The Waterloo Region District School Board SEA Assistive Technology Team will be running presentations and drop-in sessions on Google Read&Write for parents and caregivers of students.
The goal of the training, which runs throughout November, is to help parents and caregivers better assist their children in using the technological tool to promote their academic success.
“This model aligns with WRDSB’s strategic plan to support student engagement in learning and to increase student success by partnering with families to help students reach their full potential,” Janice Heise-Clarkson, special education consultant, SEA & Assistive Technology said.
“Using the assistive technology at home to review classwork, practice skills or to explore additional learning opportunities can often help reduce frustration, improve efficiency and task completion and build confidence for the child in their ability to demonstrate their learning.”
The training sessions will focus on the the options available on the Google Read&Write toolbar including how to use the tools to read text aloud, have speech turned into text, use highlighters as study tools and practice reading aloud.
There will also be virtual office hours designated for questions that parents and caregivers may have.
Heise-Clarkson says the use of assistive technology can be beneficial for all students.
“Assistive technology in the classroom is often misunderstood as providing an unfair advantage or only being intended for students with a disability,” she said.
“While using assistive technology is an essential accommodation for some people, it’s often beneficial for everyone. Many of us already use it regularly throughout our day without even realizing it. We might send a text using voice dictation, ask Google to translate something, listen to an audiobook or set a reminder in our online calendar – these are all examples of assistive technology that help us.”
These sessions are another example of WRDSB’s commitment to building relationships with families, all while assisting in student development, Heise-Clarkson says.
“Building strong relationships with students, families and the larger school community are part of the conditions for learning in WRDSB,” she said.
“Parents and caregivers are always encouraged to connect with their child’s teacher(s) and school in working together to support their child’s education needs.
Training presentation dates and times
Introduction to Using Read&Write
Tuesday, November 15, 6:45 – 7:15 p.m.
Monday, November 28, 4 – 4:30 p.m.
Using Read&Write for Studying and Projects
Wednesday, November 9, 11:30 a.m – 12:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 23, 12:30 – 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, November 16, 12:30 to 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday, November 22, 4:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, November 30, 7:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Registration for drop-in sesssions is not required.
For more information on these sessions, including Google Meet links, visit wrdsb.ca.