Thursday, 27 November 2014

Teaching an old dog new tricks!

1 classroom computer, for a class of 8 students!
Plus the ISA-funded one not to be used by the other kids. 
Old teachers never stop teaching! I love learning to integrate technology into my retirement life in my old age!

I noticed my son-in-law, Mr. Encryption Engineer, dictating an email message into his iPhone.  What a hoot! My kids keep me on the cutting edge! I'd forgotten about that.

When I taught special needs
students, we used many different special applications on laptops. One was called Dragon Naturally Speaking. It was an early generation of the application, very sophisticated for us in 2004/5. The students could speak their piece into the headset, and the app would change it into text. You could log in as a particular user, and it would remember your vocabulary, and recognize frequently-used words, give you spelling suggestions. It was great for learning disabled students who needed a hand up and some encouragement. Unfortunately, my one student who qualified for this Intensive Support Amount (ISA funding - PDF), was the only kid who was to use it.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) didn't think it through. No one asked the front line workers. Sp. Ed. staff didn't have the time or energy to learn how to use these applications and the new equipment. I did, because it was my passion. I taught my peers how to integrate technology, giving provincial workshops. Sigh. Rant over.

With ISA funding they gave my 1 student
a laptop, scanner, Kurzweil, DNS, printer.

A thought occurred to me. I like to keep notes when I read non-fiction. I thought it might be fun to dictate the notes, rather than typing them out.  I checked, and found a free app for our iPad.  Checking out the apps for the iPad I found Dragon Speaking, which must be an off-shoot.

Hubby, having an appointment with the Naturopath today, had some notes he wanted to give her regarding his issues, his progress and symptoms. I taught him the app.

He dictated it into the machine, remembering to say, 'full stop", and it would create a period, and a new sentence. You can also say, 'new paragraph' and it does that, too.
Simple as this!

This helps someone who isn't a great speller, nor a fast typist. Hubby also communicates regularly, by email, with Dr. Jen, and could send this to her. We printed it instead. The spelling choices are tricky, and you must enunciate carefully. 'Weight' issues, became weed. We thought Dr. Jen might get a kick out of that!

About $100 on
for the full program.

Using more technology, just for fun, I created him a re-usable chart for his supplements. He uses a washable marker, erases it after 2 weeks, and starts again. We could use a fresh piece of paper, in order to keep track, instead I just take a photo.

Dragon speaking from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
Making notes for a medical appointment. Notice the grandkids numerical


Judy said...

Technology is wonderful, sometimes!!! I still think kids should learn cursive, though...

William Kendall said...

One of my writing friends tends to dictate her work in much the same way. It comes easier to her that way than to be at the computer all day.

Red said...

Key word is challenge. Keep on challenging yourself. we see altogether too many people who just veg. Blogging has pushed me to learn many new things.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Yes I know of folk who dictate... I am such a 'typist' though, I think I would become frustrated. Something for everyone though in this technical age and may these positives always be with us! YAM xx