Having benefited so greatly from this tutorial, how could I resist the plea to link CSLA2's Library Thing? These books are great!
I've personally read some of them and am pleased to say that our library has most of them. Literature goes a long way in helping others understand issues and circumstances surrounding disabilities.
The lesson plans in Module 5 were great too. I liked how activity-oriented they are and that the focus is on making kids aware of what it's like to function with disabilities.
I guess as far as what I learned: my eyes have really been opened as to the variety and quality of technology that is available to help people with disabilities. I think if I eventually find myself employed in a media center, I will be more equipped to promote assistive technology and advocate for students with disabilities. Where I currently work, there is not much need for AT. I suppose the closest we come to AT is our audio books and large print books. For many patrons, using these materials is a choice of preference rather than need, though.
I could easily recommend this course to others. If I hear of someone or a group wanting to learn more about AT, this is the first place I'd send them!
As the focus of this week has been on evaluation, I found it interesting to look at the various places the Shelly text mentions as sources of information for evaluation. Listed is everything from professional organizations to publications to conferences. Two of my personal favorite sources are: colleague recommendations and the web. If something has been tried by several colleagues, you can usually get some honest and fairly accurate feedback about products and services. I have recently used word of mouth (along with some of my own investigation) to see what vendors provide the best periodical services for small libraries. I found the one my colleagues recommended the most to be the company I chose and saved money as well! I also often look at reviews for products and materials - everything from software to books for the library. With the widespread ability for tagging and user-centered websites, reviews are easy to find and generally very helpful.
I really like the rubrics and checklists provided throughout the chapter. I could have used the website evaluation a couple classes ago...! I found the student rubrics helpful too. We frequently mention when it comes to learning, the students are important stakeholders and if we give them the opportunity to evaluate projects, learning processes, materials, etc. it will help us provide more effective learning opportunities and apply different strategies to meet various learning needs.
I'm glad the chapter addressed not just the multi-computer classroom, but also included the one-computer classroom. As technologically advanced as many areas and districts are these days, there are still plenty of limited technology schools. The range of ideas on how to use one computer with an entire class was inspiring.
Shelly, G. B., Cashman, T. J, Gunter, R. E., & Gunter, G. A. (2008). Integrating technology and
digital media in the classroom, (5th ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning