Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Case Study Theme Night: Presuming Competence!

What a great night!  Here's what we heard...

Case Study 1: S. (Gr. 3) sounds like such a fun student - it's not everyone who can be described as positive, works well in groups, and takes pride in her work!
- Lucky to have all that tech available at home.
- PaperPort: use tap and speak to add thoughts to a paper graphic organizer that she's taken a photo of. Sounds like a great app for kids who become bogged down and frustrated by the minutia of spelling.
- iWordQ: the product that she created was great, and it was lovely to see how the two apps worked together for her to allow her to overcome the barrier of spelling (rhyme, famous, etc)
- "I didn't even get frustrated" - so sad that students are forced to do work in ways that frustrate and slow down students when the technology exists to let them really 'show what they know'

Case Study 2: J., Grade 6 - articulate, extra-curricular activities, risk taker - has become a role model in this area because Anne is so good at creating a comfortable class environment :)
- Interesting that a child's voice isn't compatible with some speech to text programs like Dragon Dictate, particularly if they have any speech impairments.
* Once again we come across a student who has such great ideas that are trapped inside them, and only with technology are they able to share that with us.
- Great teacher comment - using technology allows him to "profile his work, not mine or a TA"
- Loved Anne's slip when she referred to 'playing' with the apps, and then corrected herself to say 'learned' the new apps - that's the whole point, that when they are enjoying themselves and the frustration element is removed, the learning seems more like playing!

Case Study 3: Jack in Grade 1 - Non-verbal, global delay, indications of genetic disorder and autism, gross and fine-motor difficulties, IPP from beginning of Primary.
- Highlights the importance of home and school working together to share what works and what doesn't.
- Using Proloquo2go at school only until just two weeks ago - "heartbreaking to see him plug in his iPad at the end of the day and go home without it" (PSA)
- home was told that the AT programs he used at school were 'too difficult to set up' at home
* Even his parents weren't aware of what he was able to do before the technology was brought in.
- "I want a drink" = best story of the course :) *sniff*
- Hello Colored Pencils app - good for disgraphia?

Case Study 4: J in Grade 9. ADHD and difficulty reading social cues, inappropriate behaviour, no longer medicated, in first percentile for many areas according to psyc-ed
- difficulty with lack of information
- focus on life skills - organization and impulse control
- uses an iPod, iPad, and a computer at school: parents support what the school is doing in theory, but are of the philosophy that learning/teaching happens at school
- the importance of students having a team of teachers and administration who support using technology for learning cannot be emphasized enough - the difference between schools like Anne's and Janet's when compared with places where administrators dictating that monies be used for hard copy books even when teachers want to spend it on technology.
- "he's just happy" - that really says it all!

Case Study 5: A. (Gr. 7) is non-verbal with very high sensory needs, diagnosed with ASD.
- knows very limited sign language, and what he knows he does not like to use
- previously used an 'old-fashioned' Go-Talk, now has it on his iPad
- lives in a residential facility, and is able to take and use his iPad in all areas - he has a voice everywhere now
- he is now able to make choices and have some control
- the importance of trying lots of different apps to see which ones 'work' - trial and error may not be the most efficient way to go about things, but sometimes they surprise you with what they can do and what they enjoy - I found this myself during my case study.
- Tappie app - great relaxation/free time app, Playing in Sand, Music apps - Bloom HD, Piano, Baby Lullabies Lite
- with his folder of hard copy social stories (made with Comic Life) he is able to indicate when he needs a break and what he would like to do.

Case Study 6: Three Gr. 1 students reading below level 1, far below expectations in letter sounds and word ID, indications of slow processing speed and some off-task/avoidance behaviour
- always important to explicitly think about and teach 'how good learners/readers/writers/math students learn'
- apps: Magnetic ABC, Show Me (similar to Educreations) allows you to examine their letter formation
- I like the idea of a 'highlighting' card rather than a masking card - having done LLI myself I can definitely see how that would be an improvement
- I also like the idea of trying out the stability balls to help give focus to their extra energy. I have always wondered what it would be like to replace my classroom chairs with them - explore the JFit accessory for them to increase safety.
- Great use of low tech!!!

Case Study 7: Ziggy in Gr 5
- mentoring younger students is such a wonderful activity for all students, but especially for those who don't often feel success in their academics
- finally diagnosed with an LD last year - globally very low, but high average in visual thinking and reasoning skills
- disadvantages of scribing when she isn't able to read it back again - enter technology, and suddenly that whole barrier is removed - amazing to think how different her life can be with the technology we now have available
- Choice Bin - have 3 activities ready to go at her work station, student has control over the order of completing them
- Britannica for Kids app - great content that can be read
- Importance of building on students' superficial knowledge of topics of interest (guinea pigs) - if they're interested in something, use it! Then they can take that content knowledge and start exploring concepts - in this case, life cycles, fictional stories, procedural writing, etc., etc. If you build a solid base of information, students will be more prepared to take risks when applying that knowledge.
- Learned helplessness is always a concern <=> independence is always a goal

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