09 Jan SKYPE, JAWS Tandem, Virtual Teaching
I have been working with a particular student for years, so her skills are fairly advanced. She started virtual instruction this summer and caught on very quickly. We have been experimenting with finding the best browser that works with the right software and email and a multitude of other things to make everything work together. And, it was time to use this technology in the classroom.
First off, it is common to have to go personally to the school to explain virtual techniques to the administration. So, I did. The Principal seemed to understand quickly the virtual technique. But, the Director was having a difficult time seeing how a blind student can get help from a teacher who lives far away. The para-educator was willing to give it a chance, so I told them to let the student take over and they could watch. Then I went home and waited for school to start.
Our first lesson of the school year started today. The para-educator was nervous but within a couple of minutes the para was amazed. The student texted me online, telling me she was ready for the class work. I immediately brought her up on video, greeted her and saw smiles. Next, we started the tandem session so I could bring her computer desktop up on my computer. Then I began giving her instruction on downloading school books from the Internet, from the website Duxbury (a braille to print translation program) that transfers text information into Word. (Note: I previously discussed with her teacher what the student needed for class, so the lesson was in my head)
After the student loaded the classrooms “World History” book into WORD, it was time to read. The student knows she needs to ask the teacher, “What are the first three words of the paragraph you want me to be on?” Then I helped her insert those words into find dialogue box. Within seconds her cursor finds the paragraph. She jumps the cursor to her book and her JAWS begins reading it to her.
The student also practices her braille reading, by adding the braille display to the laptop.
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