Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blog Post #15

Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children
By: Elizabeth Johnson

Assistive technologies

For this assignment, I watched a video called ”Assistive Technologies for Vision and Hearing Impaired Children”. In the beginning of the video, it gives some examples for you to imagine what it would be like to be visually or hearing impaired in a classroom with no assistive technologies available. It really opened my eyes to what it would be like to not have ways to help these students. The video then describes how assistive technologies enhance learning, removes barriers, pushes boundaries, gives hope, and challenges the way we think. The video really encourages and challenges people and teachers to do all that they can to accommodate all students. Some examples of assistive technologies that the video gave were text to speech devices, text telephones, talking calculators, note takers, sensory aids, speech to text devices, FM radios, iPhones, Ipads, Ipods, screen magnifiers, and flip cameras.
”Education World” is another source that gives great information about assistive technologies for students. This website gives some other examples of assistive technologies. Some of them include hearing aids and amplification devices that enable hearing-impaired students to hear what's going on in the classroom as well as glare-reduction screens, screen magnifiers, and Braille note-taking devices that enable visually impaired students to participate more fully.

Ipad Usage for the Blind
By:Calah Reynolds

assistive technologies

The video iPad Usage for the Blind is such an interesting video. I had no idea that the iPad could be set up to assist a person who is visually impaired. This opens up so many different opportunities to me as a teacher, especially if I have a visually impaired child in my class. As you are using the iPad it can assist you the whole way, from starting it up to using the apps. All you have to do is simply double tap to unlock it. If you are on a part of the screen that has no apps and is blank it makes a clicking noise, but when you hover over an app it says the apps name out loud and tells you to "double tap to open". I, as a teacher, already want to have iPads in my classroom for activities throughout the day, and now that I know that they can assist children with disabilities, it makes them so much more useful. Especially now since iPads can have books and textbooks on them. If you open up iBook on your iPad, all you have to do is double tap when the app is open and it will start reading to you. I was so interested in iPads for the visually impaired that I looked up the video Blind Apple iPad Tech Camp. This is a camp that teaches the blind how to use an iPad and what it can do for them. For those who aren't completely blind, they can zoom in as much as they need to be able to see and those who are completely blind can have the iPad set up to where it can talk you through everything. iPads opens up so many opportunities for children with disabilities. So many of the kids with no vision are behind in their academics and don’t have the same access to technology as their peers that have vision, but iPads give them a chance. It let's them do things that they didn't even know were possible.

Blind Doing Math
By: Rachel Hinton

blind person doing math
The video, Teaching Math to the Blind, really shows what problem is presented when a student is blind and trying to learn complex things like math. Because blind students use brail to learn, and it is linear, it makes understanding and aligning the math problems difficult. With this being said the students are presented with a device with the number on one side and brail on the other with a barcode that they can scan and the computer reads. They can align the numbers in a digital graphs to keep them in order and able for them to read.
Teaching Math to Blind Students really shows more in-depth the different methods that can be used to teach the blind. One method is using mathematics codes. These codes are placed on a desk plate. This plate can also be used for students to plot points. For upper level trigonometry the students will use objects in the shape of triangles to learn the different functions. For statistics the students will use Microsoft excel to perform the different functions. They can also use other applications such as the virtual pencil algebra program with allows the problem to be read to them and the audio graphing calculator which provides them with assistance just like a regular calculator. These devices and assistive materials gives the blind students the ability to accomplish something that is essential for working and living today. It also gives them hope that they can accomplish anything.

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