Last night was my first night in summer grad school. I'm taking Technology for the SPED Classroom. I liked the new professor -- have no idea what happened to the old one, but the reports from last summer's class filled the fall semester students with shudders for those of who had yet to take the course. So I'm glad there has been a switch in profs.
The class is large -- about 30 students. We did a minimum of interacting with each other -- just enough to get to know the folks around us. All-in-all, the evening was fairly entertaining; it's hard to be really inventive for three solid hours. Best of all, she let us go home to access our own computers and do the lab work assignment. I like when I'm treated like a professional and I'm trusted to actually complete the assignment without presenting proof I actually did it.
This morning I popped out of bed at 7 a.m. and started doing my homework. Because the class is every Tuesday and Thursday there is little time in-between to get assignments created. We had a short (X in the blank) survey to complete and then one that took me over an hour because I had to compose answers. The downloading and reading took another hour. The on-line media presentation was supposed to take 20 minutes, but I needed notes so it was more like 40 because I had to rewind a couple of times. Then I faced the miserable assignment because we had to use a free source tool called Bubbl.US to create a graphic organizer of all we had read and watched in the presentations. Awful tool. Looked easy to use -- but the reality was that it was too simple. You couldn't maneuver the text boxes, add notes or titles, and saving for use in another medium was difficult. It took me three hours to create a simple "organization" type chart that was readable. Bah! I had the chart created on paper in 10 minutes -- and then it was three full hours of futzing with the software to make the chart legible.
I hope that the other tools presented in the class are more manageable than this. The information presented during class though related directly to technology assistance that should be used in creating IEP's and I've never really had a lot of information about that, so all wasn't lost -- just the three hours using Bubbl.