Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Inspiration Part 2

The second month of Inspiration focused on more advanced ways to use the software to modify paper organizers and adapt lessons for special education students. The goals were to

  • Modifying classroom organizers for special education

  • Using Text-to-Speech features

  • Adding voice and sound to the diagram as an adaptive strategy

  • Adding images from the Internet to the diagram

  • Adding videos to the diagram

  • Using/Creating templates

  • Transforming a paper organizer into an Inspiration diagram

When I presented these topics to the teachers, they were very excited about the possibilities. When teachers tried using Inspiration they found the results very encouraging as indicated by some of their reflections.

They were told that they could use this program to help them organize their thoughts - just like the graphic organizer. After doing a few examples with them, they caught on quickly and began to work independently. One student was having difficulty with generating ideas, so I sat with him and asked him some questions to get more details. He said, "Oh, that's right! I almost forgot about that. This is what happened next . . ." By the end of the period, all three students had a completed/nearly completed graphic organizer with extra supporting details. One even thanked me for helping him remember the events to his story so that he was able to create a very detailed organizer for his letter.

It went very well. As a matter of fact, I saw some other special ed students in resource using Inspiration independently to complete an assignment for their LA class. Seems like this software program is catching on!
These are encouraging reports which show that when students are given tools that are closer to their "native" habitat they are more motivated and willing to stay on task. It gives me encouragement to hear success stories such as these and make me want to continue sharing the information I have with others who will take the challenge to engage students with technology.

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