Sunday, April 20, 2014

EDUC7724 Apative Technology Analysis

I began my search of analysing Adaptive Technology tools using google. From the list of resources that appeared I chose Xmind, a map making tool, as the one I wanted to research. Once I downloaded the program and started perusing through the site I saw how it offered a variety of organizational maps for almost anything you could think of. The uses were endless in that it could be used for school, business, and personal activities. Yet, when I delved into it further I felt as if it would be more useful and beneficial for adults in need of organizational skills due to the complexity of keyboard or computing skills needed to get organized. I was looking for something more elementary so I went back to the list and chose Kidspiration. A program I had heard of, but one I had not used with students or even looked into on my own.

After watching the introduction video I felt this program was appropriate for ALL students not only for those visual learners or students in need of an adaptive tool. And I couldn't help but see this as a very useful tool for the many ELL's in my school. Kidspiration is a down loadable program for the MAC, iPad,chromatic, etc. for students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. The program offers a "visual way to explore and words, numbers, and concepts.

The visual thinking modalities span across curriculum areas and are meant to enhance and support learning as well as engage students in the learning. The 3 highlighted areas are in Reading, Writing and Math. Therefore the 3 views in which students can express their thinking are in reading skills, writing skills, and math concepts. Once students become accustomed to the user friendly buttons and icons they can easily take their visual thoughts, organize those ideas and turn them into written expressions.

Students have access to pictures & vocabulary, and in math, virtual manipulatives. They can create authentic representations of thoughts and ideas via flow charts, graphics, and words. Students are able to save these thoughts and ideas in a user friendly way, save their work and turn it into written words. As is the case with math students model problems and can manipulate the pictorial representations in order to solve problems. For teachers, this website includes lesson plans, common core standard resources, IDEA Funding options and more.
Here are a few teacher testimonials and comment regarding the use of Kidspiration in the classroom:


"A traditional outline doesn't work for everyone. But if they can see it in a graphic organizer, they know whether they’ve connected something in the right place, and it makes sense."
Maryanne Porter
Academy Park High School
Sharon Hill, PA

"I incorporate visual learning strategies with my students who have ADHD, dyslexia, and autism spectrum disorders. Grouping and organizing using mind maps comes more naturally and creates a multi-sensory approach to learning. Students using Inspiration find writing and learning easier, it is the most effective and direct way for them to get the work accomplished."
Jesse Berg
The Visual Leap and Cooper Learning Center
Voorhees, NJ

"It also helps linear learners create mind maps and visual learners create order. What a great way to bring different types of learners to shared understanding!"
Deb Logan
Librarian/Media Specialist
Mount Gilead Middle/High School
Mount Gilead, OH

"Inspiration helps level the playing field for struggling learners."
Maryanne Porter
Academy Park High School
Sharon Hill, PA

 Overall, I found this program to be a very useful tool and user friendly for teachers and students. They offer a 30 day free trial but beyond that there is a fee. If interested click Kidspiraton here for the link to their website.

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