19 June 2015

Assistive Technology in the Classroom: Research via Google Forms

This term, I am researching the use of Assistive Technology (AT) in classrooms around the world.

AT is anything that assists learners who require additional support in accessing their work and being successful. I included a video in the form to explain what AT is to help my audience.

As I work in a school where technology has yet to be introduced fully, the people I can consult are limited. In addition, my previous schools have all finished for the summer already.

To combat this dilemma, I created a Google Form that I was able to share on Twitter for anyone to be able to complete. I felt this broadened my chances of getting some information from people who had experience using AT.

My form can be accessed HERE and my paper regarding these results will be published here soon.

If you have, or know of anyone who has, experience using AT in the classroom, please share and complete this form to help a life-long learner with her research. Thanks.

Explain Everything: Presenting & Sharing (Web 2.0 Tool 5)

Explain Everything is an app I downloaded onto my iPad probably two years ago... I had a tendency to get very excited by new tools and not allow myself the time to trial them properly - this was one such victim of my over-zealousness. But, now, I have the opportunity and a great excuse to have a proper play!

I found that I had to refer to the tutorials and help quite a lot to do what I wanted to do - which meant, perhaps, it was not particularly intuitive. It also took me about an hour to create a seven-slide presentation, which I am sure would become quicker with time. I do like how I can customise and add handwriting etc., and there is so much more potential to it than a regular presentation, so I think it is something I will continue to explore.

I have recorded my presentation for you to see - however, the microphone on my iPad Mini was not picking up sound effectively meaning I need to send it to my MacBook Air to add the audio, or use and external microphone - which is a little annoying.

Pros and Cons

- takes time to figure out; you have to watch the tutorials to really know how to use it fully - this means there is a lot to it, but it is not a download-and-go tool
- microphone and sound issues mean an extra element required to create a successful presentation
- cannot download the App to a laptop - requires a mobile device

- loads of functionality; can add handwritten notes, text, images, files, websites etc.
- very creative and personal - truly makes learning individual for your kids
- very different to regular presentation tools
- free - with no hidden extra costs!
- finished presentation can be uploaded directly to YouTube for easy sharing (and embedding into blogs!)