Monday, March 20, 2017

Being Evaluated?

I periodically receive messages from teachers commenting on how well their internship/teacher evaluations went when they used an Animated Step-by-Step (ASbyS) on an interactive whiteboard as part of their lesson. Given the frequency with which this occurs,  I decided to devote some space to discussing why this might hold true.

Many schools have invested in technology, so of course, they are thrilled to see their interactive whiteboard technology being skillfully used with an ASbyS. ASbyS work beautifully on an interactive whiteboard and are a wonderful vehicle for allowing teachers to flaunt their ‘technology chops’ during their evaluation. Because the ASbyS is logically planned, the teacher is free to devote his/her creative energy toward conceptualizing the differentiated instruction that should occur during the activity.

When using an ASbyS, there is a clear visual focus to your lesson. The many animations/sound effects embedded within an ASbyS help to heighten engagement and keep students ‘on task’ and engaged.  Engagement is further enhanced by incorporating remote switch technology that allows students to trigger animations regardless of their motor ability. This eliminates the need to physically approach the interactive whiteboard, as students can activate the animations/sound effects via a switch presented on a board.(e.g., RJ Cooper Super Bluetooth Switch) Many classrooms have iPads so you can even incorporate the Attainment Switch App ($4.99), to use your iPad as if it were a switch! 

There is also considerable flexibility in the manner in which the lesson can be structured. For example, you many opt to read/animate each page/step, then physically perform that step as you progress through the ASbyS. In other classrooms you might conduct the ASbyS as a group lesson then encourage pairs of students to rotate through a work station where they are guided through the activity using the same ASbyS on an iPad.

Being evaluated?  Hope it goes well!

…’til the next post …  (new posts every Monday)

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©2017 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator