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Preparing For Virtual Instruction

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virtual instruction

Preparing for Virtual Instruction

Preparing for Virtual Instruction. There are thousands of TVIs across the country that use virtual instruction to reach students who reside in difficult-to-reach areas or as a time-saving tool to eliminate travel time.

An “expert” can be enlisted to teach technology, higher math, and STEM skills through virtual instruction in some cases. Since the Coronavirus is spreading fast, many schools have temporarily closed,

and students have been assigned work to complete at home and/or through virtual instruction.

Why are virtual classrooms and instruction important?

The term “virtual instruction” refers to courses that feature entirely online instruction or to face-to-face components that are delivered online, such as through Blackboard and other content delivery systems. By digitally transmitting class materials to students,

virtual instruction is provided. Virtual instruction – also called online courses – is already a common practice among our students.



A Virtual Classroom is an online teaching and learning environment where students and teachers interact for class presentations, working groups, and discussion boards. Virtual classrooms are characterized by live, synchronous interactions.

Preparing For Virtual Instruction

Virtual Classrooms for Students with Vision Impairments

In addition to participating in virtual instruction with his sighted peers and/or virtual classroom, a student with visual impairments may also take part in 1:1 classes with his/her TVI or ‘expert’.

The student may require specialized training that is not offered by his TVI or no TVI is located locally. Several subjects are covered in this training, including braille. However, most are devoted to assistive technology,

such as learning JAWS or using technology to accomplish STEM-related goals, such as using the JAWS for advanced math.

Schools temporarily closing due to Coronavirus – General Education Teachers

The Coronavirus has forced some school districts to temporarily close their doors. In the event of a school closure, most schools require teachers to create a plan.

Teacher-related materials including online assignments and homework are being requested by general education teachers. Even though individual districts might have different requirements, most use platforms such as Blackboard and Canvas to assign online assignments.

Before classroom teachers upload materials to these platforms, the materials need to be accessible (Word documents, PowerPoints, etc.) for students who rely on screen readers.

Preparing For Virtual Instruction

Teachers should provide alternative sharing methods if the platform is not fully accessible, including the use of cloud storage systems (such as Dropbox) or emailed materials.

These materials should be accessible to TVI as well. TVs need materials in advance of the event so that braille copies can be made, or tactile graphics can be made. Students will receive these tactile materials before school closes or by mail.

Getting Ready for Temporary School Closures
Prepare before School closes
Computers and other software

For students who are accessing materials through technology, the TVI should ensure that the student has access to school-provided equipment, such as a laptop, tablet, braille display, etc.,

as well as software necessary to support his/her accessibility needs and access the virtual classroom. For 1:1 home instruction, this may include an app like Zoom to help the student and TVI connect virtually.



It is the responsibility of the VIB students to charge and maintain their devices regularly at home. All digital equipment, including chargers, must be taken home during school closures.

Instruction in the use of hardware and software

In order to have access to assignments, VIB students must already be acquainted with their technology and software. Before school closes,

Families can provide support if needed

Preparing For Virtual Instruction

Students’ ages and skills may determine the level of support available to them.

If the student needs assistance with the new software (for example, setting up Zoom the first couple of times) or if the student needs ongoing support as the student learns the new educational content,

then that is the case. To eliminate any support as soon as possible, we always aim to limit the amount of support.

Taking part in a virtual course may require the student to be in a quiet location at home.

It is the teacher’s responsibility to provide written instructions about how to use the TVI/classroom device (such as logging into the platform and the teacher’s page).

A quick reference sheet of screen reader commands may be helpful to parents in learning how to use assistive technology. Students and/or family members can benefit from a video tutorial created or found by TVIs.

The student should be able to explain any setup that requires vision to the family member if the student is older

In the event of a school closure, school staff will provide support

For those students/families who require assistance during the closure, information on how to reach the classroom teacher, a school-employed tech person, or TVI should be readily available.

Furthermore, the student must know when it is appropriate or inappropriate to contact a school official.
Internet at home

Preparing For Virtual Instruction

Virtual classrooms require students to have access to the Internet through their home computers. Even if no Internet access is available at home, you can download many assignments and materials while using the school’s Internet at school, and access them offline at home.

When back at school, the student can upload the word or directly share the work with the teacher after completing the work at home. As soon as school resumes, students should have the opportunity to share work or finish any work that they weren’t able to do at home without Internet access.

Discussion and establishment of virtual classes

During these discussions, the TVI should also prepare any additional materials that the student may need at home to complete the assignments.

 

Television Instruction may establish a schedule and dates before a school closure if 1:1 virtual instruction is provided. If the student requires assistance during the 1:1 virtual class, keep the family member’s schedule in mind.

Television Institute virtual classes during school closings

Plan these sessions at a time and date that works for the student,
if their family member is available to assist them. Choosing educational goals and IEPs that are relevant to a virtual classroom is crucial. Taking time to master technology skills at any level is a great idea!



You, the teacher, can see what the student is doing if you use Zoom or another virtual meeting software.

Additionally, it will allow you to keep working and reduce the amount of make-up time you need once classes resume. Even during normal times, virtual classrooms can be a great teaching method!

Discussions with TVIs and other service providers

Preparing For Virtual Instruction

Many TVIs and other service providers, including speech therapists and COMS, have been using virtual classrooms with VIB students throughout the year, based on recent discussions with them.

The educators often recommend combining face-to-face and virtual instruction during normal times. Please share your experiences using virtual instruction, virtual classroom lessons,

or what worked and didn’t work for you – or your colleagues. If you have experience with this topic or would like to write about it, please share!

Virtual Instruction Resources

In addition to its educational games, Accessibyte Online also offers a series of fully accessible games for blind and visually impaired students. The Accessible solution works on desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile devices,

supporting iOS, Mac, Chrome books, Windows, and Android. Accessible offers a free trial period or a yearly license.

Currently, all Accessibyte apps are free for everyone to use! What Accessible has to say is as follows:
Due to the difficult time we are facing, Accessible has made its apps free for teachers and students alike.

In times of school closure or travel difficulties, this service may be useful. The remote learning option is likely to be challenging for students who use assistive technology. Using our apps may be of interest to students with disabilities,

such as those with blindness or other visual impairments, hearing problems, reading difficulties, or simply those who want something fun and different. Access to the Accessible Online platform will be automatically available to users with an existing Typo Online account during this time.

Preparing For Virtual Instruction

Student Apps

If the student doesn’t have a smartphone, have them use a family member’s smartphone. On the O&M section of Paths to Technology, there is a significant amount of information on mobile apps, activities, etc.

1 Ask the student specific questions about an O&M-related app and ask them to research and explore it.

2 Using technology, have the students determine routes and then speak verbally to a driver about those routes. (Route to and from the student’s school or other community location). Include landmarks when possible!

3 Families and friends can provide valuable information about important landmarks.

4 Several transportation apps are available, including Uber, Lyft, taxis, and bus services

5 Navigate with apps like Blind Square, Google Maps, and Apple Maps

5 Try one navigation app and see everything this app has to offer. Learn a few things about the app by reading the Help Manual and sharing them with us!

6 TapTapSee, Microsoft Seeing AI, and Be My Eyes are some apps that you can use and compare.

Investigate different features and determine which features provide the most helpful information for specific tasks.

7 Learn how to scan documents, menus, directories, mail, receipts, bills, and other documents for purposes.



8 Students with low vision can explore the mall, campus of a college, or store layout via an annotated map.

 

Preparing For Virtual Instruction

9 Smartphones offer a wide range of zoom and magnification options for low-vision students.

10 Use features such as Wallet on a smartphone (or Google’s equivalent), Apple Pay, etc. to learn about online banking options. The student should prepare and organize a digital file about destinations he has learned in O&M lessons (this can be a school route, a community route, or a route inside a business).

If students do not have access to or limited access to an O&M, this is an essential skill for learning university campuses and future job sites.

11 The students should create O&M resources (such as pub books or Youtube videos) that can be shared with the younger O&M students through Paths to Technology.

Information could be on cane techniques, street crossings, human guides, comparing cane tips, what’s in different stores, the layout of a grocery store, bank, etc.

We are always in need of advice on how to use an escalator, how to use Uber, or how to ask for assistance while shopping.

Even though VILT is a great way to train employees on a variety of skills or to have a discussion forum for the entire company, it is not an exact substitute for in-person training.



ViLT has an application program problem rather than a technology problem.

Attendees can have an online experience that is similar to or even better than their in-person experience, regardless of the technology present.

Attendees who cannot resolve technical difficulties will result in waste time and energy spent by the presenter helping them access the VILT session.

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