29 November 2013

Stephen Leacock C.I. latest school to launch OneNote project

The TDSB A.T. team's OneNote pilot project continues to launch in various intermediate and secondary school special education classes. On Thursday, November 28 OneNote was introduced to students with an ASD in their GLE classroom at Stephen Leacock Collegiate Institute.

Trainer Dustin Jez introduces OneNote to the class. Teacher Michael Pascaris (pictured right) supporting students' journey as well.
Students can access OneNote and other programs using touch, keyboard and a stylus.
 The classroom teacher and students participate in a series of training sessions using OneNote to support their learning. One of the goals of the TDSB's OneNote project is to support students with organization and transitions.

Using the screen clipping tool of OneNote, this student shares his feeling about
the new program with a simple, "I feel good."

28 November 2013

OneNote launch at Macklin P.S. & Low Incidence Learning Community spotlight: Functional Literacy and Communication

Macklin P.S. starts its OneNote journey

Excitement and engagement throughout the classroom, as Macklin P.S.'s Intermediate HSP students launched its OneNote project on Wednesday, November 27. The first session is technical training, which gives the students the first experiences using the software to support organization of ideas and note taking. Their first reaction to the program? One student noted, "This is awesome!" 

Students use full touch
 to write and annotate on the document.

Low Incidence Interactive Whiteboard Learning Community #2 underway…

The second of four Learning Communities that support special education teachers that received an Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) in their special education class this year are underway. The teachers of Low Incidence classes expressed that the IWB has improved and increased motivation, social skills and turn taking, confidence, engagement and fine motor skills, along with allowing visuals that capture their students’ attention and make their learning more meaningful. Teachers also expressed that the IWB allowed for differentiated learning to happen. During this session the teachers were presented with ideas on how the IWB can support their students’ learning through various Functional Literacy and Communication and other Language activities. Look below to see some of the activities these teachers created during their work time. (Click on an individual image to see a larger version of the picture.)

Flipchart page showing the concept of more or less.

Sequencing activity: Getting ready for dismissal.

Matching Pictures activity.

25 November 2013

OneNote launch at Samuel Hearne & Success at Council for Exceptional Children Ontario conference

Another school launches into the OneNote pilot project

Grade 7 HSP students at Samuel Hearne M.S. had their first OneNote session today. The students are part of the AT team's OneNote project, supporting intermediate students with organization and transitions.

Here's the top 8 list from Samuel Hearne's students following their first tech session using OneNote.Click on the photo to see a larger picture of the list. 

SEA Team Success at CEC Conference

On Friday November 22nd, six members of our SEA Team presented at the Council for Exceptional Children Conference in Niagara Falls.  All three groups presented about ways to use an Interactive to support student success. Participants in these sessions were actively engaged and responded very positively to information presented.

“From Binders to the Board: Independent Activity Schedules and the Interactive Whiteboard” was presented by (left to right in photo) Christina Mathura (Assistive Technology Itinerant Teacher, TDSB); Heidi Mitchell  (ASD Consultant, Surrey Place Centre) and Carol Gaghadar (ASD Consultant, TDSB).

Supporting Students' Learning Needs with an Interactive Whiteboard” was presented by Lisa Mast and Andrea Statton (Assistive Technology Itinerant Teachers, TDSB).

“Using the Promethean Interactive Whiteboard to Support Executive Functioning” was presented by Valia Reinsalu, Etienne Mercieca and Renee Keberer (Assistive Technology Itinerant Teachers, TDSB).
If you missed these exciting and informative sessions and are interested in learning how to use your Interactive Whiteboard to support student learning needs please check out our YouTube Channel “Tech and Special Ed”.

21 November 2013

AT Team heads to Ontario Council for Exceptional Children conference

This CEC Conference takes place November 22-23 at the Marriott Gateway on the Falls Hotel, Niagara Falls. For more information about the CEC Conference please go to: http://www.cecontario.ca/

Please look for members of our Assistive Technology Team presenting at the CEC Conference at the following sessions:

Friday November 22nd, 9:45-10:45 (Location Salon B)

Presenters: Carol Gaghadar, ASD Consultant, Toronto DSB (TDSB), Christina Mathura, AssistiveTechnology Itinerant Teacher, TDSB; Heidi Mitchell, ASD Consultant, Surrey Place Centre

Friday November 22nd, 11:00-12:00 (Location Salon B)

Presenters: Lisa Mast and Andrea Statton, Itinerant Resource Teachers for Assistive Technology,TDSB

Friday November 22nd, 1:00-2:00 (Location Salon B)
Presenters: Renee Keberer, Etienne Mercieca, and Valia Reinsalu, Itinerant Teachers – Assistive Technology, TDSB

19 November 2013

OneNote pilot launched at Tecumseh P.S.!

The OneNote Pilot Begins!

After much anticipation, the OneNote Pilot had its first roll out last week at Tecumseh Public School. The students, along with their teacher, Miriam Taylor and Child and Youth Worker, Jarelle Christie, had their first introductory session. The goal is to help students organize their information into one place through the use of a digital binder that can be brought with them from class to class. The students, part of the grade 7/8 Behaviour Intensive Support Program, were very excited to receive their equipment and begin to learn how to use the software.

See the visual journey below and be sure to visit our Facebook page (AssistTechOneNote) for regular updates.

One student shares his favourite thing about technology.
Students¢ reaction to receiving their specialized  
First assignment done on the tablet just before
it was printed out for their teacher.

A student learns how to capture his assignment
so that he can complete his work digitally.

18 November 2013

So, you inherited an IWB, now what?

Our “So You Inherited an IWB, Now What?” sessions have started …

Teachers in the East and West with both Promethean and SMART Boards attended their first Learning Community (LC) designed to support special education teachers that have an Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) in their classroom, but were not part of the initial training and support that came with the IWB. These teachers will attend four LCs throughout the year. At the first session, teachers were acquainted with the basic functions of the IWB and how to create lessons and activities that they could use with their students to support their learning. At subsequent sessions the teachers will investigate how the IWB can be used as both a teacher and student tool to access curriculum and ultimately improve learning and increase engagement and participation.

One teacher demonstrates how their ideas can be
 expressed orally using the Sound Recorder.
Two teachers work collaboratively to share
   their ideas using the Camera Tool.

14 November 2013

The AT Read and Write Gold EQAO project launch

Our EQAO and Assistive Technology Pilot 2013-2014 is under way!
The A.T. team recently hosted our “Meet and Greet” sessions in the East and in the West.

Teachers were provided with the opportunity to:

  • connect with colleagues to learn more about the ways in which Read and Write Gold can support student learning and serve as an accommodation tool for EQAO
  • begin building community among participating teachers
  • review the content of the first in-class student session and explore the matrial through the lens of their students

11 November 2013

Independent Activity Schedules and the IWB

Supporting Students with an ASD or Other Developmental Challenges:

Independent Activity Schedules and the Interactive Whiteboard

Consider using your IWB to implement Independent Activity Schedules

See Key to Learn for our curriculum PD session entitled,

“From Binders to the Board:
Using the Promethean Board to Support Independent Activity Schedules”

7 November 2013

Itinerant assitive technology referral at David and Mary Thompson

Our Assistive Technology referral process is underway and in full swing! Itinerant Resource Teachers (IRTs) have been working with Special Education teachers in a variety of settings providing job-embedded learning opportunities through the co-planning and co-teaching of lessons using assistive technology. In one example, Etienne Mercieca, IRT in the East collaborated with Gosia Lizon, teacher of high school students with developmental disabilities (DD) at David and Mary Thompson. Together, they developed a social skills lesson for Gosia’s students using the Promethean Interactive Whiteboard.  

The lesson was tailored to suit the interests of Gosia’s students by incorporating images of Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, and Rihana, into the ActivInspire flipchart pages.  The lesson also made use of several of the Interactive Whiteboard’s tools such as the sound recorder, containers, and hiding of images. By using the technology to differentiate the lesson, students were immediately engaged and were able to access the knowledge and information that was presented.

See below for some screen images of the activity that was created.

Words to use at school to explore the hidden curriculum such as social communication at school: Thank you. Excuse me. etc.

Students were given engaging images to examine and refer to when determining appropriate social cues at schools, 

Our itinerant referrals are happening throughout the TDSB in both East and West Region schools. See a past A.T. blog post highlighting another referral in a D.D. class (also known as Low Incidence classroom) in a primary class at Clinton P.S.

4 November 2013

Supporting students' fine motor development on the Promethean Interactive Whiteboard

Supporting Fine Motor Development on the Promethean Board

As educators, we know that there is never enough time in the day to do everything we need to do. Why not use resources already in ActivInspire to help us?

One of these great resources is the pre-made printing templates where students are able to practice their fine motor skills using their finger or the pen to trace the letters. Students can then use the eraser to erase the black square to discover an image that starts with that letter. There are lines provided at the bottom of the page for additional practice. Students can use the blank lines to print the letter and then press the green checkmark at the bottom of the page to check their work. Or for scaffolding, students can click on the checkmark and trace the letters that appear.

Here's one way you can find a pre-made printing template like the one above.

For another idea about how to support students with fine motor difficulties watch our Youtube video about customizing marquee handles of objects in the Promethean ActivInspire software.