Category Archives: EC&&I 833

Summary of Learning



Over the course of the semester we have taken a look at the history of educational technology through theories, how they have changed and reshaped education as we move forward.  Obviously some of the biggest changes to learning in course of history were the printing press, then the incorporation of radio, tv, and now we are looking at multimedia and the vast amount of ed tech options.  

The thing I appreciated the most from this class was how I was able to look at my teaching, what I am using within my classroom, how am I interacting with students, engaging students, developing a deeper understanding of curriculum through using or sometimes making the conscious choice not to use “ed tech”.  Compounding the theories behind the different tools we use as educators and gaining a deeper understanding for why I am using these tools has opened my eyes and changed my reasoning for my pedagogical stance on using ed tech within the classroom.

I think one of the most influential quotes that I remembered came from an early reading of Postman’s article on the 5 things we need to know about tech change.  
I feel that this quote defines my summary of this course.  Aside from the religious connotation to it I found that this has so many truths.     

After a riveting lesson on our favorite theorists, we began the semester by looking at educational television.  This made me look at why I am using videos within my classroom.  Prior to this class I felt that it helped develop a blended learning environment that enabled my students to review, relearn, or go beyond the classroom teaching and inquire themselves into a topic. After this class I realize that using videos plays an important role in the students learning, but only if it is engaging.  This is the part that I needed to learn.  Using the videos, or tv shows to enhance the learning is only one way, and that simply viewing only allows the students to learn at a low level because it is only reinforcing behaviourist expectations.  Showing the “engaging” video requires the students to sit, watch and listen.  If I am not extending this opportunity with meaningful constructivist or connectivist pre or post teaching concepts I am not teaching to the whole child like I should be.  

This realization led into the next two weeks where we discussed media and ed tech advancements. This is where I was able to take a closer look at the tools I am using within my classroom.  Specifically my Google Apps For Education centred classroom.  Critically looking at how I am using media, videos and the GAFE apps within my classroom  gave me the opportunity to understand why I use the tools the way I am using them.  I feel that through this critical lens I broke down my teaching and realized that I need to be improving my techniques so the students are getting more constructive and connective opportunities.  Through developing these opportunities it will allow more autonomy for my students to learn on their own while using the technology tools. Specifically I reflected on how I use my Google docs and the range of uses I have for them.  Whether they are used as a substitute for their pen and paper note book when answering short answer questions from a short story, to collaborating as a small group to develop a presentation, or into an ongoing independent research project where each student demonstrates their knowledge of a topic.  I found this gave me the chance to redesign some of the recurring projects we do at my school so they can be more influential for the students learning the next time we cover the topic.  

The autonomy piece began to frighten me as we discussed the development of the Web from 1.0 to 2.0 to the future of what 3.0 may look like.  Setting the rules and procedures for what is expected, allowed, and developing a positive digital citizens is very important but on top of my actual curriculum that is mandated by the province I feel like


When I look at the final weeks I think about the fun ways to evaluate and assess students.  There are so many different ways to fomatively or summatively assess, but I have to say, the one my students love the most is through kahoot!  The level of participation I have in these classes is amazing.  I can not say enough positives about this tool.  I do like plickers and we have to use pearson through our board, but when you can have students excited about a quiz, that's amazing!

When we looked at Assistive tech, I look to a definition within the reading “rethinking assistive tech” by Dave Edyburn.
Now Mr. Edyburn went on to dismantle and edit that definition.  Probably the largest piece for me would be the concept of AT being able to improve the function for anyone in need. 
In my classroom, I am focusing on how to incorporate and utilize GAFE Google Read Write.  It has a variety of functions that I am only beginning to become familiar with. This tool is very versatile and has the capability to help any person.  I have shared the basics of the Read Write program with the majority of my 7/8s in my school and I see a large portion of them using it to some capacity on an ongoing basis.  This is what makes this tool so awesome.  It is functional for everyone to use and therefore it has become a normal practice within our pod, so that the ones who “need” it as an assistive tool to improve their successes do not feel out of place when capitalizing on this opportunity. 

Finally I would like to thank everyone in this semesters ECI 833 class and to our leader Alec for running another great ed tech class. 

Summary of Learning



Over the course of the semester we have taken a look at the history of educational technology through theories, how they have changed and reshaped education as we move forward.  Obviously some of the biggest changes to learning in course of history were the printing press, then the incorporation of radio, tv, and now we are looking at multimedia and the vast amount of ed tech options.  

The thing I appreciated the most from this class was how I was able to look at my teaching, what I am using within my classroom, how am I interacting with students, engaging students, developing a deeper understanding of curriculum through using or sometimes making the conscious choice not to use “ed tech”.  Compounding the theories behind the different tools we use as educators and gaining a deeper understanding for why I am using these tools has opened my eyes and changed my reasoning for my pedagogical stance on using ed tech within the classroom.

I think one of the most influential quotes that I remembered came from an early reading of Postman’s article on the 5 things we need to know about tech change.  
I feel that this quote defines my summary of this course.  Aside from the religious connotation to it I found that this has so many truths.     

After a riveting lesson on our favorite theorists, we began the semester by looking at educational television.  This made me look at why I am using videos within my classroom.  Prior to this class I felt that it helped develop a blended learning environment that enabled my students to review, relearn, or go beyond the classroom teaching and inquire themselves into a topic. After this class I realize that using videos plays an important role in the students learning, but only if it is engaging.  This is the part that I needed to learn.  Using the videos, or tv shows to enhance the learning is only one way, and that simply viewing only allows the students to learn at a low level because it is only reinforcing behaviourist expectations.  Showing the “engaging” video requires the students to sit, watch and listen.  If I am not extending this opportunity with meaningful constructivist or connectivist pre or post teaching concepts I am not teaching to the whole child like I should be.  

This realization led into the next two weeks where we discussed media and ed tech advancements. This is where I was able to take a closer look at the tools I am using within my classroom.  Specifically my Google Apps For Education centred classroom.  Critically looking at how I am using media, videos and the GAFE apps within my classroom  gave me the opportunity to understand why I use the tools the way I am using them.  I feel that through this critical lens I broke down my teaching and realized that I need to be improving my techniques so the students are getting more constructive and connective opportunities.  Through developing these opportunities it will allow more autonomy for my students to learn on their own while using the technology tools. Specifically I reflected on how I use my Google docs and the range of uses I have for them.  Whether they are used as a substitute for their pen and paper note book when answering short answer questions from a short story, to collaborating as a small group to develop a presentation, or into an ongoing independent research project where each student demonstrates their knowledge of a topic.  I found this gave me the chance to redesign some of the recurring projects we do at my school so they can be more influential for the students learning the next time we cover the topic.  

The autonomy piece began to frighten me as we discussed the development of the Web from 1.0 to 2.0 to the future of what 3.0 may look like.  Setting the rules and procedures for what is expected, allowed, and developing a positive digital citizens is very important but on top of my actual curriculum that is mandated by the province I feel like


When I look at the final weeks I think about the fun ways to evaluate and assess students.  There are so many different ways to fomatively or summatively assess, but I have to say, the one my students love the most is through kahoot!  The level of participation I have in these classes is amazing.  I can not say enough positives about this tool.  I do like plickers and we have to use pearson through our board, but when you can have students excited about a quiz, that's amazing!

When we looked at Assistive tech, I look to a definition within the reading “rethinking assistive tech” by Dave Edyburn.
Now Mr. Edyburn went on to dismantle and edit that definition.  Probably the largest piece for me would be the concept of AT being able to improve the function for anyone in need. 
In my classroom, I am focusing on how to incorporate and utilize GAFE Google Read Write.  It has a variety of functions that I am only beginning to become familiar with. This tool is very versatile and has the capability to help any person.  I have shared the basics of the Read Write program with the majority of my 7/8s in my school and I see a large portion of them using it to some capacity on an ongoing basis.  This is what makes this tool so awesome.  It is functional for everyone to use and therefore it has become a normal practice within our pod, so that the ones who “need” it as an assistive tool to improve their successes do not feel out of place when capitalizing on this opportunity. 

Finally I would like to thank everyone in this semesters ECI 833 class and to our leader Alec for running another great ed tech class. 

Summary of Learning by: Heidi and Holly

Yet another great Ed. Tech class.  Holly and myself decided to work together to create an imovie.  This was my first every movie, therefore I was extremely grateful to work and laugh alongside Holly , as we stumbled along creating our summary of learning.  I would also like to thank her for feeding me as we worked well past dinner time for many of nights.

We attempted to demonstrate that we are constantly training and evolving as teachers in a world of technology.  We have to be willing to try things out and take risks.  In this course, I felt exposed to a wide array of tools that I can use in my classroom.  I felt the constant desire to test these tools out each week.  I was constantly trying new things with my students.  We have played and created Kahoots, connected on twitter, created flipgrid responses, discussed a novel on Today’s Meet, took a virtual fieldtrip on nearpod, created a google slide, used google docs to work through the writing process by sharing work with each other, I opened up my blog to families, and used google read and write during research.  My confidence in using technology in my classroom has improved immensely. Student are directly benefiting from technology being used as more than a research tool.

During writing today my students were commenting on a peers work using google docs, when a student yells out, “I love using the computers to do this!”

This might seem simple, but it meant the world for me to hear.  Editing work of peers became fun!  I seek to teach through engagement.  Technology is very valuable in our classrooms and I am so glad to be building my skill set and confidence in this area.

Sit back and enjoy watching us train our bodies and minds in the area of educational technology under the direction of @courosa!


Summary of Learning 2016

Another semester has quickly gone by. This fall and past semester started out a bit slow at first. I was feeling overwhelmed with the start of school and this class. I was counting down the weeks but in the back of my mind remembering what my grandmother used to say, “Never wish for time to pass quickly! Enjoy every day because you never know how much time you have.”

This is very true!

For other Summary of Learning vidoes, I used Videoscribe and Animoto to post videos on my blogs. After watching Tyson’s summary of learning video, I decided to try SparkAdobe. It turned out to be very user friendly and I only had a few glitches to deal with. Much better than the amount of time I initially spent on Videoscribe!

Thank you to Alec and everyone in EC&I 833! Once again, I learned a ton!

I love the learning but I don’t always love the amount of time it takes me to write/create/edit/formulate thoughts/research my blog! At least, once it is said and done, I am happy with the end result.

See you on Tuesday for pizza night and sharing of our learning!

Here is the link to my Summary of Learning Video!

https://spark.adobe.com/video/MkQwkyuUUACwA/embed

 


Summary of Learning

Originally for our summary of learning Roxanne and I decided to try out this videoscribe that everyone is talking about.  We struggled with it for a while before talking to a colleague who encouraged us to try a podcast.  He had this super awesome microphone for us to use and walked us through a program that was very useful in creating our podcast.  I’m so glad that we changed our idea of how to present our learning from this semester as we were able to enjoy, reminisce, and laugh while putting our podcast together… all of this was possible with our super awesome microphone!  Last semester we figured out animoto, and now we  have had a great experience using welcome to cast to create our final summary of learning.  By clicking the link below you will have a chance to travel back in time with us as we discuss our learning from the semester.

Summary of learning


AR & VR Plugged In!

My experience using or teaching with Augmented or Virtual Reality is pretty much nil! I am familiar with games like Minecraft and I’ve heard a lot about Pokeman Go (not just from Alec). I have also watched numerous examples of virtual and augmented reality on TV shows and in movies. Yet, I really haven’t given it a second thought, other than thinking it was “Cool!” In this day and age, I am introduced to new technological innovations almost on an everyday basis. It’s almost embarrassing to think that I am missing out on so many opportunities to explore such an engaging and meaningful way of learning.

After Logan and Bill’s presentation on Tuesday, my level of interest and intrigue continued to swirl around in my head. According to Hatuna Matata’s article, Augmented Reality is in the lead. Who knew there WAS a lead? The difference between the two is described as;

With AR, users continue to be in touch with the real world while interacting with virtual objects around them. With VR, the user is isolated from the real world while immersed in a world that is completely fabricated.

It is not surprising that Augmented Reality is in the lead due to the fact that users are “in touch” with the real world. Meron Geretz‘ viewpoint about being in touch with the real world really does make sense. Pokeman Go is a great example of a game that provides real life interaction with friends and family while progressing through the game. It seemed unreal when I first heard about it, but Meron Geretz’ Ted Talk video helped me to realize the value in it. Building interaction rather than isolation seems like the logical choice to me.

Edutopia’s article; Augmented Reality Brings New Dimensions to Learning describes it as redefining the learning space. The article states that;

 

 

Most people who interact with AR for the first time have a mind-blowing experience but fail to consider classroom applications. In our elementary school classrooms, we use AR to create active learning experiences hitherto inconceivable.

It is surprising that people who interact with AR ‘fail to consider classroom applications’ and/or how augmented reality can ‘redefine the learning space.’ I am guilty of not considering it myself. Most of my day is so consumed with the hustle and bustle of a hectic school day that I do not often think about what else I could be doing until I am introduced (via EC&I 833) or stumble upon these opportunities by chance.

In the YouTube video, Teaching with Aurasma, it is easy to see how a classroom space does become redefined. A bulletin board is typically filled with student work or colourful art work, rather than covered with 8 1/2 x 11″ white paper with black font. It is hard to imagine our bulletin boards and classroom spaces becoming part of an augmented reality where black font on white paper comes to life in video and a fourth dimension. Mind blowing hardly describes the experiences and mindful learning that has started taking place in our classrooms.

I remember hearing about Aurasma at one of my classes during the Summer Institute in 2015. I downloaded the app and then basically forgot all about it. I had the app on my phone for over a year and had never used it. I’m not exactly sure why I didn’t just google what it was and actually start using it. One possibility is that I was taking 2 classes in 3 weeks!

I am definitely intrigued with Aurasma and am looking forward to using it in my classroom. I already have plans to use it for book reviews. From there, the options seem to be endless! Bill and Logan not only piqued my interest but Tyson, Allison, and Luke (just to name a few) seem to be intrigued as well.

The question is; Where do I go from here? Aurasma will be a great starting point and from there I would love to learn more about the 4D Classroom and get my hands on Google cardboard.

This video seems to be a great place to start. The problem is, there are 1000s more just like it! I just remind myself to take it one step at a time and continue to plug into life long learning.


A Complete Mind Shift

To be honest, going into this weeks presentation much like Erin and Jayme I didn’t know much about the topic.  I do not enjoy video games, and to be honest often get frustrated hearing my students spend the majority of their nights and weekends inside gaming.  I spend a great deal of energy encouraging my students to get outside and be active.  This made me extremely skeptical of this weeks topic.

Logan and Bill did a wonderful job in presenting the benefits of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and education.

When Virtual Reality Meets Education raises many of the benefits of VR and teaching.  I absolutely love the example of taking the English class to Verona while reading Romeo and Juliet!  I would love to take my students to see different parts of Canada while teaching social, or going to see natural disasters or examples of extreme weather while teaching weather in science.

My eyes have been opened to the potential that these technologies have.  The 3D virtual field trip videos were pretty neat.  I am now able to view these technologies as more than games.  I had never heard of google cardboard before this week.  I was very interested and excited to look into this.  I feel like I should have known about these before now!  Thanks to Adam for sharing this video:

This video had me even more interested in creating google cardboard headsets!  I found this video describing how you can build your own!

Has anyone made one of these?  If so any pointers?  Would students be able to create one for themselves?

We do PAA groups once a week at my school.  Students go to a PAA class for 8 weeks to work on a project.  I was thinking this would be lots of fun to create with students.  They would then be able to explore VR and take fieldtrips.  I would like to make one of my own first in the next couple of weeks, so any pointers on both the constructing or their use would be amazing!

The one disadvantage I can see is the the lack of all students having a piece of technology.  This has me pondering if VR technology is widening digital divide?  At first I would say yes, because students who do not have the technology do not get the same opportunity to use such technologies.  On the other hand, I would like to suggest that it may be closing a gap in experience.  There are many students who never get to experience and explore the world.  VR technologies would enable many students to see and experience the world who otherwise wouldn’t be able to!  So in a sense it might have the potential to close the gap in regards to experience.

I went into this week thinking that anything related to “gaming” really didn’t fit into my classroom or my philosophy of teaching.  I have experienced a complete mind shift this week.  I can see VR and AR as more than games.  They have the potential of providing opportunity for students to experience their world!  This being said, I still feel like I’m swimming in water over my head.  I’m just going to keep on swimming and hope that I can learn more and find opportunities to incorporate it into my teaching!

just-keep-swimmingImage Source  

 

 


First Impression of Virtual/Augmented Reality = MAN CAVE

When I first heard the terms augmented reality and virtual reality my thoughts automatically went to my husband and his passion for gaming. I thought about his countless, useless hours spent in front of a stupid gaming system and was struggling to make any kind of connection between his gaming habits and education; specifically teaching and learning.  After having the opportunity to read Erin’s blog this week I didn’t feel so bad as she immediately linked the thought of these realities to pokemon go, once she was able to get past that augmented and virutal reality were more than just gaming then she was able to see ways of incorporating them into our educational system.  Logan and Bill did a wonderful job of presenting in a manner that I was able to relate to. Following their presentation I was able to make the connection to my own teaching and learning experiences.

The take-away from this presentation was that I was able to understand augmented reality is putting something on top of the world that we already live in (an example would have been Logan’s Pokémon that was seen in the same photo as the bun he was eating at that particular moment). Virtual reality is more of a digitally projected environment and world (some examples of this would be Google cardboard, PlayStation vr, etc.)

I haven’t had the opportunity to research in-depth augmented and virtual reality. I think this is more so due to my lack in motivation to actually start researching. I suppose the lack of motivation is simply because it is low on my totem pole of interests. I think if I can’ t be enthusiastic, engaged and excited about the opportunity to use augmented and virtual reality in my own classroom, how am I going to get the students excited about it?  I think part of this comes from my lack of knowledge and training/professional development in these varying types of realities.  If I could receive more training or professional development in these realities, I would be more comfortable and confident in incorporating them into my classrooms.  Technology and I have never really cultivated a good friendship, playing around with a program or application and trying to figure out its use is not an effective way for me to learn.

During this week’s presentation I became very intrigued as to how I could incorporate augmented and virtual realities into education (physical education to be specific). I immediately did a search in Google and discovered a webpage that offered some wonderful insight as to how virtual reality could be incorporated into our schools.  Some of the suggestions this website offered were:

  • a variety of ways of assessing our lessons
  • we have the opportunity to watch demonstration videos that may alter views making the demonstration more accessible to all
  • we could take our students to athletic events, sites, on field trips through virtual reality, without the help of the magic school bus
  • we can look more in depth at the human body and its inner systems
  • we can provide opportunities for simulation (nursing said this is a big hit within their profession)
  • virtual reality could be beneficial for those involved in drivers education programs; they could go through a driver simulation prior to being thrown into the real world
  • students could practice various presentations or ways of presenting
  • parents/students/teachers etc. could take a virtual tour of schools rather than having to be physically in the building for the tour.
  • Source

As you can see there are many ways virtual reality can be incorporated into our education programs.

If I focus specifically on physical education and this list, I really like the idea of providing the opportunity to our students to watch demonstration videos with differing views that may help them to perfect a particular skill or activity. I am also drawn back to the presentation and the demonstration that Bill and Logan gave on the Aurasma application. I was immediately intrigued by this application and I began thinking about how I could incorporate it into my physical education classroom.  One example I thought of was having circuit cards with pictures on them and then when the application is used an explanation of that particular exercise or activity would become accessible.  Rochelle had a great way of using this application in the library as well; I think this application could be beneficial to many teachers provided we determine the appropriate ways to use it in the classroom.

Aurasma app in action!

9869837933_49e0d44eb5_mAugmented Reality Brings New Dimensions to Learning was quite informational and helped to in understanding multiple ways of incorporating augmented realities into our schools.  The article suggests that augmented reality allows us to create our own active learning experiences. Our learning experiences go beyond reading and listening, they also happen through interaction. Augmented reality allows students to construct their own exciting, fun, educational learning worlds.  The article suggested that we as students and educators need to explore and figure out what works and what doesn’t.  The article had a variety of ways to incorporate augmented reality into our schools however the one that I found to be inspiring was the parent involvement.  It suggested that we put a trigger picture on the student’s desk and when a child feels like they need inspiration or encouragement they can scan the picture and a voice recording from their parents will be there providing special words to their child.

I do believe this type of technology is slowly starting to be integrated into our world, our society and now into our schools. Like many technologies, rather than trying to avoid using them, we need to move towards figuring out ways to use them appropriately.  We need to teach our students how to be good digital citizens and how to use technology for educational purposes and not only for entertainment.  I have started to shift my thinking from my husband’s gaming to a world of possibility! If we begin to incorporate both augmented and virtual reality into our schools, anything is possible.


Never Ending Benefits of Assistive Technology

My experiences with using Assistive Technology has predominately been through the use of a sound system for students with hearing impairments. I found that many of my students benefitted from having a sound system for the obvious fact that the students can hear better, therefore be able to understand the instructions and lessons more effectively.  As well, it would save myself from having to speak loudly to ensure everyone can hear. The article; Using Hearing Assistive Technologies in the Classroom: Why, When and How?, explains that;

Classroom audio distribution systems (CADS) or sound field system makes it easier for all students in the classroom to hear over the noise coming from classmates, squeaky chairs, and loud ventilation systems. Additionally, teachers experience benefits in the form of reduced vocal strain and a decrease in need for repetitions.

education_classroom

Fortunately, my students and I have benefited from having the CADS system in our classroom. It is an excellent tool!

A couple of years ago, one of my students, who was visually impaired, required assistive technologies. She had access to many supports through PSVI; Program for Students With Visual Impairments. The goal of the program is that;

all students with visual impairments acquire skills, knowledge and confidence needed to learn on par with their peers.  This requires specialized instruction in the areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum as well as classroom instruction to meet learning outcomes for Saskatchewan Curricula.

Based on having these tools for my student over a one year time period, I found that there were certainly many positive supports for students through this program. My grade 4 student was provided with a specialized desk. One side of the desk would tilt up slightly, so that she could see her work better and she would also use a slant board. slantboard

She was provided with Social, Science, and Math textbooks reprinted in large print. Notebooks were provided for her with darker lines, larger spacing, special fonts, etc. This particular student was also provided with a desk that had a special magnifier screen that would enlarge any handouts or books that she was unable to see written in 12-14 font size. Basically, I was provided with the necessary tools to support my student’s success. I was thankful and appreciative of the PSVI program and yet, at the same time, somewhat overwhelmed. It was a bit of a struggle figuring out how the tools worked and how I could be a support for my student, but it worked out in the end.

magnifier                                                                   Link

As Krista mentioned in her blog post, some students feel a negative stigma when they are using a tool that is for their benefit, but yet, are not enthusiastic about using it due to the need to fit in and be like everyone else. This was certainly the situation for my student. She was very social and therefore, loved visiting and spending time with her friends. She was not interested in going over to the magnifier desk or pulling out her larger textbook or notebook with large print.

I can probably count on 2 hands the number of times I noticed her using the magnifier desk. The question I often asked myself is; Do I insist she use the desk, knowing it is a helpful tool or just gently remind her that it is available for her? Will I be embarrassing her in front of her friends?

Fortunately, this particular student has moved to Arcola School where they have the PSVI program. She can fit in with visually impaired students just like herself. Hopefully her comfort level will improve and she will become more willing to use the many helpful tools that are provided for her.

It is clear from my personal experiences, the Tedtalk video, the handouts, and the video below, that assistive technologies are essential for many people. It is clear that there are an increasing number of opportunities for all learners to learn.

Since we don’t all learn the same, we shouldn’t be expected to learn using the same tools!

 


My Experience with Teaching a Visually Impaired Student

I appreciated this weeks class on AT.  I feel that Heidi, Holly, Allison, Launel, and Benita did a great job on explaining the variety and the importance of these tools for not only specific situations but also the role they play in an everyday classroom.


In my short time as a teacher I have had the opportunity to work with a minimal amount of assistive technology.  I have taught a student who was legally blind and needed visual assistance.  The student was new to the city, and our division.  It was only my second or third year teaching.  Through my board office, school counselor, TA/EA's, consultants,my administration, the child's parent and myself we all worked together to ensure we were accommodating his needs and providing the best educational experience he could receive within our division.  

One of my main contacts for assistance in learning how to use the technology and developing lessons that were more visually impaired friendly was Dwila Nixon.  She is an invaluable resource within the Regina Public Schools Division in her specialized field of working with visually impaired students.  

The process for gaining access to the resources were difficult.  We needed an Ophthalmologist report to determine the level of support that the board would grant.  This was hard to obtain due to the lack of the physical report on the parents end because of a rushed move from their previous residence outside of the province.  So the parent needed to have a Saskatchewan Ophthalmologist take a look and do a report for the child.  While we waited on the report the Program for Students with Visual Impairments (PSVI) program ran out of Arcola Community School got us set up with a software program called ZOOM, which enabled us to have the student work on a laptop.

We also utilized a CCTV (page enlarger), which was bulky and sat at the back of our room.  This provided my student the opportunity to choose a book from the library and read it during our DEAR time.  This tool was not used often, I believe it was because he felt awkward using something "different" than the other students, and it also set off a loud hum when it was on, causing it to draw more attention than it needed.

Dwila has sent me some more sources that they are utilized when assisting those with Visual Impairments.  Here is an article on Assistive Technology forStudents who are Blind or have Low Vision by Jaroslaw Wiazowski.  The article goes through how to identify problems, what some possible solutions may be, and a variety of tools that can support.  It discusses the importance of environment, tasks that can help both at home and in the learning space, and a scale of increasing tools that coincide with the decreasing visual ability.

Adaptations Chart: Jaroslaw Wiazowski

The next source of information that Dwila sent me was to a site that discussed 21 Chrome Extensions for Struggling Students and Special Needs.  The top of their list was Google Read & Write, but throughout it it gave a variety of other tools that could be very useful for a variety of students as well.  I found similarities with some, such as the BeeLine Reader, which removes all the adds from a webpage and focuses the text for the students. The reason I like this is because if at home you do not use Chrome, or Google Apps you still have the ability to utilize some of the main functions of Google Read and Write.  I really do suggest checking out the Chrome extension article, especially if you do not have full access to Chrome books, or GAFE within your division, school, or home.

Finally the last site that I was sent to was a site that laid out an extensive overview of the variety of devices that are available for visually impaired people.  Teaching Students with Visual Impairments is a very overwhelming site as it has so many options to go through, but simply the home page is enough you help give an understanding at the breadth of tools available to make your classroom more accessible and higher functioning for people with visual impairments.  I really like the section "Overview of Assertive Technology".  This page gives a nice summary of what the main options for tools are and the inherit point of each type of device.

Overall I found that teaching a student who needed to utilize some AT only made me a better teacher.  The skills and techniques I had to employ to ensure my visually impaired student was understanding the concepts, and my lessons forced me to be more clear, concise and lay out my lessons plans in a very organized manner so that he would be able to revert back and understand what each lesson was about.  When doing these things not only did I help that one student but I had improved my teaching for all my students.