AI Plus VR at Purdue University Global — from er.educause.edu by Abbey Elliott, Michele McMahon, Jerrica Sheridan, and Gregory Dobbin
Adding artificial intelligence to virtual reality provides nursing students with realistic, immersive learning experiences that prepare them to treat patients from diverse backgrounds.

Excerpt:

Adding artificial intelligence (AI) to immersive VR simulations can deepen the learning by enabling patient interactions that reflect a variety of patient demographics and circumstances, adjusting patient responses based on students’ questions and actions. In this way, the immersive learning activities become richer, with the goal of providing unique experiences that can help students make a successful transition from student to provider in the workforce. The use of AI and immersive learning techniques augments learning experiences and reinforces concepts presented in both didactic and clinical courses and coursework. The urgency of the pandemic prompted the development of a vision of such learning that would be sustainable beyond the pandemic as a tool for education on a relevant and scalable platform.


Speaking of emerging technologies and education/learning, also see:

NVIDIA's new AI magic turns 2d photos into 3D graphics

Best virtual tours of Ireland

 

Bionic Reading

Bionic Reading

 

 

From DSC:
Thanks to my good friend Chris for this resource. By the way, this Chrome Extension, Converter, and API remind me a bit of Microsoft’s Immersive Reader.

Also related, see:

 

Small Business Website Accessibility Tips — from boia.org

Excerpt:

Many small business owners think of digital accessibility as a series of technical, complicated rules. If you have limited resources for web design and development, accessibility can seem like an expensive extra — but fortunately, that’s not the case.

Website accessibility is achievable on any budget, and it’s a savvy investment regardless of the size of your business. Even if you can’t afford professional testing and remediation, you can take immediate steps to remove barriers that affect people with disabilities. Here are a few tips for getting started.

Also relevant from boia.org, see:

One last accessibility-related item from equalentry.com:

 

Designing for Autism, ADHD, and More: Representing Neurodivergence — from learningsolutionsmag.com by Judy Katz

Excerpt:

Understanding inclusion from a neurodiversity perspective has both a DEI component (addressed in this article), and an accessibility component (addressed in the two articles to come in this series). As learning and development professionals, applying both is not just about accommodating impairment or staying compliant with the ADA. It’s about unlocking the talents that diverse neurotypes bring.

Positives of neurodivergence
One of the best things you can do to lead to greater acceptance of neurodivergence in the workplace is to learn and reinforce to others that neurodivergent brains are often different in positive ways, despite broad negative stereotypes. Here are some examples, but remember, not all traits apply to all individuals; if you know one neurodivergent, you know one neurodivergent.

#autistics #ADHD #Aspergers #neurodivergence #DEI


Also from learningsolutionsmag.com:

Automation, AI Will Advance—and Challenge—Learning Leadership — by Markus Bernhardt

Excerpt:

The current momentum of change, seen across all sectors and industries, is unparalleled in magnitude and speed; both are accelerating. The need for businesses to adapt has arguably never been more pressing, while challenges continue to grow at an increasing pace.

The digital revolution has arrived, and we already find ourselves in the thick of it. For learning and development (L&D), the time has come that deploying automation will be key. When we look at other departments within organizations, we can no longer imagine how marketing, sales, finance, or HR would fare without automation. Here, automation has celebrated some huge successes, gathering momentum as available technology is deployed more broadly. The results are increasing efficiencies, accuracy, and speed, and at scale.

This article introduces a short series on automation and AI and their impact on L&D.


 

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSLEXIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

For most kids of school age, recognizing letters and learning to pronounce them comes as easy as possible. However, for children living with Dyslexia, it is typically an uphill task to achieve. Dyslexia is a reading disorder that impedes a child’s early academic development by significantly decreasing the ability to process graphic symbols, especially where it concerns language. Such children may struggle with language development before school age and experience difficulties learning to spell when they eventually enroll in school. Some symptoms commonly exhibited by dyslexic children include reversed letter and word sequences, weak literacy skills, and poor handwriting.

In all these, the good news for parents and educators with dyslexic children in their care is that with early diagnosis and suitable accommodations, they can learn to read like the other children.

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSCALCULIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

If you have a child struggling with basic math skills and you’ve done everything else to resolve the situation yet it persists, the child might be suffering from Dyscalculia. Dyscalculia is a learning disorder typified by an inability to grasp basic math skills. The peculiar thing about this learning disorder is how it seems only to concern itself with foundational math skills. Lots of people living with this disorder will go on to learn advanced mathematical principles and concepts without any problems. Although manifestations of Dyscalculia will differ from person to person, another symptom commonly associated with the disorder is visual-spatial struggles or difficulty in processing what they hear.

It does not matter whether you are a parent or a teacher; if you are looking for the right accommodations needed to aid students with Dyscalculia, you have come to the right post. These are some steps you can take both in the classroom and at home to ease learning for students with Dyscalculia.

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSNOMIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

When kids struggle with recalling words, numbers, names, etc., off the top of their heads without recourse to a visual or verbal hint, they might likely be suffering from Dysnomia. Dysnomia is a learning disability marked by an inability to recollect essential aspects of the oral or written language.

CLASSROOM AND AT-HOME ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DYSGRAPHIA — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Like most learning disabilities, Dysgraphia makes learning difficult for students. In this case, this learning disorder is peculiar to handwriting and motor skills proficiency. Students living with Dysgraphia can suffer from problems ranging from forming letters accordingly, transferring their thoughts onto paper, tying their shoelaces, and zipping a jack. It is pretty standard that Dysgraphia sufferers compensate for their struggles with handwriting by developing remarkable verbal skills. However, this disorder is prone to misdiagnosis. It is due to a lack of sufficient research on the subject.

As a parent or an educator, if you have students who live with Dysgraphia, this post will show you which accommodations you need to put in place to help them learn correctly.


Also relevant/see:

EARLY INTERVENTION: A GUIDE — from thetechedvocate.org by Matthew Lynch

Excerpt:

Educators must effectively identify a student who needs early intervention, whether for autism, learning disorders, or even reading difficulties. The more serious the issue, the more essential early action becomes.


 

Teacher Kelly VanDyke awarded ‘Educator of the Year’ by the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan — from mlive.com by Skyla Jewell-Hammie

Excerpt:

Grand Rapids elementary teacher Kelly VanDyke was recently recognized as the 2022 Educator of the Year by the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan.

VanDyke, who teaches at Central Elementary in Kenowa Hills Public Schools, was celebrated for her successful, supportive approach to teaching children with Down syndrome…

 

Inside Microsoft’s new Inclusive Tech Lab — from engadget.com by C. Low; with thanks to Nick Floro on Twitter for some of these resources
“An embassy for people with disabilities.”

Increasing our Focus on Inclusive Technology — from mblogs.microsoft.com by Dave Dame

Excerpt:

In recent years, tied to Microsoft’s mission of empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more, teams from across Microsoft have launched several products and features to make technology more inclusive and accessible. [On May 10, 2022], as part of the 12th annual Microsoft Ability Summit, we celebrate a new and expanded Inclusive Tech Lab, powerful new software features, and are unveiling Microsoft adaptive accessories designed to give people with disabilities greater access to technology.

Microsoft’s Latest Hardware Is More Accessible and Customizable — from wired.com by Brenda Stolyar
The wireless system—a mouse, a button, and a hub—is designed to increase productivity for those with limited mobility.

Excerpt:

Microsoft if expanding its lineup of accessibility hardware. During its annual Ability Summit—an event dedicated to disability inclusion and accessibility—the company showed attendees some new PC hardware it has developed for users with limited mobility. Available later this year, the wireless system will consist of an adaptive mouse, a programmable button, and a hub to handle the connection to a Windows PC. Users set up the devices to trigger various keystrokes, shortcuts, and sequences. These new input devices can be used with existing accessories, and they can be further customized with 3D-printed add-ons. There are no price details yet.

Along these lines, also see:

  • 14 Equity Considerations for Ed Tech — from campustechnology.com by Reed Dickson
    Is the education technology in your online course equitable and inclusive of all learners? Here are key equity questions to ask when considering the pedagogical experience of an e-learning tool.
 

The Future Is Here: Assistive Technology for Learning Disabilities — from studycorgi.com; with thanks to Alysson Webb for this resource

Excerpt:

Equal learning and personal development opportunities help ensure everyone reaches their highest potential. However, it is important to look at comparable needs. People with learning disabilities can require individual or additional services from a school program. According to the National Center of Educational Statistics, in 2019 – 2020, 14% (7.3 million) of children from 3 to 21 received special education services in the US. One-third of them had various learning disabilities that required specific assistance and tools.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is a Learning Disability?
  2. Assistive Technology (AT) in the Classroom
  3. AT for Learning Disabilities: Benefits & Tools
  4. References
 

New portal connects employers with neurodivergent job seekers — from protocol.com by Sarah Roach
Google, Dell and others are contributing to the Neurodiversity Career Connector.

Excerpt:

Microsoft, Google, Dell and a handful of other tech companies are helping to roll out a career portal for neurodivergent job seekers.

The Neurodiversity @ Work Employer Roundtable and Disability:IN introduced the Neurodiversity Career Connector, a platform for neurodivergent job candidates to find employers, the organizations announced today. Almost 50 companies that are part of the Roundtable, including Ford and SAP, are contributing to the portal.

 

College & Career Guide for Students with Disabilities — from study.com by Jamie Julh, Lisa Keith, Nicole Nicholson, Taylor McGillis; with thanks to Alysson Webb for this resource

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Students with disabilities made up 19.4% of enrolled undergraduate students in the U.S. according to the most recent data release from the Department of Education (DoE). However, many of these students may be afraid to or not know how to advocate for themselves and obtain the assistance they need. Data on graduation rates for students with disabilities can be hard to come by, but based on a recent study by the DoE National Center of Education Statistics, only 54.2% had graduated with a bachelor’s degree after six years. One possible reason for this low graduation rate is that only 35% of students with disabilities chose to disclose those disabilities to the college or university they attended, and only 24% chose to utilize accommodations. This guide is intended to help students with disabilities learn about their rights, the laws that protect them, and the resources available to help them see through their goal of obtaining higher education.

Also relevant/see:

 

Do digital distractions justify law professors’ prohibitions on laptops? — from abajournal.com by Stephanie Francis Ward

Excerpt:

If a professor is uncomfortable with laptops in the classroom, he or she might consider allowing a handful of students to use them, as official note takers, says Robert Dinerstein, a former acting dean of American University Washington College of Law, who directs its Disability Rights Law Clinic. The note-taking group should include students who do and do not have accommodations for laptops so no one is stigmatized, he adds. Dinerstein, a former commissioner on the ABA’s Commission on Disability Rights, now serves as its liason from the ABA’s Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice. Additionally, he co-chairs the section’s disability rights committee.

 

8 Principles for Supporting Students with ADHD — from cultofpedagogy.com by Jennifer Gonzalez

Excerpt:

Regardless of the subject area or age you teach, you’re likely to have at least a few students with ADHD in your classroom every school year, so a good working knowledge of it should be part of any teacher’s professional training.

This slim book is not meant to be comprehensive or in-depth. Barkley states outright that he’s not going to spend time on narrative prose and extensive research citations; his goal is to simply explain ADHD so that busy teachers can understand it, and tell them what they can do to help students who have it. His message is “Trust me, I know this stuff. Do this, not that.” And while this obviously leaves him open to criticism, the book certainly delivers on its promises, and it’s a great starting point for any teacher who wants a crash course on ADHD.

 

K-12 education in America is like quickly moving trains that stop for no one.

K-12 education in America is like quickly moving trains that stop for no one.

From DSC:
A family member struggles with spelling — big time. This causes her major amounts of anxiety in school.

Another family member had some learning disabilities and reflects back on school with some bad memories.

Another family member struggles with social graces and learns at a much different pace than her peers — the move to her education being (predominantly) done via homeschooling has helped significantly.

A friend of mine has Dyslexia. He recently said that school was hell for him.

Another person I know doesn’t understand his daughter’s learning disabilities — at all. He’s asking a fish to climb the tree and yells at his daughter when she doesn’t produce like the other kids do. Her school is for college-bound learners, and there’s always pressure to maintain the school’s “blue-ribbon” status (i.e., sorry if you don’t fit in…but please board the train anyway, as it’s about to depart).

These people and stories about their educations got me to reflect on all the people who went through the school systems in the United States (over the last few decades) that didn’t work well for them. In fact, not only did the systems not work well for them, they were the sources of a great deal of pain, anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, and embarrassment.  Instead of being a place of wonder or joy, school was a painful, constant struggle to get through.

For those who can keep up or even excel at the pace that the trains travel at, school isn’t that much of a problem. There are likely different levels of engagement involved here, but school is manageable and it doesn’t cause nearly the stress for someone who struggles with it.

For those with learning disabilities, I’d like to apologize to you on behalf of all the people who legislated or created rigid, one-size-fits-all school systems that didn’t understand and/or meet your needs. (Why we allow legislators — who aren’t the ones on the front lines — to control so much of what happens in our school systems is beyond me.) I’d like to apologize on behalf of all of the teachers, administrators, and staff who just accept the systems as they are.

Please help us reinvent our school systems. Help us develop the future of education. Help us develop a more personalized, customized approach. For those who are working to provide that, thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

To everyone working within Pre-K through 12th grade, help us offer: More voice. More choice. More control. The status quo has to go. School should not be a constant source of pain and anxiety.

Learners need: More voice. More choice. More control. -- this image was created by Daniel Christian

 

 

What Educators Need to Know About Assistive Tech Tools: Q&A with Texthelp CEO — from thejournal.com by Kristal Kuykendall and Texthelp CEO Martin McKay

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

THE Journal: What are some examples of the types of assistive technology tools now available for K–12 schools?
McKay: There are a broad range of disabilities, and accordingly, a broad range of learning and access difficulties that assistive technology can help with. Just considering students with dyslexia — since that is the largest group among students who can benefit from assistive tech tools — the main problems they have are around reading comprehension and writing. Assistive technology can provide text-to-speech, talking dictionaries, picture dictionaries, and text simplification tools to help with comprehension.

It’s important that these tools need to work everywhere — not just in their word processor. Assistive technology must work in their learning management systems, and must work in their online assessment environment, so that the student can use the assistive tech tools not only in class, but at home as they work on their homework, and perhaps most importantly on test day when they are using a secure assessment environment.

 

Day in the Life: Blind or Visually Impaired Professionals — from inclusionhub.com by Jeffrey Howard
While blind or visually impaired professionals still encounter inaccessibility and exclusionary hiring practices, some companies are adopting more inclusive protocols including remote work options and other accommodations.

Excerpt:

“It’s the same as someone asking for a second or third monitor,” continues Preston-Watson. “I’m asking for a screen reader. You’re asking for these accommodations. I’m just asking for the tools to do my job. People in different roles need different tools to do their jobs. And that’s the same thing for disabled workers.”

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian