31 January 2014

Blantyre P.S. OneNote pilot session 2 recap

Students at Blantyre P.S. had their in-class session 2 this past week. During the session, students explored what kinds of content could be put into OneNote. They incorporated both non-digital (worksheets, chart paper, chalkboard) by taking images using the HP Pagelift app. Other ideas they learned included what other digital resources could be put into their OneNote binder to help support their learning and organization such as: how audio can be recorded and inserted into pages to provide them with auditory support and reminders. Students also tried ways to organize a digital page by changing the paper type into lined or graph paper, for example and being able to writing directly onto the page with a stylus.

30 January 2014

Meal Planning at West Hill C.I.

Dargine Rajeswaran, Low Incidence teacher at West Hill CI, partnered with Itinerant Resouce Teacher ~ Assistive Technology, Renée Keberer, to co-plan and co-teach a lesson for her class. As part of the SEA Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) Learning Community, teachers are given the opportunity to further their understanding and implementation of the ActivInspire software and various peripherals in their class through this collaboration.

During the lesson, students in Ms. Rajeswaran’s class used the Promethean Board and the ActiView Camera to solve how many hot dogs and buns they would need to purchase for their Friday meal, along with how much money these items would cost. See pictures below to view the process.

The students first ensured that each member of their class received 2 hot dogs (left) and then figured out how many packages of hot dogs they were required to purchase – 6 hot dogs/package (right). They repeated this process with hot dog buns.

Students used various methods to calculate how much the hot dogs would cost to purchase (left – Promethean Board; right – pencil and paper). They again repeated the process for the hot dog buns.

The students used the ActiView Camera to display all of their solutions. A picture of each  solution was taken using the camera tool in ActivInspire so all solutions were able to be displayed on the same page.

Students then figured out which denominations of money they could use to purchase both the hot dogs and buns($29 in total). Some used the Promethean Board to solve this problem, while others used math manipulative money. All solutions were displayed on the Promethean Board.

27 January 2014

Learning Community recap - engaging students using multimedia

Special Education teachers participating in the Interactive Whiteboard Learning Communities this year just completed session three - Engaging Students using Multimedia. At some of the sessions, including the intermediate Home School Program / Learning Disabilities Learning Community group, part of the LC session included a guided-reading lesson in order to highlight ways the document camera could support students.

A simple and engaging way to use the document camera is that any document such as textbook, picture book, or worksheet can be projected right onto the Interactive Whiteboard, which provides students with a large visual support during guided reading activities.

Along with a live view, the teachers also explored how student work can be captured and stored digitally onto an ActivInspire flipchart. This allows for editing and annotating - while the student's original work is left intact.

Capturing a page of a picture book using
the document camera.
Int. HSP teacher, Stephen Scott from J.B. Tyrrell P.S.
uses the document camera to produce a live image of his writing.
Along with still images, video can be captured using a document camera. The camera is on a movable arm, which can be pointed to face a student or teacher. Teachers can record prompts or instructions that can be reviewed by students as many times as is required. Students can also record their ideas which can be replayed and examined - supporting their oral communication of ideas as well as helping them to develop presentation skills.

Naomi Wyman, Intermediate HSP teacher at G.A. Brown, practices
using the document camera to record a video of herself asking questions.
During the session, teachers were given hands-on time to build a lesson around a literacy document they brought with them. The itinerant resource teacher helped to support the embedding of the technology to accommodate student learning needs. Following some reflection and discussion, the Intermediate LC came up with a list of a few ways they would immediately go and use the document camera in their classrooms including one teacher who commented: "The document camera can be used in all curriculum areas to engage the students and help model and differentiate instruction."

Other examples of teacher responses included:
  • Teacher and student modelling, procedure, guided reading
  • I am excited to try with a microscope.
  • Hands on tech demo, art process demo
  • Demonstrate math solutions with manipulatives
  • Another way to share what they (students) have learned
  • Presentation, show math solutions and reading language texts
  • Animation

Intermediate HSP teacher Anita Ghosh used the document camera on the following week. Her students used
the document camera to share a comic strip they created during a Visual Literacy co-teaching session

24 January 2014

OneNote Intermediate project second phase launched

The second phase of the Assistive Technology team's OneNote pilot project launched on Thursday, January 23 at the Terraview Learning Centre. Special Education teachers, who teach a variety of exceptional intermediate student groups reviewed project goals and had a chance to explore the OneNote Notebook software. While trying aspects of the software such as inserting images, audio and drawing, the group made connections about how features of OneNote supports student organization and planning skills.

As the start of the session teaches brainstormed and shared the organizational challenges that face their students. They then examined an actual student grade 11 OneNote notebook.

Some responses to the organizational challenges that face students.
Special Education teacher Sara Read explores how audio can be added to the
OneNote Notebook. Trainer Martha Jez (left) supports the learning.

Dagney Gardiner, Special Education teacher from James S. Bell explores the Draw
 ribbon of OneNote. Students can add notes by typing or stylus.

The OneNote project is in its inaugural year. Both students and special education teachers who participate are provided with learning opportunities throughout the school year. Continue to check in to our blog for project updates. Also check our OneNote Facebook group.

22 January 2014

OneNote project: Keeping track of tech

Keeping Track of the Tech
Part of the success of any new technology project is how the technology is managed at the school.

Look how the teachers in our OneNote Project are keeping track of the tech. 

Krista Petersen at Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute has dedicated one of her storage cabinets for the storing of the tablets at lunch and overnight.  There is enough shelf space to store all of the tablets for her GLE class.  A power bar is available for charging.  When the teacher and educational assistant are not in the classroom, the cabinet can be locked for secure storage.

Which One Is Mine?

Students in Krista Petersen’s GLE class have their tablets colour coded for easy identification.  Each student is assigned a colour.  Coloured yarn is tied to the bag and power cord.  No more mix ups.

Now, Krista is creating labels to affix to each student’s USB key.  

20 January 2014

Speaking up: A Lesson to Engage Students' Voices

An Oral Communication through Media Literacy Lesson

Itinerant Resource Teacher Andrea Statton, recently co-planned an oral language and media literacy lesson with Primary HSP teacher Julie Found at William Burgess Elementary School.  Mrs. Found felt that some of her students were hesitant to orally express their thoughts and opinions, so a lesson was developed using an engaging photograph for students to critically analyze.

Mrs. Found used ‘Magic Ink’ in ActivInspire to slowly reveal the image for the students. Mrs. Found asked questions such as: “Who is in the image? What are they doing? Why do you think that? Where was this photograph taken? How do you know?” Mrs. Found annotated the students’ thoughts using the pen tool.
Students used the ActivSound microphone and the sound recorder in ActivInspire to share their analysis.

After the whole class lesson, students worked in groups to analyze their own photograph. To promote student accountability, each student chose a different colour marker to record their thoughts.

16 January 2014

Circle time activities using variety of strategies: Etobicoke High School

Using Assistive Tech and Low-Tech to Engage Students in Circle Time Activities

During a co-teaching session in a Developmental Disability classroom at Central Etobicoke High School, Seleen Brewer, Special Education Teacher, showed observing teachers her morning Circle Time on the Promethean Board.

As part of their morning Circle Time the class talked about the weather. Here is a picture of Seleen with her weather activity page in ActivInspire on the Promethean Board.

Students participated in the weather activity page on the Promethean Board by using their finger, the ActivPen or ActivWand to:

1.    Touch the icon of the world to go to YouTube to watch a video/song about weather.
2.    Touch the speaker icon to hear their “weather song” (pre-recorded by the staff and students in the class).
3.    Touch each weather word and the sentence starter “Today it is” to hear the words said aloud.
4.    Move the appropriate weather word to finish the sentence “Today it is___________”

Students were asked “What is the weather today?”. To help the students understand the meaning of the different weather words, Ms. Brewer used multisensory props. For example she used water in a spray bottle to represent “rain” and cotton balls to represent “cloudy”.

It was great to see how Ms. Brewer used tech (the tools available in ActivInspire) and low-tech (multisensory props) to engage her students and support their learning needs.  Thanks Seleen!

    14 January 2014

    FOS Special Education partnership - ER16 Read & Write Gold project update: PLC 2

    Reading Across the Curriculum with Read and Write Gold
    FOS Special Education Partnership – PLC 2

    Teachers from Thorncliffe P.S. and Valley Park M.S. met for their second PLC with Deanna Cape, FOS Consultant for ER 16, Valia Reinsalu, Itinerant Teacher for Assistive Technology and Christine Harvey Kerr, SEA Consultant.
    Teachers had the opportunity to share their successes about the use of Read and Write Gold in their classrooms.  Interestingly, in sharing their successes, teachers also highlighted the ways they had addressed some barriers to AT use.

    It was exciting to hear about the ways, teachers were incorporating RWG into their classrooms:
    ·     Revisiting the electronic text of a novel and highlighting key ideas and evidence
    ·     Using play back and the picture dictionary while reading electronic text
    ·     Using play back to listen to students’ own writing as part of the revision process
    ·     Using the vocabulary tool to generate visual vocabulary lists for units of study
    PLC 2 allowed teachers to explore how RWG tools could be used in different ways to support reading a variety of texts:
    ·     Use colour coding and highlighters for process of elimination when answering multiple choice questions (pink – rejected answer, yellow – best answer) and when answering multi-step math word problems (green – given information, blue – actions to complete)
    ·     Use the picture dictionary to insert images into math problems to support understanding of key terms
    ·     Use colour coding and highlighters to identify and extract facts and opinion from a science article
    ·     Use scan to file option to convert a PDF scan of a textbook into a word document to chunk the text and allow students to use highlighting tools and picture dictionary
    ·     Copy text from a website into a Word document to allow students to insert text boxes and use text to speech and the word wizard to complete the activity

    We are looking forward to the sharing of success stories and resources created for reading across the curriculum with RWG at our next session at the end of January.

    10 January 2014

    IWB LC3 - Engaging all: Learning through Multimedia (ASD ISP example)

    IWB Learning Community #3 – Engaging All Learning through Multimedia:
    Supporting Teachers of ASD Intensive Support Programs

    Our Assistive Technology Itinerant Teachers are eagerly looking forward to facilitating the third installment of our Learning Community sessions!

    Session three focuses on the ActiView document camera and incorporating multimedia in order to differentiate instruction and engage all learners. Our “Goby” Learning Community group for teachers of ASD ISPs will also explore how the ActiView document camera and the screen recorder tool within ActivInspire can be used to support the explicit instruction of pro-social behaviours for students with an ASD through video modelling.

    Interested in step-by-step information on how to use the ActiView document camera and the screen recorder tool to create video models for students with an ASD?

    Check out our video tutorial on our YouTube Channel – TechandSpecialEd:

    The TDSB's Special Education department's Interactive Whiteboard Learning Communities focus on supporting teachers in using the IWB in a teaching and learning capacity within in their HSP and ISP classrooms. Our groups are organized based on exceptionality and division and specifically support special education teachers who have received a SEA IWB in the 2013-2014 school year.

    8 January 2014

    Update on Tecumseh P.S. and the Intermediate OneNote pilot

    Tecumseh’s OneNote Pilot in Full Swing…

    Today the students at Tecumseh Public School enjoyed another in-class session on Microsoft OneNote. As part of the TDSB Assistive Technology team's intermediate pilot, students reviewed many of the features they have been exploring, such as inserting pictures and screen clippings, the draw ribbon and the search options.

    Ms. Taylor's class discussed bringing in non-digital materials into their Notebooks and how to use various tools within the program to annotate on them. The also experimented with inserting space into existing documents and to record audio. Lastly, they learned how to customize the Quick Access Toolbar so that the features they regularly use are readily available. They are looking forward to exploring tags at their next session. 
    (To review our Youtube video on tags click this link.)

    The students ranked some of the features of OneNote, 
    according to what features they found relevant to their classroom learning.

    6 January 2014

    The Math Mission continues...

    The Mission Continues

    The teachers involved in the Math Mission met again in December to further investigate how blended learning (D2L) and assistive technology (AT) can be used to support math communication in their classrooms.  Based on feedback from community members and information regarding student needs, our second professional learning community focused on using AT to support students to use math words to explain mathematical thinking and to ask questions to clarify mathematical communication.

    Teachers had the opportunity to use AT to differentiate student learning based on readiness using tools such as: interactive whiteboard software, graphic organizer software, and mobile apps, along with concrete manipulates.

    Community members have set goals for how they plan to further their use of AT and D2L to move their students’ mathematical communication between now and our next professional learning community meeting in February.

    “I will definitely use Read and Write Gold to create vocabulary lists to help my students understand the language of math.” A community member

    2 January 2014

    TDSB Special Education Consultants and the AT team - Partnership with IEP working sessions

    Partnering with FOS Consultants
    SEA Claim 2013-14 IEP Working Sessions
    During October, November and December, the SEA/Assistive Technology Team in collaboration with FOS Consultants offered a number of working sessions to assist teachers to prepare their individual and group IWB SEA claims.  Selected schools, in consultation with the FOS Consultant, hosted the session for their Family of Schools.
    During the session, the SEA and FOS Special Education Consultants reviewed:
    ·     The application package for individual and group IWB claims
    ·     Features of Assistive Technology to support a variety of learning needs
    ·     Information to be included in the IEP
    Time was provided for participants to work on the writing of the IEP with support from the SEA and FOS Special Education Consultants.
    Below is a sample IEP page that participants generated to address reading expectations through the use of specific features of assistive technology.
    Sessions have been well attended and participants have appreciated the opportunity to attend the working session within their FOS.