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Mrs. Frye

EDU255 Blog Post #1

http://www.edutopia.org/autism-handheld-technology

The article explains how technology can enhance the learning environment for those students with autism and other needs.  The teacher used palm pilots for her students.  First, the article mentions that her students were supposed to take pictures of their pets and share them with another classmate, teaching social skills.  It was also mentioned that students could program appropriate responses to various social settings, which is especially useful to students with social communication disorder or those with social anxiety.  Students are also able to put in their classes, homework, and due dates to keep them organized, which I think all students could benefit from, not merely those with special needs.  The PalmPilot also assists students write down question prompts and take notes, which helps in organization and better understand the material.  There is also a story in which a student with autism found switching classes as a freshmen and encountering various teachers overwhelming, so his brother, who had an affinity for vlogging, recorded his bother’s routine and provided a commentary for him.  By watching the recording over and over again, he felt more comfortable with his new routine.

 

I think the integrating of technology into classrooms is a fantastic idea.  Not only do students with special needs benefit from assistive technology, but it can help other students in innumerable ways as well.  However, after today’s class discussion on funding, I can’t help but feel students in low-income schools suffer from the lack of funding for technology.  Its so unfair that not every student is able to benefit from the technology that could help them achieve so much more academically as well as socially.

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EDU 453 Blog #1

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/5-highly-effective-teaching-practices-rebecca-alber

This article, from edutopia, has five incredibly helpful teaching strategies.  I loved the idea of formative assessment, which gives us an idea of what our students are grasping, what they are struggling with, and even evaluate how we teach based on what worked well and what did not.  Formative assessment allows adjustments to be made and everyone, students and teachers, to track progress instead of waiting until the end of a unit to test.

Also, feedback is another strategy that I found incredibly useful.  I think papers should be given feedback in a conference setting.  Too often English teachers write corrections in the margins or draw arrows, but do our students always know what our notes mean? Could we have not processed what our student actually was trying to say?  I also think it is also important, as the article mentions, that we allow our students to give us feedback as well.

 

Blog post #4

I have been following merit pay throughout the semester, so when I saw an article about merit pay in Indiana, I was immediately interested. This article states that governer Mike Pence does not believe that ISTEP scores should not impact teachers’ pay.

Superintendent Glenda Ritz has warned about falling ISTEP scores because of increasingly higher state standards.

i agree with this article, because there are too many factors that can effect ISTEP scores.  Also, basing a teacher’s competency solely on a test score seems unfair and does not accuratly reflect a teacher’s effectiveness.

http://www.wthr.com/story/30366345/pence-says-lower-istep-scores-should-not-affect-teacher-pay


Blog Post #3

This article states several pros and cons of merit pay.

Some of the Pros are: Incentivized teachers will work harder and produce better results, merit Pay programs will help recruit and retain the nation’s brightest minds, teachers are already underpaid. Merit Pay would help address this injustice, and we are in the middle of a teaching shortage.

Some of the Cons are: Good will and cooperation between teachers will be compromised, success is difficult, if not impossible, to define and measure, opponents to Merit Pay argue that a better solution to the current educational crisis is to pay all teachers more.

While the pros listed in this article seem to make sense, I tend to side against merit pay.  I agree that there would be undue competition and teachers would be less cooperative.   I also agree the teachers are underpaid, but I believe there should be another scale of measurement besides test scores.  I also think that it is impossible to measure a “good teacher” by test scores, and the quality of instruction and positive relationships would decline if merit pay was instituted.

http://k6educators.about.com/od/assessmentandtesting/a/meritypay_2.htm

Teacher Raises Bases on Students’ Test Scores

In the teaching world, standardized testing is a hot topic that is talked about constantly.  One issue that has come to light is the fact that teacher wages, including possible raises, are being affected by their students’ test scores.

The idea is to have students take a test at the beginning of the year, and then again at the end of the year to show improvement, and, in reality, whether or not you as a teacher are doing your job.

Michelle Rhee, the public schools chancellor in Washington, D.C. states that “In order to have the privilege of teaching kids you have to be able to show that you can significantly move their academic achievement levels”.

On the flip side, many teachers are saying that the schools are already too focused on standardized test scores. I tend to side with this side of the argument. Many students experience test anxiety and some have difficulty demonstrating their knowledge through a multiple choice test.  I believe Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers summarized by view of the issue by stating,” Using test scores to measure teacher effectiveness fosters a tendency to focus not on learning but on improving test scores”. Are teachers going to focus on building relationships, learning the material, and building students up or drilling them on the subject matter than is going to be on the test?

Article: http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/testing_teachers/judge.html

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