From Deb Nelson, Royal Palm School
I work with students with severe cognitive disabilities and I use MyTalk in my class for individual students to actively participate as the others students watch on my media screen via an LCD projector and Apple TV. The repetition and the active participation help move information into long term memory. As we embark on another school year, there are three major concepts I would like to share with other special educators about MyTalk. And I'd like to say thanks to those professionals who gave their time for others.
1) Depending on your state and how federal requirements are being met, MyTalk can be a valuable tool.
- Support: In my mind just by virtue of using a MyTalk board I'm meeting many requirements, getting students who have not engaged before active in a lesson, and even have the staff that attends with the students sitting on the edge of their seat. Yes, it goes beyond the classroom. People stop me in the hallway. ‘Oh, you have an iPad or I saw you....how does that go?’ With a five minute tour I can show them how MyTalk provides support.
- Curriculum: I show them all my music programs and then show them how students can then comment. Oh, did we play that fast or slow? They get to pick and show that they got it. Staff is astounded. MyTalk has become an integral part of the lesson.
- Alternate testing:
- My state (Florida): MyTalk allows me to mimic the alternate testing that my state requires since it has three choices and uses pictures. The best is that my county uses Unique Learning with Symbol Styx as icons. So I too can be consistent by using Symbol Styx in my instruction and assessment.
- CA testing protocol-[Comments below Barbara Lowe of the Placentia-Yorba Linda USD comments on Deborah’s 3, 2, 1, choice board]
Yes, I did have a chance to look at the choice board template called "Which is music". I think teachers would be able to use it for a variety of assessment-type activities. As the instructions described the board sequence models many tests for students with significant disabilities in that it gives a choice of three, then two, and then one. In tests that come with my curriculum, this is the format used; students get 3 points for answering correctly on the first try from a choice of 3, 2 points for answering next from a choice of 2, and 1 point for answering with 1 choice, and no points if they do not respond at all. This is also the format used for the California assessment for students with significant disabilities that all students must take. Most teachers would be familiar with decreasing choices for correct answers on additional trials.
I think this template would be functional for teachers, and could be used for test taking in the classroom. And it is so easy to change the content of the boards making it useful for math, language arts, science, art, etc. [Barbara Howe-George Key School]
2) New MyTalk ‘submissions’ library: There’s no time! People in general and teachers in particular don't have time. So your new ‘submissions’ library with prefab boards is fantastic. Technology is time consuming and most of us have other responsibilities to take care of first. Thank you for introducing the submissions library and thanks to Barbara and the other 5 professionals who donated over 100 getting started boards. It would be great for you to open up the submissions library for all users to donate boards, if you could figure out how to manage it and keep it orderly.
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