Sunday, 16 December 2012

My Final Words: A course overview

My AT Wordle

This course has increased my confidence in utilizing iPads and apps for my students.

The key phrases, in my opinion, learned are UDL, presumed competence and MPT. To be an effective educator, today, one must immerse themselves into this language and execute their meanings.

Presuming competence! The video was enlightening, made me reflect and since it was my second time seeing it, caused more of a reaction for me as a resource teacher and parent.

Here is a site that explains "Presuming Competence."

An interesting quote from the above link spoke to me:
"If you want to see competence, it helps if you look for it."
–Douglas Biklen

Universal Design of Learning! 

This a quick and easy read that provides an excellent overview of UDL.

Barb, I totally understood  your frustration regarding a paper handout. Though, I must admit, as a classroom teacher I have probably committed the same 'faux pas.'  Your course has opened my eyes, or I could say changed my lens. I was certainly cognizant of my students' various needs, and I tried to meet them, but now I will be able to do much more and with an increased level of competence and, as mentioned before, with more confidence - Thanks!


Wikipedia has a brief overview:

The case studies presented gave us an excellent overview of MPT in practice. I was so nervous, at first, when I started my case study, but once into it and working closely with Jaden - I was hooked!
I have used apps in my classroom work and the students loved it! Learning, while engaged - it is so awesome to be the facilitator of this type of learning. The Hebbville students clearly demonstrated this.   

My closing statement: what I have learned throughout this course will stay with me. I know I have classmates that I can contact and 'pick their brains,' but I know that you, Barb, and Anita are just a quick email or phone call away. Your support and the knowledge that I have obtained from this course has been invaluable. Thank you!

The following quote applies to this course:


  • Facilitating involves a concentrated effort by the teacher to gradually release students to learn on their own. This does not mean that the teacher hands out a worksheet or tells the kids to read the chapter and answer the questions at the end. Rather, the teacher shows children how to do something, whether it be a math problem, scientific research or reading skills. Then they practice the skill with them and observe while they apply what they have learned. If the teacher is the sole source of information, students will not develop independent learning habits essential either in school or in life.

I have just realized this evening that my many comments have somehow not been published. :(
All of you have posted marvelous blogs and I am sorry that you have not been able to read my comments. Not sure what I did wrong, but obviously - something is amiss.

I will miss my classmates and I wish each and everyone of you a joyous, peace filled Christmas!

The Last Night!

Tonight we heard the final case study presentations. Like last week a neat variety represented and very enjoyable - to see AT making a difference in our student's lives.

The following is a breakdown of the presentations and the comments, etc. that stood out for me:

Trisha’s Case Study: S
Thorough background and personality description
PaperPort – take a picture and tap, record and turns into text – you have to speak clearly and slowly.
iWordQ (co-writer/write out loud)
S has fantastic ideas, but struggles with the writing.
Raz – Kids – annual fee
Tumblebooks – annual fee (free thru Halifax library or Aspotogan website)
Loved her “Wow” – Those words/moments are what we teach for.
Motivation noted by classroom teacher

Francine’s Case Study:
Jack in grade 1
Non-verbal, global delay, shows signs of autism
Receives support from early intervention
On an IPP and has access to an iPad at school & home. Uses  Proloquo2go in both places: home and school.
Sign language was only being minimally used. Success was almost immediately – requesting a drink. I appreciated the ‘funny’ story.
Francine – you have done a wonderful thing – I hope you feel good – you should.
Hello coloured pencils

Janet’s Case Study
J is in grade 9, lacks social cues, ADHD and does not recognize social boundaries. In Fort McMurray was on a Vocational IPP. He struggles, but tries. He is now on a full IPP: life skills and social skills.
Has an iPod (schedule, he created himself), but he uses AT more at school.
iPad: iMovie, Pic Collage, pages
Computer: ixl math
Hunger Games iMovie was fabulous – that is so cool Janet and exciting. He was engaged and matched to his MPT – he had his moment to shine!
Heromaker for his mythology project.

Isaac’s Case Study:
“A” LOVES his swing (mid-tech). He is 13 and is diagnosed ASD. He has high sensory needs.
He dislikes using sign language. He uses an iPad, with a go talk program.  This is his voice! Backup is laminated social stories.
Many apps have been used and discarded.
He loves the Crayola stylus.
Tappie app – has worked out very well for him.
Music apps, playing…sands J, lullabies – calming apps
Interactive books with loud volume he enjoys.
Book creator – social stories
Comic Life – hard copy of social stories.
Communication is a goal in his IPP.
Isaac has a demanding job – kudos to you for the work that you do!

Traci’s Case Study:
Red group of 3 grade 1 students (LLI)
Magnetic ABC, Show Me
Low & Mid-tech tool: sand tray, stability balls, highlighting cards

MPT: iPad apps and stability balls (somewhat)
Recommendations: Jfit for stability balls, training on apps, wet, dry, try app (based on HWT program), touch right
Traci, I loved that you took on 3 students and saw success!

Scott’s Case Study:
Ziggy, a grade 5 student and has received support since grade 1.  In Jan. 2012 received a diagnosis of LD.
I agree with you completely Scott- thank heavens for technology for these students!
Puffin (free) enables raz-kids to be used on iPads.
Visual schedule has really fostered her independence.
Thank you for mentioning Pic Collage as a picture graphic organizer.
Paperport – speech to text
For independence re: social studies: Brittania for kids app.
Comic life, and Book Creator are apps that will be utilized more in her future.
Life Skill Apps: Lifsample and visual impact app (expensive).  Telling time, measure and handy cashier apps.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Interesting Case Studies & A Class 'Trip' - all in one night!

Last week's class was very diverse: 3 case studies - one an elementary student, a high school student and an adult.
Darci, Emily and Stephanie all did a great job presenting their case studies.
Following details were the comments that 'jumped out' at me.

Darci’s Case Study
Mary Coffin:  excellent introduction of Mary and her profile

“I knew I wasn’t stupid, but no one was listening.” This comment made me think, how many students think this everyday?
In student centre to rest her eyes. I love the versatility that learning/student centres can provide for ALL students.
CamScan app is one she loves.
Uses pic collage in art class
Prefers to email and uses her phone to take pics of the board. Amazing how far she has come, in such a short time! Yeah Mary!

Her goal is to be more autonomous to prepare for university. It is wonderful that she recognizes this now, versus being in grade 12 and having to learn it quickly or delay starting university.
She has grown to be an optimal user.
Team training was the turning point.

Emily’s Case Study:
Grade 3 student
E loves art
Has avoidance strategies
Very self-sufficient with her iPod touch
Loves 1 on 1 with adults
Students love working with her, due to iPod
She requires guided access
Educreations – draw and record your words. iPad access only.
Free time: iDiary
Montessori  letter sounds

Stephanie’s Case Study:
Paul, 25 year old, residential  setting – epileptic, speech challenges
Has worked with him since 2005.
My video schedule
iBrainstorm, word Q
iword Q

All 3 were unique, but all 3 have gained independence from the use of technology.

The 'Class Trip' was fantastic! Observing the students explain and use the apps and senteos was a pleasure. I learned a lot, especially how to play rocket math. I plan on using that in my math class, after I receive a the connector cord that you attach to the iPad and LCD projector.

I agree with the facts listed in this link:
10 Big Benefits of Using iPads in Schools

This link provided a quick and interesting read:

Study Finds Benefits in Use of iPad as an Educational Tool

by K. Walsh on July 8, 2012

The snowy roads that didn't happen assignment :) LOL

Activity 1:

Interesting slideshow on assessment models. Page 13 lists the 4 decisive questions to properly assess someone on what they need and how it 'fits' their environment. I like this slideshow. I feel it answers the assignment question quite well, in a matter of fact presentation.

This video clip is a simple explanation of what AT is, please endure the American only content.

A blast from the past: Kids of today versus 1980’s technology    (supporting student success - a 2 page document). This document clearly defines low- tech, mid-tech and high-tech tools.

Activity 2:

The goal for assistive tech is to provide someone with technology (simple to complex) to enhance their lives or quest for independence. Many forget that it is not always about apps, computers, iPads etc. Many low-tech tools can be the venue for someone to be independent.    (supporting student success - a 2 page document). This document clearly defines low- tech, mid-tech and high-tech tools.

 spill not jar - allows a person with the use of one hand to independently open a jar

         rocker knife for those who can only use 1 hand

a utensil strap for those without fine motor access

 cutting board with nails – to hold food in place

Attach to items to create a ‘grip’ or enhance/enlarge a grip i.e. pencil

snip loop scissors

I use this all the time in my resource room:

                        raised paper