Thursday, June 24, 2010

This Morning's Material

As someone who reads blogs, but had never even heard of wikis, I am interested in learning more about these interfaces. I can see the applications of wikis and blogs for interacting in upper elementary and secondary classrooms (as well as for social purposes such as planning a camping trip). However, I question the use of wikis and blogs as interactive tools for the younger students (2nd grade and under), especially the special education students who I service as a special education teacher. In order to participate in a wiki or blog, one needs to possess at least basic reading and writing skills, not to mention the fine motor skills needed to navigate computers. While Kurzweil (or another software) could be used in order to provide access to the blog/wiki text, I still question whether this would be a beneficial activity for students—especially given their need for specialized instruction in acquiring basic skills.

For my own purposes, I would like to set up a blog in order to communicate with parents. However, I am concerned about the issue of confidentiality given my position. Simply posting a picture of students at work in my room will automatically identify them as special education students to other parents. This poses a problem and limits the scope and type of information that I can post. Therefore, any blogging that I incorporate for parents will need to be informational in nature (i.e. general activities/themes in the room, tips concerning reading with children at home, etc.). What do other people think about this constraint for special education teachers?

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