Supporting Inclusive Learning Environments Through Technology

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Presentation by Bette Gray, Director School Technology Sector, and Edna Dach, Education Manager, at the CASS Zone 4/5 Summer Conference on August 11, 2011

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  • Introductions
  • Provide context and researchTalk about current initiativesShare some resources
  • 9% or 45 students will be living below the poverty line; 3% or 15 student will be in the care of the province; 8% or 40 students will have a first language that is neither English nor French; 5% or 25 students will be First Nations, Métis or Inuit (FNMI); 8% or 40 students will have a diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder; 5% or 25 students will have identified learning disabilities; 3% or 15 students will have cognitive disabilities; 2% or 8 students will have severe behavioural/emotional issues; 1-2% or 7 students will have autism; 1% or 5 students will have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder; andat least one student will have a physical disability.Of those students 1 in 5 will have unique educational needs that must be met.But as important as meeting the needs of those students are, there will be another 55% of the students whose needs must also be met.The results of Speak Out! Alberta Student Engagement Initiative indicate those students want engaging, relevant curriculum and the ability to learn any time, any place at any pace.Technology will play a crucial role in meeting their desires.Many of the competencies of an educated Albertan being considered as part of Education’s curriculum redesign – such as literacy/numeracy, critical-thinking, problem-solving, creativity and innovation – lend themselves to learning with technology. Education is looking to more digitally based curricula that further enable relevant and engaging learning opportunities.  This approach more fully embraces the potential of both students and technology.
  • Of those students 1 in 5 will have unique educational needs that must be met.But as important as meeting the needs of those students are, there will be another 55% of the students whose needs must also be met.The results of Speak Out! Alberta Student Engagement Initiative indicate those students want engaging, relevant curriculum and the ability to learn any time, any place at any pace.Technology will play a crucial role in meeting their desires.Many of the competencies of an educated Albertan being considered as part of Education’s curriculum redesign – such as literacy/numeracy, critical-thinking, problem-solving, creativity and innovation – lend themselves to learning with technology. Education is looking to more digitally based curricula that further enable relevant and engaging learning opportunities.  This approach more fully embraces the potential of both students and technology.
  • Going to begin by presenting a few facts.
  • Up from 73% a decade ago in 1999 – true digital natives are now 10 year oldsIn the United States 93% of 8-18 year olds live in homes with computersKaiser Family Foundation. Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds. Available online at http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/8010.pdf
  • From Alberta Education Technology and High School Success Research – year one report – September 2010. Survey was providing to participating schools – completed by 2434 students in grades 9-1281.6 % of Alberta students said they had access to high speed internet at home8.2% said they had access to a dial up internet connection10.3 said they had no internet access at home
  • Inside Networkhttp://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2010/06/02/facebook-users-data.html – passed 16M mark in May, 201047.9% Canadians are on Facebook – 4 heaviest-user country in the world17 million Canadians hold a passport17 million Canadians filed their taxes online in 200817 million Canadians are in the workforcePostmedia News, 17.6 million Canadians, or 71% of Canadian Internet users, visit YouTube every month;As of September 2010, Canada had approximately 15.5 million Facebook users. (http://www.nickburcher.com/2010/07/facebook-usage-statistics-by-country.html)
  • Have them turn to someone next to them and bet on a number for the answerThe average Facebook user has 130 friends (http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics)Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and eventsAverage user creates 90 pieces of content each monthMoving to creators on content, not just consumers of content
  • Postmedia News, 17.6 million Canadians, or 71% of Canadian Internet users, visit YouTube every month;n average spen of 292 minutes a month watching videos, which is significantly higher than every other G7 nation,Notice the tag line – Broadcast yourself – personalization, creation of contentAsk the audience to share an example of a video they watched on YouTube
  • In 2009, 66% of 8-18 year olds own their own cell phone. Kaiser Family Foundation. Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds. Available online at http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/8010.pdf Amongst teens, taking pictures (83%) and sharing pictures (64%) are the most popular uses of mobile phones after sending and receiving text messages. (Pew Internet Research, http://www.pewinternet.org/Presentations/2010/Jun/How-do-they-even-do-that-A-Pew-Internet-guide-to-teens-cell-phones-and-social-media.aspx )
  • On average, 8 to 18 year olds who text send an average of 118 texts daily. Kaiser Family Foundation. Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds. Available online at http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/8010.pdf 31% or Teens send 100+ texts a day! Girls send more than boys. Texting seen as more “private” than phoning
  • 58% of teens from schools that forbid all phones, have sent a text message during class. Gee – how can this be? – have audience guess. What does this stat tell us?Pew Internet Research, http://www.pewinternet.org/Presentations/2010/Jun/How-do-they-even-do-that-A-Pew-Internet-guide-to-teens-cell-phones-and-social-media.aspx
  • 21% of teens access the Internet from their mobile phone Pew Internet Research, http://www.pewinternet.org/Presentations/2010/Jun/How-do-they-even-do-that-A-Pew-Internet-guide-to-teens-cell-phones-and-social-media.aspx
  • 62% of online teens (12-17) get news about current events and politics online. Latest drama about 1937 rule re sharing election results before polls close. Can share via Facebook email but not posting on someone’s wall. Clash of old and new communication formsPew Internet Research, http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2009/Generations-Online-in-2009/Generational-Differences-in-Online-Activities/Generations-Explained.aspx?r=1#
  • A recent study conducted by Research Now for security company AVG found that 84 per cent of Canadian children have an online presence by the time they are two years old. More than one-third (37 per cent) of Canadian mothers posted pictures of newborns online and another 37 per cent said they'd posted sonograms of their as-yet unborn child. What's more, 8% of Canadian moms had given their baby a social network profile on a site such as Facebook.
  • Overall, the percentage of Internet users in all age groups who say they worry about how much information is available online about them has decreased from 40.5% in 2006 to 33% in 2009.Pew Internet Research. “Reputation Management and Social Media” May 26, 2010. (http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Reputation-Management/Part-2/Attitudes-and-Actions.aspx#footnote15)
  • OECD – Are the New Millenium Learners Making Their Grades? Technology Use and Educational Performance in PISA. An analysis of 2006 PISA data to determine to what extent does investment in technology enhance educational outcomes.As access to digital media at home increases, the importance of books as tools for coursework decreases. However this trend does not seem to favour educational software at all but rather the internet
  • In Alberta, inclusion in the education system is about ensuring that each student belongs and receives a quality education no matter their ability, disability, language, cultural background, gender, or age. For some, a provincial move to inclusive education will mean very little change, but for others the change will be more significant.  An inclusive education system is best realized when leadership is shared between school, home and family.  Schools reflect the attitudes, beliefs and health of the communities they serve and must be equipped to reflect inclusive practice. In the Alberta context, inclusion means every student will be included in the greater school community and will be physically placed in the setting that is best for them at a particlar time, based on the input of all parties. Inclusion does not mean that every student will be registered in a regular classroom.
  • The Government of Alberta has identified important factors we need to take into consideration when shifting to an inclusive education system: Identifying what success looks like for each student Deciding what students need to be successful Identifying what services are available and who is providing them Providing supports through cross-government services Measuring success for all in traditional and new ways The approach also identifies strategies and supports that help to increase skill and understanding of how people can work together to support children, youth and their families. To view a visual representation of the Approach to Implementing an Inclusive Education System as shown in the diagram on the screen
  • The inclusive education movement has often been viewed as a separate initiative running parallel or even counter to other curricular and instructional reform efforts. We take a more holistic, rather than separatist, view and propose that innovative changes to promote student success in general education are the same changes required for effective inclusion.Many established and emerging general education practices emulate the principles of inclusive education (Cole, 2001). When these practices are used, educators are better equipped to facilitate meaningful and effective inclusive education not only for students perceived as disabled, at risk, or gifted, but also for the “allegedly average” students. Among the initiatives that have great promise for building inclusive schools are (1) universal design (Rose & Meyer, 2002), (2) differentiated instruction (Tomlinson, 1999, 2001), and (3) multiple intelligence theory (Armstrong, 2000). Chapter 6 examines how these three initiatives can be used to promote inclusive education. Additional best practice initiatives include 13 that this chapter examines in light of inclusive education: As you can see the use of technology in the classroom has a role to play.
  • Indeed, educational research provides strong evidence that: “Information technology is both a medium and apowerful tool in supporting inclusive practice. It provides wide-ranging support forcommunication, assisting many learners to engage with learning, including those who are hardto reach, and helps to break down some of the barriers that lead to under-achievement andeducational exclusion” (Becta, 2007).
  • As a result, selecting the appropriate technology for a student or a class requiresa careful analysis of the dynamic interaction between the individual, technology, task, and context.Selecting the appropriate technology for a student requires careful analysis of the interactionbetween (a) the individual; (b) the specific tasks or functions to be performed; (c) the technology; and(d) the contexts or settings in which the technology will be used.
  • Emerge One-to-One Laptop LearningInvestigated educational benefits, technical merits, and innovative practices in a one-to-one mobile computing environment.Technology and High School SuccessInvestigated effective uses of technology to improve student engagement and success in high school. Innovative ClassroomsEnsured that all Grade 1 to 12 classrooms in the province are equipped with key technologies that promote innovative teaching and learning. Supporting Innovative ClassroomsFocused on innovative practices in the areas of technology management and leadership development for the effective use of technology. 
  • Alberta Education, in consultation with stakeholders, can establish Educational Standing Offers for technology products including ATL products. ESOs will enable jurisdictions to acquire selected technology products at educational pricing levels that would not be typically available using independent purchasing arrangements. ESOs will facilitate the cost effective development of toolkits at the district and school level as districts or schools will then be able to acquire tools for their toolkits at a more cost effect rate. School boards and schools will still have the choice to add to their toolkits outside those being offered as ESOs in order to meet the needs of their students. Electronic Whiteboard Technology – Agreements are in place with four of the world's leading manufacturers of electronic whiteboard technology that will enable Alberta K-12 schools to acquire a wide range of both front and rear projection electronic whiteboard devices, as well as accessory equipment, peripherals, and support services at education pricing levels.Data Projector Technology – The data projector ESO consists of products from ten of the leading manufacturers of this technology and contains a wide range of data projector and document cameras designed to accommodate the full spectrum of presentation requirements from ultra-portable devices to large-format auditorium-based presentations.
  • Laptop and Desktop Computers – This ESO will enable jurisdictions to acquire a wide range of laptop, tablet, and desktop computers. It also includes stand-alone portable word processing keyboards, peripherals and accessories, and professional service and support products.Videoconference Endpoint Technology – The videoconference endpoint ESO consists of a comprehensive range of products and services including desktop solutions to full videoconferencing suites and everything in between.Boardmaker ESO - Boardmaker software is the premiere software among educators for creating printed symbol-based communication such as schedules, worksheets, reading and writing activities, game and song boards, communication boards, books and more. A drawing program combined with a graphics database, Boardmaker features more than 4,500 Picture Communication Symbols (PCS) in both black-and-white and color, all in 44 languages. Boardmaker is available on both the PC (Version 6) and Mac (Version 5) platforms.
  • You can adjust settings that make it easier to see your computer, use the mouse and keyboard, and use other input devices. You can also answer a few questions about your daily computer use that will help Windows recommend accessibility settings and programs for you.
  • CAST is a nonprofit research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals, especially those with disabilities, through Universal Design for Learning.Founded in 1984 as the Center for Applied Special Technology, CAST has earned international recognition for its innovative contributions to educational products, classroom practices, and policies. Its staff includes specialists in education research and policy, neuropsychology, clinical/school psychology, technology, engineering, curriculum development, K-12 professional development, and more.CAST's Mission To expand learning opportunities for all individuals, especially those with disabilities, through the research and development of innovative, technology-based educational resources and strategies.
  • Universal Design for Learning is an educational approach with three primary principles:Multiple means of representation, to give diverse learners options for acquiring information and knowledge,Multiple means of action and expression, to provide learners options for demonstrating what they know,Multiple means of engagement, to tap into learners' interests, offer appropriate challenges, and increase motivationLearn more about UDL at the National Center on Universal Design for Learning.
  • In the course of our work with school jurisdictions, we have heard many opinions, concerns, and high expectations for the use of technology in schools.Teachers and principals are often excited by the possibilities offered by technology, but may feel restricted by policies that prevent them from experimenting.On the other hand, IT leaders and staff may struggle to meet the demands for their time and support in environments that are increasingly complex.Parents wonder if their child is learning the right skills – including the technology and digital literacy skills required in today’s society.Those who are minding the budget wonder how to pay for it all.And superintendents often ask how they can be sure that the technology investments made today will pay off with improved student results tomorrow.
  • The School Technology Services Program is a set of coordinated initiatives intended to help school jurisdictions answer these questions.The program covers three major areas:IT Governance – effective decision-making about technology investments and technology-related risk.IT Service Management – ensuring effective management and support of technology services.Information Security Management – providing assurance that measures taken to protect information are appropriate, effective and efficient.Each of these three areas supports and reinforces the others.The School Technology Services Self-Evaluation Guide was developed between 2009 and 2010 in conjunction with technology specialists in the K-12 environment, the College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS) and IT industry experts. It is based on leading international IT services best practices and adapted for the K-12 education context.The Self-Evaluation Guide is intended to be used by school jurisdictions to identify their current level of performance in these three areas and set targets for improvement.The guide is now available on the Alberta Education website.
  • The work on the 12th Dimension of the CASS Framework for School System Success will continue this year, under the leadership of Paulette Hanna.Between December and July XX school jurisdiction IT staff have attended Professional Development courses offered in partnership with the Edmonton Chapter of ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association).These courses have covered the fundamentals of IT Governance, IT Service Management and Information Security Management, and have been offered primarily in Edmonton.Over the next year, fundamentals courses will be offered in Calgary, and intermediate courses will begin in Edmonton.The Calgary Board of Education is leading a collaborative effort to develop a Technology Risk Assessment framework for the Alberta K-12 sector.This framework is intended to build capacity in the system to make informed and confident decisions about technology-related risks, and will cover identification and evaluation of risks.In addition, the School Technology Sector has two projects in development that extend upon this work:Personally owned devices are becoming more commonplace in schools, but present unique policy challenges for administrators. The acceptable/responsible use agreements project will good practices for developing these critical agreements in a changing context.Cloud computing is being touted as one way to reduce IT operating costs by outsourcing some services to other providers who will take care of the support and maintenance for you.What are the risks presented by cloud computing, and how can school jurisdictions address those risks in order to access the benefits?The Superintendent’s Guide to Cloud Computing will provide guidance to the leaders who are accountable for these decisions by answering these questions and more. The Guide will be published in early 2012.
  • Supporting Inclusive Learning Environments Through Technology

    1. 1. ZONE 4/5 Summer Conference<br />Supporting Inclusive Learning Environments through Technology<br /><ul><li>School Technology Sector
    2. 2. Bette Gray – Director
    3. 3. Edna Dach – Education Manager</li></li></ul><li>What we will do today:<br />Context and Research<br />Current Initiatives<br />Resources<br />Supporting Inclusive Learning Environments through Technology<br />
    4. 4. Wards of the Province<br />First language that is neither English nor French<br />Live below the poverty line<br />First Nations, Métis or Inuit<br />Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder<br />Identified learning disabilities<br />Cognitive disabilities<br />Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder<br />Severe behaviour emotional issues<br />Autistic<br />Physical disability<br />
    5. 5. 1 in 5 <br />will have unique educational needs <br />
    6. 6. STSsupports students and the Ministry by understanding how technology can advance learning and teaching<br />
    7. 7. We do this by:<br />o Connecting with the Field and the Department on technology matters<br />o Identifying emerging technology and researching how it can support education<br />o Making technology more accessible to all students in all schools <br />
    8. 8. Our Digital World<br />
    9. 9. 93%<br />of 8-18 year olds lived in homes with computers in 2009. <br />(Kaiser Family Foundation 2009)<br />
    10. 10. 81.6%<br />8.2%<br />of Alberta students have high speed internet at home<br />of Alberta students have dial up at home<br />10.3%<br />of Alberta students have no internet access at home<br />
    11. 11. 17 Million<br />Canadian Facebook users<br />(Inside Network)<br />
    12. 12. 130 Friends<br />The average Facebook user has<br />
    13. 13. 17.5M<br />Canadians visit YouTube every month<br />Spend an average of 292 minutes a month watching videos<br />(Post Media News,2011)<br />
    14. 14. 66%<br />of 8-18 year olds own their own cell phone. (Kaiser Family Foundation ,2010)<br />
    15. 15. 118<br />Average number of texts sent <br />daily by junior and senior high students<br />(Kaiser Family Foundation (2010)<br />
    16. 16. 58%<br />of teens from schools that forbid all phones, have sent a text message during class. <br />(Pew Internet Research)<br />
    17. 17. 21%<br />of teens access the Internet from their mobile phone <br />(Pew Internet Research)<br />
    18. 18. 62%<br />of online teens (12-17) get news about current events and politics online. (Pew Internet Research 2009)<br />
    19. 19. of Canadian children have some type of online presence by the time they are 2 years old<br />(Research Now)<br />84%<br />
    20. 20. 40.5%<br />has decreased<br />The percentage of Internet users who say they worry about how much information is available online about them<br />(Pew Internet Research)<br />33%<br />
    21. 21. books as tools <br />
    22. 22. Inclusive Education<br />Provide all students with the most appropriate learning environments and opportunities for them to best achieve their potential.<br />Education for ALL<br />
    23. 23.
    24. 24. Universal Design for Learning<br />
    25. 25. Promising Practices That Foster Inclusive Education<br />Some of the key practices include:<br />Constructivist learning theory <br />Balanced approach to literacy instruction <br />Authentic assessment of student performance <br />Use of technology in the classroom <br /><ul><li> by Alice Udvari-Solner, Jacqueline S. Thousand, Richard A. Villa, Alice Quiocho and M. G. (Peggy) Kelly
    26. 26. Available from ASCD</li></li></ul><li>Role of Technology<br />“For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible …” <br />- National Council on Disability <br />
    27. 27. Role of Technology<br />“Technology…is both a medium and a powerful tool in supporting inclusive practice. It provides wide-ranging support for communication, assisting many learners to engage with learning,” (Becta, 2007).<br />
    28. 28. Determining What Technology<br />Individual<br />Task<br />Technology<br />Context<br />
    29. 29. Recent Technology Initiatives <br />Emerge One-to-One Laptop LearningTechnology and High School SuccessInnovative ClassroomsSupporting Innovative Classrooms<br />Personally-Owned Devices – Community of Practice<br />
    30. 30. Integrating SMART Boards<br />
    31. 31. Smart Inclusion<br />http://smartinclusion.wikispaces.com/Smart+Inclusion+Home<br />
    32. 32. Educational Standing Offers (ESO)<br />Electronic Whiteboard Technology<br />Data Projector Technology<br />
    33. 33. Current Educational Standing Offers (ESO)<br />Laptop and Desktop Computers<br />Videoconference Endpoint Technology<br />Boardmaker ESO<br />
    34. 34. Coming Soon!<br />Tablets<br />Text to Speech Software<br />FM systems<br />
    35. 35. Provincial Licenses<br />Microsoft Office<br />http://www.microsoft.com/enable/training/windows7/default.aspx<br />The Ease of Access Center is a central location where you can modify the accessibility settings and programs available in Windows. <br />
    36. 36.
    37. 37. Digital Formats of Authorized English Language Arts Novels<br />A number of the novels authorized to support the Grades 4 to 12 English Language Arts program of studies are available in digital formats. <br />
    38. 38. Digital Administration of Diploma Exams and Achievement Tests<br />Quest A+<br />Student Owned Digital Devices<br />Assistive Technologies<br />
    39. 39. Trends from Research<br />-International <br />-Canada<br />-Alberta<br />-IT and ET <br />
    40. 40.
    41. 41. Resources<br />Inclusive Schools in Action: Making Differences Ordinary <br />By: James McLeskey & Nancy L. Waldron <br />Teaching in Today's Inclusive Classrooms: A Universal Design for Learning Approach <br />•Richard M. Gargiulo & Debbie Metcalf <br />
    42. 42. Resources<br />Action on Inclusion<br />http://education.alberta.ca/department/ipr/inclusion.aspx<br />
    43. 43. Resources<br />2Learn<br />www.2learn.ca<br />
    44. 44. Resources<br />Alberta Consortium of Rehabilitative and Assistive Technology: <br />www.acrat.org <br />
    45. 45. Resources<br />Canadian Research Center on Inclusive Education<br />www.inclusiveeducationresearch.ca<br />
    46. 46. Resources<br />Center for Applied Special Technology<br />www.cast.org<br />
    47. 47. Technology examples of UDL<br />http://www.udlcenter.org/implementation/examples/examples3_1<br />
    48. 48. Signed Storieshttp://www.signedstories.com/index.cfm<br />This library of digital books is available for deaf and hearing audiences. Each story is signed using British Sign Language, read aloud, and captioned in English.<br />Age Group: K-4Content Area: LiteracyCost: FreeTechnology Involved: Internet connection<br />
    49. 49. Effective Color Contrasthttp://www.lighthouse.org/accessibility/design/accessible-print-design/effective-color-contrast<br />Learn how to customize the display of information for individuals with visual impairments. This website includes examples that illustrate how hue, lightness, and saturation impact visual perception.<br />Age Group: All agesContent Area: All contentCost: FreeTechnology Involved: Internet connection<br />
    50. 50. Readabilityhttp://www.readability.com/<br />Readability is a simple tool that makes reading on the web more enjoyable by removing the clutter around what you're reading.<br />Age Group: All agesContent Area: All contentCost: FreeTechnology Involved: Internet connection<br />
    51. 51. What can you do?<br />Embedding UDL principles into school plans <br />Leveraging the technology<br />Training and Supporting <br />Identifying gaps <br />Building a community of practice that supports inclusion<br />Working collectively<br />
    52. 52. Discussion<br /> How are you using to technology to support inclusive education?<br />
    53. 53. What we hear<br />How can we be sure that our technology investments will help us achieve our educational goals?<br />My staff want to innovate but we don’t have enough technical support.<br />How do we pay for all of this?<br />Are you sure my child’s information is protected?<br />How are we going to support it all?<br />Our network is “locked down”<br />Is my child learning the right skills?<br />Teacher<br />Principal<br />Superintendent<br />Parents<br />Treasurer<br />IT Leader<br />
    54. 54. School Technology Services Program<br />IT Governance<br />IT Service Management<br />Information Security<br />http://bit.ly/schooltechnologyservices <br />
    55. 55. Other Projects<br /><ul><li>Twelfth Dimension of the CASS Framework for School System Success
    56. 56. Professional Development for IT Personnel
    57. 57. K-12 Technology Risk Assessment Framework
    58. 58. Acceptable/Responsible Use Agreements in Alberta Schools
    59. 59. A Superintendent’s Guide to Cloud Computing: Benefits, Risks, and Considerations in the Alberta K-12 Context</li></li></ul><li>Questions?<br />
    60. 60. Contact us:<br />Dr. Bette Gray<br />Director, STS<br />Bette.Gray@gov.ab.ca<br />Ms. Dianne McConnell<br />Director, Inclusive Learning Supports<br />Dianne.McConnell@gov.ab.ca<br />Ms. Edna Dach<br />Education Manager, STS<br />Edna.Dach@gov.ab.ca<br />

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