I have had the tremendous opportunity this year to work with SET-BC, and with Rob Plaskett. I have six special education students, grades 8-12, who are all benefitting from the use of Classroom Suite, Clicker, and Kurzweil. I was introduced to these programs at the beginning of the school year when one of my students received a SET BC laptop. After seeing the incredible potential these programs have as motivating, individualized learning tools for my students, I was able to get my school district to provide desktop computers and purchase these programs for my classroom. Rob Plaskett has also provided valuable instructional in-services over the course of the year.
In particular, I have one student with a SET-BC laptop computer who has multiple handicaps that include physical, mental, and visual disabilities. This student uses her SET-BC laptop for most of her functional academic and life-skills learning. The biggest success for this student is that she now has the opportunity to be an independent learner. She has gained tremendous independence in using her computer, and she takes part in her learning by helping to design her own learning grids. This student now takes ownership in her learning, and is motivated and engaged, as a result of her SET-BC computer and programs.
I also have a Down’s student who uses his computer on a daily basis. Through Kurzweil, he can be immersed in written text by “reading” stories about subjects he finds interesting. He can write recipes that he will eventually practice using in school, and at home. He is also able to study important functional life-skills through the use of several learning grids in Clicker and Classroom Suite. As a result, he stays engaged in his learning for longer periods of time, and his skills have improved.
Recently, three of my eighth grade students were learning to use Classroom Suite to produce a written animal report. Writing is hard for them, and by using the graphic organizer, and then merging their ideas into the learning grids, they were able to produce awesome reports of which they were very proud. While working with one of my students as he wrote his ideas in the grid, he turned to me and said, “I am really liking this!” I believe this statement epitomizes the success story for each of my students. They love using computers, and these programs provide a rich array of individualized learning activities for them to use.