December 12, 2012
Last class, as Metallica says “Sad But True”. Our class consisted of the rest of the class presenting their case studies, including myself. First up was Trisha. She presented about a grade 3, female student. The student loves technology, is a positive learner but struggles with reading and writing. I like how Trisha was able to implement AT support for the student in the classroom and in the Learning Centre. The difference between her writing before AT support and after was unbelievable. The App, iWordQ, was most powerful for the student. Loved it!! Great job Trisha, you are making a huge difference in this students’ life, now and in her future. The second presentation was by Ann. I was truly moved by Jaden’s story. For a young boy to have gone through so much in his life already and be so strong is a true testament of his will, strength, his parents love and support and of course his teachers guidance. Jaden is a hard worker, a visual kinesthetic learner and needs repetition to aid him to learn. He loves the iPad and does very well with using this AT. The difference in his writing when using Co-Writer was amazing. I admire this boy’s strength in every way. Ann, you are doing an amazing job with Jaden. You can tell, by the video, how much he respects and looks up to you by the way he responded and look at the camera. J The next presentation was by Francine. She presented about a grade 1 student, named Jack, who shows signs of Autism. Francine’s Case Study was different in that she provided the AT support at home. A very moving, heart warming and emotional presentation in seeing how much the iPad and Proloque2go has impacted this boys life. Something that might never had happened if it was not for Francine. You have impacted Jack’s life in immeasurable ways. Communication is so important for all individuals and you have been a huge part in providing the means for Jack to communicate his needs and wants. WOW!!! Awesome job Francine! The next Case Study presentation was by Janet, who discussed her involvement with J. It was very interesting to listen to Janet, who is a principal, describe how she was able to provide support for J in the school setting. I admire how Janet is able to connect to J, not only through AT, but through building a relationship with the student. The iMovie trailer was really cool to see. It really displayed J’s personality and his imagination. Loved it!! The students at your school, Janet, are very lucky to have you as an administrator. The next Case Study presentation was by Isaac. His presentation of A was very powerful. A is a 13 year old, non verbal student with high sensory needs. The amount of time, energy and patience that Isaac displays through his Case Study and in person is one of a kind. The communication piece which Isaac discussed is so important in A’s life. Isaac has done a great job understanding A in great depth. In my opinion, this knowledge is the main reason A is having so much success in the school setting. The sensory piece involved in A’s daily routine at school is critical to his success. The swing may be the most important piece of assistive support he has in his daily schedule. Great job Isaac!! The next Case study was by Traci. Her presentation was unique in that it involved a group of students in the Early Literacy Program, LLI. I have had some experience with the program, being trained in the past. The level of knowledge it takes to run the program effectively is immense. It was evident that Traci has put a lot of time and energy into the program. She has provided amazing support through various AT to engage the students who have been struggling focusing during the lessons. The iPad can definitely be a useful device to have in the LLI program. Really enjoyed Traci’s case study. J
I presented last and felt the Case study was a success because it has become clearer to me where we need to go in the future with Ziggy. Even though our team has incorporated AT into her daily life at school, the next step is to be more specific with the direction we are taking in regards of her writing. I am excited to take that next step with Ziggy. Overall, I really enjoyed all the Case Study presentations. I learned a lot from all the presenters, thank you all!!!
When I reflect on the last 3 months of this course and the journey I have taken through Assistive Technology, feel very lucky and enlightened. I had taken this course in 2007 and it is hard to believe, in some regards, how much technology has changed in only 5 years. During the first few classes there were many new elements of AT that were not even discussed last time. Most of this centers around the Apple devices of iPad, iPod and now the iPad mini. We discussed many Apps, such as iMovie (also on Mac computers), Book Creator, Proloque2Go and many others. We learned about the convergence of technology in regards to the Apple devices. We were also able to learn about presuming competence. Very enlightening! The Universal Design for Learning was taught and really made me more aware of my teaching in school. Using this design is critical to the success for all of our students in our schools. In class we had two class projects, with a partner to present. It was awesome to have this experience, what a way to learn – hands on with the technology we are using with our students. The Assistive Tech. models were researched, which made me more aware of the depth the evaluation of the students and their needs – the technology needs to match the student. The class had the opportunity to see AT in action with a field trip to view Grade 6 AT projects. This might have been the coolest part of the course. Loved it!! We ended with all of our Case Studies, all were truly inspiring and very well done.
Thank you to all of my classmates, to Anita and Barb for a great few months. I learned so much in a very short period of time. I will miss coming to class this Wednesday night. :(