Technology is an integral part of Oasis Day School and is used to both support and enhance the learning experience. All classrooms are wired for high-speed Internet access and students have the opportunity to utilize computers as appropriate throughout the curriculum. Our curriculum is presented in a multimedia/multisensory format that is highly engaging and well-suited to our students’ learning styles.
Classroom instruction incorporates a wide variety of technological resources such as online resources, streaming video, word processing software, and graphic organization software for writing. Electronic media such as videos, DVDs and CDs enhance delivery of curriculum content. Students have the opportunity to learn and practice keyboarding to enhance their typing proficiency and written work output. Older students are taught to use multimedia tools to develop presentations and enhance their work.
*** We have been very fortunate to receive grants from the Landfall Foundation for the past three years. Last year, we used the grant funds to purchase SMART Boards for two of our classroom (SMARTBoard is pictured above). Last year, Landfall Foundation provided OASIS NC with a Literacy Lab that included 4 Chromebooks, 4 Kindle Fires, and a variety of literacy books and work books. We are excited to use our new technology to help our students become even more engaged and successful learners! ***
SMART Board Information
Research has found that SMART Board interactive whiteboards can help students with autism to improve spontaneous peer learning and classroom skills while decreasing maladaptive behavior. The Spaulding Youth Center conducted this research as part of the Autism, Communication and Technology (ACT) project. Launched in the fall of 2006, the study looked at the effects of technology on autistic students’ learning outcomes over a two-year period. It found steady, significant improvements throughout the project. “The SMART Board interactive whiteboard, desktop drawing software and interactive online tools transformed the learning environment,” says Kathleen McClaskey, president of EdTech Associates and project director for ACT. “These tools gave the autistic learners a voice.” (http://news.advanced-inc.com/2008/12/09/interactive-whiteboards-can-help-students-with-autism-learn/)
The project yielded impressive results regarding the benefits of utilizing SMART Boards during instruction of children with autism. They include, but are not limited to:
- Improved communication – Students used sign language to ask for specific activities and stories.
- Modeling – Students imitated positive social behaviors in the classroom setting.
- Reciprocation – Students learned to take turns and engaged in give-and-take interactions.
- Attention – Students were able to attend to tasks for about 45 minutes, up from 15 to 19 minutes.
- Generalization – Students used skills they mastered in the classroom in other settings.
- Behavioral improvements – Decreased aggression, taking social cues from peers and completing activities independently.
In addition to improvements in students, there were improvements in teachers as well. The instructors reported that they were motivated by the teaching tools and the students’ positive responses to the interactive whiteboard. More importantly, teachers developed higher expectations for their students (http://autism.lovetoknow.com/Interactive_Whiteboard_Autistic_Classroom).