By: Carmen Willings
Electronic braille note taking devices are small and portable devices that may be used by a student to take notes in class using either a braille (featuring six large keys that correspond to the 6 dots in the braille cell), standard (QWERTY) keyboard, or both. Although each device offers different features, many can be used by braille learners to read books, write class assignments, find directions, record lectures, and listen to podcasts. Information can be readily transcribed in order to provide the student with a means to communicate with peers, teachers and others who do not read braille.
The note taking devices generally are the size of a book and are easily carried and used by the student. The Braille Note and the Pac Mate are probably the two most common portable note takers used by students. APH currently offers the Braille Plus 18 (the Refreshabraille 18 was discontinued December 2014) through quota funds. Obtaining devices through quota funds can make these an affordable option, however, quota funds may not be available due to spending freezes so these are not always options for students.
Note Taking Instruction
There are a variety of electronic note-taking devices available to students with visual impairments. With advances in technology, there are multiple ways students can take notes. Some students may elect to use their iPhone or iPad to take notes of lessons. The notes can be placed in Dropbox for later retrieval. If using a braille note-taking device, it is important to teach parts and functions as well as how to access the options menu of an Electronic Note-Taking Device. Once the student has learned how to use the device, it is important to continue to monitor the student to note the student’s skills, and provide any troubleshooting support.
The student will need instruction in the following skills:
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TVI's Guide to Teaching the ECC: An Activities Based Curriculum for Teaching Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Written specifically for fellow itinerant Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI’s), this book consists of over 400 activities and topic areas of discussion for instructing students in the Expanded Core Curriculum. The activities are age-neutral and multi-sensory and therefore can meet the needs of the broad range of students served on an itinerant caseload serving. The activities can be individualized to the students various learning modalities and scaffold in order to challenge students but ensure success. Select those activities that align with the student’s learning objects based on the student’s unique visual needs and academic and developmental level.
The core activities listed in the Activity section can be adapted to each thematic unit. These include:
In addition to the core activity areas, each of the 32 Thematic Units incorporates additional unique ECC concepts and skills providing you with a years’ worth of activities. These units are cyclical and can be used repeatedly to help students build on prior knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of concepts. Each unit includes suggestions for activity adaptation associated with the unit. These include lists of objects, possible community based experiences, environmental print, poems, children & young reader books, children's songs, pop culture songs, movies, and websites.
Unique Concepts within the Units include:
Although the intended audience of this resource is fellow Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments, special education teachers may find these activities beneficial to the students in their classrooms as the activities are multisensory and include life skills and concepts needed by all students. This resource, however, is not intended to take the place of a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI). Readers are advised to consult their own TVI’s regarding instruction in the ECC and the unique visual needs of the student’s served in their programs.
Note: This curriculum is a digital pdf download. Once you make your purchase you will be directed to an order confirmation page where you will find the download link. This download will also be included on the receipt sent to the email address you provide. The pdf download can be found directly under the order number.
Each download is intended for single instructor use per copyright. Thank you for helping me preserve the content and not distributing copies to third parties.
Digital pdf download: 364 pages (11 pt font)
Publisher: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments
Author: Carmen Willings