1998 Conference Proceedings

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An Overview of San Bernardino County Schools Integrating Technology Throughout The Curriculum

Leslie Walker
M.A. Special Education
Preschool Teacher
Special Education
Sycamore Rocks Elementary
23450 South Road
Apple Valley, Ca 92307

Kathy Van Velzen
M.S. Science and Special Education
Preschool Teacher/ Mentor Special Education
Sycamore Rocks Elementary
23450 South Road
Apple Valley, Ca 92307

Jackie McCluskey
BSc/Psy Bio, B.Ed
High School Transition/ Mentor Teacher
Victor Valley High School
16500 Mojave Drive,
Victorville, Ca 92392

Mary Ellen Johnson
M.A. Special Education
High School /Lead /Transition Teacher
Apple Valley High School
11837 Navajo Road,
Apple Valley, Ca 92308
Maryellen _johnson@eee.org

San Bernardino County serves students with special needs from birth to age 22. Our County encompassed over 20,000 square miles and serves over three thousand students.

We have long recognized that Technology bridges the gap for many of our students in many areas including visual needs, auditory needs, specific augmentative solutions, and specialized curriculum approaches. As our programs grow larger, we are faced with the challenge of equipping and training every classroom with appropriate technology and trained staff. We began by developing a Technology Plan that would encompass all curricular needs and support services. The decision was made to have teachers with existing technology expertise serve as Demonstration Teachers and spotlight use of Technology within their curriculum and serve as a mentor to other staff and parents in order to facilitate learning technology as it relates to specific curricular areas. Studies within San Bernardino County found the norm was to teach technology skills in isolation without training for integrated use throughout our specialized curriculums. San Bernardino County utilizes the Core Curriculum, And Modified Core Curriculum, Communication Curriculum, Social Skills Curriculum, MOVE Curriculum, Teacch and Critical Skills Curriculum to provide for the diverse needs of our students. Teachers with existing technology expertise wrote competing grants in order to qualify for up to ten thousand dollars of funding to support their program. Proposals that showcased using technology in innovative ways to serve the students were given priority. This presentation focuses on four of these innovative grant projects.

Project One

Incorporating Technology in Thematic Teaching Preschool / Kindergarten Programs For Children Ages Three to Five Years

This project focuses on a hands-on approach to using technology with young learners to support their needs. The curriculum is divided into ten monthly thematic units with an emphasis on language, independence, pre-academic skills and personal choice making. Subject areas covered in the Thematic units include; Summer at the Zoo, Fall on the Farm, Halloween, Thanksgiving/ Foods, Winter Holidays, Nursery Rhymes, All About Myself, Transportation, Community Helpers, Insects, and Water/ Bubbles. Activities were designed to teach cause and effect, to utilize switch toys, to use environmental and augmentative technologies and to incorporate computer use in a fun and motivating way. The curriculum is divided into these areas; fine motor/ art, gross motor, pre-academic activities, cooking, language development, and Music. Technology use is integrated in a meaningful way throughout all areas of this curriculum. This presentation highlights switch toys, teacher developed and downloadable software, augmentative use and training, and portfolio development.

Project Two

Development of a Web Page to Serve as A Parent/ Teacher Resource for Preschool/ Kindergarten Programs

This project focuses on publishing the resource materials and technology applications developed in Project One. These resources are published by Thematic Unit and feature digital photography. This web page resource includes sample lesson plans, parent communication, and downloadable teacher developed software with designed access for persons with special needs. This software is freeware. This part of the presentation will consist of a demonstration of the web pages for interested consumers. The web address is;


Project Three

Technology for Transition

This project focuses on teaching strategies and using available and teacher made materials to support the Critical Skills Curriculum. Discussion will center around promoting positive post high school outcomes for the learner with multiple or severe challenges. These interventions focus on a High tech and a Low Tech approach to creation of materials that would enable the student to communicate successfully. The emphasis of this presentation is focused on natural environments and the acquisition of community skills.

Project Four

Job Skills Taught via a Student Video Production Lab

This project focuses on training students with multiple challenges to use a variety of video production equipment to produce curriculum related videos. The students also perform in these videos and reinforce their skills in the areas of domestic and community skills. The students critique their own social skills as a result of this project. The students have been asked to video productions for other events and this has been beneficial to raising their self-esteem. Another benefit of this project has been to allow the students access to actual training photos of their future workplaces, which can then be used in communication devices or prompting systems.

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