A Take Home Message from the Road
anxious, bashful, curious, delighted, enthusiastic, flummoxed, gregarious, happy, intimidated, judicious, knowledgable, lackadaisical, moody, novice, overwhelmed, perplexed, questioning, ready, savvy, timid, unimpressed, vibrant, worried, xenophobic, youthful, zealous*
We all come into trainings with a preconceived notion of how useful that training will be. This is usually based upon our previous experiences and whether we feel the message is valuable. I have been spending most of my time out in schools training special education teachers on the iPad and a few choice apps to help increase their student’s ability to learn. I have tweeted (#smahlstuff) a couple of times about how great the teachers I’ve been meeting are, but a tweet is so short (only 140 characters)! I need to expound upon their virtues! To a person, regardless of how they came into the training, each teacher has pushed themselves and found something that has excited them during the training.
Beyond the great apps, the built-in accessibility functions and the organization possibilities I really hope that teachers understand that assistive technology is not “one more thing”. Technology is an editor. Just like writing a tweet there is only so much time in a day/period. Technology helps the student and teacher fine-tune a task to exactly what is being taught or evaluated.
For example: The teacher is lecturing and giving notes to the class. A student has difficulties writing and listening at the same time. What is the purpose of this lesson? Is it a lesson on note taking or on the content of the notes? Edit out the writing process by taking a picture of the notes, or record the teacher’s explanations while writing out the notes so that you can go back and listen later. These are great ways to use assistive technology to create time for a student, by eliminating a task.
An inefficient use of assistive technology in this same example would be to have the student type the notes. The student is still trying to do both tasks as once. The assistive technology has now become a $300+ piece of paper and pencil. No time was gained.
The 3rd Tuesday of the month is coming up! On September 17th at 11:45 EST. RJ Cooper will be joining Jeff Bond to talk about the Big “Blue-Tooth” Keyboard for the iPad! For more information on RJ Cooper and our other featured vendors check out the Featured Vendors Spotlight on the PATINS webpage
App of the Week!
The Counting Money app is designed for people of all ages to help them learn to count money. There are two game play modes, practice and quiz mode. There are two levels of difficulty, beginner and normal. The game gives a total and the operator uses the four coin buttons to achieve the correct total. At this time, Counting Money is a free app. Click the icon to see the app store page for Counting Money.
* Confession time – I totally wrote that a-z list of adjectives for teachers at trainings because I thought of the word xenophobe.