Back to School: AT Integration Projects using Wii, Language Arts, Open Source Tools and AAC Curricular Designs
Posted Aug 12 2011 12:00am
Summer is drawing to a close. Classrooms are being set up for students to return and so it is time for me to return as well. I have purposely turned my attention to family and summer chores on our mountain in Oregon over the past 2 months. Although AT is a passion and something I live, eat, breathe and sleep during the school year, I have let it sit on the back burner over the summer. I don't know about you, but I have needed the break to let my batteries restore and recharge for new inspiration and a new year.
This week I have started getting calls and emails, "We need a training before teachers return. Contact me." So I guess the time is approaching to kick into gear and drive off the mountain and get working on new projects, pick up old ones and get back to the students who have been home doing things with family over the summer like showing bunnies at the fair, swimming, speech camp, etc, I guess it will be a transition for them too!
My Back to School Integration List for Assistive Technology and Learning:
Wii therapy/XBox Kinect - continuing our pilot and working with some new schools to trial as well support schools that purchased systems for start up this year. We use these to enhance OT goals and also to enhance peer play and social/communication goals. We have an autism specialist that we turned loose with a Kinect and XBox this summer to develop some strategies for autism social and communication goals - can't wait to see what she has come up with.
Common Core Language Arts Standards alignment with strategies using AT, E-Readers and iPad apps, etc. I taught a summer class (OK I wasn't off all summer) on cross-referencing Core Standards in ELA with open source computer apps that will assist in student succcess for that standard. I want to develop it more this year.
TBI and AT: Technology that supports learning for students after Traumatic Brain Injury.
Free Open Source Tools on all our school computers for student accommodation - now a reality but in need of a lot of training and reinforcement. Tools include DSpeech, XMind, Hott Notes, and tools like Vubar, Sonar Cursor Ring and Orato. You can see a list of links and descriptions at the Access Apps Site .
AAC devices with boards/pages designed for curriculum and in-class learning not just communication. I have helped our SLP's develop some exciting boards for science as well as life skills and community topics. These have been on Dynavox and PRC devices.
iPad/iPod Touch apps searches for AAC, AT and student accommodation and learning - there is always something new.
I am excited to see what we come up with this year. I am always striving to learn new things and develop cutting edge strategies in my service to students and staff . If you are returning to a school district or regional service organization after a summer break, I wish you a great fall full of great opportunities to make a difference in a child's life.