Following a great presentation by the Assistive Technology (AT) group, this week’s blog post focus on the importance of understanding and providing students AT opportunities. To examine this topic, I took to my school/classroom to see where AT are at in my ‘own’ backyard. I was fortunate to connect with our school’s Learning Resource Teacher (she compiles our Records Of Adaptations and more) and a student that has benefited from AT (especially on the computer). They were great conversations (have a listen).

AT w/ a LRT

As part of my look at Assistive Technologies in the classroom, I interviewed our school’s Learning Resource Teacher (LRT) and discuss AT at our school.

AT w/ Nico

As part of my look at Assistive Technologies in the classroom, I interviewed Nico (Nico is 18 and have his permission to post), a student has used AT in his education, about how the use of AT has impacted him.

AT in My Classroom

As part of my look at Assistive Technologies in the classroom, I look around my room and examine some of the AT I have access to and use.

I loved sitting down with my two guests and talking about the way AT can impact students. The AT in my classroom tour helped me see that I’m on the right track, but could always do more.

One app that I am aware of and used (but would like to use more) is Immersive Reader. Since we use Microsoft products in my school division, this app is accessible AT embedded in many of the online tools I use such as Office 365, OneNote, Teams, Flip Grid, Wakelet, and yes even Minecraft Education Edition .

Microsoft has some great training on this and other AT in their education community – go here to check out this course – Accessibility tools: Meeting the needs of diverse learners

It’s amazing what a powerful addition this app can be for so many.

After reading the suggested passage from Assistive technology: Impact on education, employment, and independence of individuals with physical disabilities, I could only think about my talk with Nico. AT has allowed him to succeed and wish that for all students. Nico wants to be a Math teacher (even after getting taught by me) without AT I’m not sure he’d be able to follow his dreams (I told him I’ll stick around teaching so I be lucky enough to have him as an intern :-)). I also looked at the information on SETT and this helped me reflection on the interviews I did and my room AT overview. I always feel I put the Student first and I’m more than willing to make accommodations that will help students be successful, I feel the physical aspects of the Environment in my class lend themselves to AT opportunities (but I also feel there is still so much more that could be available), I try to provide opportunities to complete Tasks in a variety of ways that can play to student strength and I try to supply the Tools both electronics and non-electronic (with some knowledge of how to use as well). This was a useful video I found that brought SETT all together for me.

This article snap, from the reading Leveraging Emerging Technology to Design an Inclusive Future with Universal Design for Learning, sums it all up for me and my reflection AT.

3 thoughts on “AT Is A-OK

  1. Love this post, Dean!! I think it’s great that you interviewed the Brenda and Nico. Thanks for sharing some of the example of assistive tech in your teaching environment, and for sharing perspectives of others too.
    Kind of neat, I listened to Brenda’s interview and she referenced a session I led on Wednesday 🙂 I had the privilege of training all of the LRTs in Microsoft Learning Tools, but the great part was that my session was the day after our fantastic presentation last Tuesday. It was great to have the perspective of the class presentation in mind as I spoke to our LRTs about the tech we have and how it can be used as best practice for all.
    Great post…very interesting to read and listen!


  2. Hi Dean,
    I absolutely loved reading and listening to the abundance of information you shared in your blogpost. It was wonderful to hear from both, an LRT as well as a student regarding AT. Being an EAL teacher, I really like using the microphone. I think it is a wonderful tool especially when it comes to learning a foreign language. It helps students hear the words clearly. The Immersive Reader is also a great tool that EAL students can benefit from. As you mentioned, AT really helps students “shine”.
    Thank you!


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