The Right AT for Remington
Remington (now a Grade 12 student) attends Chilliwack Senior Secondary. Late last school year, having technology with him in his academic classes proved to be successful and rewarding, not only for him but for his school-based team as well.
Remington received a laptop computer from SET-BC. He diligently uses Kurzweil 3000, Dragon Naturally Speaking, and the various assistive features of O365 to complete his English and Science assignments. Kurzweil 3000 is a web-based learning solution that supports students with reading and writing. Dragon Naturally Speaking is a leading speech recognition solution that allows users to dictate into their computers.
With more teachers using digital tools such as O365, Google Classroom or Moodle in the classroom, it has been seamless for students to now receive assignments in electronic form. They can then use programs like Kurzweil to access or complete curricular assignments. Before he had the laptop, Remington’s EA would receive his assignments and act as his reader. Now, Remington can independently access an assignment from the classroom’s Teams account and open it in Kurzweil to have it read back to him. He can also find audio versions of books. If he’s assigned a question-and-answer worksheet on DNA structures, Remington can have the text read to him. Then he can fill out his answers using the dictation features.
“I’ve been using Dragon or the dictate icon to speak into my PowerPoint presentation and then use immersive reader or Kurzweil to read back what I wrote which makes it easier to complete my assignment. I’m currently working on my PowerPoint presentation about an interview I did with a local First Nations leader,” says Remington. “I like listening to novels in class and using the dictation feature to answer questions. Sometimes it picks up other voices in the classroom, which can be really annoying though. I like having my own computer. I’m going to take more cooking classes in grade 12 and more science classes but not sure of my plans after high school.”
SD #33 District Partner, Grietha Van Gameren has known Remington for several years. She sees the value of an amazing partnership and collaboration with a program like SET-BC and how it can help students like Remington. She says, “Assistive Technology has a wide range of benefits for a wide range of individuals. For a student who has mechanical barriers to writing, technology can open so many more doors. Confidence and independence are two areas where I have seen my student grow. Having the tools to support spelling and grammar and having the ability to read text gives purpose and confidence to reach for higher goals. Watching my student work independently alongside his peers and producing work that he has done is very rewarding. This independence has created a greater sense of purpose and dreaming of things to explore after high school. Without the support of the SET-BC team and their technology this would not have been possible.”