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Helping Children And Youth With Special Needs Using Technology By Rob Plaskett

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A presentation by Rob Plaskett of SET BC in support of Children and Youth with Special Needs

A presentation by Rob Plaskett of SET BC in support of Children and Youth with Special Needs

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  • 1.  
  • 2.
    • Using Technology
    • To Support
    • Atypical Students
    • In the Regular Classroom
    • And
    • Allowing Them to
    • Be Successful
  • 3.
    • There is a group of students in the school system, beginning in Kindergarten and carrying on through grade 12 and beyond, who have difficulty being successful in the traditional classroom and traditional curriculum in spite of the schools’ attempts at remediation.
  • 4.
    • These students have a variety of innate challenges that make it difficult for them to be successful in the school system. Some of these challenges include:
  • 5.
    • Reading and Writing Challenges
    • Attention Issues
    • Language Processing Issues
    • Short Term Memory Deficits
    • Long Term Memory Deficits
    • Poor Fine Motor Skills
    • Modality Preferences
    • Atypical Learning Styles
  • 6.
    • Often these students have areas of strength and ability that they have difficulty showcasing and being recognized for in the traditional classroom.
    • Often the avenues through which more typical students achieve recognition and success in the classroom are not available to these students.
  • 7.
    • Typically the student begins having difficulties when they first enter school and these difficulties continue from grade to grade. In the context of the regular classroom these students are typically not doing as well as their peers in the activities that the classroom is focusing on.
  • 8.
    • In addition to falling behind in academic areas such as reading and writing these students tend not to develop pride in their work, independent work skills, motivation to finish, expectations of success and recognition, or a feeling that they are smart and can be successful.
    • These issues further interfere with their success and can become more debilitating than the original learning issues.
  • 9.
    • Using Technology to support areas of difficulty and learning style from an early age allows the child to be successful in the classroom right away and helps develop motivation, work skills, and expectations of success.
    • We have the technology to do this for students from K-12.
  • 10.
    • The best software programs for supporting atypical students in the classroom are:
    • Kurzweil 3000
    • Classroom Suite 4
    • Clicker 5
    • Microsoft Powerpoint
  • 11.
    • Kurzweil 3000
    • This is an excellent text to speech, scanning, writing , and studying program.
    • Essentially it will read any text on the screen out loud in a good clear voice. Material can be put into Kurzweil either by scanning, pdf file. Word file, txt file, or by copying and pasting. The program also reads websites on line . British Columbia has prescanned in all of the text books, novels, workbooks, and geneneral reading material used in BC schools and this material can be obtained through ARC BC at http://www.arc-bc.org/ for children with an identified reading disability at no cost.
    • Kurzweil can scan in any text, worksheets, tests, handouts, etc and read it out loud immediately .
    • Kurzweil also has word prediction software built in, brainstorming tools, study tools and works as a talking word processor.
    • Use it for students from grade 3 to adult.
    • Free 30 day trials of Kurzweil can be downloaded and tried on your computer at http://www.kurzweiledu.com/
  • 12.
    • Classroom Suite 4
    • From intellitools software this program serves from preschool to grade 5 with activities that help teach and practice the steps involved in learning to read as well as providing excellent tools that allow any child to produce a written document. This program also has an excellent math section.
    • I think this is an excellent tool for use in schools and at home. It allows you to quickly make up activities that exactly fit any students needs. It keeps track of each student’s progress and allows you to assign activities to specific children.
    • Classroom Suite has applications within it that will allow any child to write something imediately.
    • Classroom Suite is also designed to work with switches so it can be accessed by children with even severe physical challenges.
    • You can download a free 30 day trial from http://www.kurzweiledu.com/
  • 13.
    • Clicker 5 is a program that works best in grades K to 3 and supports children’s writing. Using the supports in Clicker 5 any kindergarten child can quickly and easily write something and have it read aloud.
    • Clicker 5 is supplied by Crick Software and a free 30 day trial can be downloaded at http://www.cricksoft.com/us/products/clicker/evaluation.htm