October 20, 2010 —
I’ve been thinking a lot, this fall, about how the things we do early in our contact with the people we support shape our roles in the integration of assistive technology into classroom settings. It can be hard to find a balance between being an expert and being an extra pair of hands.
September 11, 2010 —
I have rarely been a part of an IEP team that did not have the best interests of the student in mind. However, many of the IEP teams in which I was a participant have had differing ideas about what was best for the student and how AT could play a part in the student’s educational program. Some of the most difficult team meetings I ever attended were complicated because team members had differing visions about the child’s needs, abilities and goals and did not stop to talk about that. When this is true, implementation often gets stopped before it can begin.
September 6, 2010 —
As a teacher, I got very little training in framing a referral question. I always assumed that was because it was so easy that it didn't need much instruction. Lately I have changed my mind about that. I think that a well-framed question can really help everyone to understand their role in AT. And a poorly framed question can cause a lot of trouble.
August 26, 2010 —
School is about to start and many of us are using much of our energy in thinking about individual students, their assistive technology, and the ways that this technology can be integrated into new classroom settings and new instructional tasks. This month we’ll have the opportunity to share some ideas about planning for AT integration that might be a little different than the traditional systems and planning documents that you have seen. We’ll take a philosophical journey through my top five rules about planning for AT Integration. Here is a summary of the topics we’ll be discussing in the next few weeks.
1. Make sure everyone has a voice:
If team members don’t feel heard, they are less likely to speak up and less likely to stay focused on the plan for implementation when it is developed. It’s not that they won’t have good intentions. It’s just that they may feel that assistive technology “belongs” to other people.
August 3, 2010 —
We've talked a lot in the past month about the big picture of professional development. While face to face training is an important part of professional development, we've discussed the fact that there are many ways to offer educators opportunities to hone their skills. For our final discussion in this series of topics, I want to return to the topic of face to face training.
July 14, 2010 —
We’ve been talking about the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) publication entitled Empowering Teachers: A Professional and Collaborative Approach (2008). In this posting, I want to return to that document one more time to take a look at the specific recommendations that SETDA makes and to think about how those recommendations apply to assistive technology professional development and training activities. Here are the recommendations as they are applied to the overall integration of technology in education.