Well, here we are. The last night of class. It's been a long, strange trip down the rabbit hole of assistive tech but one that I am so glad I went on.
Tonight we had the rest of the case studies. Once again I was struck by how much technology can be a transformative process for these students. Trisha's student, S said that she was so excited to use the tech, that she didn't get frustrated. What a comment! I have loads of students that I see everyday that get frustrated for one reason or another and who could really use a boost in their learning. Ann's student Jaden was very informative as well, especially when she mentioned that he was an optimal learner as soon as he had the Ipad in his hand. It's not that surprising. My 2 year old nephew can use my IPod to find the music he likes now! It's all rote memory for him of course, but he knows which pretty picture to touch!
And Jack's story! Well don't get me started on that. The fact that his Mom was a little bit clueless when it came to his use of Proloquo to go at home but the brother understood it! Well, the group had tears in their eyes. Or at least I did.
The presentation on James was excellent as well, not in the least because he'll be my with me next year. It's good to see a student who has used the tech successfully to be more independently engaged in his own learning. Once again the word "engaged" was said at least 15 times in the presentation. That seems to be the key word tonight. That is what the new AT and the Apps that students and teachers are using are helping them with and it's what all students need. We really need to get on top of this and make sure that all teachers are at least willing to embrace the new technology that we have and not get caught up in what we are "loosing". Education moves on people! Deal with it!
I took this class to begin because I didn't really know what was out there for students that was new and exciting and man oh man! Did this course deliver! There was so much to learn and know, but surprisingly it was all on one or two devices instead of the 12-13 that I remember using before I left for England. It makes it far more user friendly for me and therefore the kids as well. I am in a different role this year not being in the classroom proper, so I am really missing the chance to use my new found skills on a whole group of kids in a curriculum way. That's another reason for my purchase of the IPad mini. I can work on that in smaller classes and on an individual basis and get to know the Apps I will need when I go back into the classroom in a few years. And then, pass on those skills to the classroom teachers.
I'm not sure if I am going to keep this blog going or rename it and keep it going. I've enjoyed having a place to talk to whoever wants to hear my random thoughts on this course and every other random thought I have. I'll have to see if any random thoughts make their way into my brain. No promises about that though.
Thanks Barb for opening my eyes to a whole new world of AT and UDL and everything! I can't wait to help more students and teachers in the new year.