Special Educators and Paraprofessionals Learn to Use Adaptive Technology

Target 1Student-Centered Learning. FWSU students will engage in personalize learning involving collaborative inquiry, problem solving and creative learning opportunities.

Action Step – Increase easily accessible opportunities for global collaboration for teachers and students.

Indicators of Success – Students and staff will create personalized learning networks to communicate and collaborate with others.

One of the many professional development sessions offered at the October 16, 2014 FWSU Inservice was: “Using Technology for Adaptations/Accommodations to Support Students with Disabilities.” This was presented by Angelique Fairbrother, FWSU Digital Learning Specialist, and Rhonda Siemons, BFA Technology Integrationist. Together they provided new and enhanced learning to special educator-paraprofessional teams.

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The focus of this session was to enable the teams to explore digital tools available for them to use with their students. It also provided an arena to share ideas on how to provide regular learning opportunities and improve access to build student independence. Some of the tools explored were Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text digital options. In addition to access, the teams discussed what scaffolding students may need to be successful using grade-level materials.

In addition, the group reviewed SBAC Accessibility and Accommodations Guidelines and Practice Test formats. This allowed for the team to identify learning opportunities that staff can provide for students with disabilities. The goal is to increase functional independence with complex text and writing assignments in the classroom, before students encounter the SBAC.

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This opportunity helped staff to focus on their students and determine what learning supports the team can offer so students with disabilities can tackle rigorous classroom assignments, project-based learning, and computer-adapted assessments.

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