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Generalizing and transferring skills!
In my role, I work with learners and teacher teams to support access, compensation and engagement in learning (I'm pretty sure I have the greatest job)! At times it can be challenging for us to envision what the future will look like for our learners especially when introducing them to various assistive technologies that support their learning. I'm always wondering about how things will change, how accessible/inaccessible the next school curricular resource be etc. especially when our goal is always to try to eliminate roadblocks for our learners.
Our district is a 1:1 iPad K-5 and then 1:1 Chromebooks in 6-12. This elementary to secondary transition can be a challenging jump for many learners who struggle to generalize their accessibility features learning from an iPad to the Chromebook. We often make individualized changes to the 1:1 devices in the secondary level to ensure we are meeting our student's learning needs. Recently, when introducing a student who is blind to his new school issued MacBook (in place of a Chromebook), I was thrilled to see how his work and developed skills with VoiceOver on the iPad could be transferred so readily to a different device.
I'm so lucky to be able to introduce a variety of learning tools to our learners to help them identify ways to support their own strengths as well as support their areas of growth. Now, for this student, he will continue to use his school iPad with Logitech Rugged Combo case, his refreshable Braille Notetaker, his personal iPod and now his newly issued MacBook to navigate his learning. It's about the right tool for the task. Check out this short video of him setting up his MacBook using VoiceOver. We didn't need to teach him a thing about accessing the device. We just need to help him understand various workflow suggestions unique to the MacBook that would support his learning workflow.
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