Today I had the good fortune of working with teachers from the East Brunswick Public Schools as part of their Professional Development In-service Program. Well over 100 teachers spent a full day with me as we explored a range of new tools and strategies to help address the needs of all learners in their classrooms. It was very exciting for me to see the lights go off as I introduced them to Web 2.0 technologies as as free tools that they could start using tomorrow in their classroom. A lot has changed since I entered the field of assistive technology and it is really incredible how much can be done and accomplished with some of the new Web 2.0 technologies to help address reading, writing, and math. During my presentation I introduced the teachers to Google Doc's, NaturalReader, MyWebspiration, as well as technologies that could take text and convert them to MP3 files. You could see the wheels were turning as the teachers reflected on their students.
During the presentation I brought along Papershow, to demonstrate for the teachers. I quickly realized just how powerful a tool this could be when doing presentations. With Papershow I could quickly write down a website or any other information that I wanted to share and have it viewed through my data projector. Throughout the day, I used Papershow and it worked flawlessly- I just have to remember to bring along a spare AAA battery for the pen. I was impressed that the software did alert me that the battery was low. In any case having Papershow, was like having a portable interactive whiteboard that I could write on and share my ideas. To read more about my experiences with Papershow click here.
You can take a look at the ground that I covered today in the workshop by viewing my Google Presentation. If you or your school are interested in having me come out and do a workshop or presentation on this topic please feel free to email me.