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An inclusive learning environment supported by technology

Video Help

Duration: 3:54

This video clip demonstrates inclusion in action at Wadestown School. Visually impaired student Renée Patete describes the difference technology makes to her learning by providing access to the curriculum and enabling ease of communication. Renée comments, "There are lots of things my technology does to help my reading, my learning, and my reading, and my entertainment."

Sally Barrett, Principal:
Well I have a very strong personal belief in inclusion. I have always believed that children learn differently and at their own rate and I think the school should be a welcoming place for children to learn and whatever I can do to help them achieve their potential I want to be able to do. So I celebrate difference. I absolutely believe that it’s a fundamental part of the world and where we are in the world and interpersonal relationships with children are the same the world over. So for me inclusion is just something that comes very, very naturally I hope to all our children here.

If we’re actually looking at the different styles of learning of children, technology for Renée is hugely important. So for us, our teacher aides, who ah, the teacher aide that Renée has, needs to embrace the understanding that technology brings and work very, very hard to break her learning down into areas that she can actually use that technology to access the curriculum and in Renee’s case I think I can say we have an incredibly able student there. I just want to see her achieve as much as she possibly can in the time she’s with us and technology assists us to do that. Absolutely.
Renée Patete, Student:
I think the technology helps my learning because if I didn’t have the technology I wouldn’t really have access to the curriculum as much as I do with the technology. If I just had hard copy Braille then we’d have to wait for things to come from the libraries and that can often takes weeks or sometimes months to get it produced and then sent down to Wellington for school. It’s really good to have the technology so I can do my homework and hand in my work, so I can easily send it by e-mail or print it out, or put it on USBs so that my teacher can get all my homework. It’s also good for researching, getting on to the internet, having books to read. So there are lots of things my technology does to help my reading, my learning, and my reading, and my entertainment.
Eseta Fuli, Teacher:
Because Renée is very good at using her BrailleNote there are lessons where I’ve found that she is able to move very quickly through the work and so I need to ensure that I have got back up plans as to how to extend her. What it means for her is that she often is able to race ahead of the other students in the classroom. What I’ve found in te reo Maori is that the BrailleNote has enabled her to be able to track through her notes very easily. For example, when we are speaking verbally, ko te aha tenei ra? For example. What day is it today? And she can refer back to her notes very easily and be able to check, almost spell check and check the grammar through her sentences, through her BrailleNote.
Renée Patete, Student:
There are several ways that my teacher can read what I’m writing. One way is connecting my laptop to my BrailleNote and that’s called Visual Display. And the teacher can read from the screen of the laptop what I’m doing on the BrailleNote. I can also hand in copies of my work on USBs by email or printing them out ‘cause the BrailleNote can connect to a printer so then my teacher can read what I’ve been writing.
Eseta Fuli, Teacher:
It is a heaven send. If we didn’t have it I would, I would feel completely incompetent every day, that I haven’t, I’m not meeting her needs, and it really does empower me as a teacher to be able to have that communication with her. 

Tags: Primary, Assistive technologies, Writing, Inclusion, Te reo