Welcome to Teacher Space. Scroll down the right margin to discover hundreds of quality, teaching and learning links for mainstream and special education teachers.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Story of Stuff

Hi Everyone,
If you are feeling a bit 'ho-hum' about teaching another unit of environmental studies or that obligatory recycling unit one more time, take a look at this short movie. It just might get you all fired up again. It's a US production that runs for fifteen minutes and it would be a great resource for mainstream Middle Years and Senior students. Click on the picture to take a look.

Visy Enviromaniacs

Hi Everyone,
Visy, one of the world's leading packaging , paper and recycling companies has set up a new environmental education website to introduce environmental topics to children. I registered my class and school this morning. The site has interactive games for students to play which link to great lesson plans that are provided for teachers. Visy is also giving away prize money to schools that register. Take a look, it's a fantastic site teaching important life skills to 21st century learners in all settings.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Make your own interactive Books.

Hi Everyone,
I have spent the last couple of hours preparing an interactive book for my class to add sound files to later in the week. I found the application at Bev Evans Communications 4 All site. If you
have basic PowerPoint skills you will have no trouble making some fantastic books with this tool . Click on the picture and I will take you there. Once you have arrived, scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the template link. I bet you will be distracted by all of the other interactive features you have to scroll past before you get there!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

21st Century e Learning Conference (online)

Today this blog will be hosting a session at the 21st Century elearning Conference. The posts that follow serve as my notes for the presentation.
About Me
My name is Sue King and I am a primary trained Generation X teacher working at Belvoir Special School in Wodonga .
I am passionate about helping students with learning challenges to engage in learning in both Special Education and Mainstream settings and to help them to achieve outcomes that will lead to enviable lives.
I am also a self confessed 'technophobe'.
ICT skills have never come easily to me.
I used to be able to do my banking, pay my bills, turn on my TV, listen to music using a range of devices, answer a phone and take a photo all by myself. These days I require the technical assistance of my husband or teenage sons to guide me through the process and a written step by step procedure with diagrams to follow if they are not around!
If I can blog anyone can and I hope that after this session you will consider giving it a go or at least use the sites of others who do blog, to gain access to valuable resources and broaden your personal and professional learning networks.

What's in the Goody Bag?

By the end of this session participants will have:
  • An understanding of how and why this blog was created
  • Knowledge of how blogs can be used to motivate and facilitate learning experiences for a variety of audiences.
  • Access to thousands of web links to use in their own classrooms
  • A desire to engage in teaching and learning activities that are possibly outside of their usual ICT experience
  • A new way to develop world wide professional and personal learning networks specific to their own needs
  • Courage to try something outside of their comfort zone
  • Inspiration to go alongside students and teachers who need extra support to achieve learning outcomes.

The Journey - Putting the Pieces Together

In 2008 , when this learning journey began was teaching a mixed ability group of special needs Junior school students who were very motivated to learn when information was presented using technology, especially computer based learning tasks. Our aging equipment provided me with loads of challenges and lessons in patience!
When I told people that I was planning to create a blog most people suggested that nobody would want to read a blog about day to day activities in a special school.
They were wrong!
The blog has helped me to achieve outcomes that I would have only dreamed about a year ago:
  • Quick access to quality programs that I want to use with the children .
  • It keeps a record of the activities we have completed in the classroom
  • It keeps parents and other interested parties informed of what is happening in our room.
  • Educates others about what a special needs classroom in the 21st century is like.
  • Allows the children to access programs with minimal effort at school and at home.
  • It helps us to connect and collaborate with other mainstream and special education classrooms internationally.
  • Helps me to learn valuable ICT skills because I am motivated to produce a quality product for the children , their families and blogging buddies to engage with.
  • It allows me to to respond to Giorchelli Report's call for special education teachers to share their knowledge and skills with their mainstream counterparts so that children with special needs could be more easily and successfully integrated into the mainstream system. Hence the Teacher Space Blog was created.
  • In 2009 I took up a role as a key local professional with the Australian Autism Education and Training Consortium supporting teachers in the Hume Region who are new to teaching students on the Autism Spectrum. The blog is like a portable resource library that travels with me from school to school and I can leave my resources with them after I have gone.
  • My blog is used as an educational learning resource for people from over 30 countries from all sorts of different backgrounds.
  • As a direct result of engaging with teachers via the blog , I even get requests from non departmental schools to come and help them set up learning environments for their special needs students.
  • The best indicator of how my journey has come full circle is that other teachers ask me to show them how to blog!
  • E5 - No problem !

The Nuts & Bolts of the Blog

Edublogs is a blogging application for educators. It is the application most favoured by the Education Department because of cyber -safety issues. I have tried on a number of occasions to create a blog using the Edublogs site but find the site difficult to navigate my way around and the online tutorials confusing because of my lack of technical knowledge once I get past the set up stage. However, I'm sure that if I sat alongside a very patient 'flesh and blood' ICT coach who was prepared to work at my pace I would be able to master the Edublogs application.

Blogger is much more user friendly for technically challenged people like myself and I like the blog templates, which allow you to create a site that appeals to visual learners. Many schools use the Blogger application to produce fantastic sites .

My Blog is really 8 blogs which have been designed with a specific propose and audience in mind that have been linked to form a blogging network.

Teacher Space
All of the blogs follow a similar organisational pattern .
So let's take a tour !

Universal Design for Learning

A is for Autism F is for Friend - Video