Shift happens

A shift is happening in education. My high-school student use technology more and more everyday to socialize, network, do class work, homework, and basically function these days. We are living in exponential times. It is my job to train my special-education students for a world that is advancing at an unbelievable rate. Students today are bored sitting in classrooms that refuse to advance with the rest of the world. I have students who can run circles around me using technology, and I need to capitalize on that knowledge.

Lecturing and work packets no longer works with today’s students, and they are bored quickly with that kind of teaching. I am finding that using project-based learning is the best way to engage my students. Teaching my students technology for course presentations is one of the ways I am helping my students present their learned knowledge to me. My students learned more about the theme and content of 1984 by George Orwell by creating a PREZI than by listening to me lecture.
I also allow the student to use their Smart Phones for dictionaries and research. Only one or two students have abused the right to use their phones. I incorporate YouTube, Teacher Tube, and other interactive sources into my lesson plans. So far, I have engaged juniors and seniors in my English classes at Canyon High School.

I am including a video that I showed to my juniors and seniors. My seniors were shocked and have been more receptive to my teaching techniques. I hope you enjoy it as well.


Shift Happens

Did You Know? 2012



7 comments on “Shift happens

  1. That is great that your students were able to do so much with technology! I really like your idea of encouraging students to bring in their own smart phones to facilitate the classroom. For not every school has access to technology in the classroom due to costs; but this would help alleviate that to some extent.

    I do have one question: you said that you were including a video? I am curious about seeing that. I know I must be tired but I am having trouble locating it:).

    • David,
      YouTube Did you Know 2012. It will blow your mind. For some reason, I am having issues with the link button. Yes, I am capitalizing on letting my students use their Smart Phones. It just makes sense if they don’t abuse the priviledge. For the most part, they are engaged and enjoying being able to Google and use Dictionary.com. Special Education students must be afforded every opportunity to learn as much as they can concerning technology.

  2. I agree with you. Students get bored when we present lessons and give give them packets to work on. Students also learn better when they have hands on projects. They like being able to create webpages and they enjoy using Google to search everything. It’s great that you had your students use PREZI for their reading assignment. I, as well, could not find the link you mentioned.

    • I am sorry you could not find the link. I use the link feature to add it, but you can go to YouTube and look for Did You Know 2012. It will blow your mind. Yes, special-education students are visual and auditory learners. I have to find a balance for both types of learning. It is a challenge, but I am loving every minute of teaching my students.

  3. Cynthia,
    That is great to see that you are able to build your plans with technology. I love the fact that you are able to have the students use their own phones as tools. I remember getting in trouble if I had my phone out during class (things have changed and for the better). I really think that for special education students, technology is the best way to connect with them and have a concept be fully grasped. Technology is something most of the students master on their own and to have them learn new ideas and lesson with this mastered tool, they have more confidence and do not put up a wall or have a thought of “I can’t”. It is awesome to hear of success found in utilizing a tool that is ever evolving and being able to set aside the “old” way of teaching a lesson.

  4. Cindy,
    I agree that as teachers we need to move away from the traditional ways of teaching with whiteboards and textbooks. There are so many resources for teachers that it doesn’t make sense for teachers to constantly teach students in a way that does not engage them. I believe we can use technology as to engage students and also to assess understanding. Computers, phones, tablets and e-readers have a wealth of knowledge available almost instantly so teachers should tap into them and teach students to use them so that they are prepared for the future.
    Exposing students to technology should help make them comfortable using technology. If students use technology regularly they can adapt with technology as it changes which is crucial since technology is constantly changing. The “Hole in the Wall” video was proof for me that with technology students can teach each other. Technology can minimize the barriers created by speaking different languages and helps with collaboration. I am glad that you are exposing your special education students to technology because I believe it should be part of inclusion.

    • Silverio,
      I have to “get with the program.” with the program”. Our district is going to e readers in four years. The Common Core Standards demand that I have to teach in a way that is inventive and engaging. Special-Education teachers really have to embrace the change, or our students will be “left behind.” My students deserve the same opportunity as general-education students. They are entering the world at the equivalent rate and speed as the general-education population and will be expected to do as well.

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