Harry Potter

Harry Potter
Even the world's best super spy needs a little help from assistive tech!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

There's an App for that!

This was the best class so far! And that includes the night with the IBooks and the IMovie. This was such an eye opener and so helpful with all the apps that everyone used in their projects. I wasn't sure how I would be able to use them in my own school setting which is a couple of more grades above what most of my colleagues are teaching but I could see how I could use them in my own role as far as passing them onto the teachers in the school who may not be aware of them. I especially liked the HT recorder for IPad app that could be used for book reports and journals and all kinds of things for all kinds of classes as well as comic life. I think I might be adding those to some of the devices at school.

One thing is for sure: what I said last week is ringing even more true for me this week. We need teachers to be more open to this type of teaching! I spent most of the day today helping a student who had a list of IA's as long as your arm with an assignment that was the same for everyone. It was a very word heavy document (4 pages double sided!) and there were rivers of text everywhere. Needless to say, I managed to pare it down and reorganize it into 1 and the student is working away at it, but now I want to go back and re do it using these apps!

Oh well. I have a sneaking suspicion that I'll get my chance in the near future...

Even Sesame Street knows this is the way of the future...

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Lesson Planning in the Age of UDL

Tonight Trisha and I completed our programing for our fictional class of students in Human Biology 11. And all I can say is Holy Cow. My eyes are exhausted and my brain is fuzzy. I totally understand why some teachers are so resistant to UDL. It was so much work doing one tiny worksheet on the bones of the human skeleton that I can't imagine doing it every day...and yet, I would if I was in a classroom every day because that is where we are going to!

Barb was talking tonight about presenting to the BEd students at MSVU the other day and how surprised they were about the ways that Apple Tech can be used in the classroom. I wish I could say I was surprised but the entire program needs to be overhauled. When I took it a looooooong time ago, I can honestly say that there were very few courses that I have used in my own practice and those ones were all taught by teachers who were still in the classroom.

But back to tonight. It was a heck of a lot of work but once something like that is done, it's done forever so nothing says I can't use it again!

Anyone who is thinking of being a teacher in the 21st century, watch this

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Wonderful World of Webinars!

After a few glitches with the java script, I was ready to roll! As a PST, it's my job to be a bridge between the teachers and students who need support in the class and that includes everyone. I've had a couple of students in my classroom who were Autistic and some of these apps would have made life so much easier for those students, especially the sensory regulation ones. I think that a lot of teachers have no idea about what students on the spectrum are dealing with or even those kids wit anxiety about school. I have one student currently who is so anxious that it takes her about an hour to calm down in my office. Yesterday, I gave her my IPod to play with pocket pond and she left smiling and happy. I let her keep it for the rest of the day and rather than have to leave the class every 15 minutes to come see me, she just brought up the pond and she stayed in class for the whole day. It really made a difference to her and she told me today that her Mother might buy her an IPod for Christmas.

Sometimes, tech can be a real blessing. Today was one of those days.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

It's all there: Ruby with Proloquo2go

Whenever I see this app being used by a student who is non verbal or has communication issues, it just reinforces the fact of how important this kind of program is. There are more and more students in our school system who are going to need this to be successful. As Ruby's mother said, "this gives her a voice". Her PSA noted how her behavior had improved by 95% and how the program has allowed her to "unlock her communication".

Ruby is the kind of student that if we meant her before we saw her using Prolo, the majority of us would probably have assumed that she was not mentally handicapped in some way. As we talked about in our presuming competence discussions, we always go to the negative when presuming instead of the other way around. It's a good thing that this app is there to prove us wrong.

Watch how this app has helped Ruby: