Monday, December 17, 2012

Class # 12 Wednesday December 12

And this is last blog entry!  Our last class was spent sharing our case studies.  What a fantastic job by each and everyone of my classmates!

Case Study "S" was presented by Tricia.  "S" is a  grade 3 student who enjoys technology.  She struggles with reading and writing.  "S" has  ADD and for technology use, she utilizes paper port and word Q.

 Anne presented her Case Study on "Jaden".  He is a grade 6 student but reads at grade 1 level. The technology that he currently uses is Co writer and Write Out Loud.  Jaden has a special story, he suffered from a brain tumour when he was very young and was recently given an ipad through a grant.  He is considered an optimal user :)  The before and after work samples are awesome!!  Love his ibook!!!  Jaden's story was especially encouraging to me as a good friend of mine had a  baby who was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor and given only weeks to live, exactly one year ago this month.  She has struggled more than I can comprehend and although will likely cope with cognitive and developmental difficulties throughout her life, is currently tumour free and looking foward lots of exciting years in the future :)
Janet shared her casestudy on "J", a grade 9 student who suffers from ADHD and often has inappropriate behavior at school. He produced a fantastic Imovie on the Hunger Games.

Issac presented his casestudy on "A" who is a 13 year old student with high sensory needs.  Issac certainly works with a challenging caseload this year…..kudos to him!!

 Traci presented on an Early Literacy Intervention group of grade 1 students.  Love the presentation format :)  I loved the Show Me app. I also thought the Sand trays were fantastic- will use at home with my 4 year old to practice writing his name!!  Great low tech idea!
Scott  presented on a Grade 1 female that he works with on his resource caseload.  Also enjoyed seeing the apps that she is using at school and the quality of work produced when the technology is integrated!

Overall, I have really enjoyed this course.  The last few courses I have taken have been online, so it was nice to see real people in a classroom again- especially since I am on Mat Leave and am disconnected from my students as well!  I have learned a great deal from the presentations and blogs of my classmates, each of whom comes from different backgrounds and perspectives- from working with elementary school students to adults.
On a more personal and meaningful level, I have been introduced to two families (one of which I based my case study on) that I have been able to support and their students using AT at home. For this reason I feel like I am able to put what I have learned to good use.  Yes, when I finish this degree in the spring, the pay increment will be a nice bonus, but I can truly feel like it has all been worth it after all.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday December 5, 2012 Class # 11

Tonight our class began case study presentations.  Darcie works with a female student (Mary) who is in grade 10 and has a vision impairment. What I found most interesting is that she has a condition called Nystagamus, which is involuntary eye shaking.  On a side note, I can voluntarily do this but can only do it for about 30 seconds until it becomes uncomfortable.  I can't imagine having to deal with it while trying to do school work on a daily basis.  Mary is a strong advocate for herself. She is able to use an app to scan documents for her to read she is able to use the ipad to scan and enlarge documents as opposed to photocopying and having large paper at her desk…It was obvious that Darcy has a close working relationship with Mary.  The second presentation was by Emily.  She presented a case study about a grade 3 student named E. She loves arts and crafts. She is using various apps on th ipad. The third case study was by Stephanie about Paul, an adult male. He has epilepsy and his seizures continually decrease his cognitive abilities. He relates everything he does to Star Trek and considers himself an author using the ipad as a writing tool for his stories.  The before and after work samples were just amazing!

During the second half of class, we were fortunate enough to take part in the Grade 6 technology presentations at Hebbville Academy.  I can't describe how impressed I was!!  The students were so familiar with the technology,were fantastic presenters and handled their audiences very well!!  I especially enjoyed sitting back to watch the pure amazment on their parents faces :)  Their teachers have obviously done a fantastic job incorporating technology into their classrooms!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Class # 10 Wednesday November 28

The class that it snowed.....or didn't snow....I'm not sure because it didn't snow in Barrington, but that's at least two Nova Scotia weather belts away from Bridgewater!  In any case, here is my rendition of our assignment, and I will see you all tomorrow night!

Assistive Technology Assessment Models

1.  Matching Person and Technology (MPT)
This model considers the individuals expectations, preferences, background, family and environmental influences and economic factors that will come into play when determining appropriate Assistive Technology.There are three major components (Milieu, Person, Technology) which are assessed using a series of questionnaires. This model provides 6 assessment forms. 

2.  Life Space Access Profile for Individuals with Severe or Multiple Disabilities  (LAP)
The purpose of the LAP is to provide a collection of observations that will help select appropriate AT. It evaluates Physical, Cognitive, Emotional, Support Resources and Environmental Analysis.

3.  Student, Environment, Task, Tools  (SETT)
This model collects information on the 4 components mentioned above.

4.  Education Tech Points (ETP)
This is a tool that helps schools to determine and meet the AT needs of the individual students as well as evaluate and improve their AT services.  This model works on effective AT service delivery.  The 6 Tech points are: Referral, Evaluation, Extended Assessment (trial period with the AT), Plan Development, and Implementation (which is training and equiment management) and Periodic Review.

5.  Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative (WATI)
This is to provide a comprehensive and thorough AT assessment process.  It is usually for school aged children and gives 10 specific guidelines: Overview of AT assessment & planning process, AT assessment Packet (forms), AT for writing and computer access, AT for communication, AT for reading, studying and math, AT for recreation, leisure & daily life, AT for positioning and seating, AT for vision and hearing, AT for examples of IEP goals and objectives and finally AT laws and funding.

And now for the Low Tech AT Solutions portion of the assignment.  I opted to use pictures I located via the web, as I do not own a small enough camera to take pictures discreetly enough at our local "Buck or Two"

1. Timer- can be used for students who struggle with anxiety.  We have all heard "how much longer do I have to do this?  How much longer until recess?  Small, simple and inexpensive way for students to measure time themselves.
2.  Tactile Ruler- rulers with raised lines for students who require them.  Can also DIY with puff t-shirt paint

 3.  Coloured Paper- for students who have visual difficulties such as Irlen Syndrome.

4.   Highlighters- to highlight important words or phrases that students will need to refer back to
5.  Large key Calculator- for students with vision difficulties or motor skill challenges
6.  Magnifying Glass- to enlarge print, objects, diagrams

 7.  Modelling Clay- can be used to wrap around pencil or pen to create a pencil grip specifically molded to the student's hand
 8.  Page Flags- to flag a page of importance or to help a student turn to a page who struggles with page turning
 9.  Foam Page Fluffers- attach a small peice of foam (can often be purchased with sticker already attached) to seperate pages of a book for students with fine motor difficulties
10.  Koosh Ball- can be used for sensory input, kinesthetic, stress reliever.  Can also be used to identify a speaker in a group