Thursday, November 12, 2009

Discovering AT Module 1

I am very excited for our next few weeks in these modules. This combines my interests in gaining more skills with technology and my current job as a teacher of students with learning disabilities. I first of all enjoyed looking at some disabilities that famous people have overcome.
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.

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