TEST - Task-based Student AT decision-making
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TEST - Task-based Student AT decision-making

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early description of TEST, the ordered, student-based version of Joy Zabala\'s SETT protocol for AT choice.

early description of TEST, the ordered, student-based version of Joy Zabala\'s SETT protocol for AT choice.

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  • 1. “ TEST” Empowering Students in Task-Based Assistive Technology Decision Making Michigan State University College of Education
  • 2. Ira Socol Special Education Technology Scholar __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Assistive Technology Specialist - Michigan Rehabilitation Services
    • Michigan State University
    • College of Education
  • 3.
    • TEST
    • “ the toolbelt theory”
    • Task
    • Environment
    • Skills
    • Tools
  • 4.
    • Joy Zabala’s SETT framework and other “school team” based AT selection strategies.
    • All are valuable. Student involvement in these systems can build technology-option knowledge.
    • This framework is deeply indebted to these “school team” based frameworks, but seeks to move beyond…
  • 5.
    • “ When I applied SETT to student-based decision-making, the order did not make sense. There was frustration with what one university freshman called the, "my problems first," approach. There was also the sense that it did not direct flexibility – the need for different answers to different problems…
  • 6.
    • “ To be motivated to learn to use technology the student must accept that a disability exists and have an immediate need that can be met by the technology.” (Day and Edwards, 1996) For me this meant that the task must come first.”
  • 7.
    • “ A college student with a reading disability may need to develop a range of strategies for reading. One for "life-reading" – job applications, hospital forms, another for reading done in English courses, a third for technical reading, and a fourth for testing.”
  • 8.
    • “ A student with MS needs different mobility solutions for different forms of travel (long trips, short moves) and different weather.”
  • 9.
    • “ A high school student with ADHD may need to alter his solutions based on the difference between a long block schedule class on Tuesday and its shorter counterpart on Friday, because teaching methods change from room to room, or because his morning has been better or worse.”
  • 10.
    • Task
    • What needs to be done? (when possible, break the task down into component parts)
  • 11.
    • Example: Text Entry
    • Recording information
  • 12.
    • Environment
    • 1. Where must this be done (or is typically done)?
    • 2. Under what time constraints?
    • 3. What is the standard method of task completion?
    • 4. How does the person with the disability interact within this environment?
    • 5. Who is the task being done for? (specifics of teacher, employer, other expectations)
  • 13.
    • Example: Text Entry
    • In class? at home? the library?
    • For a test? short answer? essay? standardized testing?
    • With short time limits?
  • 14.
    • Skills
    • 1. What specific strengths does the person with the disability bring to this task?
    • 2. What specific weaknesses interfere with that person's ability to complete the task?
    • 3. What is that person's "tool acquisition aptitude" and what tools are they currently comfortable with?
  • 15.
    • Example: Text Entry
    • Typing ability? how many fingers?
    • Mouse use? dexterity?
    • Speech ability?
    • Comfort with computers? hand-helds?
  • 16.
    • Tools
    • 1. What tool best "bridges the gap" between the current skill set and what is needed for task completion?
    • 2. If the tool is not already "in the toolbox" (not yet trained), how does the environmental timeline match with the needed learning curve?
    • 3. If it is not possible to use the "best tool" within this environment what is the "back-up tool"? How do we pre-train so the best tool can be used the next time?
  • 17.  
  • 18.
    • Need for Knowledge
    • “ I often compare many high school seniors with learning disabilities that I meet to a student unable to walk who has never seen a wheelchair. If students have never been exposed to possible disability solutions they are unequipped for self-determination.”
  • 19.
    • Need for Training
    • “ The student must be empowered through a number of conditions, including the ability to borrow assistive technology solutions, the freedom to test various practices, and training in tracking how these tested accommodations alter task success.”
  • 20.
    • Need for Training
    • “ In tracking task success students can learn to look at direct results (improved test scores), indirect results (less time required for task completion), and affective indicators (improvements in mood, self-image, stress levels).”
  • 21.
    • And educators must let students try and “fail.”
  • 22.
    • “ The student with a disability however, will need to make an ever-evolving set of technology choices throughout their lifetime. Their capabilities may change, their environments surely will, and there is no doubt that the tool choices will continue to diversify and show new capabilities…
  • 23.
    • “ When those changes occur the assessment teams at the heart of the SETT process will not be available. If we are not teaching a fully self-determination approach, we will not be giving students lifespan skills.”
  • 24.
    • Four Case Studies
    • Introduction to Technologies
    • Allowing trial and error
    • Allowing individual choice
    • Allowing student to seek change
  • 25.
    • “ Mark” (1998)
    • I began working with Mark in the first month of his junior year in high school
    • Could only read and write his name.
    • Very low phonological awareness
    • Unsure of alphabet.
    • Alternative decoding skills, read music effortlessly. Highly intelligent.
    • Wanted to become “a history professor”
    • Introduced to – ABC Keyboard, Dvorak Keyboard, ViaVoice, WYNN (1.0), SimplyWeb Browser.
  • 26.
    • “ Mark” (1998)
    • Tasks – Academic reading and writing Personal reading and writing
    • Environment – School – classroom, library Home reading. Leading to college. Web based research needs.
    • Skills – High intelligence, high comprehension skills for aurally/visually obtained materials. Strong content pre-knowledge.
  • 27.
    • “ Mark” (1998)
    • Results – Mark immediately began finding research on-line and using WYNN. He also immediately started to use ViaVoice. Only the next year did he really pursue keyboard accommodations, wanting to go to college and to take his own notes. The ABC keyboard meant little to him (he did not know the alphabet well) but he like Dvorak “with the vowels together.”
  • 28.
    • “ Mark” (1998)
    • Mark has adapted in the years since, as an undergrad and now graduate student. He uses WYNN 3.5 at last check, ViaVoice Pro-USB 10. He has a laptop re-labeled to the Dvorak layout. He has a digital voice recorder that he links to ViaVoice. He has become a big fan of Firefox’s FoxyVoice for web browsing and reading email though he uses WYNN for serious research (he is pursuing a history Masters’ degree).
  • 29.
    • “ Kevin” (2003)
    • Fourth grader with neurological dexterity impairment that prevented him from moving his fingers independently, preventing him from holding a pen or pencil and from typing.
    • Good storyteller. High frustration level. Major classroom behavioral issues.
    • Introduced to – BigKeys Keyboards (ABC and QWERTY) with keyguard, Switch operated on-screen keyboard, ViaVoice
  • 30.
    • “ Kevin” (2003)
    • Tasks – Writing in school. Testing. Written personal communication.
    • Environment – School – classroom, resource room. Writing at home. Instant Messaging.
    • Skills – Strong commitment, strong verbal skills, clear voice.
  • 31.
    • “ Kevin” (2003)
    • Results – Immediate devotion to ViaVoice. Worked for three days straight training and practicing and starting to tell stories. This was difficult because he needed to “talk through” the corrections, but Kevin refused almost all adult help, repeatedly saying “I’m gonna do this myself.” He was unhappy with keyboard alternatives though the keyguard allowed him to type some. He dismissed the switch as “for babies.”
  • 32.
    • “ Kevin” (2003)
    • A year later, however, wanting more choices, he reacted very well to a touch screen panel linked to Lake Software’s “click-n-type” on-screen keyboard. He is hoping the school will get him a tablet pc so he can write in class “without having to go sit over there” (away from the class).
  • 33.
    • “ Carlos” (2004)
    • Forty-one year old apprentice plumber
    • Did not know alphabet.
    • No connection between letters and sounds.
    • Had worked as an apprentice plumber for over 20 years, unable to pass journeyman test. Raised two daughters as single father.
    • 13 years of adult literacy education.
    • High tolerance, high effort.
    • Introduced to – WYNN (3.0), ReadPlease2003, ReadingPenII
  • 34.
    • “ Carlos” (2004)
    • Tasks – Reading Test Preparation Materials. Testing. Reading Plans. Reading Part Numbers. Reading Email.
    • Environment – Home. Construction Job Sites.
    • Skills – Strong work ethic. Adult commitment to solving the problem. Amazing tolerance for instruction. Prior knowledge of subject content.
  • 35.
    • “ Carlos” (2004)
    • Results – Carlos was able to study for his test with WYNN. And to use that software to read email as well, especially job-related email. He also quickly scanned pleasure books in. He never liked ReadPlease, struggling with the “paste-in” feature. He was reluctant to use the Reading Pen until after he made an expensive parts mistake at work, and realized its value in reading plans and part labels.
  • 36.
    • “ Carlos” (2004)
    • As he became more comfortable with technology and took more responsibility at work, he began carrying a pocket pc on which he would ask co-workers to type in notes and reminders, that he would later read at home.
  • 37.
    • “ Abby” (2005)
    • Abby was a 20-year-old college student.
    • Spinal cord injury – wheelchair user.
    • Extremely limited finger dexterity.
    • Poor physical strength and stamina.
    • Intelligent, committed, supportive family
    • Introduced to – ViaVoice, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Ergonomic keyboard, WYNN (3.5), Microsoft Reader for Pocket PC, alternate keyboards
  • 38.
    • “ Abby” (2005)
    • Tasks – Textbook reading. Academic writing. On-line research reading. Writing to a variety of applications.
    • Environment – Classroom, library, dorm room, other campus sites. Testing situations. Notetaking. Inaccessible campus.
    • Skills – Intelligence, pre-accident reading skills and academic skills, commitment to effort.
  • 39.
    • “ Abby” (2005)
    • Results – Abby gravitated toward digital book readers, via both laptop and pocket pc because she had trouble holding books and turning the pages. We did try six different PDA styli before choosing an easily held one. She converted her books to both WYNN and Reader, used WYNN for most studying - she liked “how it reads diagrams, and liked the scanning,” and Reader as a back up pocket version she could carry with her to meals and the coffee shop.
  • 40.
    • “ Abby” (2005)
    • Though she had previously trained Dragon she gravitated towards ViaVoice which she said, “understood both when I’m good and when I’m exhausted.” She rejected alternate keyboards as too difficult to use and continues to rely on classroom notetakers.
  • 41.
    • Research to come…
    • A different kind of research is needed, devoted not to the generalized “what works on average” typical of today’s studies, but based in improving practitioner and student assessment of what is likely to work, for which student, in which specific situation.
  • 42.
    • Research to come…
    • A vital component of this is discovering how to teach “instructional tolerance” to school faculties. Students must be given a level of freedom very rare in SEN decision-making, and teachers must accept that the students may make less than perfect decisions.
  • 43.
    • Research to come…
    • Action Research, single-subject studies, and recording the experiences of students (in their own words or via video), will provide us with the kind of data that allows us to better understand how self-directed decisions are made, and how to train this type of decision-making.
  • 44.
    • A key tool to come…
    • An accessible on-line database of teacher and (especially) student experiences with this process might be the most valuable tool.
  • 45. Ira Socol [email_address] http://speedchange.blogspot.com/
    • Michigan State University
    • College of Education