Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Reflection of the last day of class Dec 3rd

     Our last class on Saturday Dec 3rd was very interesting and informative. The presentations by the class for our final project focused on children of varying ages - from preschool to the upper grades. It was apparent that assistive technology played a key role in supporting learning outcomes; applications that introduced the letters of the alphabet and phonemic awareness to applications that addressed higher level literacy skills were highlighted.
Smartphone ‘apps’ from the iTunes store (Apple) and the android market (Google) were part of many students’ presentations. Some of the apps used and discussed by classmates included  ABC lite, 123 numbers, DoodleBuddy, Pictello, iPrompts, and  iRewards.

The app ‘ iPrompts’ is explained in the video below.

I also used iTunes apps in my final project as well. Below are some of the apps that were a ‘hit’ with the child I interacted with for the project.



In addition to the phone and iPod apps that were discussed in the final project presentation, there were other ‘software’ assistive technology programs used with students that were designed to assist with interaction with the written word.
Dragon Naturally speaking:
WordQ & SpeakQ:

It really was a lot of information to take in on the last day of class as everyone did such a great job on their final projects with their respective children and/or students. This final project essentially highlighted the many ways in which AT can assist with introduction to  language (decoding, encoding, phonemic awareness etc. - such as for young or preschool children) and also assist with helping someone who is facing challenges with spoken language and/or the written word (also with learning English as a second language).

      I hope in the future I will be able to utilize what I have learned about Assistive Technology in this course to make a difference in someone's life. This course was definitely worth taking if one is aspiring to become a Resource or Learning Center teacher in a school environment! However, the knowledge that is acquired from this course is not only useful for those positions - any teacher would benefit from the knowledge of how to assist students in their classroom as the focus for learning assistance changes from the domain of the resource specialist to the homeroom and/or subject matter teacher.  Today the philosophy of the educational community is that teamwork involving all teachers and school staff will best serve the needs of a learner. I think that is a philosophy worth embracing!
I’d like to end my blogging with this great parody of Goodnight Moon: Goodnight iPad