So what is Assistive Techology?
I think the definition from the The National Center on Accessible Information Technology in Education says it best...
"Assistive technology is technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible."
The definition continues on to describe in more detail. "Assistive technology can include mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as hardware, software, and peripherals that assist people with disabilities in accessing computers or other information technologies. For example, people with limited hand function may use a keyboard with large keys or a special mouse to operate a computer, people who are blind may use software that reads text on the screen in a computer-generated voice, people with low vision may use software that enlarges screen content, people who are deaf may use a TTY (text telephone), or people with speech impairments may use a device that speaks out loud as they enter text via a keyboard."
Here is a video that gives a good definition of Assistive Technology my partners and I found on youtube while working on the Imovie :)
Another term that was discussed in class that I am a little less familiar with was "Universal Design of Learning". I like the definition found on the Center for Applied Special Technology".
"Universal Design for Learning is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs."
I started working on this degree a few years ago (5 to be exact!) and took the first part of this course from Barb when it was offered in Yarmouth in 2008. How technology has changed!
I was overwhelmed with the Assistive Technology that is available now, and sadly reminded of how far "behind" my school, and the Tri County Board seems to be right now in comparison to the South Shore Board. An IPAD cart available for student use? I must admit, during our first class, it was only the second time I've used one myself. Wow.....I am definetly putting that on my Christmas list!!
I know...funding, funding, funding. So, here's a great way to get some dollars for the South Shore Board for just that purpose through the Aviva Community Fund....head to this website and vote everyday!!!
And the video for the Aviva Community Fund 2012 is below....
Using the IMovie application during class was simply awesome. There are lots of great ways this could be used within the classroom. And it definetly lends itself to many different styles of learners.
Looking foward to our next class!