Blogs, wikis and other web 2.0 technologies are often used in classrooms to help engage students. Not only to they give students the opportunity to write for a much larger audience, but they help to foster many 21st century competencies such as collaboration, technology skills and much more. Then of course there is the plethora of assistive technology software that tends to work well with these tools making assignments more accessible for students with disabilities.
Unfortunately despite the usefulness of many of these web 2.0 technologies they are not used as often as one would hope. Although reasons vary, one common problem is the frequent requirement that students have their own account in order to be able to access the technology. This is mostly understandable because in order for blogs and similar technologies to work in classrooms teachers must restrict access to make sure not just anyone can make a comment. This is done by asking those who make posts or comments (students) to have an account. Accounts require email addresses, and asking students to create accounts, verify them, and so on is just asking for trouble. It’s no wonder so many teachers just say its not worth it.
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Next Tuesday, August 28 (3:30pm – 5:00pm EST), I will be delivering a webinar session focusing on practical strategies for delivering online professional development. This is part of an online series organized by the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA). If you have ever heard Jason or I present, this will be similar to our face to face workshops: practical, research-based, and ideas that can be immediately implemented.
The focus of this session is on how to incorporate synchronous (think Skype or GoToMeeting) and asynchronous (think Youtube or Wikis) into your professional development offerings. It will be framed around training people how to use and implement assistive technology, but the strategies apply to any content area.
If you are interested in attending this webinar. Click on the link here to access additional details and session registration information (there is a nominal fee). Hope to see you there!
The last couple of posts, Collecting Data in Today’s Classroom and Accessing the Data You Just Collected, have been based on free ways to collect data online using Google Docs. This method is both highly effective and efficient, but typically requires you to have a computer handy. These days it is much more likely to have a smartphone or iPad close by, so this post is dedicated to demonstrating how easy it is to collect data using your mobile device. I’ll focus on using an iPhone/iPad, since “iDevices” are the most popular mobile devices in schools, but if you are an android or other user the same idea should work there as well.
If you remember from the previous posts, Jason G walked us through how to create a form in google docs, then how to make sense of the data we collected. What’s missing from the information provided so far is how to collect this data using a mobile device.
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