AIM and the 21st Century Classroom
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AIM and the 21st Century Classroom

Narrator: Starr’s Mill
High School and the Fayette County Public
Schools in Georgia are working to establish
21st Century Classrooms to integrate technology
into curriculum, instruction, and assessment to support the participation and achievement of all students. By integrating accessible
instructional materials and accessible technology in
the classrooms for all students, students with disabilities
benefit from the flexibility
and supports provided and often need only limited
or no other accommodations. They recognize
that print textbooks represent a fixed medium,
one size fits all, which is not accessible to
many students with disabilities. To meet the needs
of all students, content is provided
in flexible digital media, which is available
via technology and can be adjusted as needed. To ensure the provision,
of accessible materials Georgia law requires
that publishers of recommended
learning resources or textbooks provide an electronic version
of each student edition. Audrey Toney, the principal
of Starr’s Mill High School, like other principles,
sets the tone for the staff
and student body. She describes how they work
to make sure that accessibility for students
with print disabilities is considered in the textbook
procurement process. Audrey Toney: Every time we have
an adoption in place, the teachers that are
on the committees, the coordinators and so forth
on the committees, they’re gonna always look to see what else does that
company bring before we make that adoption. If the company, of course,
at this point only have a hard copy, chances are, we’re not going to
adopt that series. Our exceptional
children services are always part of
those adoption processes so they’re able to also tell
the teachers and the companies of their needs as well. Narrator: There are two
key elements of accessibility that must be in place: accessible content
and accessible technology. The assistive technology
specialist describes some of
the technology included in the 21st Century Classroom. Chris: So each classroom
has a projector. It has a smart board
or a screen. There is a way for the teachers to save their lessons
through Edmodo, which is an online sharing. We have portable tablets that
also have software that records. So anything the teacher projects can be recorded and uploaded
for students review later. Narrator: In the Fayette County 21st Century Classroom
initiative, all students have access to the same compliment
of software applications on the district computers. Educators and students also
use an online network to collaborate on homework,
projects, and resources that is accessible 24/7. Chris: It has been very helpful, because for those students
who misplace papers, for those students who need
extra support, those documents
are always available. Nothing gets lost anymore. It has to be
deliberately deleted. So, you know, the dog ate
my homework excuse doesn’t exist anymore because their documents are–
are always available. And we encourage students to share the documents with
their instructors immediately, so you can see the progress. The teachers can comment, help the students progress
through their projects. Narrator:
Assistive technology programs that students with disabilities
might need are also installed with
the suite of software used across the county. Chris: So throughout the county,
we have some of those items like Free Natural Reader. It’s not special technology. It has become instructional. Assistive because it may be
a requirement for a student, but it truly is
instructional technology that any student struggling
can access. Narrator: By making
a comprehensive suite of learning technologies
available to everyone, the district removed
a key barrier to learning: the stigma associated
with students with disabilities using different technology
than their peers. Chris: All the students
have access to it. They’re all willing to use it. So then our students
who really do require it are more willing to use it. Narrator: Fayette County
Public Schools has a bring your own technology
or BYOT initiative. Students are allowed
to bring and use their own devices
in the classroom. Digital content and resources available through
the school network can be accessed
by a variety of devices. Chris: And the closer we stay
to a standard solution, the more readily accepted it is, the more easily it is
for the student to find that support regardless of what computer
they sit down to and what technology tool. It could be their
personal technology, like a smart phone. It could be a tablet. It could be
the classroom computer. Narrator: By setting up
adaptable classrooms with a foundation of
accessible technology and flexible digital content, the needs and preferences
of most students are met. Students with disabilities
often do not need additional accommodations
or modifications. However, if needed,
they’re easily included.

About James Carlton

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2 thoughts on “AIM and the 21st Century Classroom

  1. What links can you give to support the devices and online sharing applications that were mentioned in the video? I heard the speaker say "Enmoto" but I could not find any online sharing applications with that or similar spelling. The specific device I am interested in is the captioning and online sharing. Thanks.

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