Friday, December 18, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I spent a little bit of time looking through the books on Library Thing about characters with disabilities. Some I am familiar with but some titles were new to me. I hope to have some down time to get to read a little. I'll check out a few of these books. I really think Library Thing is a great resource. I found the information in these AT modules beneficial.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Assistive Technology to Meet K-12 Student Needs
Includes table with lists of assistive technology separated by disability
Enable Mart- Technology for Everyone
Store with variety of assistive technology based on disability need
Search for assistive technology tools by subject or learning support
RJ Cooper & Associates Inc.
Hardware and software needs for people with special needs
Technology for Education
Includes assistive technology to use in classrooms
Monday, November 30, 2009
I also enjoyed reading all the website had to say about ettiquette with those with disabilities. I enjoyed the You Tube video where the guy went for an interview and roles were reversed. I know people gain comfort the more they spend time with those with disabilities. This is definitely something I feel is important to support and reach out to those with disabilities. When I was in high school, I helped coach special olympics soccer. I loved my time and it is a major reason why I became a special education teacher.
I thought the suggestions this module gave were very good. I thought one good point was to make sure you are communicating and making eye contact with the person rather than any tool they use. One area that I think more suggestions are needed are when people are communicating with someone with severe speech difficulties. I know how much they want to be understood. It is hard when they know a person can't understand and are struggling to continue to repeat themselves.
I actually think students are sometimes some of the best at rallying around someone who has a disability. I loved watching the kindness of students who really made a student I had with autism feel accepted. I think sometimes teenagers are better than adults.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I like seeing demonstrations on You Tube about some of the software solutions available for students with disabilities. It definitely brings it to life more than just reading about them.
I read the pdf brochures about Kurzweil. This is the first I had really heard much about it before. It seemed to make a positive difference in those students' lives. I am familiar with Inspiration. Teachers used it in the school I taught in Virginia. When I was reading up on the different assistive technology software, I noticed reference to Assistive Technology Act of 1998. Then I was curious to find out more since we are studying it in this course. Then I found with some searching that it was revised in 2004. I'd like to know more what is involved with this Act. Maybe there is more about it in one of our next two modules. I'm not sure. I'm just curious a little more what it says and how it affects meeting the technology needs with students with disabilities.
I also explored the accessibility features of Windows Vista. That was cool to see what was already available and listed as features within the system I use.
For my software selection for our course I compared screen magnification software and scanning to edit text software for a student with visual impairment. I looked at Zoom Text Magnifier USB v9.18 and i Zoom 3.1 Reader & Magnifier . I also found out more about Scan 2 Text and Scan and Read Pro.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I really am enjoying learning about the different assistive technology that is available. The You Tube video that shows the graphic designer using assistive technology was amazing. I was so thankful that she has the chance to rise above her challenges.
I did my hardware selection based on a student with visual impairment. I looked all over the EnableMart website with the technology available for different disabilities. I'm so glad that people have developed this amazing equipment. It seems we will need to keep developing technology to keep up with new technology.
I was surprised by just how expensive all of the equipment is. I wonder how many disabled students have been denied access to what they need simply because of budget needs.
When I was choosing my hardware the ease of portability was important to me. I heard about a visually impaired student in my old county that all that was provided was a clunky old CCTV that was not even housed in any of the classes he was in. I think you have to be logical and find what's most beneficial for the student when provided assistive technology.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I then enjoyed looking at all the information about teaching blind students. I was reflecting at how much hands on teaching and technology in education affects students without sight. I guess it really depends school district to school district how blind students are included in the regular curriculum. So much planning would take part to accomodate for a student with no sight. I browsed through the Braille is Beautiful part of the website. It sounds like an awesome way for seeing students to embrace the world of life with a blind student.
Twice I have had Visually Impaired students as part of my case load. It takes a lot of extra work and thinking through every step of the lesson how to adapt. Math was sometimes a difficult subject because there is so much modeling on the board and lining up problems correctly. I found that preparing for a Visually Impaired student that I needed the regular education teacher to be more prepared than usual so that I could accomodate. There was always a balance of how much do we change the material or do we require VI students to use resources to change existing materials. That's why I'm interested more in technology that helps students work with existing material. There is not always someone to change the materials for them.
Also for this module we looked at the Job Accomodation Network. It was great to search through this website as I think of the future of some of my students. Transition planning on IEP's starts at age 14 but because much more involved at the age of 16. I haven't had to do much transition planning because the majority of the time I've taught students with Learning Disabilities was 6th grade students. I've taught 8th grade the past 2 years. At a recent inservice about IEP goal making, the presenter was saying how much the rest of a high school teacher's IEP should be based on the transition plan. Teachers should really start planning educationally based on the students' goals for post high school. It should be a major part of the IEP rather than a minor. I liked seeing what JAN's goals were for students with disabilities. I look forward to the rest of these modules.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
The You Tube that I wanted to share for the day is an old Sesame Street clip where Cookie Monster wants cookies at the library. Cookie Monster was pictured in Google search picture today so he was my inspiration for looking up the clip. I remember this clip from when I was a kid. What's interesting also to see is how libraries have evolved from when I was young. The librarian keeps telling Cookie Monster that the library only has books.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Kristen Will Celebrate 1st Halloween this Saturday
I now have the joy of Trick or Treating with my own child. We have enjoyed nieces and nephews in past years, but now we have our own kiddo to dress up. Matt actually allowed me to dress Scout up last year as Super Dog. It's the only time he'll let me put clothes on Scout.
This year we wanted to coordinate our dog and baby. We decided Scout would be a banana and Kristen would be a monkey. Target didn't have his size, but we ordered from Target.com. About 3 weeks later, I called Target to find out where the package was. We found out the sad news that there are no banana outfits in stock in Scout's size. It was available on Ebay, but the auction price got too high to justify to qualify a pet costume as an essential need.
So Scout will probably stay home this year and Kristen will go solo in her monkey outfit. Is it wierd to collect candy for a baby whose sole nourishment is from nursing? Do people know it's just for the parents of the baby? I know it will probably bring out the old feelings of my youth as I feel the victory of a Reeses Cup or Twix.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I am so glad to know about Rollyo. This will really help guide students in searching the Internet for lessons. I wish I had known about this before. I team teach in several classes as a Learning Support teacher. Students like using the Internet for projects but have difficulty in searching to find the necessary information. I am going to pass this info on to the History teacher I team teach with when I'm not on maternity leave. I think this would help him to provide trusted sites for students to search.
I created my Rollyo based on a history lesson about the Salem Witch Trials. I put 10 sites for students and history for the students to search. They will then find information to create an interview of a person of their choice from that time period. Here is the Rollyo I created:
I also joined Classroom 2.0 network group through Ning. There seems to be a network for all different interest areas. This opens up great connections through the computer to find others with similar interests or causes. I also played around with Travel IQ. I wanted to keep playing but I'm limited with time. I had a college professor make us memorize what every single country in the world was. I found this tedious but maybe it helped my score. I found I know countries but cities are weaker.
I ended up making a simple comic. I have been so angry at the phone company because we are still waiting for an engineer to put up a phone pole in our new house. So I have been without internet service since my move. I brought my pack and play and my baby is napping while I use my inlaws internet. I made a simple comic with the Lion King (which is one of my favorite movies). I've been so stressed about the courses with no internet at the house so Pumba is telling me Hakuna Matata to have no worries. The link is under my avatar to check out the comic.