Change Over Time

As I continue on this process of addressing the situation of how to help students with motor skill deficiencies, I am continusously struggling to think how to develop my product more.  I have found that this is definitely a valid concern and topic to research however want to see how my topic and/or product can be developed more.  I have a final design, well at least for the time being, and want to use it effectively once it is printed.  My question has changed in the sense of it being not only what can I create to be useful, but how can I develop this product and idea specifically to enhance the original idea.  This I have discovered is more of a personal thought/question.

In doing research, one thing that I discovered was how the need for more tools and resources for individuals who struggle with motor skills is not just in the hand writing world.  There is a larger day to day need for these individuals to continue to get help in performing different day to day tasks.  I wondered to myself if at a later date that could be something that I could help fix or address.  This meaning that simply put I could look into developing another product or tool that could be printed potentially that could help with other needs like brushing teeth, or as simple as gripping objects like the sink knobs.  Research has continued to put out more and more information linked to this that can be used to support this argument.

Lastly, my thoughts on this whole process have changed tremendously.  At first if being honest, I saw this as a normal forced to do school assignment.  However as time has gone on I have seen how there is a real need for these types of things in our world we live in.  My perspective on the question has definitely changed just from reading this post.  I can see my bigger thinking about the realness and practicality of the situation instead of just merely getting by.  I have also had a new appreciation for individuals who do this for a living to create assistive technology to help all benefit regardless if they have a disability or not.

Enduring the Process

So far I have been very interested and intrigued with this process.  I have been excited about finding a product and creating it to use in day to day life.  It is still crazy to me that all of this is possible through the use of a printer.  However with this, I have found that it isn’t just some walk in the park process.  It can be hard and challenging to make and design it online.  With tinker cad there are many great tools and aspects to be used to create your design, however it is just frustrating to get everything to work for you just the way you want it.

I really liked this idea.  At first my design in my head was big and laborious, but through the process I am finding that it may not be the best and most realistic approach to create a gripper for students.  With the link above and figuring out specifically what I want it to look like, I think I will add more outputs for this design to accommodate for different sized objects.  Overall, it is still in the early stage, but I see myself getting closer to an end goal.

Lastly, the research.  This has been something that has been all over the place.  I have found numerous amounts of research on what does and does not work, however it can be hard because how do I combine it all into one good object for production.  I have these big ideas, and multiple research backs up different techniques, however when it comes to production I think it may be to extravagant for the time allotted resources used etc. etc.  I am excited for the end result and what is to come of the design ultimately.

Beginning the Journey: Finding the research

Throughout today’s class, I learned about the complexity yet usefulness of the UGA Library system.  In particular, it really resonated with me because of how beneficial it can be towards helping me find research for my topic at hand.

One thing that stuck out to me, was the Library chat.  Having someone who knows what they are doing be able to talk to you instantly that easily any day really helps me be able to hash out my ideas of where I’m trying to find my research.  Going along with that, my topic is vague in the sense of the concept however I feel that there will not be much discussion about it since there is little emphasis on AT in the general education classroom in my opinion.

By using the different research hosts if you will, I saw how you can really establish what specifics you need to find whatever is out there.  There is also within the Library itself different periodicals from over the years, so if I am able to go find something on my topic from a while back then I can go check it out and use it to my advantage.

Lastly, the 3D printer.  One this machine blows my mind that it can work, but the ability to think something up design it and then create to physically impact and help the students immediately is amazing and also something that I think could really go along with my topic, because it could provide so many different resources and extra abilities to enhance learning in the general education classroom.

Finding a Purpose: The who, what, when, and why of this project

My first thought that popped into my mind was why should I create a question if it is not going to help me as I go throughout my career.  That is when I began to think about how Assistive Technology can impact and really shape the classroom when used effectively.  We always here about how AT can be used in great positive impact ways with students with disabilities which is definitely true, however I wondered what AT is out there that is not super well known that impacts the general education as a whole to help students of all abilities reach and access the curriculum in the most effective and successful way possible.

This proved to be a very fruitful and beneficial topic in my opinion, because it can really stretch across the whole spectrum of education not just k-12 but also into upper level educational systems.  All classrooms that exist are always trying to set their students up for success, and in order to do so the teacher must be set up for success as well.  I feel that there must be different AT out there both high and low tech that can help enable a teacher in a classroom to provide more effective instruction to his or her students.  I feel that many educators across the board will be interested in my question, because with the way the world is moving today, technology is always being developed.  More and more technology is being introduced to many aspects and realms of our lives.  The educational world is no different in that more of a demand and importance is being placed on technology, and thus educators of all subjects and grade levels will all be interested in finding resources and AT that can help them stay relevant and compliant with the times, as well as still provide effective and beneficial instruction.

I think the first place to begin looking for answers is merely the internet.  It has so much knowledge and resourceful material out there that I can find multiple outlets of information.  However I will also look into my practicum and reach out to current teachers in the general education setting, as they can provide their opinions and thoughts on what can and cannot help them in their day to day work.  It will give me a very insightful and helpful vantage point on where to start looking for what types of AT can be of great use and purpose in the classroom setting.

Suggest Twitter Resources:

Tina P. Monteleone — @tinamonte

Scott Rocco — @ScottRRocco

Miss Weinstein — @miss_weinstein

#edtech #gadec15