"My students are going to be pros at technology by the time this pandemic is over!" a TVI exclaims during a virtual conference. Many of our students with visual impairments have stepped up their tech skills during remote and hybrid instruction. Along with the tech skills, independence has soared! Without someone close by to lean on, many of our students have taken ownership of their school work and these students are blossoming!
Tech skills are integrated into all virtual classes, with the first step being how to access the virtual meeting platform. Students are collaborating with peers on projects using tools such as Google Docs/Word, Google Slides/PowerPoint, etc. Student projects include creating a slide presentation and video presentations. Students are using the Internet to research for personal use and school use. All of these skills are powerful tools that students will use in college and in the work force. What's the next step after you learn to use the tech? Share what you have learned!
Opportunities for Students with Visual Impairments/Blindness
Paths to Technology is a safe place for students to learn more about assistive technology and to share what they know. Does "blogging" sound intimating? It really isn't! Start by reading a post and adding a comment below the post. Answer a question.
Elijah, our first student blogger, wrote a post, Types of Technology I Use to Help with My Schooling. In the Comment section below the post, share what type of technology that you use.
Next, create a video of how you use your tech to join a virtual class or to complete an assignment. Talk about your favorite app or better yet, create a video tutorial about that app. Do you have a hint on how to do something using tech? Talk about how you use tech at home or for personal use.
Do you prefer making a video? Not sure what to say? Try an interview style video, like Samantha.
Create a video that explains your vision and accommodations and share it with your teachers. Share your story of how you advocated for something at school or home. Let your light shine!
In this video, Drew, an elementary student, shares how to use the Zoom feature on the iPad.
Are you tired of answering all those "blind" questions? Try creating a fun video like Riley did!
There are numerous student videos and posts on Paths to Technology - check them out!
Want to blog with your group? One group of students wrote about their experiences of learning to cook through various meal kit services. Each student shared their perspective (the good, the bad, and the funny!) as they ordered their meal kits on line and cooked the various meals. Here is Cooking without Looking: Week One.
Benefits of Blogging
Besides the obvious writing skills (and potentially video skills), blogging is a terrific 21st century skill! A number of regular Paths to Technology bloggers have included blogging on their college applications and resumes. Did I mention that several of the tech savvy bloggers have gone on into tech-related studies in college and/or tech jobs? One blogger is now studying to be a writer!
Remote Instruction Blogs/Videos
With remote instruction and hybrid learning, there are many questions about how students with visual impairments are accessing classes and materials. I'm actively recruiting student bloggers to share their success stories, assistive tech tips, and tutorials about their experiences with remote/hybrid instruction! Here are a few ideas to get you started!
- What tech are you using during remote/hybrid instruction?
- Written blog posts and/or video tutorials
- Tips and tricks of what did or did not work remotely?
- Describe (or demonstrate) your favorite remote/hybrid activity or lesson
Need Help Getting Started?
Contact me, Diane Brauner at firstname.lastname@example.org I am happy to brainstorm ideas with you, answer questions, help you post or simply send things to me to post on your behalf!
TVIs: Please encourage your students to share - incorporate blogging into YOUR class and encourage your student to fly!