New Ed Tech and Inclusion Classes Begin

It’s been a long time since the days of the one-room school house with the only tools to teach being a piece of chalk, a chalkboard and a few books that had to be shared between the students.

With the constantly evolving technology of the super sonic 21st century those historical facts seem almost impossible now—even laughable. Blackberries and Web cams; e-books; WiFi in hotels, airports, Starbucks and McDonalds; video cam techniques; online libraries and resource centers; Twitter and Facebook accounts; and iPhones and iPads keep students online from just about anywhere.

So what’s next?

Well, here’s some good news. Webster’s School of Education’s new “undergraduate” classroom courses are about online technology and all these new gadgets, learning mediums … and even what is on the horizon for teachers in and out of the classroom. So fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the ride!

“Webster will be helping new teachers learn how to effectively use technology in their classrooms,” explained Professor Ralph Olliges. “This technology includes smart boards, podcasts, wikis, handheld devices and response systems such as clickers.”

Professor Ralph Olliges

New 2010 UG Ed Tech Courses:
Technology in the Classroom

- Students in this hands-on, project-based course learn to use technology creatively and effectively in support of curriculum in PK-12 classrooms. Emphasis focuses on learning how to use the software and the Internet in the classroom. Focus is not on the tool, but rather on the pedagogy and how to effectively implement the tools in the classroom to instruct and to assess students.

Web 2.0 Technologies in the Classroom – This is a hands-on project based course designed to help educators use technology creatively and effectively to support curriculum in PK-12 classrooms. Students learn the use of the Inspiration family of software and contribute to a course “wiki”-site based on the School of Education goals.

Interactive Technologies in the Classroom - This is also a hands-on project based course designed to help educators use technology creatively and effectively to support curriculum in PK-12 classrooms. In this course, students will learn how to use United Streaming, Tablet PCs, Clickers and SmartBoards.

SoE Professor Kenneth Holmes bridges the gap between reality and illusion using the video cam techniques of Webster’s Online Learning Center’s Green Room to send course instructions to his writing course.

Multimedia in the Classroom – To round out this group the multi-media hands-on project based course is designed to help educators use technology creatively and effectively to support curriculum in PK-12 classrooms by use of web cameras, podcasting, PDAs and iMovie software.

Associate Vice President Dan Viele

Associate Vice President Dan Viele

Dan Viele, associate vice president and director of Webster’s Online Learning Center, explains that Webster’s WorldClassRoom enables instructors to Web enhance traditional, face-to-face courses with a place to host online discussions, blogs and journals, for example, to encourage contributions from students who otherwise may not share their thoughts in the classroom. “That’s yet another way Webster’s online initiatives continue to complement—not compete with—Webster’s traditional classroom offerings. Our main growth area will also be in this area—instructional design and course development.”

All SoE students will be required to take at least four credits of Educational Technology.

Webster’s SoE also has an exciting new inclusion course to offer.

Aptly entitled, Inclusive Practices for the General Education Teacher, this new undergraduate course introduces general educators to strategies that promote the social and academic integration of children with disabilities into the general education classroom.

Course topics include: inclusive education philosophy and research, tiered academic interventions (Response to Intervention-RTI), collaborative practices, roles and responsibilities, parent collaboration and communication, curriculum adaptations, differentiated instruction and positive behavior supports.

“Students of all abilities are currently in today’s classrooms,” explains School of Ed Associate Professor Victoria McMullen. “Teachers need to be able to provide engaging and appropriate curriculum and instruction for ‘typical’ students, students with disabilities, students who are English language learners and students who are gifted. This course gives our teacher candidates some of the tools they will need to do that.”

Tracey Brenner just completed the new inclusion course. “The fact that we have co-teachers who are currently working in the schools coming in and sharing their expertise should benefit students tremendously,” she said. “As a staff member, parent and student, I found this class very interesting and full of useful information. Students are learning that not all learners are the same and are being given tools that should help them for the rest of their teaching careers.”

This inclusion course meets the new DESE requirement for differentiation competencies for all general educators. All current freshmen and sophomores will be adding this course to their program of study.

Beginning fall 2010, all transfer students will be required to take this inclusion course.

To learn more about all these courses, either contact Association Professor Victoria McMullen at ext. 7093/mcmullen@webster.edu or Associate Professor/Chairperson, Coordinator-MAT EDTC Program/President of the Faculty Senate Ralph Olliges at ext. 7502/rolliges@webster.edu.

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