Monday, 26 November 2012

November 21, 2012 - Class Assignment Attempt

November 21, 2012 - Classroom Assignment Attempt

My partner and I presented our assignment this past week in class. We demonstrated how a Grade 2 classroom teacher could take her lesson plan of poetry and incorporate technology to aid all the students to reach success with the assignment.  Today, in class, I attempted to provide a similar assignment in class to a grade 2/3 classroom. It was similar in that we (classroom teacher and I) presented a poem in the same way we did for our assignment. An example poem was shown on the hover cam. It was read by the teacher. There was no Youtube video to add to the display of assignment but the students were engaged. The students were asked to write a similar poem with connection to things they like. Some of the students, used the Ipads to create their poem using Pic Collage. They performed really well.  There is a pic below from a student who worked on their poem in the classroom.  This was a huge success for him, he has been transitioning from the Learning Centre back to the classroom over the past few years. The classroom teacher and I both felt the use of the Ipads aided, not only him, but the other students in completing the assignment.  Even though, it was not the complete assignment done from our class it is a step in the right direction to be using AT in the classroom regularly.  :)  I feel good about the outcome today. 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

November 14, 2012 - Reflection

November 14, 2012

This weeks entry will not be a long one. Our last class gave us the opportunity to finish our assignment for next week. Since this class I have been a little under the weather with flu like symptoms. Good news is I feel better and believe I will be in school again tomorrow and be able to come to class to present with my partner.  During the past few days that I have been laid up I have found some interesting articles and videos in connection to technology in general. The below video I found to be quite interesting, it was on the CNN website.  Please watch and feel free to comment.

What else could technology and the people who really know how to use it be doing for our world?

Monday, 12 November 2012

November 7, 2012 - Universal Design for Learning

November 7, 2012

It is hard to believe that this blog will discuss our seventh class. It has been a great experience  :)  The class discussion centered around Universal Design for Learning (UDL). It is important for educators to use this approach to teaching to make it possible to reach ALL students in their classroom.  The class learned the importance of knowing your students and their needs. This seems to be an obvious point but can be overlooked at times. In our school we have transition meetings to discuss the students going from one grade to the next. It includes their strengths and challenges. How they learn best. It not only discusses academic needs but also social.  As a resource teacher, I am involved in these meetings and do a file review of each student to provide information on each of the students. The UDL principles 1) provide multiple means of representation 2) provide multiple means of action and expression 3) provide multiple means of engagement. It is important to understand the UDL principles and how they can be implemented into teaching. Below is a video with a overview of Universal Design for Learning.

We had the rest of class to work on our next assignment. Next week I will discuss the creation and presentation of our project.

Monday, 5 November 2012

October 31, 2012 - Activity in Lieu of Class

October 31, 2012

Proloquo2go follow up activity:
The assignment is to view one of the videos B.Welsford sent me, which were on Proloquo2Go utilization. The videos show children, with various disabilities, using the App.  I am to reflect on the videos based on my knowledge of the App and post my thoughts. I have posted the video below I am reflecting on:

It states on the AssistiveWare website that, "Max is nine years old and was born with Cerebral Palsy. The language area in his brain has been affected and he therefore has difficulty using his speech to communicate. He started using Proloque2Go on an iPad about a year ago. He now uses it on a daily basis, at school and at home. His speech has made good progress and his frustration level has decreased. Max is more able to communicate, he spells and he can create sentences that he was not able to create before. He even helps with customizing the app's vocabulary. According to his speech therapist, Proloquo2Go has become his voice and has completely changed his life."
I found the video to be very powerful and moving. From reading from the website the App has had a major impact on his life.  The beginning of the video shows Max using the Ipad with the Speech Language Pathologist. I found it interesting how she used the device to have Max tell her what he wanted to do with the paints. The SLP's strategy provided the basis for Max to communicate his needs through the Ipad and the Proloque2Go App. He was able to manipulate the device and tell her he wanted to do the craft/painting. He has many skills developed, including some spelling skills. He demonstrated this when he spelled the word 'Purple'. Very impressive. I know these skills and others he displayed can not be all contributed to the Ipad but it seems it has been a platform for acceleration in Language and Speech skills for Max.  The SLP states the language area in Max's brain has been effected since using the Ipad over the past year. This is amazing!!!  When thinking of 'Presuming Competence', I feel Max's experience on the Ipad demonstrates that all students have a certain level of understanding but need a voice to communicate their understanding. With this voice students' level of frustration decreases, like Max and their behaviour would improve. My experiences over the past 3 years with a student who is blind, non verbal and possibly ASD have been educational to say the least. It has been extremely difficult to find a means for him to communicate his needs and wants. We are currently using a GoTalk with 6 cells, 2 of which he uses (at times). It has been extremely important for our team to have an understanding of his level of competence when it comes to working with him. I feel we have made some major strides in his communication skills and I can only hope he is able to be as successful of a story as Max in the future. One aspect of the video I wanted to mention that I found interesting was the lack of interactions with peers in the mainstream classroom. It seemed, although a short video, that Max has many skills and now a communicative device, that he would be able to be in the regular classroom - more than the video showed. If it has not happened already I would love to see Max in with his peers. This may be the next step for this amazing student. Loved the video :)  

The second part of our assignment is to choose 2 Webinars that tweek my interest.  After choosing the Webinars I am to discuss how I would support the classroom teacher with the integration of  the technology into the classroom with a student with Autism. The first Webinar I viewed dealt with the aspect of Visual Scheduling. One of the Apps mentioned was called

The Webinar discussed the importance of using a visual schedule and how the App can support a student with Autism. I have used this App at my school this year. A student in grade 2, who has Autism, has been using this App since the beginning of the school year. In the past he used a visual schedule comprised of PICS from Boardmaker, laminated with Velcro and attached to a board with the words First Then. This year we decided to have him use the App on a Ipad. I first discussed this with the classroom teacher, since this student is fully integrated into the classroom. She was fully on board and felt comfortable with the technology. It is a somewhat straightforward App to use. We sit up a view basic schedules for the student to use the first day of school. I introduced the new Visual Schedule through a Social Story over the summer, which included his teachers name/pic, his Teacher Assistant, myself etc and the Ipad and the App. He was excellent from the start using the device and the Visual Schedule. The convergence of using the Ipad for academics, social stories and his visual schedule has been awesome!!  It really is great to see him using the device with this App. The school team has been fully supportive of the student using technology to aid him and his parents have been supportive as well. I am very lucky to have school teams support ideas for students with open arms. I commend the classroom teacher, vice principal, teacher assistant and parents for the success of the App working for this student. My job as Resource Teacher is very easy when we are all on the same page as in this case. It makes it easy for me to support the student and teacher in all areas of learning in the school setting. 
The other Webinar that I viewed centered around the use teaching of Social Skills. I particularly enjoyed the discussion around the App - Social Skills Sampler 


I have not had any experience with this App particularly.  As a Resource Teacher I would love to introduce this App with many of my students I work with in regards to Social Skills. I would first introduce this mode of teaching various skills in connection to previous lessons with Social Skill development. As the student was more familiar with the App I would expand the use into the classroom. The student I mentioned above would benefit from using this App, in and out of the classroom on his Ipad. He could watch the videos (video modeling - Love it!!) and learn many skills through this App. The classroom teacher could reinforce certain skills by connecting those skills in with the PATHS lesson of the week. This way the student would have the benefit of learning on the Ipad and the App and with the other students in the classroom setting. I would also include these lessons from Social Skills Sampler in my weekly Social Skills groups. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the assignment this week. The videos and Webinars were very informative. I look forward to our discussion in this weeks class.