April 22, 2012

iPad in Education

Posted in Technology tagged , at 7:25 am by izzatrinbago

Why do you think iPad and other like devices have the potential to transform the educational environment?

Personally, I feel IPad and similar portable devices are very instrumental and are able transform the education environment for a variety of reasons. Firstly, in some cases students already uses such devices outside of the classroom, either they already own one or they have access to one, so using something that is already familiar to them is like reaching them at their own level, therefore, it has the ability to make the learning process more interesting and extend learning outside of the classroom for students. In addition, a lot of text books can be downloaded digitally, so it also makes it easier for students to access this digital book instead of lugging around a heavy book bag filled with text books. The flexibility, and portability of such devices is so much easier for both students and teachers and the ease of use  being able to access different information and the internet to enhance the instruction makes these devices a very useful tool. The improvements in these devices have made them very powerful and versatile in and out of the educational environment and removes the need for wires and connections that a regular computers demands.

For each of the 3 great uses you identified on Kathy Schrock’s site tell why you think they are worthwhile

On Kathy Schrock’s site three great uses for the iPad I’ve identified for learning includes Utilizing some of the apps like Strip Design that’s bundled with the iPad for storyboarding to help students improve their summarizing, skills and also to help students outline the key scene sequence and keep track of main ideas and the details in the in a story. Students are also better able to illustrate specific scenes.

The iPad can also be used to collaborate and established communities. Students are able to use iPads create and access blogs and wikki for their journaling experience. This makes the instruction more interesting for students and brings another dynamic in the learning process allowing students to express themselves, interact use and improve their critical thinking, writing and communication skills which are all very essential.

iPads facilitates mobile learning. Gone are the days when you have to wait until you have access to a computer in a specific location to collaborate and communicate and use tools conducive to learning. Mobile learning can occur anywhere, in a classroom, at the dining room table, on a bus, train, in front of a science exhibit, at the zoo, and it promotes project based learning as affords students voice and choice in addition to being a motivating tool for students.


Staging an Autism-Friendly performance

Posted in My Portfolio tagged , , at 6:36 am by izzatrinbago

Title: Making the Arts accessible to all

Driving Question: How do you stage an Autism-Friendly performance for children/adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Level: Adults

Project Idea: Exposure to the arts is a vital way to help enhance the quality of life. This Project based unit plan will provide participants with the required knowledge necessary to adjust a theatre production and to provide a sensory-friendly, comfortable and judgment-free space that is welcoming for all children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Children are able to enjoy live performances with their families in a calming, supportive environment. (TDF Stages) In this 6 week sessions, participants will work individually and in groups to focus on the plans of action regarding: autism disorder spectrum needs, skills required to work with this population, props, set design, lighting, costumes, acting, singing, orchestra, lighting, space and other facets to realized an Autism friendly  production.

Resources: Equipment/supplies: Paper and pen, Autism experts, Advisory panel, Laptops, Flip chart, markers, Illustrator, Adobe Acrobat, Garage band, Google Docs, video clip, handout, rubric, self-assessment sheets.

Session 1:  Children with Autism needsTDF’s Accessibility Programs (TAP) Theatre initiative is to make theatre accessible to children and adults on the autism spectrum disorders as well as their families.(TDF Autism Theatre Initiative) Children with this disorder often have problems learning and adjusting to a classroom and a social environment. Staff/participants require special skills to work with this population. Participants will gain greater insights and understanding of Autism spectrum disorders. This lesson explores the definition, importance and categories of autism and their needs.

 Objectives: Participants will be able to define autism spectrum disorder, describe some of categories associated with this disorder, describe and manage the different behaviors to successfully interact with this population.

 Implementation: (120 minutes)

 Autism expert speaks in an educational session about his/her profession and explain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to be successful in working with this population. Participants prepare 2-3 questions in advance to ask the expert and encourage learners to ask questions and take notes while the speaker is talking, or immediately following.

  • After the guest speaker has left, participants are divided into three groups to research case studies on noted autistics (for example Temple Grandin  (Grandin, 2011)) using multiple internet resources. Potential links are available in the Resources section to help get participants started. However, they are encouraged to extend their research beyond the sites listed in the Resource section. Before starting their research each group will submit to facilitator the person they will be conducting their research on to avoid duplication. Groups develop an outline highlighting the key findings of their research and will submit their outline to the facilitator to garner feedback before proceeding.
  • Groups will create a PowerPoint of their research to present to the class in the next session.

Session 2: Skills required in working with children with autism This lesson introduces participants to important professional skills needed by TAP staff of children and adults with autism. Such skills include Observation skills, Class management skills etc. is module. Participants will be divided into three groups will acquire necessary skills needed to work with this population. The major role of a participant is to facilitate the learning for autism children/adults who attend these autistic-friendly Broadway shows. Participants

Objectives: Participants will be able to use strategies for assisting children with autistic spectrum disorder, create a conducive learning environment for children attending this performance, determine and, create a questionnaire to be used to determine the performance to adapt.


  • Facilitator reviews from previous session
  • Groups present presentation from last session
  • Discussion of case studies
  • Ask groups to make up a questionnaire to be used to determine what performances they think will work best for their autistic category. Each member suggests questions and edits each other’s questions for content and the conventions of English language usage including grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. Each group will write their questions on the flipchart for class discussion. All the participants will select the questions for the questionnaire. The questionnaire will be submitted for approval, after approval it will be created into a PDF to be posted on the website.

Session 3: Participants analyze Broadway Performances to ascertain shows most suitable for children with autism which will be presents to the class and four shows selected to submit ted to the Advisor panel for them to approve one. Participants evaluate the specifics of Broadway shows in detail to ascertain the shows that will best support this endeavor.

Objectives: Participants will be able to critically view shows to determine how appropriate they are for this population, identify areas in the production for opportunities for disengagement, and eliminate performances not suitable for this population.


The Three Groups will collaborate and research Broadway performances:

  • Each group selects three current Broadway productions and conduct research based on the questionnaire to ascertain which production works best to be adapted for this population. Groups will present a PowerPoint presentation of their research and the class will select four performances to submit to the Advisory Panel for approval. Groups will collaborate and research based on the following specifics PDF in the resource area.

Session 4: Needs Assessments for Selected Performance After participants attend the performance, participants discuss the performance and brainstorm to ascertain the different challenges that can exist with the project.  This lesson will provide participants with the necessary information needed to assess what needs to be considered to support the project. (Associated Press feature on TDF’s Autism Theatre Initiative)Participants will know the logistics that need to be adjusted for the performance

Objectives: Participants will identify specific areas of adjustments to the production that need to be made, identify environmental factors that may be problematic for individuals with ASD and suggest modifications to facilitate successful interactions. Participants will determine ‘fidget toys”, and where “priming” should occur before certain scenes to support this population.


  • Each participant receives a handout
  • Participants answer questions (e.g. theater layout, designated areas for quiet corner, priming children and parents before the performance, logistics etc.) on handout and put their answer on flipchart list for class discussion. The best answers will be selected and posted to the Tap Blog under Autism Initiative
  • Each Participant will research and identify 3 coping tools i.e. “fidget toys” that can be used as support for children. Each person will put their answer on the flipchart for discussion.
  • Participants will select the copping tools to use in the “Quiet Corner” on the day of the performance

Session 5- Autism workshop Discussion/Feedback After participants attend an autism workshop to further prepare them for this performance which is given by highly qualified autism disorder spectrum experts, participants are divided into three groups to collaborate to create a podcast about their experiences and what they learned in the workshop which will be included in an editorial piece being written by TDF’s editor to be posted on the website.

Objectives: Participants will be able in respond to ASD behaviors in an appropriate way. Participants will be able to apply what they learned working with other volunteers and Theatre staff. Participants will be able to alleviate any concerns and appropriately respond to question family members may have about their children attending the performance.


  • Discussion on the autism workshop participants attended

Podcasts-Briefly discuss Podcast with participant, their effects and provide examples of where you can find them Participants listen to some sample podcasts on iTunes. Groups view introduction to podcast clip and Garage band tutorial. Facilitator discusses the protocol for recording podcasts, and demonstrates how to create a podcast using Garage Band. Groups decide on what each member’s task is. Groups use Google docs to collaborate and write their scripts create sample podcasts Groups write their scripts for their podcast following the following outline: Facilitator provides feedback.  Participants will the use the information gained to produce supporting documents to support the performance and better manage the project. Groups will present their podcast to class which will be submitted to the editor.

Session 6- Preparatory materials Participants are divided in three groups to create support materials that will be used to bring about awareness of this special performance

Objectives: Participants will be able to create marketing materials that will promote the autism –friendly performance, Participants will be able to personalized materials to ASD. Participants will be able to write a social story that will resonate with attendees.


Groups will select one project from the list to complete

Project 1 Playbill Insert-Create a Playbill insert that will be used on the day of the performance.The Insert can include TAP Autism initiative concept, Sponsor story, Thank volunteers and others, History.

Project 2: Create a downloadable document or a visual(s), so those attending the performance will know what to expect with this autism friendly performance and that can be used as a support.

Project 3: Write a social story about the specific performance for example moving through Crowds, Loud noises etc that can be personalized for the child or adult with ASD who will be attending the performance which will be posted on the website. (TDF Autism Theatre Initiative)


Groups will present their project from sessions 5 and  6 to the class which will be submitted to director for approval and groups comment on each other projects. Participants will give their feedback participating in these 6 weeks sessions.


The facilitator will informally assess participants based on their teamwork. Participants will also be assessed on the knowledge acquired from workshop, sessions and contributions during discussions. Rubric will be used to assess project submissions. Peers will also assess each other presentations and have points of Self-Assessment.


Participants respond to the following questions, by filling out a questionnaire:

  1. Which categories of children with autism needs have you dealt with in the past?
  2. Did you take the time to help them? How did you help them?
  3. How might you improve the way you respond to children/people with autism spectrum disorder in the future?
  4. How can these sessions be improved and what could be done differently?
  5. What things helped you to feel comfortable and confident being a part of this project?
  6. What five things you did not like about the sessions and why?

The above unit was developed as a result of the Theatre Development Fund(TDF)  Autism Initiative which was launched on October 2, 2011 . This program presented the first autism -friendly performance of the Lion King. Below are some press clips and feedback from this special performance.