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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm a vision teacher...what is your super power???

At least that is what my shirt says that I bought from the vision conference last year. Today I felt as though I had super powers :) I will start with a little background. I work as a teacher of the visually impaired. My case load consists of a therapeutic day school, a few consult kids at the high school and FIVE 7th graders. They will be the death of me!!! As with most students who have a visual impairment they struggle with note taking. This has been both alleviated and exacerbated with increased technology. This year my goal has been to transition my students to high tech learners. It is not practical to use low tech devices such as (large print, hand held magnifiers, telescopes and even CCTVs) this day and age. So my biggest thorn in the proverbial side has been note taking. Students with visual impairments have difficulty taking notes from the board. They do not like to ask their peers to go out of their way, classroom teachers are lax about providing a copy of notes and contrary to popular belief...not all people with visual impairments have good auditory skills. So lies my problem....what do we do for notes???? Well the million dollar question was answered today. I started my day with the instructional technology rep from the district. I told him my dream is for the students to be able to have what the teachers' smart boards are projecting in the palm of their hands. I asked him if we could connect the teachers' projecting computer to the students' iPads and dun dun dun.....SPLASH PAD!!!! Splash Pad is an application on iPads, iPods and iPhones. If you download the streaming software onto the teachers' laptops you can connect to that through the app on ANY device that has it! The student is then able to have the smart board at his/her fingertips. At that point they can zoom in with the accessibility features built into the iPad. And don't worry about security!! The application in the laptop can be turned off so that the student can only access the teachers' computers when they want them to. For added security the application asks for a password when activated each time. If the district technology team cooperates with me this will be the answer to my problems!!!

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