Friday, 30 September 2011

AT – What it is?

With the growing number of students being identified as LD, we see a greater need for AT.  Because there are a number of reasons leading to reading difficulties, it can make it tricky to pinpoint the exact cause and remediation strategy.  As David Sousa states, "Put very simply, successful reading involves two basic operations: decoding and comprehension.  Learning to read starts with the awareness that speech is composed of individual sounds (phonemes) and a recognition that written spellings represent those sounds (called the alphabetic principle).  Of course, to be successful in acquiring the alphabetic principle, the child has to be aware of how the phonemes of spoken language can be manipulated to form new words and rhymes.  The neural systems that perceive the phonemes in our language are more efficient in some children than in others."  Through his reading, Sousa discusses the complexity of the reading process and how individuals are affected differently.  The readings for last week’s class allowed me to reflect on the need and use of AT in the classroom.  Compensatory vs remediation strategies cause a huge debate.  Effective remediation can be beneficial for LD students, however, dyslexic readers will often still remain slow readers and will need extra time to demonstrate their knowledge.  I believe this is where I opened up my eyes to the need for assistive technology!

AT = ACCESS to a task and improving performance of a student!  Viewing the class powerpoints allowed me to reflect on the number of AT available for students.  I hadn't realized how many different types of AT there are and how this can be the decision on whether a student is able to successfully complete a task or not.  I am excited to learn about the different types of AT and incorporate them into my classroom!