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Byron Smith Technology Specialist FDLRS Heartland Help for Struggling Writers.

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2 Byron Smith Technology Specialist FDLRS Heartland Help for Struggling Writers

3 Overview Numerous surveys of both educators and business executives give very similar results – they report that 80% of their students or employees need improvement in writing skills which are critical to academic and business success. FCAT writing scores show 85% of 4 th grade students are proficient, and 90% of 8 th graders performed at a comparable level, but 10 th graders dropped to 77% proficient (2009)

4 Potential Problem Areas Manipulating a tool Legibility Organization of ideas Spelling Composition

5 Classroom Strategies

6 Attacking the problem Ask the right questions What specifically does the student need to do? How well can she do it? What is she currently using to help her? How well is it working? What specific IEP goals must the child meet?

7 Definition of Assistive Technology “ Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.” (Authority 20 U.S.C. 1401(1))

8 What this means ANY tool or device that a student with a disability uses to do a task that s/he could not otherwise do without it. It can make the task easier, faster, or done in a better way. The device can be as “low” tech as a pencil grip or as sophisticated as a computer program or communication device.

9 Assistive technology is a tool. It will never replace good teaching. It serves to give struggling students and those with a disability a way to be successful with the curriculum.

10 Who benefits from Assistive Technology ? Any student with a disability, from mild to severe Any student with reading, writing, math, communications, vision, hearing, or motor problems ESOL students Students with 504 plans Struggling students who do not qualify for ESE services

11 Assistive technology, when matched correctly to a student’s need, will make your job easier.

12 The FCAT Benefit AT integrated with good strategies will have the greatest impact on students who score low on the FCAT These students will have the greatest effect on you school scores

13 Florida allows a variety of assistive technology tools to be used on the FCAT by students with disabilities. These tools must be listed on the student’s IEP and used daily as part of instructional strategies.

14 Range of AT Tools “Low tech” Easily accessible Low cost Used by peers “High tech” Very task-specific Higher cost Not typically used by peers

15 Hierarchy of Writing Accommodations – Mechanics Regular pen or pencil Pen or pencil with adapted grip Adapted paper (raised lines, highlighted lines) Slant board Typewriter Portable note-taker with computer interface Computer with word processing software Word prediction / abbreviation expansion software Voice recognition software

16 Writing- Motor Aspects Pencil grips Evo or lighted pen Magic Rub Raised line paper Writing guides Slant boards Portable word processor Voice recognition

17 Pencil Grip Pencil grips encourage proper hand-pencil positioning during writing. It also provides greater comfort, legibility, speed, and reduces hand fatigue.

18 Raised Line Paper Raised Line Paper provides a student with visual or tactile guidelines.

19 Writing Guides A writing guide will help the student keep their writing on the lines and produce a legible response when responding in the FCAT answer book.

20 Slant Boards / Writing Stands Slant boards and writing stands help make writing more comfortable and efficient by keeping the writing surface at the optimal angle.

21 Portable Word Processors An alternative keyboard will help a student, who cannot respond orally or who cannot produce a handwritten response, type answers to FCAT assessment items.

22 Writing –Composing Stickies Writing templates Webbing and outline software Hand held spell checkers Word processor with auditory feedback Word prediction software

23 Computer Access Extended or mini keyboard Track balls or joystick mouse Switch Interface Voice recognition Word predication or expansion On screen scanning

24 Scan and Read Software Kurzweil WYNN SOLO Read & Write Gold Text-to-speech is an allowed accommodation

25 Picture / Symbol Text Match Matching pictures with text allows students with minimal language skills to communicate while moving from concrete representations (photos) to abstract representations (symbols) to words

26 Adjustments to visual image of digital material Text size Fonts Spacing Color Background Allowed accommodations

27 Digital Recorder Allows material from class presentations and discussions to be accessible after class Allowed accommodation for both presentation and response

28 Organizing/Studying High lighters Color coding system Page Tabs Print or picture schedule Hand held scanners

29 Communication Picture symbols Voice output devices Eye gaze frame Device with speech synthesis

30 For More Information Adapting computer preferences for writing support (Windows XP) Adapting computer preferences for writing support (Windows XP) Adapting common software to support writing (MS Word) Adapting common software to support writing (MS Word) Tools for writing support Comparing similar products For more information on products shown as examples in illustrations, click on images FDLRS Heartland Technology Wiki

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