I have been really analyzing my idea for the 20% project and have had a hard time clarifying my thoughts about my essential question that is the heart of the project. My train of thought has drifted over what started the original idea, literacy, but has shifted as I sought out resources on the internet. I found lots of content but it was all over the place. So I brainstorm saying to myself, I want to advance literacy. My solution, attend UGA an obtain a special education degree with a focus in literacy, check. Next, I want to use assistive technology to advance my literacy goals for struggling readers because it will expand the strategic resources available to my students. Technology can be another aid used to adapt and differentiate for my students, check two. Finally I thought, I need to have clear path for finding cheap easy to use assistive technology, oops I found my problem so there is not a final check here. The questions then moves to, what assistive technology resource databases and libraries are available to implement my plan and how do I access them?
It is always easier to use a well-organized easy to find resource site than to fumble through chaos trying to find what I need. Often teachers are either overwhelmed by this task and/or give up. Worse is searching and never finding what you are looking for. Walking away knowing you have heard of or seen a good example of technology you could use but not being accesses it. I want to use technological resources to aid literacy but I also want to solve the problem of finding and storing them. My essential question has drifted toward seeking out information about and locating technology. Is anyone developing or can I find a fully comprehensive assistive technology database and/or library that embody my goals and those of other teachers?
For someone like myself who is not technologically literate the solution is always to “Google it”, the answer is somewhere out there on Pinterest or Teachertube. What I wish existed is an Assistive Technology public share library system. If I were talented, I would personally develop a database that functioned like a library with a cataloging system but that does not seem realistic. This cataloging system would begin with logical labels like FORM and FUNCTION: individual technology that require specific equipment or intended for a singular purpose, APPS and PROGRAMS that could be used with specific equipment like a phone or tablet provided by the individual needing the service. SOFT TECHNOLOGY could be things like the inventions we create ourselves to aid and then ADAPTIVE TECHNOLOGY which are things intended for one purpose but adapted to accommodate another need for an individual like kitchen tongs to pick things up off the floor. These groups need to be cross-referenced by: need, use/purpose, and disability/diagnoses, age group, free, cheap and expensive.
I guess my question has evolved to ask something new. If I want to use Assistive Technology to aid literacy how am I going to find it and then store it so it is easier to share and use later? I looked at a dozen of site over the past few weeks put finding my way back to those resources was difficult. I stored the links in my favorites tab but even that is not a straight path. I am looking for solutions to bank my assistive resources for ease of access later aka the magic hat I will be pulling all my ideas out of when I teach. I am afraid I now need to find a tech dummies solution to cataloging all these great ideas in one quick access location. My EQ continues to evolve, until next time friends. Return and we will see what I have found and what I decide to do about my 20% project. Maybe I will have begun trying some ideas out to see if they work for me by then. I like to use Google’s technology, maybe it’s time to see what I could build with Mozilla to solve my question?