The two course embedded activities for 5364 were to demonstrate skills to support teachers as they implement curriculum plans integrating technology to enhance student learning and to create a wiki-based study group who create a lesson using UDL at the CAST Lesson Builder and a sample electronic book. I would never have thought that a lesson of this magnitude could be created by 3 people who are hundreds of miles apart. I learned how to use a wiki and Skype to facilitate the creation of a multipart lesson for several different learning styles and with accommodations for handicapped students. I now know that online collaboration tools can be used to create long distance projects and I researched more tools for a colleague who wanted to implement a “paperless” classroom this year using wikis, Moodle, Skype and Dropbox. This course showed me how all of this can be planned and executed.
In my portion of the lesson, the intent was to tie the constructivist learning theory and CAST’s 3 brain networks together (Rose and Meyer, 2002). My team wanted to concentrate on the recognition network with activities addressing fact gathering, the strategic network to show the planning and organizing of ideas and the affective network showing that the students would be engaged and challenged. Constructivism lends itself well to these network activities. The UDL philosophy allowed us, as educators, to rethink materials, methods, goals and assessments using its multiple means of introducing and learning concepts. I was aware of constructivism, but really didn’t know what it entailed until taking this course.
I knew that integrating technology into the lesson would be fun since we had no restrictions on funding. iPads have turned out to be quite a motivational tool in my classroom. I have 4 of the devices and allow students to earn free time to use them. The Williamson and Redish text went to great lengths to present ways that teachers could use “computing devices and software designed to help users complete specific tasks.” (Williamson & Redish, 2009, p. 102) Technology training and learning is not always for students. A school with highly trained teachers will be more productive and better. Pitler’s activities using word processors and spreadsheets give specific tasks that could not be achieved without technology. The chapter discussing effort being a teachable skill gives examples of using a spreadsheet to compare extra effort with increased grades could not have easily be done without technology. (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007, p. 158)
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenosksi, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom
instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum
Rose, D., & Meyer, A., (2002) Teaching every student in the digital age: Universal design for
learning. Alexandria, Va: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Available online at the Center for Applied Special Technology web site. Chapter 6.
Retrieved March 7, 2011 from http://www.cast.org/teachingeverystudent/ideas/tes
Williamson, O., & Redish, T. (2009). Iste's technology facilitation and leadership standards,
what every k-12 leader should know and be able to do. Intl Society for Technology in
Educ. Retrieved from http://books.google.com/books/feeds/volumes?q=9781564842527