The demand for quality accessible lessons is at an all time high during remote instruction and hybrid classrooms. Paths to Technology is building a Lesson Library; we are asking for YOUR input on what format you prefer for remote instruction lessons. In a recent discussion about the need for accessible lessons, a number of teachers of the visually impaired shared their preferred format and why. Educators - including TVIs - have been creating and teaching digital lessons. Last spring, when school abruptly changed from face-to-face classrooms to virtual classrooms, we did not know that many classrooms would remain virtual or hybrid model this year. Transitioning from hands-on lesson with students who are visually impaired to virtual lessons requires students to have some level of tech skills and requires TVIs and COMS to develop resources in a digital format. So what is "the best" format for remote lessons?
Here is a summary of what TVIs have shared:
YouTube video lessons
- Lots of support for YouTube lessons!
- Some districts do not allow YouTube videos
- Option? Video lesson embedded into a post in other formats, such as .mp4?
PowerPoints or Google Slides
- Google Slides can be challenging for students who use screen readers
- Prefer presentations over videos as it is easier to stop or go back to a specific section to review
- Word/Google Doc/PDF
- If using a video or presentation, include a hard copy of resources (PDF)
- My students respond well to the idea of a mainstream method (YouTube, presentations).
- I like the idea of a full lesson built right into a YouTube lesson. We (TVI's) can add to, reinforce and adapt as needed.
- I'm a TVI and am visually impaired myself. I prefer YouTube videos with PDFs.
- Young students may not yet have the tech skills to easily navigate a variety of formats.
Teaching resources should not be "one-size fits all". Just like our students have unique preferences, it appears that TVIs have different reasons for liking different types of formats for remote instruction and the best option is a combination of complimentary formats, such as a video lesson with a written lesson plan and Word/Doc/PDF resources. One thing that was not asked - does the format change as students progress through the grades? What are YOUR thoughts about the best format?
North Carolina Lighthouse Lesson Example
Recently, Paths to Technology posted a social studies/O&M lesson, North Carolina Lighthouse Lesson. This lesson has two levels: a basic level with a simple short story, simple non-visual digital map and basic questions; the second level has includes a book (epub and PDF versions) with information about each lighthouse, vocabulary words, a more challenging map and questions that require drawing conclusions. Teachers can use the lessons as progressive lessons or individually, depending on student's age and abilities. The resources are included in the post. A TVI asked for a video lesson version. What do you think?
Would you use:
- The North Carolina Lighthouse post and materials to teach the lesson yourself?
- Share the video lesson with the student and accompanying materials?
- Combination: Share the video lesson with the student and materials and use the written post to help guide your lesson?
Here is the North Carolina Lighthouse Video Lesson (the basic lesson as .mp4)
North Carolina Lighthouse Video Lesson (the basic lesson as Vimeo video) embedded below: