The Pathology of Technology

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

How Are Your State’s AT Specialists Organized?

How Are Your State’s AT Specialists Organized?

After 18 years as Coordinator of the NY State Assistive Technology Project, I think it would be a great idea to unify all of the people who have been trained as a Local Assistive Technology Specialist (LATS) or who function in that role.

AT specialist is a lonely job at times. Being the only expert in a school or district, one often yearns for more moral support with others who are experiencing the same challenges. Because not all districts or agencies value ongoing professional development as much as we would like them to, nor do they support our attendance at professional association conferences and meetings with reimbursement dollars, there is a void that a virtual professional association could fill.

This group could serve as a vehicle for communication, resources sharing, fellowship, networking, professional development, and having a voice in political decisions that affect their livelihood. While RESNA does so an excellent job of supporting its members, we nevertheless have a variety of certificates out there, not just ATP. Thus, it would be helpful for everyone who functions in the role of LATS, to have an affiliation with their fellow “birds of a feather.”

NYSALATS – the NYS Association of Local AT Specialists is one possible acronym. Whatever we call it, we want to be inclusive, we want to affiliate with our state teacher associations, be recognized by the State Education Department, and by RESNA and other professional associations. We would contact everyone who has earned a professional certificate (LATS, RIATT, RESNA) or college degree in the field, and then meet for the first time at either the NYSCEC Convention, CNYSEA.org conference, the Governor’s AT Expo, or all three.

All things are possible, but we must act soon – the need is there.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

iTunes U for you!

I have been telling everyone about this new educational resource ever since I came across it, quite by accident. Like most educators, we are always on the lookout for great resources, but how many of us have looked beyond and into the depths of iTunes? One of the services there is called, appropriately enough, iTunes U!

This is the free service of the iTunes store that provides free video and audio for educators. For example, there is a free digital library available at Teachers' Domain. Brought to you by WGBH, Boston's award-winning PBS station, teachers' domain offers downloadable videos and educator guides.

Ranging from A Night in the Coral Reef to Homo Sapiens versus Neanderthals to Mitochondrial Flyover, they offer an invaluable addition to your science curriculum. Bookmark iTunesU, this resource will continue to grow.

Through the Looking Glass