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Rwg assistive technology at lawrence 2011


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etech 2011
Assistive Technology used at Lawrence School including Read & Write Gold and FluencyTutor

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Rwg assistive technology at lawrence 2011

  1. 1. Sally GarzaDirector of Technology, Lawrence School 440-832-7840
  2. 2. ABOUT MESally Garza  Director of Technology  Lawrence Upper School
  3. 3. ABOUT ME Lawrence School is an independent school in Sagamore Hills and Broadview Heights, Ohio that specializes in teaching students with learning differences.Mission: Our mission is to teach students who have distinct learning styles, ignite their potential, and inspire academic and social success.Vision: One day all students who learn differently will have the opportunity,encouragement and resources to fulfill their potential and benefit society. Slogan: Where differences are not disabilities; where great minds dont think alike.
  4. 4. LD POPULATION AT LAWRENCE SCHOOL Students typically come from unsuccessful educational settings Bright students (average to above average IQ) Many diagnosed with:  learning differences  Dyslexia  Dysgraphia  Dyscalculia  Executive Dysfunction  Expressive Language Disorder  Phonological Processing Disorder  Receptive Language Disorder  Visual Motor Integration Difficulties  attention deficits  ADD  ADHD  organizational problems & executive function issues  other processing differences
  5. 5. LAWRENCE SCHOOL TEACHING METHODSMulti-sensory platformOrganizational strategies embedded in all subject areasBrain-based learning strategiesDifferentiated instructionOpportunities for social and academic experiences and success
  6. 6. ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMStarted in early 2003 with in computer labTested every AT program on the market at the timeHad students help evaluate software  Was it easy to use?  How long was training period?  Would they use it?Students and staff selected Read & Write Gold as Lawrence School’s assistive technology software
  7. 7. ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM Late 2004, piloted a laptop AT program with 5 students  Computers without wireless service  Office 2000, Inspiration, and Read & Write Gold  Digitized a few major textbooks/literature books for students to “read” Very successful pilot!  Students with C’s and D’s became A & B students within 1 school year  All students in pilot program showed improved grades
  8. 8. ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMLate 2006, built new Upper School building in Sagamore Hills to accommodate 1-1 program for 7-12 graders using assistive technology campus wide Infrastructure included:  Pervasive wireless throughout campus  Laptop lockers with power to allow mid-day charging  Expanded server farm to allow digital files by students to be saved on network
  9. 9. ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMEarly 2007, opened Upper School building and rolled out 1-to-1 program to all Upper School students Training included:  Tablet & laptop training for all staff and students  Read & Write Gold training for all staff and students
  10. 10. TRAINING FOR STAFF & STUDENTS1 full day training session for pilot teachers and staff in 2005 from a vendorSince then, have done all training in-house  Teach tools as needed to students and staff  Teach tools in short increments with opportunities to practice & play  Videos for each tool are great resource as well!
  11. 11. HOW STUDENTS & TEACHERS USE READ & WRITE GOLD95% of students who use text-to-speech80% use study skills tools (including screen masking)8-10% use speech-to-text More staff use speech-to-text than students!2-3% use word prediction
  12. 12. HOW STUDENTS & TEACHERS USE READ & WRITE GOLDfor ALL students, not just students who typically use RWG  English teachers use Spell Check, Word Wizard, Dictionary Tool and Homophone tools as proofreading/editing tools  Science/Math teachers use Talking Calculator conversion tools  Spanish teacher/students use Translator tool to help reinforce vocabulary and pronunciation skills
  13. 13. DIGITAL TEXTBiggest challenge with our Assistive Technology program is not using Read & Write Gold or training students or staff how to use it… it is making digitized material available to students!
  14. 14. DIGITAL TEXTTried many ways to digitize text  E-books  From textbook manufacturers, typically web-based/flash or html pages  PDF (eBooks from Amazon….)  Public domain books  Project Gutenberg  VitalSource Bookshelf  Google Books  LD/Visual Disabilities resources 
  15. 15. DIGITAL TEXTBest way for Lawrence School:  Scan books ourselves  We’ve created in-house digital library to support students’ assistive technology needsIssues with scanning yourself:  Compliancy with copyright laws of books  Students only receive digital copy if they have a physical copy of book  Control over who gets copies of what books .  Need a GREAT scanner!
  16. 16. EXAMPLES OF DIGITAL TEXTTextbookLiterature book Word format PDF format
  17. 17. EXAMPLES OF HOW WE UTILIZE RWG IN THE CLASSROOM Lower School Demystification Project  Online researching for 6 th graders  Topics typically written above reading level 9 th Grade Learning Strategies Class  Teach skills most teachers assume students know but are never taught  We actually teach these skills, including RWG This year all high school midterms were required to available in digital format to allow use of RWG during test  Negated need for 95% of the adult readers needed for exams
  18. 18. EXAMPLES OF HOW WE UTILIZE RWG IN THE CLASSROOMEnglish teachers  Study skills tools especially for research projects  Homophone checker as just a great proofreading/editing tool Math & Science teachers  Use the Calculator Conversion tools
  19. 19. HOW WE VIEW ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY Not just for LD kids, but for everyone! As a “prosthetic processor”  Alleviate processing needs of some readers who can decode with a lot of effort  RWG allows them to build fluency and decoding skills without the struggle of processing and decoding Similar to GPS  Originally invented for people who struggled spatially but almost ubiquitous in our society now and used by more than the original intended audience
  20. 20. FLUENCY TUTORJust started using in June 2010As a summer pilot with 15 kids on a voluntary basis with no instruction to student during the pilotMost students showed staved regression in reading skills over summer break  Some even showed progress and confidence in their reading
  21. 21. QUESTIONS Sally Garza Director of Technology Lawrence Upper School Twitter: smg421girl Technology blog at Handouts available at