Online Learning with a Human Touch

Daniel Willingham, author, professor and director of graduate studies in psychology at the University of Virginia, recently blogged about two experiments that tested the relationship between computer-based learning and human interaction.

The first experiment was with 88 college students and a PowerPoint presentation. They created three versions of the presentation – one with a human voiceover, one with an avatar that synchronized its lips to the voiceover, and one with a fully-animated avatar. Students who watched the presentation with the fully-animated avatar were better able to apply the content to new situations after the presentation. The second experiment was with the same group of students and involved two different presentations – one with a human voice and one with an avatar voice. Like the previous experiment, the more human-like presentation had a greater effect on students’ learning. These two experiments show that human interaction is important to the learning process.

PresenceLearning understands how important human interaction is to the speech and language therapy process. Using a live, interactive system, PresenceLearning speech and language pathologists (SLPs) use webcams to connect live with their students during sessions. Students can see the SLP’s facial expressions, gestures and mouth positions, thus ensuring that the students are getting the most from their therapy sessions.

PresenceLearning provides online speech therapy to help students achieve better, faster outcomes on a wide range of speech-language goals. Using PresenceLearning allows access to high-qualified SLPs, regardless of location. To find out more about high-quality speech therapy services delivered live via the web, visit: http://presencelearning.com/ or call 415.512.9000.

READ MORE:  http://www.danielwillingham.com/1/post/2012/09/the-human-touch-in-computer-based-instruction.html

Special Education Experts Discuss Use of Online Speech Therapy in Charter Schools during Free PresenceLearning Webinar

Charter schools offer diverse learning opportunities and instructional approaches, but, as in mainstream schools, all students must have access to special education services, including speech and language therapy. To help administrators and educators of charter schools learn more about the uses and benefits of online speech therapy in the charter school setting, PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online speech therapy for schools, is hosting a free webinar titled “Online Speech-Language Therapy for Charter School Students: When, Where and How?” on Thursday, October 25th at 1:00 pm ET (10:00 am PT). To register for the webinar, visit http://pages.presencelearning.com/spedahead6.

During the webinar, Joe Pacheco, Director of Student Services at Leadership Public Schools, and Shawn Whitney, the Director of Special Education at Edison Charter Academy, will discuss online speech therapy and how it can be used in the charter school setting. The panelists will share first-hand accounts on what they have learned about the “when, where and how” of online speech therapy in charter schools and answer questions from the webinar participants.

By attending the webinar, participants will learn:

  • The benefits and limitations of online speech therapy based on real-world examples with charter school students.
  • The roles and responsibilities of the special education administrator, the SLP, charter school teachers and staff in relation to online speech therapy.
  • The body of research related to the effectiveness of online speech therapy.

This webinar is the sixth in a series of free webinars sponsored by PresenceLearning. The webinar series, entitled “SPED Ahead: New Realities, New Choices – A Forum for School Leaders,” brings together thought leaders who are re-thinking the way special education services, especially speech-language pathology services, are delivered.

About Joe Pacheco

Joe Pacheco is the Director of Student Services at Leadership Public Schools. Prior to his role as Director of Student Services for California-based Leadership Public Schools, Pacheco was Principal of LPS Campbell High School. Among administrative positions he has held for public schools, Pacheco was the Program Specialist for Special Education for the Santa Clara County Office of Education. He also served in the Oak Grove School District for 12 years as a Speech and Language Pathologist. He received his undergraduate degree from San Jose State University and his Master’s in School Administration from the University of San Francisco.

About Shawn Whitney

Shawn Whitney is the Director of Special Education at Edison Charter Academy. Whitney joined Edison Charter Academy in 2010 after ten years of teaching, including five years teaching students with learning differences and emotional disturbances at an Arizona high school. She holds a Bachelor’s of Elementary and Special Education from Northern Arizona University and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Phoenix.

About PresenceLearning

PresenceLearning (www.presencelearning.com) is the leading provider of live online speech therapy services for K-12 students. The company offers school districts web-based access to a growing, nationwide network of nearly 200 highly qualified speech language pathologists (SLPs) via live videoconferencing using the latest in evidence-based practice. PresenceLearning delivers large cost savings while improving student outcomes. PresenceLearning is an ASHA-approved continuing education provider for SLPs and a U.S. Department of Education grant-winner, dedicated to bringing the highest clinical standards to online speech therapy.

Adversity Leads to Innovation

Jack McDermott, a student at Tufts University, first had the idea for the Speech4Good app in 2008 when he was in speech therapy for stuttering. “I was spending a lot of money driving into Boston,” said McDermott. “I just realized I wanted speech therapy to be more accessible.”

McDermott wanted to create something that allowed him and other users to get the most out of their treatment. Steve Jobs’ announcement of the Apple App Store was the catalyst for his idea. “It really got me thinking as to how speech therapy and technology can really change the entire process,” said McDermott.

The Speech4Good smartphone app aims to make speech therapy more effective for its users. It takes proven processes of speech therapy, such as Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF), and delivers that therapy via an iPhone or iPad. These apps allow students getting speech therapy to practice at home and share their practice sessions with their Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP).

Schools and individuals interested in live, web-based sessions can turn to PresenceLearning’s nationwide network of over 200 highly qualified SLPs, available via live videoconferencing using the latest in evidence-based practices. PresenceLearning delivers convenient, affordable speech-language therapy that improves outcomes. To find out more, visit: http://presencelearning.com/ or call 415.512.9000.

Telemedicine and Telepractice Show Great Promise for Improved Services

A recent article on the HealthWorks Collective website recaps an article in The Hill titled “Why telemedicine must become a healthcare priority in America.” The article, written by U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Louisiana State Senator Sharon Weston-Broome (D), discusses the importance of telemedicine in the American healthcare system.

The benefits of telemedicine can greatly impact communities nationwide. Johnson and Weston-Broome stated that telemedicine practices can bring healthcare to all areas with broadband internet access, thus offering healthcare to those who may not have had it before. They also stated that telemedicine is already reducing healthcare costs where it is being implemented because doctors can monitor vital signs remotely and can consult with distant specialist.

Similar benefits apply to telepractice, or online speech therapy. Telepractice provides SLPs to schools that are experiencing shortages and may not have access to a face-to-face SLP. Like telemedicine, telepractice allows remote monitoring of student progress. Telepractice is also reducing therapy costs by decreasing travel times and making SLP services available where and when they are needed most..

PresenceLearning online speech therapy helps students achieve better, faster outcomes on a wide range of speech-language goals. PresenceLearning services can also augment on-site speech therapists to lower caseloads, balance workloads and improve student outcomes. To find out more about high-quality speech therapy services delivered live via the web, visit: http://presencelearning.com/ or call 415.512.9000.

Source: http://goo.gl/aLt9w

Something Special Magazine: Speech-Language Therapy Apps

Looking for efficient and interactive ways to teach today’s “always on” students? With the surging use of smart phones and tablets by kids, app developers are responding with a mind-boggling array of educational apps

The recent issue of Something Special Magazine features an article about apps that can further the progress of children in therapy, particularly those in speech-language therapy.

•           Mouth Works, an app created by a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP), helps children practice             mouth movements, vowels, consonants and combinations;

•           Speech Stickers by Serious Tree also practices simple consonant/vowel combinations, and;

•           First Phrases by Hamaguchi lets children record and listen to his or her voice.

These innovative apps highlight exciting new ways for parents and educators to supplement and reinforce kids’ work in speech-language therapy.

PresenceLearning, the leading provider of online speech therapy to K-12 students, uses live video conferencing and interactive activities to deliver “anytime anywhere” speech therapy services to students. With PresenceLearning, school districts have access to nationwide network of fully licensed, highly qualified speech language pathologists who interact with students in live, online sessions and help students achieve better, faster progress on a wide range of speech-language goals.

To find out more about speech therapy apps, special education concerns, or to receive the Something Special Magazine Newsletter, go here.

For more information on PresenceLearning’s services, visit www.presencelearning.com or call 415.512.9000.

Online Speech Therapy Helps Union County School System Better Serve Its Special Needs Students

To overcome the costs and time constraints associated with speech language pathologists (SLPs) traveling to the district’s extremely rural school locations and to lessen the case load for current SLPs in the district, Union County School System in northern Georgia adopted PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online speech therapy services to K-12 students. After a successful pilot of PresenceLearning’s services in May 2012, the district will start using live online speech therapy this fall for a portion of the district’s students receiving speech language services.

“We received great feedback from students, parents, current SLPs and district staff after piloting PresenceLearning last school year,” said Kristy Chapman, special education director of the Union County Board of Education. “Given our rural location, the virtual access to SLPs, in addition to the privacy, availability and ease-of-use of the services, makes PresenceLearning a great fit for our district.”

Located in the Appalachian Mountains in upper northeast corner of Georgia, Union County consists of six schools – one primary school, one elementary school, one middle school, one high school, one K12 school and one alternative education school. The district currently has approximately 2,700 K12 students, including approximately 350 special needs students with individualized education programs (IEPs). This coming school year, PresenceLearning will be the primary speech therapy service provider for a selected group of elementary through high school students.

“PresenceLearning allows us to serve a portion of our students with special needs without having to overload our SLPs,” said Chapman. “We would love to expand our district’s use of PresenceLearning to more students in the future.”

PresenceLearning offers innovative, online speech therapy that draws from a nationwide network of highly-qualified, certified therapists who are available whenever and where ever they are needed. Through PresenceLearning, schools are able to offer an effective speech therapy program that provides improved therapy outcomes and favorable cost comparisons to traditional speech therapy programs. Additional advantages with PresenceLearning include better access to technical specialists as well as culturally and linguistically diverse speech language pathologists.

PresenceLearning currently delivers more than 5,000 successful online speech therapy sessions a month to public, charter and virtual schools nationwide.

About PresenceLearning

PresenceLearning (www.presencelearning.com) is the leading provider of live online speech therapy services for K-12 students. The company offers school districts web-based access to a growing, nationwide network of over 200 highly qualified speech language pathologists (SLPs) via live videoconferencing using the latest in evidence-based practices. PresenceLearning delivers significant cost savings while improving student outcomes. PresenceLearning is an ASHA-approved continuing education provider for SLPs and a U.S. Department of Education grant-winner, dedicated to bringing the highest clinical standards to online speech therapy.

 

PresenceLearning Partners with the Arizona Charter School Association

PresenceLearning, the leading provider of online speech therapy services to K-12 students, recently joined into a corporate partnership with the Arizona Charter School Association. Through the partnership, the Association will help make Arizona’s 524 charter campuses aware of the uses and benefits of online speech therapy provided by PresenceLearning.

“With continuing budget cuts, it is essential that charter schools are provided with an affordable – and effective – solution for offering speech-language therapy services,” said Clay Whitehead, Co-CEO and a co-founder of PresenceLearning. “Our online services provide such a solution and now, through our partnership with the Association, we can help charter school organizations throughout Arizona deliver these services to their special education students.”

The Arizona Charter Schools Association is a non-profit membership and professional organization providing the best in comprehensive support and services to Arizona’s charter schools. The Association’s mission is to support student achievement through high-quality charter schools, advocate for student equity and charter school autonomy, and lead Arizona charter schools as a sustainable, strong credible organization.

PresenceLearning offers innovative, online speech therapy that draws from a nationwide network of highly-qualified, certified therapists who are available whenever and where ever they are needed. Through PresenceLearning, schools are able to offer an effective speech therapy program that provides improved therapy outcomes and favorable cost comparisons to traditional speech therapy programs. Additional advantages with PresenceLearning include better access to specialists and culturally and linguistically diverse speech language pathologists.

As of summer of 2012, PresenceLearning is delivering more than 5,000 successful online speech therapy sessions a month and is currently being used by charter schools across the US, in addition to numerous public and virtual schools.

About The Arizona Charter Schools Association

The Arizona Charter Schools Association is a non-profit membership and professional organization that serves more than 80 percent of the 524 charter schools in Arizona that enroll 133,890 students. Fully 25 percent of the state’s public schools are charter schools, and 12 percent of all public-school students are enrolled in charter schools—the highest percentage for any state, and second only to Washington D.C. With a common goal of providing the best in free, public education for Arizona’s children, the Association works alongside schools, parents, policymakers and the media, continuously advocating for high quality schools, student equity, and charter school autonomy. They are dedicated to high student achievement and aggressively seek to provide the best in comprehensive support and services to Arizona’s charter schools. For more information, visit www.azcharters.org or call 602.944.0644.

About PresenceLearning

PresenceLearning (www.presencelearning.com) is the leading provider of online speech therapy services for K-12 students. The company offers school districts web-based access to a growing, nationwide network of over 200 highly qualified speech language pathologists (SLPs) via live videoconferencing using the latest in evidence-based practices. PresenceLearning services are very affordable while improving student outcomes. PresenceLearning is an ASHA-approved continuing education provider for SLPs and a U.S. Department of Education grant-winner, dedicated to bringing the highest clinical standards to online speech therapy.

Education Week Talks Charter Schools

According to a recent article on Education Week, agency charter schools in the United States are admitting a smaller percentage of students with disabilities than traditional public schools, 8.2 percent vs. 11.2 percent in public schools in the 2009/2010 school year. The article stated that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that some charter schools are possibly discouraging students with disabilities from enrolling or denying them admission, while the article states the study mostly found anecdotal information and no hard data.

Critics of charter schools say that the publicly-funded charter schools are not always held to the same standards as regular public schools.

According to the article, in a letter released with the report, the U.S. Department of Education said they plan to provide more guidance to schools about charter schools’ responsibilities to students with disabilities under federal laws that ban discrimination on the basis of a disability. According to the Education Week article, the GAO pointed out in its report that the last such guidance was offered 12 years ago.

In addition, the article stated that the U.S. Department of Education has launched investigations into four states to determine whether charters are adequately serving students with disabilities. These investigations are being conducted in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Read More: http://goo.gl/dhbUa

Many charter schools as well as regular school districts around the country are using online speech therapy from PresenceLearning to serve special needs students. The company delivers live online sessions “anytime, anywhere” using highly qualified speech language pathologists, web-based videoconferencing and engaging online activities. To find out how your district can benefit from online speech therapy services, visit: http://presencelearning.com or call 415.512.9000.

NCLB and Outcomes for Special Needs Students

A recent story on Education Week’s blog, On Special Education, addresses a new report from the Institute of Education Sciences and what its data shows related to students with disabilities and making AYP. According to this story, the report looked at 37 states with relevant data and showed that 9 percent of public schools did not make AYP in the 2008-09 school year as a result of how students with disabilities performed combined with at least one other reason. It also stated that only 5 percent missed AYP in the 2008-09 school year solely because of the test performance of students with disabilities.

The article also shared an interesting hypothesis from the report – that if schools are held responsible for this student population related to state grading and rating systems, they will adopt improved instructional practices and improve the educational outcomes of those students.

The Institute for Educational Sciences has plans to issue an additional report that will focus on the relationships between accountability for this student subgroup and student results and school practices.

PresenceLearning online speech therapy helps students achieve better, faster outcomes on a wide range of speech-language goals. Using PresenceLearning in combination with on-site speech therapists can lower caseloads and improve outcomes. To find out more about high quality speech therapy services delivered live via the web, visit: http://presencelearning.com/ or call 415.512.9000.

Source
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/speced/2012/05/including_excluding_students_with.html

 

Speech Telepractice: Good, Bad or Ugly? – Free Webinar 7/12

PresenceLearning is sponsoring their third free webinar in the series “SPED Ahead: New Realities, New Choices – A Forum for School Leaders.”  The webinar “Speech Telepractice: Good, Bad or Ugly?” will take place on Thursday, July 12th at 1:00 pm ET (10:00 am PT). Special education expert, Dr. Barbara J. Moore, will moderate the webinar and panelists will define how simple and inexpensive technologies are improving student outcomes and how districts can address critical personnel shortfalls and gaps in speech therapy services.

The panel of experts, who will also be sharing their real world experiences, include Dr. Shari Robertson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Research at Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Lynda Donahue, Special Education Director of Vacaville Unified School District in California; and Melissa Jakubowitz, M.A., CCC-SLP, Vice President of Speech Language Pathology (SLP) Services for PresenceLearning and past president of the California Speech-Language Hearing Association.

To register for the webinar, visit http://pages.presencelearning.com/spedahead3.html

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