My students are all Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Each is a very unique individual with real life joys and problems. My students range in age from 3 to 22 Years. They are all at different schools with a few exceptions. Some of my students have special issues in addition to their hearing loss that make learning and socializing even more difficult. All of them have special equipment that they need to learn how to use and maintain. Some of them have additional equipment to make the teacher's voices louder and the background noises quieter. They all have special communication and language needs.
My students start with a language disadvantage.
With hearing loss, language abilities start being formed when the child is fitted with hearing devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants. Unfortunately, There is often a delay fitting children with the devices they need. Because of this delay, my students miss critical language development years and struggle to acquire a "First Language". They are all delayed in vocabulary acquisition, speech production, grammar in spoken and written forms, and have difficulty processing language from teachers and peers.
Deaf and hard of hearing individuals are very factual. Images related to their real life experiences are critical. I would like to take videos of environmental situations to discuss how to become better communicators and problem solvers, and to expand their vocabulary of the things around them. The kids would use the iPad to make videos of themselves to practice and review new skills. Some of my students need to write directly on the screen. They lack the fine motor skills needed to use a keyboard, but they can use a stylus to practice their writing & matching skills. My students also use a personal digital dictionary. They can add new vocabulary words, write their own definitions, download pictures and sign language to represent word meanings, and write words in sentences.
With this iPad my students will be able to produce and save their work and share it with parents.
I am a Itinerant teacher, traveling to my students instead of bringing them to a classroom. I carry all of my supplies to the students. Having this lightweight iPad allows me to travel with and save all of their work. The increased memory will allow me to download educational apps and share them with parents. Followup at home is critical for all education, especially with these students. Videos of teaching techniques, sign language used for spelling and grammar, student experiences and classwork samples will help build better communication at home.
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