Participants from all over the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, including teachers, speech and language pathologists, administrators and consultants joined the SET-BC sponsored event – Smart Inclusion Classroom Practices – on Monday January 21. Alex Dunn, the presenter, is a Speech and Language Pathologist with the Upper Canada School District. She has presented internationally on exploring both assistive technology and pedagogy as part of a Universal Design Toolkit. Alex was named SMART Technologies’ Exemplary Educator of the Year for Canada for 2012 and appointed as an Officer for Special Education Technology Special Interest Group for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
Alex surveyed strategies involving UDL, the Participation Model (from the work of David Buekleman and Pat Mirenda), Design Intervention and various genre of technology including social media. Alex demonstrated that to be part of an inclusive classroom community, we, as educators, must focus on collaboration to facilitate independence in learning. Facilitators need to trust in the capacity of the students to think and learn for themselves. Students when given the appropriate resources and access tools are far more invested in their own learning and exhibit noteworthy social and academic success – confirming the power of person centered learning. She emphasized that inclusion teaching strategies benefit all – for our special education students, as well as, our mainstream students. What is necessary for some will be good for all.