Saturday, January 31, 2009


ACCESS stands for Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, & Students Statewide. ACCESS was established to provide high quality classroom courses & teachers, via technology. The vision of ACCESS is that the State of Alabama will provide equal access to high quality instruction to improve student achievement through distance learning opportunities. The main problem that ACCESS encounters is many rural and low-income schools have limited course offerings for students. For example: some schools cannot offer the Advanced Diploma, which is required by state law. Alabama also ranks 14 out of 16 Southern states in AP offerings. Many schools cannot offer courses such as physics, calculus, or trigonometry. There are also many other course needs. The ACCESS objectives are also clearly stated. First to provide access to advanced diploma courses. Second, to provide access to additional course offerings. Third, to provide access to advanced placement or dual enrollment courses. Fourth, to provide access to remediation and supplemental resources. Fifth, to leverage existing resources and distance learning offerings. Finally, to provide teachers with additional multimedia and technology tools to enhance instruction.

Some of the strategies include increasing connectivity to high schools and central offices, upgrade existing IVC labs to H.323 standards, develop blended course model (pilot sites), conduct needs assessments and evaluations, etc. Distance learning means learning experiences in which instructors and students are separated by space and/or time. The modes of delivery are web based and videoconferencing (IVC). The new mode of delivery is blended. This means combining videoconferencing and Internet based instruction. Videoconferencing is an audio/visual link between two or more geographically remote sites. This mode of delivery is taught by a highly qualified Alabama certified teacher. It allows students to take courses not offered at their school. It also allows students to interact with students not from other schools. It also increases student responsibility for learning.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Plagiarism and Copyrights

To better understand plagiarism I am going to start with its definition. Plagiarism is the representation of another person’s words, ideas, or information as if they were one’s own. The first website I visited was There are actions that can easily be labeled as plagiarism that include buying, stealing, or borrowing a paper, hiring someone to write your paper for you, copying large sections of text, and copying an entire paper or article from the web without proper citation. However, there are also actions that may be harder to label such as using words of a source too closely when paraphrasing or building on someone else’s ideas without proper citation. Some teachers will try to examine if it is plagiarism or if it is accidental. There are other teachers, however, that will not try to distinguish a difference and charge someone with plagiarism. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to always, always, always cite your sources. Most students truly do not intend to plagiarize, it just happens. Mistakes in citation and crediting can draw attention to the information used. This website gives examples of how to check your self while taking notes and reading. It also gives tips on interviewing, writing paraphrases, direct quotations, using another’s ideas, and revising, proofreading, and finalizing your paper.

The next website is
. This website provides links to certain types of plagiarism. The goal of these links is to show you what plagiarism looks like in certain situations and what kind of strategies you can use to avoid it. One example of a link is how to recognize acceptable and unacceptable paraphrases. The next site is This site goes over the definition of plagiarism, the reasons for citing sources, and what to cite. It goes over proper citations, style guides, two common methods of citation, and judicial procedures. The last site is This site goes over how to register a work for a copyright. It has many different links to explore and learn about copyrights. Some of these links include copyright basics, fees, registrations and documents, publications, licensing, pre-registration, copyright records, how to record a document, and copyright law and policy.

Remember to always give credit where credit is due!

ALEX site

Upon entering the ALEX website there are 8 different screens to choose from and explore. The first is courses of study section which allows you to explore the different fields of teaching and gives descriptions of each field for each grade level. The second is a web links page where people can go to find content standards. In this section there are three taps to choose from; one being for teachers, the next for administrators, and the last for students. The next section is for lesson plans. In this section teachers can search for lesson plans by subject or by author, title, and school. They can also create their own lesson plan using their own personal workspace. The next section is a search engine. Here people can search in general using the ALEX/Thinkfinity tab, or they can narrow their search using a given search category.

The next section is your personal workspace where you can create lesson plans, web pages, or store information. The next section is for profession learning. This section gives links to find professional development opportunities, teaching and learning tools, the latest news, best practices and more. The next section is called distance learning which takes you to the ACCESS site. ACCESS stands for Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators, and Students Statewide. ACCESS is providing opportunities for students statewide to engage in Advanced Placement (AP), elective, and other courses to which they may not otherwise have access. The last section is called the Help section. It simply tells you how to create and account and gives answers to any questions that you may have.

I think that the ALEX web site is going to play a big part in my classroom. I think that I will use it often. I like how I could search lesson plans by subject or create my own. I also like the idea of having my own personal workspace online to store and create things. The sections directed towards students will also be helpful. I think my favorite part of the whole site is the lesson plan section! I am going to have a lot of fun with this website!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

power point and web accessibility

Mr. Sullivan's power point presentation starts by giving the definitions of web accessibility and adaptive hardware and software. He then shows us the Rehabilitation act of 1973. This act states that web accessibility is required by law. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) is an effort to improve the accessibility of the world wide web for people with disabilities and users of alternative user agent devices. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG) made content accessible, primarily for disabled users, but also for all user agents, including highly limited devices, such as cell phones. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG) is in the final draft stages. Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (ATAG) is for authoring tool developers in both creating a tool which is accessible to disabled end users, and a tool which creates accessible web pages. Some user agents include portable data assistants PDA's, alternative web browsers such as which provides information on methods of access, and Braille displays. The goal of is to make the web more accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Sullivan's slide show also gives a list of browsers, plug-ins, page validaters, and automated accessibility checkers. He also includes a list of miscellaneous tools such as a color blindness simulator and a readability test. There is screen magnification software such as Zoom Text and Magic that enlarges parts or all of the computer screen content. It also adjusts the viewing attribute such as color, contrast, cursor size, etc. It also reads textual content aloud. There is screen reader software such as Jaws and Window Eyes that read all parts of the screen and provides the user with all navigational and contextual information through speech. There is also voice recognition software such as Via Voice and Dragon Naturally Speaking in which a person enters commands by speaking into a microphone.


Hey everyone! My name is Samantha Ashley Mason but you can call me Sam, and my initials also spell Sam! I am 20 years old and my major is Social Science education. I was born on July 4th 1988! I work for my mother, Tammy, who owns Sweetie Pies in Foley. I also work on our family farm in Foley when I need some extra cash! I attended St. Benedict's Catholic school from Kindergarten to 8th grade, and graduated from Foley High in 2006. I also played volleyball for 6 years. I am now a junior here at South Alabama and I commute back and forth from Foley to Mobile and Fairhope on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I am also a HUGE Alabama fan! ROLL TIDE ROLL!

I love doing Power Point presentations so I am going to have a lot of fun with mine! I am going to go over my general background first then work my way into the present. I would like to end it with my goals for the future. I pretty much live with my boyfriend, Glenn Lewellen, so he will be a part of the slide show too! I was very athletic in school so I will spend time talking about that. I'm sure I will talk about where I work since it is all in the family. I also want to talk about the teacher that inspired me to pursue teaching as a career. I look forward to this project and seeing all of the other projects as well!