it is content created without copyright restrictions, freely published and shared, and available for others to use and reuse.”  It seems really interesting and could potentially be helpful, but the possibilities could be endless. 
These shifts have “huge implications for us as educators.”  Growing up with technology, I am accustomed to a lot of these changes.  However, I still feel a sense of discomfort, and understand what affect these shifts could have.  It really goes to show how much we are evolving, and what possibilities may lie ahead.