Saturday, 15 December 2012

Assistive Technology 5173

I have learned so much since starting this class in the fall and found so much of it applicable to my own workplace. I    
work in a resource centre with some very high needs students so every time we learned to use a new app or another student in the class discussed an insight they had it helped all of us learn. 

One of the main topics discussed in the course is communication and how technology has allowed so many students to further develop their ability to communicate using technology. This course gave me the opportunity to use these apps, find new ones and then introduce them to my own students. My students are non-verbal, autistic and social stories are a large part of the way they communicate. In this course I learned to design and publish books. I have used book creator and comic life many times in the past few weeks to design social stories for students. I learned to use the proloquo2go app and have designed a similar app for one of my students which is his primary tool for communication. I learned how to create movies in iMovie and now have a student who enjoys making movies all the time. I have loaded new calming apps like Sand Play, music apps like Bloom and interactive apps like Tappie.  This course was a great learning experience and with assistive technology developing so quickly I intend to continue educating myself in this area. 

Case Study Presentations

Janet's case study was on a young man "J" in grade 9 who has ADHD and can lose his temper
His verbal comprehension is very low so he has been using an apps like iMovie, Pic-colage and pages to work on his assignments and then email them back to to his teachers.  "J" loves the Hunger Games books and has designed some great clay sculptures representing events in the book. He used iMovie to create some awesome trailers using lego men as props. He has also been using his i-pad for scheduling and there are many great apps that you can get on the iPad to help to students develop a great schedule that is user friendly.

  Pic Collage   


Tracy did her presentation on a group of 3 grade 1 students that she called "RED". Their peers are reading at level 4 while the "RED" group is reading at a level 1. They use the iPads on which you can load a tonne of great interactive books.

"RED" is also using some great low tech ideas like stability balls to help students deal with the fidgeting and sand trays to help them with their letter formation

Scott let everyone else go first and then presented on "Ziggy", Ziggy is a very positive student with delays in reading, writing and math. Her visual thinking and reasoning skills are also very low and she has difficulty retaining information. Ziggy has routines and schedules that she follows and bin activities to do. Again there are a lot of great scheduling apps for students on the iPad.

One app that she has been using and enjoying is pic collage which she has used to create a report on guinea pigs, which is an animal she absolutely adores. Another app she has had success with is the speech to text paper port program. there are many great text to speech apps that students can use depending upon the level of the student.

Case Study Presentations

The next case study was done on "S" who is an 8 year old student in grade 3 who has a diagnosis of A.D.D.   "S" loves using the iPad which is great way to encourage her to complete her writing assignments. "S" has some great ideas but really struggles with writing them down, some programs that have worked well for her are i-word-Q and paper port. She has also been enjoying tumble books which is free through the Aspotagan School website and Halifax Regional Library


The next case study was done on a young man named Jaden who really enjoys using the iPad. Jaden has had a couple of brain tumours but they have been removed and he is doing well. He enjoys using the app Book Creator and Co-writer to assist in his writing. Jaden is described as a student who like so many others has great ideas but has difficulty in getting these ideas written down on paper. He also really enjoys using Raz Kidz and iMovie which is a great app that most students have fun using.

Francine did her case study on Jack who is a grade 1 student who is non-verbal and shows some signs of autism. He has some trouble with fine and gross motor skills and uses minimal sign language. He has even had trouble with the sign for bathroom which would lead to severe frustration. He has been having success with the program Proloquo2go which is one of the best communication programs I have worked with. With Proloquo2go you can make the cells for specific things like bathroom very large and colourful so that it is more accessible to a student like Jack.