Training, Training and More Training

Lack of training and professional development around assistive technology (AT) has been identified as one of the major barriers to AT implementation in education.

 

In Australia there are enormous regional variations in the amount of training and PD available to teachers in special education and learning support. Like many things in the disability community it is often called the “postcode lottery”.

 

With respect to AT, teachers have to know:

– What options exist?

– Which features may suit which need?

– Who would benefit?

– When should they be used?

– How to use them?

 

Deciding which solution is going to be right for each individual also has to be done in a complex environment, best summarised in the following diagram.

Diagram of steps: IT infrastructure, Software, Operating System, Synch to other devices, Accessories, Online access

 

 

Life used to be simpler, and for many teachers who haven’t grown up as ‘digital natives’ it can be all too hard. The learning curve is seen as too steep when considered amongst the myriad of other responsibilities all teachers have.

 

Quantum has been providing training and professional development around Australia for over 25 years. We can develop customised sessions that meet your specific needs.

 

 

Quantum’s Peter Cracknell presenting to Optometry students at QUT October 2013

Quantum’s Peter Cracknell presenting to Optometry students at QUT October 2013

 

One session might be ‘hands-on’ detailed instruction around a particular product. Another might look at general trends and developments, with the aim of maintaining an overview of available options.

 

Subject areas include:

– Low Vision

– Blindness

– Learning Disability

– Alternate Format Production

 

 

In our training sessions we can also look at the changing demands on teacher’s skill requirements, looking at

– Keeping your knowledge current

– Computer skills needed

– Information retrieval and manipulation

– Multi-format, multi-media

 

 

We also look at the challenges AT can bring to traditional teaching models, and look at alternatives such as

– Teacher as co-learner

– Focusing on implementation, support and care of technology   instead of “product expertise”

– Integrating technology into the curriculum

 

 

One of the biggest challenges for educators today is to be able to imagine the technology landscape of the future. Professional development is your bridge to that future.