Professional Development How Assistive Technology Can Help Educators Chelsea Slocum CEP 840 March 15 th , 2010
First half of day: speed day schedule
Afternoon: Professional development roughly 2.5-3 hour timeframe.
I would lead an assistive technology workshop for all Social Studies and English teachers in the 10-12 building (roughly 50 personnel)
This would take place in the media center.
Access to computers. Teachers can be paired if needed.
Slides share and Teachertube/Youtube internet access
Speaker system capability
Make Up of Audience and School
Little to no background surrounding assistive technology.
School consists of 40-50% at risk students.
Considered a “low income school” by the Department of Education.
Both subject areas share one computer lab.
What do we have?
Access to variety of different copies, which and differ in size, color, and texture.
One computer, printer, and projector with screen for every classroom.
Outline for the rest of the presentation
Goals of the workshop.
What is Assistive Technology?
Why is it important for educators?
What do we already possess?
Assistive Technology for reading.
Assistive technology for writing.
Time to play
Wrap Up and Assessment
Make information more readily available to students with learning disabilities and our increasing ELL population.
Increase our education tool kit to give all students the opportunity to succeed inside and outside of the classroom.
Help educators realize the potential of already existing technology in their classrooms
Give educators an arsenal of FREE assistive technology software for use in their subject areas.
Jefferson Parish Assistive Technology
“ Assistive technology is technology used by individuals in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. Assistive technology can include mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as hardware, software, and peripherals that assist people with disabilities in accessing computers or other information technologies.” (See notes)
In My Language
What is Assistive Technology?
Other examples of assistive technology
Wheelchairs, Ramps, Walkers
Pulleys, wrenches, carts
Can you think of any others?
What types of assistive technology are pictured here?
How about this one?
Why is assistive technology important for education?
“ Technology is a leveler.” (Notes)
“ When a school or a teacher denies technology to students, they are limiting success to the few, the gifted, and the entitled.” (Notes)
“ Students with LD often experience greater success when they are allowed to use their abilities (strengths) to work around their disabilities (challenges). AT tools combine the best of both of these practices.” (Notes)
How does assistive technology help students?
Support for background information
Bypass reading & writing
What do we already possess?
Can you think of any assistive technologies we already use in the classroom? Let’s make a list. How do you use them?
Example: The zoom button on the projector remote allows me to make the text bigger on the screen for those who need that accommodation.
The Internet! Teachertube, Youtube, etc.
Assistive Technology for Reading
Predominately uses voice technology along with written words.
Changing the size or shape of the words.
Using colored paper or highlighted words.
Following slides show some different formats for AT Reading.
Optical Character Recognition
Written words are scanned and processed by the computer
The computer recognizes the words and reads them aloud to the student
The student reads along using the written words on the screen.
Screen Readers and Audio Books
This program reads information that is on the screen. Students are able to type in words, use scanned words or words that are pulled up on the computer screen. The screen reader will read each of these formats. This can be beneficial to those who have difficulties reading and writing.
Audio books, not just for fun!
Can be used with cassette, CD, mp3, or other electronic device. Imagine a student listening to a book on tape using his/her I touch following along with the rest of the class.
Examples of AT Resources for Reading
Literacy Access Online: http:// www.literacyaccessonline.com / . This site provides stories and reading activities designed to help children with reading difficulties, their parents, and their teachers.
Adobe Acrobat Reader with Speech (v. 9.x or 8.x): http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html
Free text-to-speech plugin that works with all versions of Microsoft Word (from Word 97 and up). It speaks and highlights the text of the document when it is used.
Assistive Technology for Writing
Student’s who struggle with writing may exhibit the following problems:
generating ideas, organizing ideas, finding the right words to convey ideas, using correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling, and handwriting.
Assistive Technology Writing Tools
Resources used to help students with minor disabilities (language production problems, difficulties transferring thoughts to paper, poor spelling, illegible handwriting, etc)
These tools would apply to the majority of students with disabilities in a general education classroom.
Example of general technology writing tools.
Tools for physical and sensory disabilities
larger keyboard that allows a person with movement disabilities to type, to a computer-generated voice (called synthesized speech, or text-to-speech, TTS) to read back what was written for an individual who cannot see the screen, etc
Specific Writing Tools Continued..
Tools to create and review text
Word prediction or speech recognition software to create text.
Text to speech software to read back what was written and help in revising sentences etc.