Using Tech for Inclusion

As part of the Fifth Grade students’ last year in PYP, they have been working on their Exhibition of Mastery projects for the past six weeks. I have been amazed at the effort and dedication they have shown in preparing their displays and presentations and I was excited to see the final projects last Friday. Teachers from throughout the school have been involved in mentoring students, providing everything from moral support and encouragement to resources and examples that the students could build off. This is the first year that my school put together a full Exhibition of Mastery and it has been an exciting time for the students.

Ready to go

Using prerecorded audio

Throughout the time I have been working on COETAIL, I have also been taking the LEAD Inclusion courses with Dr. Lee Ann Jung. I wholeheartedly recommend this course if you are working to building an inclusive learning environment for all students.  The reason why I mention this is that both COETAIL and LEAD Inclusion have really inspired me to take new approaches in order to ensure that all students have been able to participate and access the resources they have needed.

One of the students with whom I work has been diagnosed with an intellectual disability. Their disability can make it difficult for them to present all of their ideas sequentially and their thoughts can sometimes become jumbled and come out in the “wrong” order. In order to help this student demonstrate their learning, I worked with them to create a podcast. They wrote the script, decided which information they wanted to include, and then we set about recording the ideas.

After the audio was recorded, the student choose images they felt would enhance their video. We reviewed the importance of remembering the rights of the creator and I bored them all, once again, with my epic tale of betrayal at the hands of a friend who “stole” my photograph. See my post Copyrights and Wrongs posted a year ago pretty much to the day for a more detailed explanation. When we watched the student’s finished video, they were proud of themselves and their creation. It took a lot of time and audio edits, but I’m excited that they feel empowered by this.

Photo by Inbetween Architects on Unsplash

Using visuals

I was also able to teach some of what I learned from course 3 regarding PowerPoint. One of my students wanted to create a PowerPoint that showed all of her research and she had reams of text on each slide. She knew what she wanted to say, but as she presented, she read from the slides. To help her, I showed her excerpts from the first five minutes of How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint.

Following this, I showed her the example sides from What is good Presentation design? (Presentation Zen) and we discussed what made the slides more effective. The final result was a PowerPoint full of visuals that she was able to talk about while facing her audience.