Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog post #15

What Assistive Technologies are available to teachers?

Author: Autumn Sprouse

"Having a Great Time Teaching Mom what her child is learning"

To get started on learning about what technologies are available to teachers, I watched the video Having a Great Time Teaching Mom what her child is learning. In this video, a mother learns how blind students learn on the iPad. One tool that the iPad has is called voice over. When voice over is activated, whatever your finger touches, it tells you, and if you want to select that app, you just double tap. This is such a great tool that can help so many students get the opportunity to learn on the iPad. You can also change the iPad from voice over to standard mode. With standard mode, instead of double tapping the screen, to select an app you just hold your finger on it and lift up. Before watching this video, I had no idea that this was available to students who are blind, or that the iPad could even do that! After watching this, I believe that any student can learn on the iPad and it is amazing to see how much technology is available to us now for learning.

After watching this video, I then researched more videos about iPads for the blind. I watched Unlocking the Power of the iPad for the Blind. This video showed how teachers to learned about the iPad and how to teach the students. The teachers go through a workshop which is led by Jon Erlichman who is blind. He teaches the teachers how to use voiceover and the several apps you can get to help the students further their learning. Many of the apps are free or cost $0.99. Workshop Teaching the Blind

It is amazing to see how far we have came in the last few years with technology from students using Braille, to them now using iPads and being able to use them on a daily basis. Learning about this has opened my eyes to the use of the iPad ever more than I thought it could.

Technology to Help Students with Visual and Hearing Impairments
By: Douglas R. Jarvis Jr.

 Many of us can not imagine what it would be like to have a visual or hearing impairment. As educators, we are responsible for helping all our students learn. I researched two devices that help students in this situation. Unfortunately, many products are costly and not always available to people without insurance. The National Association for the Blind has links to several devices to help the visually impaired. I chose to look into the Braille Translation  Software.These devices allow a teacher to post a documents and have them translated to braille so that they can be read by blind students. This would make teaching much easier. By having the ability to create lesson plans that the children can read without investing lots of money into specialty documents.
 Hearing impairment is also very expensive to correct and many can not afford cochlear implants. However , there are several devices that can help stream sound directly to a hearing aide to allow a teacher more mobility while reducing background noise for the student. One such device is an infrared amplification device. This technology uses a transmitter to send the sound invisibly to the student. This is considered to be the most effective amplification device to use in public places because it is cordless and needs no equipment to be worn. I found this information by reading Sarah Irvine Belson’s special ed wiki. She can be found at
blind girl learning

iPad Usage For the Blind
Author: Kristie Bell

In the video iPad Usage For the Blind, Wesley Majerus is a technology specialists who demonstrates how the blind can use iPads.

Technology is absolutely amazing and has opened up so many opportunities to the blind. For example, the iPad has several apps that provide great assistant to the blind. These apps can not only be downloaded on the iPad, but the iPhone as well. Technology is really changing the world by helping those with impairments. For example, the app called Ariadne GPS allows the visually impaired to take solo walks by themselves. The interactive maps make it easier to explore the world around you. Whenever you cross a street a signal vibration will automatically come on. This tool can even announce stops on a bus or train.

The best part about the iPad is that it can read any form of text aloud to the visually impaired which makes learning less difficult for them. Without technology none of this would even be possible! It is simply amazing what obstacles technology can help people overcome.

After learning about the app called Braille Pro I found this tool to be very interesting. This app allows you to learn Braille and translate english to braille. This tool would be great for parents learning braille with their kids. It would also be great for parents who need help creating their child's books in Braille. This is an excellent tool and I would definitely use it.

I believe that iPad usage for the blind is wonderful. I hope that one day it could allow every visually impaired student to enroll in public education systems instead of having to go to a school for the impaired. In my future classroom, I would certainly use these apps if I had a visually impaired student. The iPad truly is a remarkable learning device!

What assistive technologies are available to you as a teacher?

Teaching Math to the Blind
Author: Kynyetta Barren

In the video Teaching Math to the Blind, it was very interesting. It has never cross my mind about how blind people learn. Professor Art Karshmer introduces a system he created using blocks and grids to aid blind students in solving math problems. He stated that braille is not read in two dimensions, so were a seeing person can line an addition problem one number on top of the other, and add from right to left to solve problems. This is how the system works. the students scans the blocks with braille and a visual number on the front with a barcode scanner. Then the computer reads the number aloud. I found this system to be very educational. I like the thought that students with a learning disability can learn in the same way as we learn. It's just amazing to learn new things!! After watching that video, I decided to do some more research on assistive technology devices that's useful in the classroom. In my search I found a software program called FaceMouse . It's a software designed to assist people with limited movement. Students will use only their face and head movement. FaceMouse uses standard webcam to allow your face to control and move the computer's mouse point. It will control the mouse pointer by following your head movements, facial gestures, and any actions such as mouth opening, closing, and eyebrow movement. I have provided a video link to FaceMouse Overview so you can better understand the concept.I think that both of these tools are beneficial to the students and future educators. I have never giving thoughts about how I would student. These resources were great and helpful!

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