Saturday, 27 October 2012

October 24, 2012 - Fifth Class Reflections

October 24, 2012

Well, to blog this week about class will be a little different than other weeks.  I was unable to attend most of the class due to my school having Parent Teacher interviews (PT).  I did come to the first part of the class and I was able to come to last part of the class. It was a busy night, trying my best to be at the PT interviews and at class.  Luckily, my school and the class are on the same campus.  At the beginning of class, my partner and I presented our project on Proloque2Go.  I think we did a great job with our presentation, B.Welsford and classmates had some great comments and suggestions on how to improve our project.  It was a great experience to present in front of colleagues and I think my partner and I did well.  Thank you!!  :)
When I returned from PT interviews I had the opportunity to listen to one last group to present their project.  I thought they did a great job and one reason it was enjoyable to listen to their work was because one of the presenters was presenting through the Ipad and Skype or Facetime.  It was really neat to have them present and have the technology of the Ipad provide the opportunity for them to show their work.  Awesome work ladies!!!

One aspect I wanted to touch on today in my blog was the PT interviews. I wanted to mention the continuous movement of parents to be aware of the technology that is available for their children.  It has been something I found myself being more conscientiously aware of since taking this course.  Parents are becoming technologically advanced, knowledgeable and excited about the use of technology with their children.  There were many conversations with parents, that involved Individual Program Plans (IPP's), describing the use of technology to aid the students in achieving success with their goals.  Many of the parents were aware of the various Assistive Technology devices and programs we mentioned to them.  Especially the ones that were connected to the Ipad or Ipod.  In some cases, the parents mentioned APPS that they have been using with their children over the summer.  It was something I wanted to mention in my blog today because it really is a step forward for parents.  As we move forward with the advancements in technology, it seems like we will be moving forward together, more than ever before. This makes me very excited as a Resource Teacher. 

Moving Forward together :)

Next weeks class will be via an Webinar!!!  Looking forward to this experience!! 

Friday, 19 October 2012

October 17, 2012 - Fourth Class Reflections

October 17, 2012

Our fourth class we had the opportunity to work on the App, Proloque2Go.  My partner and I were able to design various communication folders to aid a Case Study student.  We focused on various settings the student would be in with various folders to aid the student in communicating her needs and wants.  This is the second time I have worked with the App but it felt like a new learning experience.  I know this is the best App available and most effective way for non-verbal students to communicate with others. Below are some videos that show the App Proloque2Go in action: 

Next week we present our assignment of working with the App Proloque2Go. I look forward to presenting our work and also to learning from the other groups.  Until next week :) 

Friday, 12 October 2012

October 10, 2012 - Third Class Reflections

October 10, 2012

Our third class centered around the "Convergence of Technology", "Presuming Competence" and "Communication".  Through class discussion we were able to understand that the new technologies of devices, such as the Ipad, Ipod and some other tablets have brought many technologies to be available on one device. For example, the new Ipad is a camera, scan device, can do text to speech, video recorder etc. It has become a device to replace many other devices or programs that might have been used in the past in our everyday lives and in our schools.  The link below to the Apple Canada website discusses their products, including the Ipad and the new Ipod.
The diagram below displays the "Convergence of Technology" - which Wikipedia describes as " is the tendency for different technological systems to evolve toward performing similar tasks. Convergence can refer to previously separate technologies such as voice (and telephony features), data (and productivity applications), and video that now share resources and interact with each other synergistically."
The other part of our class discussed "Presuming Competence". We watched a powerful video of Carly. (short video below) It really demonstrated that, despite communication barriers we need to continue to work at developing a parallel means of communication with our students.  Carly's story is truly inspiring. As discussed in class, effective Communication has to have three parts : 1)Engaged Communication Partner 2)Joined Attention and 3)Common Language.  Communication can be Verbal, such as face to face, on the phone etc. It can be Non-Verbal, such as with body language or gestures (sign language). It also can be written, such as texting. No matter the means of communication the general desired outcome or goal of any communication is for the sender and receiver to have understanding.  Our class began our first major assignment with working with an App called Proloquo2Go with the Ipad. It provides students that may be non-verbal with a means to communicate that can be understood by many. Excellent App, one in which I have had some experience introducing to a student a few years ago. Although we were at the beginning stages of the Ipod being used with this App, years later he is now effectively communicating to others we great success.  Having the means to communicate to others is a critical part of life for all of us.

Next weeks class we will continue to work with the App Proloquo2Go for the Ipad. We have a case study and are to use the program to develop an effective means of communication. Below is an older video describing the App.  It is not the best quality but gives an overview of the program.
Looking forward to working with the App next week.

I end this weeks blog with one of many quotes about effective communication,
"The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said. "
Peter Drucker

Saturday, 6 October 2012

October 3, 2012 - Second Class Reflections

October 3, 2012

Our second class was mainly learning about IBook Author. This is a program I had never heard of before or used. My main background, in regards to technology, centers around the use of the PC. I have gotten into using Apple products, such as the Ipod and Ipad but I have never had much experience with Apple laptops, such as the one I am using for the course - MacBook Pro. I decided when taking B.Welsford's course I would be consistent in developing my knowledge and skills with as many experiences using the MacBook.  So, it was great to have a second class center around a Mac program that can be used by teachers for students and students for students.  Below is a short introduction to IBook Author.  Amazing stuff!!!

The possibilities of how to utilize this program for the students in my school are endless. I few that I have mulling around in my head are: 1)Social Stories - to be able to create the story for the student in IBook Author and then the student be able to view on the Ipad or computer itself would be great. The stories describe situations, skills, or concepts in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses. The ability of the program to use pictures and video for modeling is critical for the Social Stories to be useful for the student. Very excited about trying this out with my students.    
2)Cognitive Cards-They are described as being is a "metacognitive tool for developing schema to enhance student memory". Well, what better tool than IBook Author to aid the student in that area.  The student could use the Ipad with the Cognitive story on it, at their desk while taking the test.  Cognitive Cards are a great tool used by students with Learning Disabilities and this program would only enhance that tool for those students. 3)Emotions-Zones of Regulation-To be able to use the program to teach about the four Zones would be a creative and attention grabbing technique for the students.  The Zones uses "a cognitive behavior approach, the curriculum’s learning activities are designed to help students recognize when they are in different states called “zones,” with each of the four color-coded and "road sign" oriented for clear recognition and reinforcement." 
4)Academic Units of Study-Teachers would be able to use this program to present information to the students any typical unit of study. For example: Grade 4 Social Studies Curriculum asks teachers to teach about Explorers. What better way to present an overview of the unit to the class but through IBook Author. The ability of the program to embed video would really capture the attention of the students with the unit. Using the trailer at the beginning would be a great start.  
5)Professional Development Presentations-Using the program to educate our fellow professional teachers would not only be educational but lets be honest it would also capture the adult audience.  PD sessions for educators are important to teach new techniques to be used in the classroom.  If I were sitting in a session that the presenter used this program it would definitely grab my attention. 6)Creating IBooks by students-The ability for the student to create their own book and transfer it to IBooks on their Ipad is incredible. I have used the IBook App on the Ipad with students before and the students have really enjoyed creating their own stories. This program takes that ability and expands it to the extreme. I think many students will love creating their own stories and publishing them in IBooks for other students to read. 7)Student Led Conference-I think IBook Author offers the possibility of using it during student led conferences. At out school we hold these conferences once a year, what a great opportunity to display their (student's) work to their families in an innovative way. 8)Physical Education Class-This program would be a great way for Junior and Senior High PE teachers to introduce units of study for their students. Through IBook Author the students would learn the rules, techniques, watch examples and even discover the history behind the activity/sport.  After the PE teacher had shown their Book for the students, this would be a perfect spring board for the students to create a Book for a group project. At our school I could envision the older students teaching PE games for the younger students through IBook Author. How much fun would this be for all students involved. 9)Project Based Learning-Project Based Learning is a method of comprehensive approach to instruction. Students participate in projects and practice an interdisciplinary array of skills from math, language arts, fine arts, geography, science, and technology.  I can not think of any better tool than IBook Author, for teachers and students to use to be incorporated into their projects.  Our school, at the Middle School Level, has recently embarked on using Project Based Learning and technology will be a major force to fuel the learning of the students. 10)Leadership Skills-I was not sure on what to call this but what I envision is the opportunity for students, especially students who have disabilities or challenges, to be able to demonstrate strength, leadership and knowledge to their peers.  Students could use the program to teach about a topic they are familiar with to their peers, also by demonstrating their knowledge of the technology that they are using. I also think it would be a great forum for students to describe and teach about their disability.  What an innovative way to teach their peers about what their LD is like, how it feels etc.  With knowledge comes understanding. I realize there are many other ways to use IBook Author, but thought I would share 10 ways that might be of use in your school.  

Before I end my latest blog entry I wanted to post a video I watched on the Apple Website yesterday.  You do not have to be an Apple supporter to appreciate all that this man did in the field of technology and how it has impacted the eduction of all the students we teach.  

Looking forward to next weeks class.  Happy Thanksgiving!!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

September 26, 2012 - First Class Reflections

September 26, 2012

This is the first class of 5173Q1.  My name is Scott Rawding and I am a Resource Teacher at Hebbville Academy.  I will be blogging with my experiences through the course as the weeks go along. A journey that I am looking forward to :)  

It was a great first class. Memories of past courses were running through my head as I sat listening to B.Welsford.  All good thoughts of course.  We were introduced to the course and got busy with the Ipads right away using IMovie.  This is an App that I have not used in the past but it was very easy to get the hang of it. We created out own trailer, which was a fun activity. One in which I could see using with student in my Learning Centre.  The IMovie our group created had clips of the many uses of Assistive Technology.  From the simple to the complex. Lots of fun and a great way to start the course.  Below is a example of the AT that we were able to find, one in which we used in our trailer. 

We actually used the camera on the Ipad and took video of the clip playing on the computer screen.  The clip is only one of many that we used in our trailer. All of the groups found and used interesting clips for their trailers. We also took video of various items located in the Assistive Technology Centre with the Ipad to add to our trailer.

The first class was also a great opportunity to learn about a new project that B.Welsford has started. It is located in Aviva Community Fund site, which is a site that allows you to add a project that you can vote on and receive financial support for your project.  The project name is Our Quest for Assistive Technology. Here is a link to the site to be able to sign and vote for the project.
Please take the time to support this amazing project!!!!  Here is the video below :)

First class, great night!!  Very excited for the weeks ahead to learn new Assistive Technologies to aid the students I work with at Hebbville Academy. I am looking forward to next weeks class.