Friday, December 17, 2010

Our First Month of Becoming More Mobile

This week we (virtually) brought our SPED teachers back together to see how things are going with their iPads and iPods (read here for the back story). As with anything new, there are still a couple people who haven't coordinated the schedules of students and paras, but the majority of the teachers have taken off. Most of the use we are seeing is for concept reinforcement, which wasn't surprising. One thing that has helped me tremendously is the building visits we've been taking. I've learned a lot more about what teachers (and students) want from the device by being able to watch. And I've tried to take those visits with one of our Inclusion Facilitators. We both are very comfortable with our area of expertise, so it's been a great partnership.
As we told the teachers, we won't know what you want the iPad or iPod to do unless you ask. For example, many of our teachers use Boardmaker to create social stories for our students. One teacher we were with had a large binder with many social stories and other documents. Through their observation, I threw out the suggestion to use Boardmaker to create social stories on PowerPoint slides and export as pictures. We haven't tried it yet, but it's on the table for January. Another idea that one of our inclusion facilitators had was to use Voice Memos to create "switches" (new terminology for me - audio to help students transition to a new activity). Through some brainstorming, we talked about using PowerPoint to create a picture with text or picture examples, narrate over the picture in iMovie, then create a movie that could be on the iPod/iPad. We talk so much about find this app, find that app, but we also need to think about how we can quickly and easily create our own material, especially for these students who have so much individualized for them.
So that's where we are at. We are currently evaluating apps to purchase. We don't want to buy a bunch of apps that do the same thing, but that's easier said then done when teachers all come with their own ideas and backgrounds. We'll meet again in mid-January and keep doing some building visits.

1 comment:

Susan said...

If you want to "to create a picture with text or picture examples, narrate over the picture", try SonicPics, with Comic Touch or Labelbox to create text to go on the images. The free version lets you put 3 pics in a video - enough to help you decide if it's worth paying for the full version. Labelbox is free.