I think presentation software, like PowerPoint, is a great tool for teaching. It serves as a visual aid for students to look at and read if they missed something the teacher said. Teachers can choose what comes up on the screen at what time; so if they don’t want students reading ahead they can prevent the next set of information from showing up on the screen. Or teachers can put a question on a slide to get a class discussion going and provide the answer later. Presentation software allows teachers to display information in different formats. They can add videos, graphics, change the font color, and add effects. PowerPoint presentations are also good for student projects. PowerPoint is easy to learn and is a great way for students to connect ideas and show their understanding of the information. Studies have also shown that the act of organizing information or seeing information presented in an organized manner helps students learn more efficiently. I am also a fan of Prezi, which is a more entertaining presentation and is online and free. It might be a little more difficult for younger students, but it is great for teacher lectures and middle and high school student projects.
Every teacher will have a student with a disability during their career. It is important to understand the various technologies that can help all students to learn, participate, and understand the information and tend to each student’s individual needs. This technology is called adaptive or assistive technology. The Americans with Disabilities Act says that no one can be discriminated against because of his/her disability. Teachers must (and should want to) make accommodations or adjustments for students to reach their full, learning potential. There are alternative input and output devices, magnification tools, and so much more. Students with a learning disability or who are visually impaired can also get all of their course materials in a digital format that is read to them. Teachers should be aware of the different disabilities they could come in contact with and should definitely know all of the disabilities in their own classroom. It is important for teachers to also be aware of how they design worksheets or display information on the computer. Some students might be sensitive to or cannot see certain colors, and students who have technology that reads their material for them will not be able to see graphics, so it would be beneficial for them to have alternative descriptions. Utilizing assistive technology, modifying instruction and materials, and learning about various disabilities does take some time, but it is all worth it when your students are able to reach their full potential.
I took a web design class in high school, so I know how to write my own code using HTML and CSS or Dreamweaver. However, even though Dreamweaver is a great program that allows you to create any website design you can think of, it costs a lot of money. I enjoyed this week’s assignment because I enjoy any type of design and I liked that we were given a list of websites that help you to create a website for free. The simple drag and drop option on Weebly is very similar to using Dreamweaver, but is a little more restrictive. If you know HTML and/or CSS Weebly gives you access to the code, so you could go into it and change certain aspects if you wanted to. Or if you didn’t like a specific aspect of your page and don’t know HTML/CSS, you could ask Weebly employees for direct assistance. It was very easy for me to create and design my website and add information. I plan to use this web design site, or one similar to it, when I create the website for my future class.