ICATER and MAT Lab: Implementing Innovative Technology Training in a Pre-Service Teacher Education ProgramBy Stachowiak, James R.; Achrazoglou, John; Closing the Gap, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 21-23
Publication Date: August/September 2008
Article outlines the incorporation of assistive-technology (AT) education into the pre-service curriculum in the University of Iowa College of Education. Faculty at the college worked with the university’s Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (ICATER) to create a series of AT-based lectures tailored to classes in all teacher-education subject areas. Topics covered include an introduction to AT, types of AT used in school settings, writing AT into an IEP, and assessing a student for AT usage. A hands-on AT project was incorporated into Technology in the Classroom, a required course for teacher education students, where the class, divided into small groups, is assigned one of 5 AT categories, (1) scan and read programs, (2) speech recognition software, (3) physical access aids, (4) visual impairment aids, and (5) universal design for learning technologies. Each group checks out a computer containing the assigned AT from ICATER’s Mobile Assistive Technology (MAT) Lab, which consists of 16 laptops, each with a theme based on AT commonly used by K-12 students. After two weeks of exploring the AT, students videotape and edit a demonstration that they present to the rest of the class. Surveys taken by students upon entering the College of Education and following the AT project showed a significant increase in students’ perceived knowledge and comfort using AT after completion of the project.
Published by: Closing the Gap, Inc. (Website:http://www.closingthegap.com)