So what is Assistive Technology? It is the use of any type of technology (not necessarily electronic) that helps a student overcome a barrier to their learning. If you have been in an IEP lately, Assistive Technology was probably considered for your student.
Here are a few of my takeaways for the week, and a fun learning opportunity for your classroom to try out in the next month!
Supporting ALL students with mobile devices
As our district moves to more and more 1:1 devices, looking at how we can support ALL students is vital. Both iPads and Chromebooks have accessibility features.
To access these features on a chromebook, click on the settings in the bottom right corner of your screen. From here you can select accessibility options such as screen magnifier, high contrast, larger cursor and more.
Click here for more information about Chromebook and Chrome Browser accessibility features.
To access these features on your iPad go to the settings icon, select General and then Accessibility. From here you access to a large variety of features.
Click here for more information from Apple about all their features. Scroll to the middle of the screen where you can select information about features for vision, hearing, physical and motor skills, and learning and literacy.
Alexa is one of the newest devices from Amazon. It is a voice activated search device that allows the user to search the web and control other devices and apps with just simple voice commands. For students with disabilities, Alexa provides the opportunity to interact with knowledge without the barrier of having to type or control a mobile device. I attended a session on Alexa presented by a woman who was paralyzed from the neck down. She presented with a woman from the Courage Kenney Instititue where they use devices like Echo, Echo Dot and Google Home on a regular basis. The presentation included many fun and innovative ways Alexa can be used at home and in the classroom.
I was so excited about what I was learning, and what I found through some quick Google searches that I purchased and Echo Dot for myself. Of course we will be using it at home but I am also planning to bring it to school to test out ways it can be used in different classrooms. I've found many great resources with ideas I'd like to test our with you and your students! Let me know if you'd like to schedule a time with our Echo Dot in your classroom! I'll come with a list of ideas, games and activities we can try out with your students.
Some of the resources I've found are listed below, let me know if you try any of these yourself!
Ask Alexa pdf - common questions to ask Alexa
Alexa: Your New Teacher Assistant - a great article on classroom uses for Alexa
Clearly this is just the very tip of the iceberg of what there is to share about Assistive Technology. Watch for future blog posts about how innovative Assistive Technology to use in your classroom. Check our page on the Tiger Tech Tips website frequently as well! Feel free to share your ideas and solutions so we can share them with others.