Special Needs Technologies: An Administrator's Guide
By Terry Lankutis
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act requires every school to provide its special needs students with whatever technologies are necessary for a "free and appropriate education." Yet many schools struggle with the task of identifying which technologies will actually work for this population of students. Outside consultants can provide technical knowledge and experience, but they may not know all the details of a particular student's needs, and parents or school personnel may feel a solution has been forced on them without their input. A better, and often less expensive, solution is for school leaders to develop a systematic process that considers the input of all stakeholders, calling upon the expertise of the entire Individual Education Plan team and outside expertise as needed. The following steps will help you implement a collaborative, long-term approach to selecting assistive technology, whether you are starting from scratch or analyzing the effectiveness of your current procedures.
50 dollars per student for focused PD
- Communicate with him for ways to improve
- Process that works for the kids in the state
- Post reform
- Numbers of schools
575 elementary schools
213 middle schools
323 high schools
- New rules & regs by july 1
- Consolidation consumed the State Department prior to July 1
- Test scores are up
- End of course exams - algebra and geometry - concern area in January
- Act up SAT higher
- AYP school improvement list
- Half of the schools met their progress goals
- 60 schools added approx to the school improvement list
- Just because you are on the School improvement list doesn't mean you are a failure
- Best in the nation
- Get highly qualified teachers in the classroom where there are the greatest needs
- Keep the administrators as well
- Celebrate the dignity of each child in the classroom
- 300 million new dollars foundation aid
Focused professional development
More resources - more accountability
What lies ahead
- How to fund it?
- Adequate facility?
- Equitable and adequate facility for children
Act 35 - Accountability
What lies ahead?
Essential question -----------
With these new resources that we have, how will the use of this resource improve student achiement in a measurable way over a period of time?
Focus on rigorous course of study in high school that leads to success in college and university.
Focused professional development
Early childhood development
- Independent study projects
special education opportunities
Cooperative group roles
Library electronic resources
Interview electronic resources
Cooperative group work
Volunteer component - community service
40 hours in teacher education program
20 hour max in one location
Report on Press conference
50 years of NCATE accreditation - ASU, UA UCA UAPB
1986 - State decided all teacher institutions should be NCATE accredited
Only 2 other states NC and WV at that time
Inputs for standards
Changes in curriculum
2001 - Colleges provide evidence knowledge skills and dispositions
ETS Study - NCATE usniversities caused higher probabity of passing state licensure late 1990s
Linda Darling Hammond - Higher than average gain scores for children in the 1990s from NCATE states in the 1980s
Arkansas is unique to have taken 4 steps
1 - Full ncate process unit and program review
2 - Requires institutions meet ncate standards
3 - Requires praxis 1,2,3 passage of students
4 - Mandated state funded novice teacher program
Complimentarity of colleges of ed and licensure standards
Emphasizing performance information in accreditation
Provide information on knowledge from candidates
Changes in standards and program review process
Talking to NCATE staff
Pilot with 23 institutions
Web based information
Shortened timeline - still rejoinders
Forms will contain standards already in them
Program review system will be the forerunner of the system of the future
It will be done online
Program reviews done on cyberspace
Audit team on program review areas
Website redesign into four areas
Public, Institution, BOE, Program reviewers
Reports flow thru this system
There is an online course for program reviewers available to anyone
More transparent procedure
Many standards for teachers 50 states 50 standards
Incorporated INTASC standards
Incoporated NBPTS standards
- National associations developed standards for students
States adopted them
Degree of uniformity now
You now have standards for students, teacher standards should be congruent.
As state partnerships have emerged, more examination of standards has happened.
Clear knowledge and skill expectations for teachers and students have been set.
What it takes to create a profession?
What is important
- Agreement on knowledge and skill
- 1954 NCATE had 5 national partners 200 schools
- 2004 33 national partners 575 schools 48 state partnerships
ABCTE - Bush administration proposal
TEAC - Teacher Accreditation Council
Education comes to a stalemate.
Everyone gets something
Assigning unprepared individuals as teachers with schools with the most challenging children
Organize schools into teams
School leadership team
Howdy-doo chappies and chappettes. What we have here is a bit of Blogumentary going back in time. Some context: This clip will follow an interview with Rebecca Blood talking about how the early webloggers were explorers, combing the web for interesting links and adding a bit of commentary.
This clip ramps up to 1999, when LiveJournal and Blogger both opened the blog frontier to non-techies. After a fast-forward sample of that blog explosion, we jump back to ancient history... Samuel Pepys, and American Revolution pamphleteers - aka the original citizen media.
A cautionary note. Some bits are of course a little rough and I'm constantly reworking it. My voiceover, in particular, ain't so hot. When I have the whole thing somewhat nailed down, I'm going to re-record the entire VO so it all sounds decent and consistent. I welcome your feedback please!
Blog History [Quicktime, 12 MB]
Speaking of blog history, my belated farewell to one of the first black bloggers: Aaron of Uppity-Negro.com. I'm sorry to say I did not know him. But George did.
September 22, 2004 at 04:23 AM in Blogumentary | Permalink
A Florida theme park is helping parents keep track of their kids--by giving them wristbands embedded with high-tech radio signal technology.
Wannado City issues the radio frequency identification (RFID) wristbands to all visitors as part of general admission to the park, according to a release from Texas Instruments, the maker of the wristbands. The theme park opened last month in the Fort Lauderdale area.
The wristbands contain special microchips, or RFID tags, that wirelessly signal their whereabouts to reading devices throughout the 140,000-square-foot facility. Visitors can locate other members of their group by using touch-screen kiosks throughout the park that are linked to the system, called SafeTzone's Real-Time Locating System.
People have used RFID technology for years to track and identify livestock and lost pets. More recently, it has been put to use to monitor humans, and hospitals and prisons have begun to use RFID wristbands to keep tabs on patients and inmates.
One company, called Applied Digital Solutions, is even experimenting with injecting RFID chips into people's arms. Mexico's attorney general grabbed the headlines last month when the Mexican government announced he'd been injected with the company's chip to give him access to high-security facilities. The country is also studying the technology as a tool for combating kidnappings.
Businesses are finding new uses for RFID technology too. Wal-Mart Stores, Albertsons and dozens of other major retail chains and consumer goods manufactuers are slapping RFID tags onto merchandise with the hope that the technology will help them juggle inventory efficiently. Pharmaceutial makers are examining RFID systems as an antidote to the counterfeit drug trade.
Texas Instruments said it and its partner RF Code have installed the SafeTzone's Real-Time Locating System tracking technology at Paramount's Great America in Santa Clara, Calif., Wild Rivers Water Park in Irvine, Calif., Dollywood's Splash Country in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and Wet 'n Wild in Las Vegas.
Steamboat Springs Ski Resort in Colorado also plans to install the system. A LegoLand in Denmark is using similar technology to reunite kids separated from parents at its amusement park.
While it's never the case that all the students in a particular class like blogging, I feel my experiences with blogging in the classroom have been successful. I give students a broad range of topics on which to blog, I require them to blog the notes they use for their oral reports, and I occasionally devote class time to blogging. I've been fine-tuning the mechanism I use to evaluate their blogs, and I just posted my latest version.
The mechanism includes "coverage," "depth," "interaction," "discussion," "xenoblogging," and "wildcard".
"Coverage" -- Students should blog at least once on the major texts or topics covered in the class. (I post discussion questions and prompts, but rarely "assign" any.)
"Depth" -- of the entries that students choose for the "Coverage" component, a certain number should be examples that demonstrate a student's ability to delve deeply into the subject.
"Interaction" -- of the entries chosen for "Coverage," a certain number should be responses to peer blog entries or classroom discussions.
"Discussion" -- of the entries chosen for "Coverage," a certain number should demonstrate the student's ability to launch a meaty discussion via comments.
"Xenoblogging" -- a term I just made up; bascially, this is giving the student credit for posting comments in peer blog entries. To help students figure out what I mean by this, I cooked up a quick taxonomy, comprising the "comment primo" (which launches a discussion on someone else's blog), the "comment grande" (a long comment posted on a peer blog, which you can then advertise via a cross-blog posting), the "comment informative" (in which a commenter uses his or her particular knowledge in order to flesh out a general or incomplete statement made in a peer's blog entry), and the "link gracious" (which draws attention to the source of an idea or to a good conversation happening on someone else's blog).
"Wildcard" -- students get credit for being creative and taking risks with form and/or content. It can be related to the course subject matter, or not. My feeling is that if more students post material that interests them in the community weblogging space, then the whole community will benefit.
I posted the guidelines on my "American Lit I" course page.
ATLANTA - Long the most common way to store letters, homework and other computer files, the floppy disk is going the way of the horse upon the arrival of the car: it'll hang around but never hold the same relevance in everyday life.
And good riddance, say some home computer users. The march of technology must go on.
Like the penny, the floppy drive is hardly worth the trouble, computer makers say.
Dell Computer Corp. stopped including a floppy drive in new computers in spring 2003, and Gateway Inc. has followed suit on some models. Floppies are available on request for $10 to $20 extra.
"To some customers out there, it's like a security blanket," said Dell spokesman Lionel Menchaca. "Every computer they've ever had has had a floppy, so they still feel the need to order a floppy drive."
A few customers have complained when they found their new computers don't have floppy drives, but it's becoming uncommon as they realize the benefits of newer technologies, Menchaca said. Almost all new laptops don't come with a floppy.
More and more people are willing to say goodbye to the venerable floppy, said Gateway spokeswoman Lisa Emard.
"As long as we see customers request it, we'll continue to offer it," she said. "We'll be happy to move off the floppy once our customers are ready to make that move."
Some people may hesitate to abandon the floppy just because they're so comfortable with it, said Tarun Bhakta, president of Vision Computers outside Atlanta, one of the largest computer retailers in the South.
At his store, the basic computer model comes with all necessary equipment, but no floppy.
"People say they want a floppy drive, and then I ask them, 'When was the last time you used it?' A lot of the time, they say, 'Never,'" Bhakta said.
But plenty of regular, everyday computer users don't want to let their floppies go.
"For my children, they can work at school and at home. I think they're a pretty good idea," said shopper Mark Ordway.
"I just want something simple for me and my husband to use," said Pat Blaisdell.
The floppy disk has several replacements, including writeable compact discs and keychain flash memory devices. Both can hold much more data and are less likely to break.
Even so, floppies have been around since the late 1970s. People are used to them. They were the oldest form of removable storage still around.
"There's always some nostalgia," said Scott Wills, an electrical and computer engineering professor at Georgia Tech who has held on to an old 8-inch floppy disk. "It's a technology I'm glad to be rid of. I'd never label them, and I never knew what any of them were until I put them in and looked."
In a sense, it's amazing floppy disks have hung around for this long.
They only hold 1.44 megabytes of space — still enough for word processing documents but little else. By comparison, CDs store upward of 700 megabytes, and the flash memory drives typically carry between 64 and 256 megabytes.
And it's been a long time since floppy disks were even floppy. They used to come in a bendable plastic casing and were 5.25 inches wide, but Apple Computer Inc. pioneered the smaller, higher density disks with its Macintosh (news - web sites) computers in the mid-1980s.
Then Apple become the first mass-market computer manufacturer to stop including floppy drives altogether with the release of their iMac model in 1998.
"It's not officially dead, but there's no question it's a slow demise," said Tim Bajarin, principle analyst for Creative Strategies, a technology consulting firm near San Jose, Calif. "You had a few people ... who were screaming, but in a short time, they adjusted."
It may not be too many years before floppy disks are joined by DVDs. Microsoft founder Bill Gates (news - web sites) recently predicted the DVD would be obsolete within a decade.