At Rutledge Lakes SDS you would know that our students range from verbal students who are working on their language acquisition skills to students who are non verbal and working on using different means to communicate clearly with those around them. The use of ICT helps all our students with communication whether they are verbal or non verbal. Below I am going to briefly explain to you how I will be using ICT in the classroom to help your child with communication.
If your child is verbal and beginning their journey in language acquisition the use of certain ICT programs can help with this journey and make it a challenging yet fun and engaging way to learn. ICT provides many different opportunities for students to interact with different types of digital multimedia programs and technologies that provide them with three different types of information :
- Visual – Pictures or videos
- Text – Written words
- Auditory information – Sound
These digital multimedia programs and technologies may come from:
- Computer software
- Internet programs
- Computer games
- Online videos
- Many other sources
These programs and technologies allow the students to actively interact and communicate with the ICT source and receive immediate feedback in many different forms, such as visual or auditory, for what they have just completed (Zhao, 2003).
An example of what your child would be doing with ICT and language acquisition is through the use of stories. Certain programs have stories containing the visual information, in terms of pictures and words, as well as having the option of adding the auditory information to the story. A great series of stories that I like to use in the classroom are the Clifford stories on the scholastic website where in addition to the students reading the story they also get to manipulate the story by changing certain parts of the story. The story also has follow on activities that help students develop their phonics skills and other areas of language acquisition.
If your child is non verbal and working on using different means to communicate their needs and wants, as well as to socialise, then the use of ICT and in particular the use of an Ipad will have a huge impact on your child’s communication development. Through the use of an Ipad there is an App called Proloquo2go that allows students to answer any question given to them, share information about themselves, tell everyone their wants or needs as well as allowing them to explore different language and communication topics (Assistiveware, 2014). Proloquo2go is just one of the many available Apps to help students with augmentative and alternative communication but is the one that students will use most frequently within my classroom. All students should be given the opportunity to be able to communicate with those around us as we are all social beings and giving students the opportunity to participate and achieve this is a life long achievement and a life long skill that will continue to develop over time.
Below is a video of myself demonstrating how to use Proloquo2go to answer specific questions.
Proloquo2go from kirstie rutledge on Vimeo.
AssistiveWare. (2014). A voice for those who cannot speak Proloquo2go. Retrieved from http://www.assistiveware.com/product/proloquo2go
Zhao, Y. (2003). Recent Developments in Technology and Language Learning: A Literature Review and Meta-analysis*. CALICO journal The computer assisted language instruction consortium 21(1), 7-27. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.11139/cj.21.1.7-27