Engaging all Learners through Technology

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Engaging all Learners through Technology. Marlene Anderson, Theresa Glass, Jennine Scott, Janet Tomy, Alison Wells . Agenda. Theoretical Underpinning Constructivism Universal Design Differentiated Instruction. Agenda Contd. Technologies Explored - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Engaging all Learners through Technology

Engaging all Learnersthrough TechnologyMarlene Anderson, Theresa Glass, Jennine Scott, Janet Tomy, Alison Wells Theoretical Underpinning

ConstructivismUniversal DesignDifferentiated Instruction

AgendaTechnologies Explored

Digital Social Stories, Microsoft MovieMaker, Photo Story 3, WebquestsBackground and ResearchPurpose/RationaleFormatStrengths/CautionsFuture ResearchBenefits/ProcessSamplesLinks to theoryAgenda ContdTheory ConstructivismFramework Universal Design for InstructionThrough Differentiated InstructionTechnologyTeaching MethodsTeaching StrategiesEngagementLevelling the playing field in terms of disabilities

Background - GeneralConstructivismDefinition:The term refers to the notion that learners will construct knowledge for themselves i.e. they will construct meaning both individually and socially as they learn. Therefore: We have to focus on the learner in thinking about learning (not on the subject being taught) and, There is no knowledge independent of the meaning attributed to experience (or that which is constructed) by the learner, or community of learners.

Learning is an active process.People learn to learn as they learn.The crucial action of constructing meaning is mental: it happens in the mind. Learning involves language: the language we use influences learning.Learning is a social activity: our learning is intimately associated with our connection with other human beings.Learning is contextual: we do not learn isolated facts and theories in some abstract ethereal land of the mind separate from the rest of our lives: we learn in relationship to what else we know, what we believe, our prejudices and our fears.

Principles of Constructivism developed by the work of John DeweyPrinciples of Constructivism Developed by the works of John Dewey ContOne needs knowledge to learn: it is not possible to assimilate new knowledge without having some structure developed from previous knowledge to build on. It takes time to learn: learning is not instantaneous. Motivation is a key component in learning. In fact, it is essential to learning.

In order to engage our learners, we must be prepared to bring concepts in a way for students to Construct their own learning. This way of teaching can be done through Universal Design for Learning.Origins of Universal DesignRonald Mace, an architect and wheelchair user, proposed the idea that physical environments and enhanced awareness of diverse consumers needs should proactively inform product design to be more functional to a broader range of people. The term Universal Design was coined to reflect this approach of proactively incorporating inclusive design features while minimizing the need for individual, retrofitted accommodations.(McGuire, Scott and Shaw)

Background- Universal DesignUniversal Design Principles:The original principles developed by architects, engineers etc. are as follows:Equitable Use - The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.Flexibility in Use The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.Simple and Intuitive Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the users experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.Perceptible Information The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the users sensory abilities.Tolerance for Error The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.Low Physical Effort The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.Size and Space for Approach and Use Appropriate size and space are provided for approach, reach, manipulation and use; regardless of users body size, posture, or mobility.(The Center for Universal Design, 2009, p. 1-2) Guidelines for Universal Design for Instruction:Guidelines and Definition:

Class Climate: Adopt practices that reflect high values with respect to both diversity and inclusiveness.

Interaction: Encourage regular and effective interactions between students and the instructor and ensure that communication methods are accessible to all participants.

Physical Environments and Products: Ensure that facilities, activities, materials and equipment are physically accessible to and usable by all students, and that all potential student characteristics are addressed in safety considerations.

Delivery methods: Use multiple, accessible instructional methods that are accessible to all learners.Guidelines for Universal Design for Instruction Continued:Information resources and technology: Ensure that course materials, notes and other information resources are engaging and accessible for all students.

Feedback: Provide specific feedback on a regular basis.

Assessment: Regularly assess student progress using multiple accessible methods and tools, and adjust instruction accordingly.

Accommodation: Plan for accommodations for students whose needs are not met by the instructional design.

What Is Differentiated Instruction?Where does Differentiated Instruction (DI) fit within Universal Design for Learning?In a differentiated classroom, teachers begin where students are not at the beginning of the curriculum guide for the grade they are teaching.DI is about valuing meaningful choice, which translates into giving students self-determination and increased commitment.This does not mean whether they will or will not do the assignment, but rather, how they will do the assignment.Successful DI is about valuing ritual and variety.Ritual establishes expectations and provides security.Variety can bring the joy and excitement of learning.What Is Differentiated Instruction? Continued. . .To promote successful DI, teachers and administrators MUST value a variety of assessments, which includes students encompassing a broad spectrum of ability and expression.Teachers must feel free to share ideas, tips, reflective thoughts, etc. with staff during planning times, staff meetings, etc.Engaged student conversation is the centre of a dynamic and interactive DI classroom. In addition to this, leaving room for openness and leading questions at the end of a unit promotes thinking.So how then does this work within a framework that can be used within the classroom that is not overwhelming and yet comfortable and inclusive.Basic Components of Planning Pyramid

Planning Pyramid Framework for Differentiated InstructionPat Miranda, PhD.University of British ColumbiaALL the students are the 27 students in the classroom NOT the 23 student and 4 with special needs. All students will learn something. Then most of your students will learn a certain portion and then at the top of the pyramid some of the students will go beyond what is expected within the learning outcomes of the curriculum. This is how you address the needs of all the students in your classroom.

View Shake it up! videoChildrens brains are only 25% developed at birth.The more stimulation a child has through all of its senses (hearing, taste, touch, smell, sight) the more rapidly further development will occur (M. Fox, 2008).30% of children who are not reading well by the end of Grade 3 are at risk of dropping out or failing to graduate (Canadian Education Statistics Council 2006) .At least 30% of students do not have sufficient reading or writing abilities by the end of Grade 6 (Canadian Education Statistics Council, 2006). 1.68% of students will be labelled Developmentally Disabled with 85% of these children showing language/reading disorders (Warr-Leeper, 2008).

Did You Know? The Rationale154.73% of students will be labelled Learning Disabled with 90% to 100% of these students showing some form of language/reading disorder.1% will be labelled Emotionally Disordered with 70% of these children showing language disorders. In a community study of 1,655 five year olds, 60% of those who were diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder were also diagnosed with a language/reading disorder

(Warr-Leeper, 2008)

Did You Know? (contd)Young people absorb an average of 8.5 hours of digital and video sensory stimulation a day. By twenty years of age the average individual has spent more then 20,000 hours on the Web, and over 10,000 hours playing video gamesThe educational model used to be based on increasing students overall stored information. Now information becomes obsolete quickly. As information is now retrieved easily through technology, education needs to shift to help students know where to find the information they need.Technology helps us to develop new and efficient ways of finding, synthesizing, and communicating information. This allows learning to take place with a broader audience. Studies suggest that individuals who spend a great deal of time on-line see an increase in decision making, integrating complex information, and short-term memory. ( George, 2008)

Did You Know? (contd)Insert imageDigital Social Stories18Developed by Gray, 1991

Are an intervention used to support social skill development, typically for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD)

Have a specifically designed style and format

Describe a situation in terms of relevant social cues(Briody & McGarry, 2005; Delano & Stone, 2008; Gut & Safran, 2002; Gray & Garland, 1993; Moore, 2004; More, 2008)Social StoriesSocial stories intervention is a strategy developed by Gray (1991) which delivers social instruction to students who present with deficits in the social domain. These stories are characterized by their short length, student specificity, and are written from the students perspective (Briody & McGarry, 2005; Gray & Garland, 1993). The story provides the students with specific information regarding the social situation, what other people in the situation may be thinking, the unspoken social expectations in given situations, and choices for the individual to make to participate effectively in diverse situations

Originally social stories were used to teach students with autism spectrum disorder the social curriculum which eluded them. Increasingly, this social intervention strategy is being effectively used with a variety of learners who present with social deficits19Descriptive Sentences- provide facts of the situation answering the who, what, where, when, and why questionsPerspective Sentences- describe another persons feelings and behavioursDirective Sentence- suggest a socially appropriate response to a situation Affirmative Sentence- stress an important point and reassures the reader(Delano & Stone, 2008; Gut & Safran, 2002, More, 2008).Sentence TypesThese individualized stories include an introduction, body, and conclusion consisting of four basic types of sentences: (a) descriptive sentences that provide facts of the situation answering the who, what, where, when, and why questions, (b) perspective sentences that describe another persons feelings and behaviours, (c) directive sentences that suggest a socially appropriate response to a situation, and (d) affirmative sentences that stress an important point and reassures the reader (Delano & Stone, 2008; Gut & Safran, 2002, More, 2008). Gray (2000) proposed a ratio for guiding the creation and use of these sentences. She suggested that a ratio of two to five descriptive, perspective and/or affirmative sentences for every zero to one directive sentence. The sentences should include age-appropriate vocabulary and be written at the students reading level. To support comprehension, each page should include a maximum of one to four sentences which are focused on one concept. Terms such as usually, try, most, sometimes are used to make the story more applicable to real-life situations (Crozier & Sileo, 2005).20Student SpecificExtensive training not requiredPractice/review of skillsIncreases communicationEasily embedded into classroom/curriculumBreaks down difficult social concepts/understandingsVisually engaging

(Briody & McGarry, 2005; Crozier & Sileo, 2005; Gut & Safran, 2002; More, 2008; Rogers & Myles, 2001; Soenksen & Alper, 2006)

StrengthsThe literature reveals that social stories have several strengths as an intervention (Due to their individualized content, they can be targeted to each students personal social skill deficit. Learning to use this intervention does not require extensive training. They allow time for practice and review of skills as well as increased communication between parents, teachers and students. Due to the short length of the social story, they can be implemented and reviewed in a short amount of time allowing them to become easily embedded in the students natural classroom setting and schedule with minimal disruption to the classroom routine. Social stories take complex social skills and ambiguous social situations and break them down into smaller components that are easier understood. Further they are visually engaging as the text and images reflect each students unique experience. 21Limited body of empirical evidence

No empirical data supporting story format

Difficult to attribute effectiveness, usually utilized with other interventions

They are only as effective as their use(Briody & McGarry, 2005; Crozier & Sileo, 2005; Gut & Safran, 2002; More, 2008; Moore, 2004; Soenksen & Alper, 2006)CautionsResearchers cautions regarding the use of social stories as an intervention in supporting social skill development includes the limited body of empirical evidence that exists to date documenting the effectiveness of this intervention. As well, the use of the basic sentence ratio (Gray, 2000) has not been investigated nor challenged by research, in other words there is no empirical data supporting this story format (Soenksen & Alper, 2006).

It has further been noted that typically social stories are not the only intervention taking place and therefore it is difficult to isolate its effectiveness in supporting social skill development. And again, social stories are a tool, one which is only as effective as its use. Children must be prompted to access, read or listen to and review the stories during those teachable moments.

22Effectiveness with a wider audience

Individual components (visuals, sentence ratio, text)

Control groups

(Briody & McGarry, 2005; Crozier & Sileo, 2005; Gut & Safran, 2002; More, 2008; Moore, 2004; Soenksen & Alper, 2006)

Future Research

Considering this strategy is typically implemented with students who present with ASD, future research should include the usefulness of this strategy with a wider population. Moore (2004) further suggested that research regarding the crucial components of social stories(visuals, text, sentence ratio) as well as the use of control groups to compare...


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