Sunday, December 14, 2008

IEP

For my IEP project I decided to make a website for my PE program at Nunaka Valley. My first step was to talk with our tech. person to find out if our school already had a webpage and if so how hard would it be to add a PE page to it. Turns out we did already have a page but it was very stagnant and outdated. If you are interested in checking out our old website click here. Another problem with the old page is that it was difficult to get to. Unless you had the page bookmarked you had to go through the Anchorage School District's website to get to ours.

The music teacher and I got together and decided to make a new website for our school that could be easily updated with new stuff that way we could keep people coming back. The website is now simply nunakavalley.com. It has turned out to be a great thing for our school!

We used WordPress as our publishing platform. Our website uses a blog type of layout that allows us to constantly update it with ease. Parents and students can expect to see something new every few days. The website also allows us to have pages set up for teachers. A few teachers have already taken advantage of this. They use their pages to post weekly homework, assignments and other things. We are still working on helping teachers set up their pages. Hopefully they will all have their own page soon.

In the process of setting up the site and my page I had to learn how to use WordPress as well as several other web services. I had to become familiar with Picasa to upload pictures, create web albums, and make slide shows. I had to embed media into pages and posts, and I dabbled a little with Html. I learned to use MyStudiyo to make and embed online quizzes into the site. All in all I have become a lot more technologically competent as a result of this IEP assignment and our school has come away with a very valuable communication tool.

Click here to view the new Nunaka Valley Website!

Click here to see the website's Educational Application.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Professional Online Community

I joined the Anchorage School District Elementary PE Teachers Forum. This is a new forum, I have been involved since October 29th. This forum has the potential to be a very valuable tool not only for me but for all of the ASD PE teachers. As a new teacher I have found my most valuable resource to be collaboration with other teachers. Over the last year it has been very difficult to collaborate because we are all isolated at our own schools. This forum gives us the opportunity to collaborate, share lesson ideas, post pictures and videos, and share or trade equipment.

A challenge that the forum faces is getting teachers to buy in. There has not been an abundance of activity on the forum. I think a lot of teachers prefer using e-mail because they already check it every day. The forum is just another thing to check. The forum does however give you networking opportunities that e-mail cannot provide. I think the forum will be a great tool but it just needs a little more time to catch on.

Click here to visit online community. (If this does not work e-mail me. I may have to invite you into the forum.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Digital Story

The Adventure of Michael Mickey Mantle Jordan

This story is designed as a warm-up story for an elementary school physical education class. The main character of this story, Michael Mickey Mantle Jordan, gets lost after a volcano erupts. He ends up getting chased by various wild animals. In the process of escaping he uses movements that he learned in P.E. The idea behind this is the students perform the different movements as the story is being told.

Story Map: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dhm7ws2s_10c2ss9wf9

Story Script: http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dhm7ws2s_12cffmqkcn

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Internet Resources

Internet Resources:
I found it impossible to limit these resources to just three. Listed below are seven really good resources for Physical Education Teachers. These resources are useful because they are full of lessons, games and activities for the gym. Some of have tips for assessment, class management ideas, the latest research, and online forums. The NASPE Standards for Physical Education can also be found at many of these sites.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Article Assesment #2

Nick Leiser E-Mail: asnal2@uaa.alaska.edu 6-18-2008

Article Title: Assistive Technologies for Reading

Author: Ted Hasselbring and Margaret Bausch

Article Overview: This article points out the increasing number of students needing special education services that are in the general education classroom and may not be getting proper assistance. It also discusses several kinds of assistive learning technology that would be beneficial to those students with special needs. Assistive technologies have made a dramatic difference for students with severe impairments; however research suggests that its potential remains untapped for the larger group of students.

Reference Points:
1. More students with special needs are being educated in inclusive classrooms where they are expected to perform grade-level work but not always given specialized support. Teachers are searching for ways to educate students with disabilities more effectively.
2. Although assistive technologies have made a dramatic difference for students with severe impairments, research suggests that its potential remains untapped for the larger group of students.
3. Read & Write Gold is an example of software that can assist students with special needs. This program is customizable to fit the learner’s needs. It provides text-to-speech output, word prediction and several other beneficial features.
4. One of the greatest problems that poor readers face is a deficit in background knowledge. We have all read text books that made no sense to us even though we could read all the words. READ 180 remedies that problem by providing a video that gives the background knowledge needed to make sense of the text.
5. Improved learning for all students depends on the quality of the instruction. “Instructional technologies are mere vehicles that deliver instruction but do not influence student achievement any more than the truck that delivers our groceries causes changes in our nutrition.” (Richard Clark, 1983).
6. Although assistive technologies make it possible for students with disabilities to profit from good instruction, technology is not magic; it is simply a tool, when used skillfully, it can help achieve spectacular results.

Significance: Teachers need to become more informed about the different typed of assistive technology available and start taking advantage of it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Article Assesment #1

Nick Leiser E-Mail: asnal2@uaa.alaska.edu 6-16-2008
Article Title: The Overdominance of Computers
Author: Lowell W. Monke

Article Overview: This article discusses the role of technology in today’s classroom. Monke thinks that technology should not be taking the place of interpersonal communication. Students need real life experiences to learn human qualities such as honesty, compassion, trust… Students today are not failing because of a lack of technological skills. They fail because they lack hope, compassion, trust, respect, a sense of belonging, moral judgment, stability, community support, parental care… Technology should be taught in the last two years of school that way we aren’t training students in technical skills that are soon to be obsolete.

Reference Points:
1. Just because schools should be preparing students for a high tech society does not mean that children of all ages should be using high tech tools. We live in a vehicle dependant society, but we don’t have 10 year olds driving around in cars.
2. Assessment data shows that the more access students have to computers, the lower their overall test scores were.
3. As a result of increased time spent with computers, video games, and TV, the current generation of elementary students will experience 30% fewer face-to-face encounters than the previous generation (Hammel, 1999).
4. It is the lack of hope, compassion, trust, respect, a sense of belonging, moral judgment, stability, community support, parental care, and teacher competence and enthusiasm that keeps so many students imprisoned in ignorance.
5. We label students too quickly, and are eager to apply external technical fixes (including medications) to students who often simply aren’t ready for the abstract, academic, and sedentary environment of today’s early elementary classrooms.
6. Teachers should spend considerable time during the last two years of high school outfitting students with the high-tech skills they will need when they graduate. This “just-in-time” approach is far more efficient instructionally and financially than retraining younger students in technical skills soon to be obsolete.

Significance: We should take a close look and maybe even rethink the use of technology at younger ages. Make sure that the use of technology is not replacing human interaction. Also be careful not to go overboard on the opposite end of the spectrum and remove computers completely from elementary classrooms. They are a great resource for nearly every subject imaginable.