Learning What you Need

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Helping a student take a test with a virtual teacher

I am always trying to figure out better ways to help my students virtually. Teaching the students their ability to text messages is an immediate help. My students who have learned enough technology skills, can sit in class and text me for a quick answer to any technical problem they have whether it's about hardware or software. For example: At the start of the year, teacher's are usually fearful of having a blind student in their classroom and they are very unsure what to do. A teacher emailed me last week saying, "I will be giving the class a test, How do I give the blind student the test?" I told her to put the test in a WORD document, then save it to a thumb drive. Then give the student the thumb drive and tell her which document file to open when the rest of the class was working on their paper test.

This is where their ability to text me as their teacher became valuable. The student opened her test and realized she has forgotten some of her talking software commands over the summer. She text me with the problem (I am hundreds of miles away from her, but at my computer and beside her virtually) She needs help with her technology. I give her the code for a JAWS tandem session so I can pull up her computer and take a look at her issue. I text her back with what she needs to do to get JAWS to read the problems and tell her where to answer. She is off and running.

She does not disturb anyone else in the classroom as she has her headset on and quietly listens to my directions in the text. No one else knows she is getting help from me but the teacher. A virtual teacher beside her whenever she needs.

This access to a virtual technology teacher who knows skills for the blind gives the regular education teachers and students peace of mind because they have the technical help whenever they need.

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