Opening Doors for Students of All Ability Levels: Increasing Visual and Auditory Communications with SMART

A SMART Implementation Study with No Limits Academy, Melbourne, Florida

Teachers and School

No Limits Academy & Ability Plus Therapy
Laura Joslin, M.O.M. (Mom on a Mission with two sons who have cerebral palsy)Melbourne, Florida.

Challenge

Increasing Student Functional Communication

SMART Solution

SMART Board® 6000 series
SMART Learning Suite (SMART Notebook®, SLSO)

Result

Increase in functional communication and receptive language over time with the use of SMART Notebook and SMART Learning Suite Online.

“SMART Technologies has enabled our children with physical disabilities to connect their learning with environments not always accessible to them because of their physical limitations.”
- Christine Carey, Director of Communications, MA, CC-SLP

Motivation

No Limits Academy takes a neuro-educational, holistic approach to education. Instructors develop an educational strategy for each learner that is based upon careful evaluation, tailored to the learner’s specific needs. The staff believes that equality is not to be confused with equal opportunity. All persons are not born with the same level of physical, cognitive, social and intellectual ability, but all persons are born with the right to equal opportunity to reach their full potential. This belief is foundational for their method of individualizing student instruction by evaluating them against the standard of their own personal potential, tailoring instruction to meet their physical, cognitive, social, and intellectual needs.

Teachers at No Limits Academy have a passion for providing the best opportunities for learning. Many students come to the school with cognitive, physical and language barriers. The goal of this study was to not only engage all students in each classroom, but improve upon functional communication and receptive language using the SMART solution for visual cues and use of touch technology.

Why SMART?

No Limits Academy has successfully collaborated with SMART Technologies for over a decade. SMART Learning Suite (SLS) was chosen to implement a combination of visual cues on the SMART interactive display through SMART Notebook®. Students responded to thesecues with personal devices. This methodology for implementation was chosen to support and enhance current instructional strategies to engage all learners and increase functional communication and receptive language, including labeling skills.

SMART Learning Suite Integration

The instructors at No Limits Academy used elements of SMART Notebook to provide visual scenarios for instruction, improving group collaboration, observation, and discussion, student expression, focus and comprehension of cause/effect relationships. Additionally, students engaged with varied SMART Lab activities through SMART Learning Suite Online (SLSO) to respond to questions regarding the classroom environment, vocabulary enhancing labeling skills, and social/emotional skills.

How SMART Solutions Improved Learning Outcomes:

“SMART Technologies provided an opportunity for classroom material to come to life and for students to be interactive in their learning, through language, touch and movement,” Laura Joslin says.

A subset of six individual students did undeniably showcase an increase of cognition and functional communication within every subject during their instructional experiences with SLS. Although there were obstacles, the population of students assessed has undeniably progressed to levels far beyond typical standards for their perceived abilities during their matriculation at No Limits Academy.


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Posted: January 21, 2019
in Outcome Studies