In schools teachers now use various forms of technology for differentiated instruction. As I create my own online course I need to take into consideration the various technological tools I’d like to use in the course. Moore, et al. stated, “We need to know enough about them to be able to ask intelligent questions, make suggestions, know when something isn’t working as it should, and above all know the limits and the potential of each of the technologies” (Moore, et al., 2011).
I need to create an equitable environment for all learners. McClary stated that “multiple methods of communication enhances engagement” (2013). This aspect of the course is dynamic due to the evolving technology that’s available.
Teach Thought Staff shared some excellent resources. Screen Readers accommodate blind or visually impaired users by reading or spelling words, reading text on the screen or announcing where the cursor is (AFB). These range anywhere from free to $1200. I just had an IEP for a student who is legally language impaired. My student has and will always have trouble speaking, reading and writing. Utilizing this resource may be the link to his success in education. Another resource Teach Thought Staff shared was Word Talk, which is a free resource with the purchase of Microsoft Word. With this being already widely available, easy accessibility would really make this a great tool. This reads any documents written in Word.
Other things including Word Prediction, Supernova Access Suite, Vedeo Magnifiers, Close Captioning and Subtitling, FaceMouse and Sip-and-Puff Systems are also available for students with disabilities (Teach Thought Staff). It’s reassuring to know that all these tools are available if ever I do create an online course.
McClary, J (2013). Factors in High Quality Distance Learning Courses. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Vol. XVI, Number II, Summer 2013 Retrieved from: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer162/mcclary162.html
Moore, Michael G.; Kearsley, Greg (2011-04-22). Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning (Whats New in Education). Cengage Textbook. Kindle Edition.
Screen Readers. (2014). American Foundation for the Blind. Retrieved from: http://www.afb.org/prodbrowsecatresults.asp?catid=49
Teach Thought Staff (May 2013). 8 Helpful Assistive Technology Tools for Your Classroom. Teach Thought: We Grow Teachers. Retrieved from: http://www.teachthought.com/the-future-of-learning/technology/8-helpful-assistive-technology-tools-for-your-classroom/