My Crazy Idea..., pack, and get a good night rest. So I never got around to talking about Friday's presentations. So here's what I thought.
I attended a great session Friday morning by Penny Reed & Gayl Bowser (both very active QIAT Leadership type people!). They presented a great session about ways to work smarter, not harder by using web tools like - Blogs, Nings, & Wikis (hmmm...seem familiar!). Some of the blogs they mention were Teaching Every Student, No Limits to Learning, & TLWMSN. They also talked about the AT Help Desk they created to help teams diagnose the best way to fix problems - AT Help Desk.
I went to a great session by Libby Rush on how to teach writing! While she had way to much material for a 1 hour session, she was thoroughly engaging and fun to watch! There was a lot discussed and most of it is in my notes (but she talks really fast, and I can't type that fast!). I'll do my best to try and put up a post soon about her ideas.
My favorite sessions were by last two. First I saw Marie Duggan, a Mom-NOS (not otherwise specifed), of 6 kids, one with Autism! She had filled her sons life with symbols, schedules, and communication. I'm amazed at all the solutions she came up with. When a problem arose they found a way to to help him. I think what I was most impressed by was that she didn't just work on the problem, she worked on the WHY! Then she worked on a way to help him understand! An utterly amazing woman. I wish she had had more time because we never got to hear about the new software she is working on.
Last, but certainly not least, was SMART Inclusion in the 21st Century: Integrating SMARTBoards with AT. A long title, but worth every second! A SLP, Alexandra Dunn at a small school board in Ottawa, Canada decided that the best way to integrate their students with SCD in the general ed classrooms was through SMARTBoards! The results were profound and AMAZING! All students increased participation and showed skills they never had before. Each SMARTBoard was used with BM, Classroom Suite, Notebook Software and they used it with all the students (not just the ones with IEP's!). They had Airliners (think portable mouse), Intellikeys, and switches so that there was a lot of alternative access, just depending on what the student needed. They even let some kids use their Bluetooth enabled devices to interact directly with the SMARTBoard!!!!!! They have some research, and as soon as it is posted I will let you know. This was some exciting stuff!
As you can see, I'm quite excited by my experience at ATIA. It's always amazing to me how much it helps to go to conferences and meet with other professionals, it's just an electric atmosphere. I have some information about today's sessions to post, and it will have to wait (I should be boarding momentarily). Again, if you are interested in reading my notes from the sessions please feel free to check them out here - ATIA Notes.
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