One indicator of a Digital Age Learning Environment is:
d. Select, evaluate and facilitate the use of adaptive and assistive technologies to support student learning.
I have assisted teachers in locating, evaluating, and using adaptive technologies. Many teachers ask about speech to text technology. For most of these situations, I recommend Voice Typing in Google Docs. For some, I recommend Snap & Read or Read&Write for Google. I ask questions and listen to the student needs the teacher presents to determine what would be a good recommendation. Because there a numerous tools available, with a plethora of features, I have also reached out to other teachers and TOSAS outside of my district for support. Part of being competent in this indicator is letting go of being the expert at “all things technology-related” and seeking out sources of information and connecting teachers to those sources of information.
This is an example of a follow-up communication about assistive technologies that started at a regional TOSA Meeting with a Tech TOSA from another district.
A high use Assistive technology application in my district is Clicker for iOS. I have supported district staff in hosting training sessions and have also provided trainings myself on its four sister applications. I have also compiled follow-up documentation for teachers to reference independently. In support of this, I have also worked out work-flows for getting the student work off the devices to be printed for record keeping of progress and for students to take home. Another part of being competent in this indicator is seeking out experts in your own district to let them share their expertise with others.
Picture I took of teachers collaborating around how to use Clicker.
Another example of my work with assistive and adaptive technologies is in relation to student behavior. One of my middle school teachers has a student who gets very disruptive in the regular classroom. He is sent out almost daily because of his actions and he is not able to be mainstreamed as much as she would like. I helped the teacher learn how to call another teacher using a live video streaming software. Together, we evaluated what would work and might not work about this solution. The plan is for the teacher to share the solution with teachers one at a time, keep the length of time short, and reward the behavior. This is important work because this student was missing a good portion of his core instruction.