Phase 4 OverviewThis phase of the TIP model organized the learning environment for theimplementation of Clicker 5. Mapping out when and where the technologyresources were being used is beneficial to ensure that the technology being usedworks appropriately for the lesson. “Students learn better in a well-designedclassroom and can be distracted by a poorly designed space” (Emmons, M., &Wilkinson, F. C., 2001, html text). The following conditions were consideredduring this phase: * Adequate hardware, software and media * Time to use resources * Special needs of students * Planning for technology use Computers and SoftwareClicker 5 was the software selected for this project and five of the wireless laptopshad access to the software. The students used the wireless laptops in the readingresource room in our school. The laptops were checked out for a 30-minuteperiod each day to ensure that the students would have access to the laptops andnot have to share laptops. Each student used an IBM ThinkPad Lenovo R60model laptop with a 14’” inch monitor, headset, and Internet connection. Thelaptops were equipped with Windows XP Professional, a 1280 x 720 screenresolution, and Internet Explorer. Each laptop runs off wireless Internet installedin our school which helps eliminate the hassle of dealing with numerous cords.
Computer Station Layout Technology Tutor Each laptop had speakers, where students could record their work. Eachstudent was provided with a headset per laptop. The headsets, as well as, thelaptop had adjustable volume control and were designed specifically for youngchildren. [Sentence building grids]. Retrieved March 29,2011 from http://www.cricksoft.com/us/products/tools/clicker/home/clicker-grids.aspx
Students were assigned their own laptop to ensure work would be saved in theirstudent folders. The students were spread out around the table to decreasedistractions from one another. Peripheral DevicesAll of the wireless laptops were networked to several printers throughout thebuilding. At the end of the session, students saved their work to the folderscreated on our student drive. At the end of the week, students printed out theirwork. Each laptop is networked to several printers in the building. Since some ofthe printers aren’t used as frequently, the students would ask before printing. Thetutor would turn on the printer, and then the students could print their workthemselves. The laser printers that are used in our building can print in black andwhite, and one laser printer in color. HandoutsThe students were provided with topics or skills that were being taught in theclassroom. Students took their work samples or directions sheets for theassignment with them to the computer station. Students with DisabilitiesAlthough there aren’t any students with any physical disabilities who areparticipating in this study, there are students with learning disabilities somodifications had to be made in order to meet their Individualized EducationPlan (IEP) goals.
The software provided a student word bank listed in alphabetical order forthe students to use for their sentences. The students had audio access where theword or sentence was read to them orally. If the student still did not know whatthe word was, they could ask the tutor to read the word to them. This is allowedbecause it is a service in their IEP. The students worked at a pace that was comfortable for them, and weren’trushed to complete an activity. Allowing the students extra time to complete anactivity is a service on their IEP. The students also have the option of using pictures to assist them withtheir activities. The software has a picture gallery with over 1,800 images. Sincethe goal of using the software is to help students go from reading and writing withpictures to reading and writing with words, it is important that students mastermatching a word to a picture, before moving onto writing independently withoutpictures. Having visual cues helps students make the connection of words. One of the students participating in the study has ELL services. Thesoftware allowed the student work both in English and Spanish. The studentcould complete an activity in English, and complete the same activity in English.One of the goals of ELL students is immersing them in the English language. Thestudent could record himself speaking English and listen to himself. This isbeneficial in helping him to hear himself speaking English, and helping himbecome more comfortable with speaking a different language than his nativelanguage.
Privacy and safetyUsing technology in the classroom has its disadvantages, however, educatingstudents on the importance of Internet safety can help eliminate most issues thatmay arise. Students should be taught about computer and Internet safety fromthe 1st time using a computer (Butler, K., 2010). Clicker 5, word-processingsoftware, helps decrease the safety concerns of students using the laptops. Eventhough the students aren’t getting online, it still is important that safetyprecautions are taken to ensure that students are safe using the laptops. 1. Technology Tutor Students were never left alone to use the laptops. The tutor picked themup to take them to the computer station, and stayed in the room at all times. Thetutor made sure each laptop was shut down before returning the students to theclassroom.2. Full-screen mode Students worked in full-screen mode to help keep the students focused onthe specific activity, instead of being tempted to visit other features of the laptop.3. Firewall protection In the event that a student did get out of the software, students havelimited access on the Internet. There is firewall protection on all of the computersand laptops in our school. The firewall filters and prevents inappropriate websitesand images.
Backup PlansAs with any technology hardware or software, problems are bound to arise. Thetechnology specialist served as the tutor and helped students with any technicalissues or software issues. In the event that the wireless Internet was down, students would be takento the computer station to work on their fluency and comprehension with aleveled reader. Since the goal of using Clicker 5 is to help with reading fluencyand comprehension, the students would be practicing the skills using in thesoftware, but with a leveled reader instead of an audio book.