Did you know your students may qualify for testing accommodations on the SAT and ACT? The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehab Act provide equal access to programs and services for individuals with disabilities. When applying for accommodations on college entrance exams, start early and make sure you know the timelines for applying and documentation needed in order to secure the needed accommodations. Check out these sources for additional information.
College Board – http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/ssd
Pacer Center – http://www.pacer.org/tatra/resources/postsecondary.asp
I met a young lady recently who has very little control of her body, except she is able to move her head with limited range. I was blown away by her accuracy on the computer using a FREE, you got that right, FREE head mouse program. It gave her access to the internet, an onscreen keyboard, books online, and all the software on her computer. To use Camera Mouse you need a Windows 7, Vista, or XP computer and a webcam. Check it out: Camera Mouse at www.cameramouse.org
Have a student who is strong visually and enjoys using computers? Visit http://www.zimmertwins.com/ and see how you can start building your own Francis Ford Coppola of the SOLs! Click on http://www.zimmertwins.com/movie/howto to see the overview. Send us what you create!
Students (and anyone else who wants to) can make free movies without an Internet connection if you go to the Microsoft website and download “PhotoStory.” Take digital pictures of any kind, add voice (or not), add captions (or not), and add music (or not). Kids love it and learn it within minutes…then spend days perfecting it! A great way to engage visual learners who like working with computers…and digital cameras, too.
You know about those “clickers” that teachers can use to have students signal a response to a multiple choice, yes-no, or true-false question or select a choice from several? As described here(http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolum/ClickersintheClassroomAnActive/157458), they can be used as part of the active learning activities in any classroom that has a projector. Why do we care about this here at the AT blog? Well, some students don’t use their voice to respond in whole-class situations, don’t write on response boards…there are barriers inherent in the typical response formats. Clicking a clicker (like hitting a switch) might be the best (and easiest!) method of collecting formative assessment data for planning instruction. Also, it keeps everyone involved (a nice bonus).
It’s a masking device that highlights text while you read it. Just a little piece of plastic in a bright color with a transparent, but beveled, edge that anyone can use to help focus on reading and support tracking.
(Click here to see one: http://www.learning-loft.com/ and look for “eyelighter”.) Want to use one on a paper-and-pencil standardized test? Just write or check “Use of masking device” as the accommodation.
Good news for coordinators of testing! Early next year, the College Board (SAT, PSAT, etc.)will establish an online system for accommodation requests for students with disabilities–including AT use! Click on http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/ssd/application/online-accommodations-eligibility-system for more information.
The National Center for Technology Innovation posted the latest research last week related to the “Effect of Computer-based Read-aloud on Test Performance of High School Students with Learning Disabilities.”
The results of the pilot study Applying Principles of Universal Design to Test Delivery: The Effect of Computer-based Read-aloud on Test Performance of High School Students with Learning Disabilities provides preliminary support for the potential benefits and usability of digital technologies in creating universally designed assessments that more fairly and accurately test students with disabilities. The study was published in the Journal of Technology, Learning, and Assessment: http://escholarship.bc.edu/jtla/vol3/7/.
Attainment’s AT Video Series is a training tool for administrators, teachers and parents. You’ll find help in assessing a students’ AT needs; considering both low tech and high tech devices. You’ll see how an IEP team uses a decision making process to make effective decisions about AT.
Are you coming to today’s Tech Tuesday session on “Advanced Digital Video Projects”? If so, the link to the wiki for today is http://udl4literacy.pbwiki.com/Digital+Video+Projects. If not, poke around on the site, read some of the ideas generated from the last session, and try out our step-by-step instructions for creating movies for alternate/alternative assessment or just for fun learning with your students!