Technologies for the Blind to Read

I’ve spent a little bit of time on the TED website lately, looking through the different video’s on technology, and there are some fairly interesting video’s on there. However this one really caught my eye. It is a presentation by Ron McCallum entitled How Technology allowed me to read.

Ron was born premature, which caused his blindness, and his dream was to be able to read books. He talks about his difficulties in life being unable to read. He also shows us his screen-less computer and describes how this technology is utilised, and talked about the invention of curse books. Curse books are a technology designed so you can scan the book, and it would read it for you. “Technology has given me a great life” says Ron.

After listening to Ron speak, I think that we seem to take for granted having the ability to see – the ability to read, and watch TV, and look at our computer screens. This is why I fond his presentation to be so inspiring. He talks about all the different technologies that have helped him over his time, and how they assisted him to read, and the passion he has to help other blind people around the world to gain resources to be able to read also.

You can go to the link above to check it out. It is such a beautiful presentation!

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Technology doesn’t change the world

 

I often don’t stop to think about how technology came to be. When did it start? And how in such a sort about of time has it become such a massive part in everyone’s lives?  Then I stumbled across this video, and as I watched, it really made me stop and re-evaluate technology.

‘Technology doesn’t change the world; it changes how we perceive it’… It’s crazy when you actually stop and think about that.

This video is great because it talks about how Technology has come about. And it all started because someone a long time ago in 1657, when someone invented a balance spring – and when you push it it doesn’t stop moving. Add some cogs and a ruler – and hey presto we have a clock. Soon, everything was able to be measure by time, and the evolution of technology continued.

Before technology, the sun told us what time is was – people woke up when the sun cam up, ate when we were hungry, and went to bed when it was dark. But since this evolution of technology, we no longer rely on the natural things of the world. We now rely on a set schedule, where we don’t get up when it’s morning – but when it’s time to get up. We don’t eat when we’re hungry – but we eat when it’s lunch time.

Go and check out the video, it’s very thought provoking.

Important Facts About Technology 

 

Technology in Early Childhood Classrooms

I came across this video on YouTube, and it is a report on how the teachers within the particular school use technology in early childhood family education classrooms.

The Educators talk about how they can use technology such as the interactive white board in order to engage the children in different learning activities. Some of these activities include reading stories, marking the role in the mornings, name recognition of self and other children, shapes and numeracy skills and literacy skills including phonics.

It was also stated in the video, that the smart board is also beneficial for children on the autism spectrum, children with developmental delays, and speech only children. In my next blog, I will unpack this statement a little more, and how this technology is benificial for diverse learning needs.

 

Time Management: Part 3

Continuing on with my strand of ‘the importance of time management’ blogs, I have picked out a couple more points to cover. These points are that: time IS limited and Self discipline IS valuable.

Time. Everything is always about time! If you actually stop to think about it, time is limited to 24 hours a day. Time to get up, time to get dressed, time for work, time to go home and time for bed… However, time is also limited. You spend all this time getting things done, only to run overtime, and have to spend more time catching up on whatever else needs to be done. You only have a certain amount of time to do your assignments – and to do that you have to find time within your busy weekly schedule to be able to get it done before time is up!

I don’t think there is ever enough time – and this is where self-discipline is important. I read an article called Self-discipline and Time Management: which said ‘perhaps there is no area of your life which self-discipline is more important than in the way you manage your time. The essence of time management is for you to discipline yourself to set clear priorities — and then stick to those priorities’.

The further I’ve delved into this topic the more I’ve stopped and thought about how i really need to get it together to get all my work done this semester. It’s all about priorities.

 

Benefits of Pinterest

I was only thinking the other day at work what a great invention Pinterest is! Today, as I read through CRBRUGGEMANN‘s blog post entitled Early Childhood and Pinterest, I was excited to see that there are more Early Childhood Pinterest lovers out there!

I work within an early childhood setting, and between the other educators an I, Pinterest is our best friend. We want a different art activity? Pinterest is the answer! We want room decoration ideas? Pinterest! We want different ways and strategies to teach a certain thing – such as mathematics or or English? You guessed it – Pinterest! Being an early childhood educator, I think that the value for Pinterest cannot be underestimated!

If anyone is interested in checking out just how useful Pinterest can be when sourcing ideas to teach in your classroom (whether in early childhood or in grade 5) – I encourage you to go check it out, and sign up. It is a truly resourceful thing to be a part of. Follow this link to take you there, and check it out for yourself!

 

The Panic Monster

Monique recently posted a blog post entitled ‘Procrastination’, and within it shared a TED video, spoken by Tim Urban regarding this topic. Tim connected to his audiences in a humorous and engaging way – and I personally thoroughly enjoyed it!

During his TED talk video, he speaks about what goes on in the mind of a procrastinator, and also used great little illustrations to help explain his point. He says, that inside a procrastinators mind there is there is a rational decision maker, and a gratification monkey. The gratification monkey likes to take over the wheel from the rational decision maker, and instead of doing something productive will do something else completely unrelated – like look up google maps and discover India! However there is one more thing inside the brain of a procrastinator – the Panic Monster – which wakes up close to the deadline date. As the Monkey is scared of the Monster, the rational decision maker is able to steer your mind back on track, and away from procrastination! I do recommend you watch the video, Tim tells the story much better than I do!

What an explanation about procrastination hey! and its all so true!! I think I may have almost hit panic monster mode! It’s time to let the rational decision maker within me take charge again, and kick these assignments all the way to the submission box!

 

 

Time Management: Part 2

Previously on ICT and Me, i have been delving into the topic of Time Management skills, and have discovered some really good reasons why time management is just so important! In my previous blog, I talked about stress, and how it effects you when you don’t have control of your time.

During this blog post, I would like to look at another dot point which I feel is important – which is: free-time is necessary.

Is free-time is necessary? Heck yeah! I think we would all crumble if we didn’t have free time to relax, keep our social life alive, and do the things we enjoy. The last thing I want is to have so much to do, that I don’t have the spare time to enjoy such leisurely things.

Having good time management skills is important as it helps find that FREE TIME! Its all about finding a happy medium. On one hand it is is important when studying not to over do it, however if you are relaxing too much it probably means you aren’t actually doing enough work.

When reading up on this topic, I found that a good balance in study and relaxation will maximize the effectiveness of your study, and that relaxation has a positive impact on your ability to learn, re-call information, think clearly and focus. I also found that having a balanced work-relaxation relationship means studying effectively during allocated study time, so that you can get all of your work done then and still have time to fit in ‘YOU’ time at the end of the day.

To read more about how you study effectively in order to achieve this, check out this page. I definitely found it helpful!

Time Management

In my last Blog post, I looked at a list of reasons why it is important to use time management in order to keep on top of my studies.

While revisiting the list, I picked out a couple of points that I feel are really important, and I will endeavor to delve into them in more depth. The first – and most important i feel – is is that it reduces stress. I know I stress way to much about assignments, and its normally because I leave them till the week before they’re due (guilty as charged!) But in saying that, to redeem myself just a little – I have been trying very hard to get on top of them, and not procrastinate so much!

I have found that when you don’t have control of your time, its easy to feel rushed and overwhelmed. I think that by achieving time management skills, you no longer have to subject yourself to that level of stress.

I found an article which supports this, and suggests also that reducing your level of stress through better time management, also benefits our health. This article was written by Dr. Isaac Eliaz. He writes that by reducing stress in your everyday life, you are maintaining your overall health, as it improves your mood, boosts your immune functions, promotes longevity and allows you to be more productive.

If you are interested in reading more into this, Dr Eliaz also talks about the science of stress, physical effects, physiological effects, and other stress management techniques within this article.

 

 

 

Hello, ICT Term 2!

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have taken a while to get back into the swing of things after holidays. My holidays were crazy busy!

Now I have to get back into term 2! My first thoughts as I looked through everything I have to do during this term were “goodbye social life and sleep!” I am now getting towards the half way point in my third year, and the toll of all this study is getting to me. On top of full time uni, I also work, and I come home to still have jobs to complete on the farm. I find when you have such a busy schedule, it is so hard to stay motivated and do well with study.

I think that time management is definitely going to have to be something I need to work on in order to achieve success during this term. I found a list of 8 reasons why time management is crucial, and the main points read:

  • Time is Limited
  • You can accomplish more with less effort
  • Improved Decision-making abilities
  • Become More successful during your career
  • Learning opportunities are everywhere
  • Reduce stress
  • Free time IS necessary
  • Self-discipline is valuable

I think it’s a list that I will have to take notes from! Tune in to my next blog to explore why some of these points are so important!