Class Notes and Accessibility
One of the things I like to do for story review is to have students brainstorm what they remember. In the past, I've taken notes on the board and taken a picture of them to put online to share. However, this is not a way to provide full access to vision students who read braille or use audio devices. So, I decided to try and find a way to take the notes in a way that was easy for me, but to provide it for students in multiple formats (multiple means of representation in UDL speak).
I did this today with a Latin I class. We were reviewing the first half of a story before reading the second half. I ask students to give me notes of what they remembered, in any order, each period. I added them all to the same document and made the notes available to all classes.
How We Made It Work
Right now I am teaching in person and digitally, so I needed a way to see all my students AND take these notes. So, I pulled out my iPad and wrote notes while they spoke and typed at me. I used the Notability app which I've talked about before when discussing annotated stories. I love this app for taking notes professionally and creating resources for students, but I still don't know everything about it. For example, today I learned that I can take my handwriting on the app and quickly convert it to digital type (which can be read by an text to voice system).
After I had all the notes written, I used the Notability app to convert them into typed text. It wasn't perfect and there were a few mistakes, but I quickly fixed those using a keyboard. I then uploaded the document as a PDF. Zamzar was able to take that PDF and turn it into a word doc. I then removed all formatting (making it more accessible to a braille Note).
As you can see, my handwriting is fun. I use a mix of cursive and print and I colour code things. I don't solely provide one or the other and often use a mix of my own handwriting and digital type. I see value in both (aka, this isn't the place to get into an argument over cursive vs. typing skills).
I am so glad I learned how to do this today and will definitely be employing it in the future as well!
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