Phaedra is a lively 8 year old girl who is integrated into an open concept grade 3 classroom. Phaedra has Down Syndrome and some visual impairment which affected her motivation and ability to focus on a task for more than 2 or 3 minutes. On previous computers she also had difficulty seeing the items on the screen as well as maneuvering the mouse and pointer. Her teachers felt that an enlarged large touch screen computer and BoardMaker Studio software would make learning more accessible, immediate and motivating. She received this computer from SET BC in September of 2011.
Since the computer has been in place she has become very motivated. Because of the larger screen, learning materials are already enlarged and therefore easily accessible. Phaedra enjoys the control she has over the images on the screen and her ability to make things happen. She always asks to use the computer and is happy to stay on learning tasks for more than 30 minutes at a time and is always disappointed when her computer time is up.
Over the months she has made unforeseen progress in her numeracy and literacy skills. She has begun learning the primary Dolch word list as well as reading the names of important classmates in her life. Speech and language have improved significantly as she had more opportunities to listen and practice individual targeted words and phrases. The software she has allows her to write easily using word banks.
An unforeseen benefit is that Phaedra now shows a new confidence in her place in the classroom. During whole class activities she is able to be a part of the group and is no longer shy to speak up and contribute. She will now initiate interaction with her classmates and wants to show them things of interest on her computer and in the classroom. The computer has truly facilitated Phaedra’s learning as well as her inclusion in the classroom.