Reading & Assistive Technology
For many students who struggle with reading, assistive technology can be a life line that helps build confidence and independence. This workshop is based on twenty years of experience in guiding hundreds of students with neurodiverse conditions to read more effectively and use assistive technology tools and strategies to access curriculum.
Assistive technology is any device, piece of equipment, or operating system used to support student learning. Assistive technology allows learners to use their strengths to bridge learning gaps and support their individual needs.
Audience: K-12 Classroom Teachers, Student Support Teachers, Educational Assistants
In this workshop, participants will master how to guide students with reading challenges to leverage the use of assistive technology tools and scientifically-based reading comprehension strategies. These skills will help teachers accommodate students, improve access to the curriculum and increase student success in the classroom.
Attendees will look at strategies and techniques for reading a range of documents - from simple test questions to longer and more complex textbooks and discover a range of useful strategies to make reading more manageable.
By the end of this workshop, participants will:
Learn about different types of Assistive Technology Tools to support reading helping students work independently with accuracy and speed;
Understand the important role that assistive technology plays in supporting reading accommodations;
Understand how to apply assistive technology skills and reading comprehension strategies;
Learn the best features on the Texthelp Read and Write toolbar to help students be active readers;
Understand the benefits of Audiobooks and digital TTS books and where to find excellent accessible websites;
Use digital graphic organizers to track student’s reading progress and support memory deficits;
Learn the basics of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and how to take photos of worksheets and paper documents to make learning more accessible in the classroom;
Understand how to utilize Google “Keep” as a reading reference tool for students;
Learn ways to control how text is displayed (font, font size, color, and spacing of text) and personalize features for students;
Understand how to use all the functionality on the Texthelp Read and Write toolbar to increase reading comprehension and improve vocabulary;
Understand how to use digital Annotation tools that let students take notes, track their thinking and write comments while reading;
Help students develop a love for reading despite challenges.
Kelly Rasmussen is a learning strategist working with schools to integrate assistive technologies into their systems and to create first class learning environments. She introduces teachers to the uplifting world of educational technology, providing them strategies for helping students to uncover their true learning potential.
A Canadian educator for over twenty years, Kelly has a degree from Queen’s University in Sociology with a concentration in Education, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Certified and is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers.
Kelly founded her company GotSmartz in 2015 to introduce struggling students, their parents, and their teachers to effective learning strategies and assistive technology that support literacy skills, executive functioning, mathematics and study skills. Kelly’s students become confident, more self-aware of their personal learning preference, accountable for their learning and able to self-advocate. Teachers and administrators are empowered to effectively integrate educational technology into the curriculum, and parents are better aware of how to support their children’s unique learning preferences.
Presenting to Learning Disability Associations, hundreds of schools, parent groups, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Homeschooling Conferences, and International Education Technology Conferences, Kelly enables teachers and administrators to embrace and integrate cutting edge technology into their education system while supporting them in their journey to create inclusive, diverse and equitable learning environments.
Community minded, Kelly co-founded an award-winning non-profit organization, iSisters Technology Mentoring, that helps women in need gain back control of their lives and reenter the workforce through mentoring and technology. Her award winning iAssistive Technology Program has helped women improve their literacy skills, increase their confidence and advance to postsecondary education.