Artzy Librarian

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Module #5 Curriculum Connections

I began checking out websites suggested by Discovering Assistive Technology.  The first three did not work as the site was either no longer there or had changed it address. This was a sign, confirmation that it is so important to keep information updated so it's current. And, nobody, no matter how conscientious, can escape being outdated sometime! So, I continued to explore.

Shelly, Cashman, Gunter, and Gunters in our textbook, Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom, give a good website for integrating and creating video, into lessons. The program is Camtasia Studeo 4.  It looks like an affordable way to create video with and for students. This text discusses screencasts which are digital recordings of a computer's screen output, often containing audio. (p. 197) Students enjoy seeing and working with video which makes this a positive addition to a lesson plan. Teachers are encouraged to make learning active, exploratory, and inquiry-based, says our text.  (p. 451) This is true for all students and they need to have the hardware and software to support this learning.

What we have been exploring and practicing in this blog, is so applicable to the classroom. Having students participate in a blog is a great idea for interaction. So many skills are met! Making sure that all students are able to participate is crucial.  The assistive technology needs to be there.

I enjoyed reading the two lesson plans displayed under Module 5. The first lesson involved students in discovering what their perceptions of disabilities are and what they think, know, and learn.  The 2nd lesson what a great visual.  I've seen a class project using a pizza model before.  Students identify with this!

These are my responses to Dicovering Assistive Technology.

#1  One thing I learned that will stay with me is my awareness of Assistive Technology for students and others with disabilities.  I am amazed that there are so many ways to assist with learning, playing, enjoying, and just living.  I think the example that sticks out most for me was the video of  Beth Ann Luciana  a woman with Cerebral Palsy who gets a voice with her DynaVox. That really made me think about what a person can accomplish, that anything is possible.  I've always believed that everybody can learn.  This proved it for me.  If assistive technology helped Beth Ann (With a lot of personal grit and determination) I can't wait to see what it can do for the students I work with!  I want a library that is available and usable for all.

#2  I really did enjoy the Discovering Assistive Technology tutorial.  I work best when I have direction, when I'm shown the possibilities.  Then, I'm more comfortable striking out on my own. This tutorial did that for me and, yes, I'd do it again and will recommend it to others!

#3  I was able to connect to the list of books with stories about children with disabilities.  I'll add this list to my LibraryThing site! What a bonus for a school library to have! By the way...I've tried several ways to add a link to the Discovering Assistive Technology Library Thing Link.  So, I'm asking, can anyone help?  Please!  I was able to add it as an interesting library but as far as I can tell that just gives me the latest changes to their LibraryThing site.  So, for now, here is the link.  Assistive Technology Library Thing site.

I have really enjoyed learning more about Assistive Technology!


  1. Hey Artzy,
    I agree with two of your thoughts from your most recent post. First, I really enjoyed blogging as an instructional strategy. This experiences has inspired me to try structuring a unit of study in my classroom in a similar fashion. As you stated, a lot of skills are met. I particularly like the ability to interact with classmates! Secondly, I too am very pleased to have learned so much about assistive technology. Special education is a big part of education these days and librarians can play a influential role. I had never thought of this before, but I am pleased to have gotten this exposure and knowledge.

  2. Agreed, Michelle. Our district is practicing inclusion more this year and there are so many ways that technology can help to make this transition better for all of the students.