All posts by fordlc

Hello online world! My name is Lou and I am slightly terrified of this class. I'm a special education teacher and work mostly with K-2 at PES. It has been rather easy to stay away from technology while working with this population but it's time to broaden my horizons. So thank you in advance for being patient and sharing this journey with me! Peace

Final Post-Ford

To answer the question if I’ve succeeded in creating an online opportunity for my students to interact with and gain knowledge, I would boldly say yes! Did I meet all of the criteria for this course?  I certainly attempted to.  My module may be lacking some of the components we’ve learned about but I believe my students will enjoy their journey through it with my assistance.  I have learned about many benefits and challenges of teaching online and through it all I kept searching to find the appropriateness of this method with six year olds.  The jury is still out but my eyes have been open to possibilities.  I honestly don’t know how to grade myself other than I’ve put forth good effort and put many hours into exploring and commenting on the objectives.  With this being an introductory course, I feel that I’ve earned an A or B!    Peace

Virtual Reality-Ford


I will totally go back and rewatch the video over break!  I am a huge people watcher and enjoy trying to get in their heads and this is a way to actually do it.  While watching it, I kept wondering how this could be utilized in the area of Autism, with those students who constantly have an automatic tape playing in their head.  Could it benefit them as a way to express what they know without interacting to our standards but to their own?!  I loved the idea of each student feeling that they hold the teacher’s undivided attention and of course they’d perform better.  I see the wonderful benefits of virtual tours, how cool to travel without leaving school.  One thing I can’t imagine is the time and energy that went into all of the studies shared on the video.  It seemed very exciting and daunting at the same time!!

Final Reflection- Ford

This course seemed so much more than an introduction to me!  I must admit though that I have always steered away from technology because for one it intimidates me and two, I didn’t realize just what was out there for my special needs population.   Initially this course did the same.  However, after being reassured by classmates and the professor, I dove in and gave it my best effort.  I have learned so much about virtual teaching and virtual learning.  I enjoyed the flow of the class and the strategies used for interacting with the materials and classmates.  It may have been more helpful for me to be linked with classmates that also worked with young students as it was difficult to relate to and comment on blogs dealing with high schoolers in specific subjects.  I did connect with others that were more matched with what I do midway through and it was helpful and easier to follow.   I did not use a few early sites that we joined such as Twitter and Feedly as I probably should have.  I think that the biggest change I’ll make is that I’ll be quicker to explore possibilities of technology that could potentially enhance the learning of my students.  My confidence is also much greater now that I can research, report, and utilize different avenues of technology with more assurance.  Thank you to everyone who supported me through and especially to our professor who demonstrated all the roles of a great on-line educator by encouraging me, providing viable feedback and always being available!  Peace

Final Status-Ford

I feel that my module is as  complete as it’s going to get!  Keep in mind that I have set it up to reteach and reiterate learned knowledge of goods and services for six year old, special ed. students.  I want my students to have conversations with me about what goods/services are and what the difference is between consumers/producers after interacting with this module over several days.   My thought is that I will, at that point, assign a grade to their understanding of the module’s information.   I definitely plan on using it with my students over several days to add to the teaching in the general ed. classroom.  I still appreciate any feedback or suggestions to improve on what I’ve designed!

MOOCs- Ford

MOOCS appear very different than what we’ve been learning about during this course.  They are an online avenue for learning but do not possess the same components as the online teaching methods we’ve been introduced to.  They are open to unlimited numbers of students and have very little to no teacher-student interaction.  I have learned that for a student to be successful in online learning there needs to be some interaction with a teacher and feedback is given to motivate and keep the student participating and engaged.  There is definitely more possibility for misinterpreted information in MOOCS due to the student to student interactions without feedback or input from a teacher.  I see a benefit of MOOCS being to gain knowledge without the financial cost or accountability. I am amazed at the percentages given in the readings of students dropping out prior to completing in the entire course!  It would be difficult to connect, I feel, in this style of learning.

It is difficult to say if MOOCS have a place in K12 online learning as I don’t want to discount anything that could potentially aid in the learning process of each student.  I don’t see them being utilized with the age and population of students I work with.  However, I think they could be structured in a way that high school students could review a topic, practice certain skills and then exit when they choose.

My module as it is could not be transformed into a MOOC.  It definitely requires close interaction between the teacher and the students and is a hybrid model.  However, it does have a component of review and practice that students can access over a period of time and engage with it as long as they desire.  Again my students are 5 and 6 year olds and need prompting/direction for most academic tasks they face.

Final Project Plan-Ford

I have not been able to access Schoology this weekend for some reason so I am going to try to remember what I currently have in my module.  Hopefully I can get in tomorrow and I will update my plan if I need to add anything.  At this point, I feel that my module is nearly complete.  Keep in mind that I have set it up to reteach and reiterate learned knowledge of goods and services for six year old, special ed. students.  I want to add either an online or paper/pencil assessment and possibly another video.  I definitely plan on using it with my students over several days to add to the teaching in the general ed. classroom.  I’m thinking that most of my students can navigate through it without much assistance but I will be close by to assess how they’re doing and what support I can give.  I’m not sure what sort of feedback I would like from classmates or professor, as I’m thinking my module isn’t like any that I’ve viewed but is appropriate for my students.  However, I am always open to feedback and may be completely missing the boat on this!  This class has been tremendously difficult for me on a few levels but I now feel that I’ve learned a lot and stretched my brain, which is always a great thing!  No Pain, No Gain …….

SRL Reflections-Ford

I enjoyed our readings about SRL this week.  As a parent of four young adults first and an educator second, I think SRL is what projects a person into a successful, productive life!  It is amazing how this is portrayed in each of my children and how they are developing based on their SRL.  As an educator of very young students, I see how vital it is to set them up with their confidence in learning and begin to work on the Forethought Phase.  My task is to build these students up so they begin to realize what it feels like to succeed in learning and what part they play in that.  First graders are not thinking long term goals.  It’s hard to get them to think past lunch…..  So, with that, I’m not sure how many of the processes of SRL I will employ in face to face much less virtual teaching.  I do and will constantly be working on Attention focusing in the Performance Phase!  I think my students will increase attention to the computer based instruction more than ftf when it comes to interacting with the sorting games; because just sitting in front of the computer with headphones on automatically cuts down outside distractions and gives them a point of focus.  They will get immediate feedback as to their choices which then projects them forward.

Teachers can help young students start learning to self-regulate by presenting choices and then having conversations about the outcomes of those choices, which helps them to become active in their own learning.  Kindergarten and first grade teachers probably spend over half of the day with students reflecting on choices for learning and whether to continue with the choices or choose differently for a different outcome.  Again, I don’t see this being done through online instruction at this age.  One of the studies noted that certain aspects of SRL, particularly metacognitive knowledge and skills generally improve as students get older.  Acquisition of general SRL competence requires suitable teaching and practice.

I have two questions to pose to the group.  First, at what age or grade do you start seeing the acquisition of SRL and the skills being utilized? Second, how is it possible to set up flexible, student-centered environments in this age of common core and assessments?!


Lesson Description:  This lesson is designed specifically for five special needs students in first grade and can be utilized by all students in the class.  One student receives pull-out services for content and the others are in a collaborative setting for content. The students will learn to identify what goods and services are by sorting into appropriate categories.  This will be done using a variety of instruction and materials.  The students will use the computer/ipad, role playing and worksheets on several occasions to meet this lesson objective.

  1. The main Content (C) of this lesson is to distinguish between goods and services.
  2. The main Pedagogy (P) of this lesson is active and experiential learning.
  3. The main Technology (T) of this lesson is a video and drag and drop online activities.

Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK)

Describe: Students will experience a video in which they will make connections to real world goods and services. The students will then need to distinguish goods and services by actively classifying the two.  Prior to the video, the students will participate in conversation and discourse about the subject matter.  They will reveal their understanding of and build on it through this avenue. Once the technology is explored, students will engage in a ftf group activity of together categorizing objects/pictures into the two groups.

Support: ,

Technological Content Knowledge (TCK)

Describe: Students are engaged in learning when doing so on the computer or ipad.  They become interested with what’s in front of them and it appears more like a game than learning.  The freedom to explore a video or website takes the fear of performing in front of others away.  When making a wrong choice of where an item goes, it simply pops back to the top of the screen and allows the student to try again. The drag and drop activity is visually stimulating without much distraction.

Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK)

Describe:   The drag and drop activity is visually stimulating without much distraction.  It does not involve sound which for some learners can be a distraction.  This program allows students to engage in an interactive activity verses a paper/pencil activity which is more stimulating and meaningful.


Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)

Describe:  The technology tools utilized in this lesson engage the students in learning about specific content while allowing them to move at differentiated paces and gain feedback in a less intimidating manner.  These strategies used allow the students to be active participants in their learning which will help them to make more connections and retain knowledge of this content.  Their newfound knowledge can be generalized into physically sorting pictures into the two categories for another type of quick, on-leveled assessment.


Learning Activities-Ford

There are definitely some activities from this reading that I would like to implement into my module.  First, addressing pedagogy is Conversation and Discourse.  These will take place in the face to face classroom due the age and ability levels of my students.  Through these activities, the students will gain deeper learning about the subject, explain their understanding, and grow from their classmates, as well.  They will be exposed to Group Activities, in which together, they separate objects and pictures into the two categories. Study Aids in the form of video and drag-n- drop activities are already incorporated.  Technology is addressed through the study aids mentioned above.  Lastly, I will be incorporating a Project at the conclusion of my module.  This and the group activities will address Content.  The students will build a collage of goods and services using materials from both the classroom and online.

Online Instructor Roles-Ford

As I read through the roles of an online instructor this week, different roles stood out to me.  The roles that I foresee playing in the set-up and execution of my module are; Course designer, Feedback-giver, Organizer and planner, and Technology integrator.  There are a few roles that because of the way I’m setting up the module and the age and needs of my students, I don’t believe I’ll be playing.  These roles are; Profession-inspirer, Interaction-facilitator, Conference manager, Social rapport builder, and Technical coordinator.  My students will be interacting with the module independent of classmates for the most part.  There will be some whole group discussion of the topic and maybe a group project, such as creating a collage of goods and services.  I can see with these activities that I may play a few roles that I’m not playing with the online module.  Interaction-facilitator and Social rapport builder would be utilized during these times.