PS20 Wins Speech & Language Technology Grant!

18 Dec

generationOn LogoHeckscher Foundation Logo

Thank you GenerationON and The Heckscher Foundation for Children!

Three weeks ago I applied for a teacher’s aid grant through Generation ON and I found out yesterday that I have been generously awarded $2,000 to purchase some technology  for the students in my school!

PS20 is really working toward becoming a model for evidenced-based, curriculum-based, collaborative and innovative Speech and Language therapy.

In a previous  entry, I touched upon some of the ways I have already been utilizing technology as a tool in our Speech and Language therapy program. This grant will allow me to take the next step in utilizing and accessing the wealth of resources available for intervention and help me to be a lot more efficient at managing our caseload.

I am compelled to integrate technology into my teaching because of the
changing ways in which we communicate worldwide.  The grant was awarded for the specific purpose of:

  • Purchasing an IPad.
  • Purchase Speech & Language Specific Apps for the IPad.
  • Purchase Computer Software and digital books for student use in therapy sessions.

The IPad, Apps and Software applications for the computer will allow me to implement a more innovative, updated Speech and Language curriculum, keep consistent data, and better collaborate with our entire school community, including parents, teachers and administrators.

Since I started teaching at PS20 last year, I have been gathering many materials on my own to enhance therapy for our students.   Our school as a whole has been working to integrate technology into our classrooms.  As of July of 2010, there are smart boards in all of our 3-5th grade classrooms and each teacher is equipped to facilitate learning through state of the art technology.  I work primarily with the lower grades (Kindergarten through 2nd grade) and am excited about scaffolding classroom curriculum with a more modern approach.

Many of the traditional games and Speech/ Language therapy activities are now offered in online formats.  Kids benefit from the visual and interactive approach to teaching communication skills offered by computers and technology.  As a therapist I can easily differentiate my lessons for different learning styles, and easily manipulate the level of difficulty or activities.  With the IPad, students will be able to touch the screen to interact with books, and make characters in stories come alive.

In addition to student’s use of the IPad, with the help of the IPad technology, moving towards evidenced-based practice is much easier.  We must provide data to support the work we do in therapy – and there is a lot of paperwork involved in keeping solid clinical and academic records.  The IPad will allow me to more efficiently track a student’s progress over time, and see data for student responses in organized tables that help to easily sort out strengths and weaknesses in certain areas.

Also, I will be able to create more and diverse opportunities for students to practice a skill, and build on previous skills in a sequential, organized way that is easy to plan and track.

Much of today’s communication is happening online and through computers.  Using technology helps our students gain access to all avenues of communication.

The other exciting piece of news is that in addition to the technology we will add to our Speech and Language program, I will be implementing 5 GenerationON service learning lesson plans with our students.  You can read more about the kinds of things we’ll be doing through learningtogive.org.  I love the idea of using service-learning and volunteerism as a unit theme, and building language, vocabulary, sequencing, targeted speech sounds and communication skills through these lessons.  I’ll keep you updated as we get started with these projects!

Thank you again to GenerationOn and the Heckscher Foundation for Children for their support, generous contribution and their commitment to service learning, which is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our communities and to ourselves.

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2 Responses to “PS20 Wins Speech & Language Technology Grant!”

  1. Courtney Messinger December 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    Congratulations Rachel! I can’t wait to check out the new technology. This is just great news for you and PS20.

  2. James "the tennis pro" Lee December 20, 2010 at 6:46 am #

    Congratulations, Rachel! I can’t wait to see what you are able to do with your new technology. I have a feeling you’re going to propel your work and the students’ progress into a new dimension. PS 20 is so fortunate to have you!

    I also look forward to the “research” you do into how a principal MUST purchase an ipad for himself in order to follow the work you do. (this paragraph is a joke, the first is definitely not!)

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