Assistive Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom: Developing Visual Tools and Strategies, the BoardmakerTM Example

EDUC 603
This course is designed to prepare graduate students to respond to the needs of diverse learners in early childhood classrooms by using technology to create visual tools that promote communication, improve classroom organization and management, and expand literacy opportunities. Many children with developmental disabilities experience difficulty attending to and understanding auditory input, yet have relative strengths in visual skills. Graduate students will have hands-on experiences using the computer to create a variety of visual tools that they can incorporate into their teaching practices to support all children. Students will work independently and collaboratively using Boardmaker (tm), a simple drawing program and graphics database, to learn how to create learning tools (customized schedules, songboards, adapted books and stories placemats, signs, games and charts) and to devise strategies for implementation. Videos will be used to demonstrate situations in which visual tools enable children to communicate and actively participate in classroom activities and routines.