DAY 45 - Being responsive and adaptive: It's in our DNA!  Part 2 #CircuitBreaker #EmbraceDyslexia

NEW SKILLS TO MASTER IN SO LITTLE TIME

Having to convert their face to face instruction expertise into a fully online one, DAS Educational Therapists have led the way in the transition to remote learning necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they have done a remarkable job.

Within the DAS educators' community, Educational Advisors, Curriculum Team members and Educational Technology Team (iReps) led the way in creating and collating shared teaching and learning resources in online platforms, such as Google Drive.

The EduTech Team also sent out daily emails to Educational Therapists on guides to tools that they can adopt almost immediately when teaching the Main Literacy Programme. These daily tips also included video demonstrations on how colleagues could go about with the tools that are new to them. Information shared was also kept to bite-sizes to make reading easy on Educational Therapist.

Educational Technologies are not new to the DAS. In fact, the term has been an everyday thing for Educational Therapists on a daily basis since its inauguration in 2015. Bite-sized sharing sessions have been on-going throughout the year, with training sessions reserved for new system adoption. In our sharing sessions, the iReps share on some tools and apps that Educational Therapists may find useful for teaching, learning as well as for administrative tasks.

The Educational Therapists then give these suggested tools a try with their students and return to their learning circles in about 2 weeks' time to share what worked and what did not for them and their students. This gives an opportunity for collaborative discussions to take place on how they can work around those areas.

Another form of sharing is when Educational Therapists share a gist of their technology use with descriptions on the tools that they selected, for the type of student profiles and the activity they conducted. This allows for conversations to take place on elevated usage of tech tools for specific activities and learner profiles. Also, the more we see our peers embracing technology, the more encouraged we tend to become, even if the technology is not our cup of tea.

On the other hand, DAS has invested heavily in Educational Technologies as we believe in the benefits our students can reap from the purposeful use of these tools. iPads, Interactive Whiteboards and projectors in every classroom are some examples. We also hope that with more awareness, especially in accessibility features that educational technologies offer, our dyslexic students will at the very least adopt some of these to enhance their independent learning. Text to speech, voice commands, screen contrasts and playback speeds are just some of the many accessibility features that can benefit learners with learning differences.

By Soofrina Mubarak
Senior Educational Therapist and EduTech Coordinator
DAS English Language & Literacy Division

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