2002 Conference Proceedings

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Simple Technology Integration in the Classroom: A Workshop Model That Works

Wendy Homlish
Assistive Technology Consultant
Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21
Schnecksville, PA

Many students with disabilities are able to activate a switch to get the fireman up the ladder, or to make a truck run across the floor. But where do teachers go from there? How can we support teachers and therapists in the meaningful integration of simple technology in the classroom and beyond? How can we begin to think about more active participation and independence for students with severe disabilities? How can curriculum-based goals be met through the use of simple technology solutions?

This presentation will focus on a workshop created for our local staff development process - "Simple Technology Solutions for Increased Participation". The presenters will provide information regarding the rationale for the development of this workshop, the workshop content and logistics, and materials used. In addition, the presenters will share information regarding the development of the follow-up "Simple Tech Kits" for use by classroom staff and itinerant therapists.

Most teachers and therapists are aware of simple technology products from manufacturers, but tend not to think "outside of the box". One component of the workshop focused on creative use of off the shelf items that can be adapted or utilized to allow students to be become active participants. Centers that teachers rotated through included:

Simple technology utilized included:

In addition to the kit contents, information will be shared on an activity book created to address the use of the technology based on curricular goals and state standards. Activity sheets were set up in the following format:

This book will be part of each kit so that teachers know what they can do with the contents and can add additional activities to be shared with others.

Through experiencing the use of simple technology in novel ways, classroom staff can move "outside the box" and allow students with severe disabilities to be active participants.

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