(1) Learning about your students - Photographic - electronic student records
Most secondary school teachers must learn the names of 150-200 students at the beginning of each academic year. This formidable task is made much easier using a photographic seating chart.
- Use a digital camera to make a seating chart for one of the classes you teach or for this class at CSUN.
Here is a copy of the seating chart we made in class, posted on Picassa:
(2) Student Information surveys - Survey tools
Use a Google form or similar survey tool to construct an online first day of school student questionnaire to get to know your students. Share 3 of your questions with the 514 class (results). Conduct your ow "First Day of School Survey" and obtain at least three entries from others. Your survey should include a variety of question types (e.g. multiple choice, checklist, scale, paragraph, etc.)
- Provide a link to the survey form
- Provide a link to the survey results (Make certain it is set for public viewing)
- Provide a link to the survey summary (Make certain it is set for public viewing).
I made a survey using Google drive. I used my SED514 contact group in gmail to send out the survey to the class and had the results captured in a spreadsheet (also in google drive).
The survey can be found here (screen capture below of form in google docs):
Setting the destination of data captured in survey:
Here is a sample of the data I captured form my colleagues in the class:
(3) Making computers accessible to students
Given the importance of computers in business and society, it is important that we provide students who have special needs access via specialized software and hardware. .
- Experiment with the universal access features associated with your computer's operating system and/or third-party hardware and software solutions for those with special needs. Describe three hardware and/or software solutions and explain how they may help students with specific special needs.
I explored with the universal access settings in OSx on the Mac:
I learned how to use the text to speech function in Microsoft Office:
I also learned how to use the notebook function in Microsoft Word to take adio notes:
For PCs, there is also a screen reader available called JAWS. This program also seems to have braille support, though I'm not sure how that would work on a computer screen.
Using my iPhone I used the text to speech function as well as voice memos which are useful tools to both instructors and students. Below is a link to a voice memo which was recorded on my iPhone, emailed to my gmail account, and uploaded to my google site file page. I have tried using the various gadgets available on google sites but have not had any success in getting any of the third party mp3 players to successfully play this file here on this page.
(4) Knowing your School
Teachers should have a good understanding of their school, students, and the communities they represent. Much statistical data can be gained using online resources.
- Develop a written profile of your school and students. Your profile should include the following:
- School distinctives : School history, distinctives and goals. This information can be derived from the school website.
- Community in which school is located: Describe your campus and its community usingsatellite photos and maps. Using the photos, describe the nature of the community (commercial, apartments, single family homes, industry, etc.)
- Socioeconomic status: Include maps showing the socioeconomic status (SES) of thecommunities contributing students to your school. Discuss two or more prominent SES characteristics of the school population.
- School performance: Include test scores and the Academic Performance Index of your school. Discuss the academic climate of your school, including test scores, API, change in scores, dropout rate, English learners, students requiring special education, etc.
(5) College Advisement
Secondary teachers often have the opportunity to advise students on decisions pertaining to college. In many environments, teachers are the only individuals students know who have been to college.
- Describe a real or hypothetical student (interests, family SES, personality) who is interested in pursuing a career in a field related to what you teach. Recommend a major and 4-year college and explain the rationale for your recommendation using information found on college websites. Provide active links to the colleges, and quote relevant information.
- Provide a paragraph of advice to the parents of this student regarding financing college. Consider their financial and family situation.
For this exercise, I decided to combine the two projects into one handout for possible use in a college or career fair. I tailored the list of schools for students at Gardena High. Taking into consideration the fact that (according to the LAUSD data) most, if not all, will be first generation college students, a move to any college will be a big leap. Thus I recommend local schools with linguistics programs (within a 2.5 hour drive). Especially for the 68% latino population (for which I can speak to from my own experience), choosing a school where the student's family network is close enough to reconnect with at least once a semester/quarter is beneficial for retention and success.