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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Web 2.0 and Library 2.0: What Librarians Need to Know

One important chapter that we have read this semester is in Courtney. The first chapter Web 2.0 and Library 2.0: What Librarians Need to Know by Elizabeth L. Black, does a great job of defining what Web 2.0 actually is. We are introduced to Tim O’Reilly who is credited with coining the term “Web 2.0” states that “Web 2.0 is the network as a platform, spanning all connected devices; Web 2.0 applications are those that make the most of the intrinsic advantages of that platform: delivering software as a continually-updated services that gets better the more people use it, consuming and remixing data from multiple sources, including individual users, while providing their own data and services in a form that allows remixing by others, creating network effects through an architecture of participation” and going beyond the page metaphor of Web 1.0 to deliver rich user experiences”(p2).

O’Reilly gives us seven principles of Web 2.0. These principals are the web as a platform, harnessing collective intelligence, data is the next Intel inside, the end of the software release cycle, lightweight programming model, software above the level of a single device and a rich user experience.

Examples of Web 2.0 include blogging, wikis, tagging, social networking, library thing, and mashups.

Black, E. L. (2007). Web 2.0 and library 2.0: What librarians need to know. In Courtney, N., Library 2.0 and beyond: Innovative technologies and tomorrow’s user (1-14). Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited.

Hardware for Educators

The most useful chapter that I read this semester was Shelly's Hardware for Educators. While I believe myself to be very technologically savey, I did not have a basic understanding of hardware. I can manipulate software programs, and I can, with time, figure out and implement Web 2.0 such as voki, twitter, etc. I could not however, explain what a byte was, identify the system unit, or have any basic understanding of the difference between memory and RAM. In fact this has been very embarrassing to me at times, when I have called or talked to someone about issues with my computer, and have problems interpreting the language that the truly technological are using.

Now, based on the reading of this chapter, I can tell you that a byte is a basic unit of storage of memory, and a terabtye is 1 trillion bytes. The system unit is in different parts of a computer, depending on what type you have (its purpose is to house the electronic components of a computer). I understand that a processor is the same thing as the central processing unit. Memory is used to store data and information while RAM (or Random Access Memory) is found in some memory chips. RAM is important, because the more RAM you have, the more programs you can run at one time.

This chapter filled in many gaps that I had in my knowledge of computers.

Shelly, G. B., Cashman T. J., Gunter, R. E., & Gunter, G. A. (2008). Hardware for Educators. In (5th ed.), Teachers discovering computers: Integrating technology and digital media in the classroom (201-249). Boston: Course Technology Cengage Learning.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Last Week!

I always like to find lesson plans that I can implement. I will be talking to my school librarian this week in order to find a book that I can use in order to implement the following idea. I like the idea of the pizza. Its visual, which can help many of my students with learning disabilities.

1. What one thing did you learn, and what will you do differently as a result?

I have really become more interested in the different types of technologies that are available to persons with disabilities. I had no idea that there were so many assistive technologies that come in so many different price ranges, and different levels of applicability. This will lead me to think differently about how to meet the needs of students with disabilities in my classroom.

2. Do you plan to recommend this tutorial? If so, please elaborate.

I will recommend this tutorial to the special educators at my school. I also already sent the link to the technology specialist at my school.

3. Do you plan to read or recommend some of the Recommended Reading books or add them to your collection? Will you link our LibraryThing list to your blog? If you have a book recommendation or have read one of the books that does not include a review, please send us your own review so we can share it.

It was interesting to see the book list. I have read a few of the books already on the list including A Child Called It, Flowers for Algernon and The Giver. I will definitely check a few of them out over winter vacation in order to expand my reading repertoire! I have placed the link on my blog.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I was unable to invite someone into my classroom to teach my class, but I did find a video on United Streaming called “skills for healthy living: Dealing with disabilities” This is a good way to introduce diversity into a classroom. It even includes a section about relating to peers with disabilities.

My “Local” Center

The disability Resource Center
409 Progress Street
Fredericksburg, VA

The dRC is one of 16 Centers for Independent Living in Virginia providing four core services:
• Independent Living Skills Training • Peer Counseling
• Information and Referral • Advocacy
Additional services include:
• Deaf and Hard of Hearing • Benefits Assistance
• TAPLoan program • Seminars
• Work Incentive assistance for Social Security beneficiaries who want to work • No Cost recycled durable medical equipment
• Children and Youth Services • Support Groups
• Community Action Specialists • Workshops
• Personal Assistance Service Facilitation • Nursing Home transition assistance
Free, confidential services are provided regardless of disability or age

5 Useful Websites

Blog on the topic of assistive technology, eLearning, mind mapping, project management, visual learning, collaborative tools, and educational technology

Website which reviews assistive technologies that are available for all types of learning disabilities. You can also purchase the technologies from this site.

Outlines the types of assistive technologies that are available from Microsoft. The site. provides demos and tutorials of the technologies.

This site provides many websites that provide helpful information for families and students affected with a disability.

“We are an informational site whose mission is to promote uniting the disabled with adapted computers through the use of assistive technology devices. Disability - articles, short stories, and link exchange; links to assistive technology computer furniture, software, and input/output devices; computer therapy; nursing home realities; message board; news; links; and resources”. Equality Technology

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Module #3 Software

icommunicator is a really cool software package that can be used by deaf or hard of hearing students. It is pretty impressive that an educator can speak into an amplifying devise, which will in turn translate the words into text AND the words into video sign language. Having this type of technology would keep all persons with a hearing disability able to communicate with anyone they run into in the world.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking also had an interesting demonstration of a voice recognition program for students or persons who have difficulties typing.

Performance Statement: Assistive Technology Software

Sarah J. Gobe


Inspiration Software, Inc.


(1 pt.)

(2 pts.)

Exceeds Expectations
(3 pts.)





-graphic organizers

-concept maps

Good Things

-assists students with organization

-assists students with writing

-kid friendly

Not So Good Things

-requires extensive preparation for teacher

- extensive training needed for students

Total Points: 10 Points/12 Points

Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil Education Systems


(1 pt.)

(2 pts.)

Exceeds Expectations
(3 pts.)




- Easily use Kurzweil 3000 at home or on other non-school computers.

- Save files and user settings — saving files on the USB flash drive enables students to have ready access to their important files regardless of what computer they are using.

(from site)

Good Things

-Reads to students

-word prediction

-can use on word documents

-can leave speech bubbles

can be used on the web

Not So Good Things

-distracting to students

-extensive training for students needed

Total Points: 9/12

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Module #2

Assistive Technology Hardware Solutions

Through the reading and activities this week, I have been able to find many hardware technologies that are useful for a classroom and library environment. I have become aquainted with many technologies that are easily available for educators including talking calculators, oversized keyboards and computer aided note taking devises.

In order to implement technological accommodations to students with a visual impairments, I could use technologies such as a hi-rez monitor, glare guard, or oversized monitor.

In order to implement technological accommodations to students with an auditory impairment, I could use a computer aided note taking devise, amplified hearing devises or a personal translator.

In order to implement technological accommodations to students with attention difficulty, I could use various technologies such as white noise generators, oversized monitors, task organization software and interactive white boards.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Discovering Assistive Technology Module 1

Types of Disabilities and Accommodations

I checked out the website for the National Federation of the Blind. It was interesting to me to think about how I would adjust my classroom if I were educating a blind student. I have taught hard of hearing students, and had to adjust my teaching style for them, but I would struggle to make the accommodations necessary for blind students. The NFB would be a great resource for teachers. It provides information from a list of recommended toys, to newspapers, to training programs to meet the needs of blind students.

I found the Job Accommodations Network interesting. You can search the site by disability or by topic, and they provide a list of recommended accommodations for persons in the workplace. Of particular interest to me, is that they had pregnancy on the list of disabilities!

I finally checked out the National Center for Learning Disabilities, which I think is a great resource for inclusion teachers. I am dual certified, and was still able to find interesting information from effective teaching practices to hints on monitoring student progress. Great resource!