Educators are being asked to prepare lesson plans for virtual instruction due to the Coronavirus threat. Yesterday, entire states have been proactive and have closed K-12 schools and most universities have moved to virtual classes/instruction. So, how do O&Ms handle virtual instruction?
Apps for Older Students
Note: If the student does not have a smart phone, arrange to use a family member’s smart phone or iPad.
Pre-plan routes: Ask the student to use a smartphone to plan a route (can include public transportation options, etc)
Provide specific questions about an O&M related app for the student to research and explore: How would you use (name app) when riding a new bus route?
Have the student determine specific routes using tech then be able to give verbal directions to a driver. (Route from school or other community location to student’s home). Be sure to include landmarks! Allow the student to ask family or friends about important landmarks along the way.
Explore and compare navigation apps such as BlindSquare, . . .
Pick one navigation app and explore all the features of this app. Be sure to read the Help Manual and share three things that you learned about the app!
Use and compare apps such as TapTapSee, Microsoft Seeing AI, Be My Eyes. Explore different features and determine which feature/app provides information that is most helpful for specific tasks
Practice scanning bar codes – learn where bar codes are typically located on boxes, cans, cartons, etc.
Practice OCR scanning – scan and read documents, menus, directories, mail, receipts, bills, etc. (O&M may want to send a packet of documents to be scanned)
Annotated Map – Low vision student can explore and learn about his/her community, mall, college campus, or store layout. (O&M should annotate fire escape maps or street maps and share with student) Creating Low Vision Maps: SAS Gloss App
Low vision students can use and compare all the zoom and magnification options on a smart phone. Which option works best for a specific task for you and why?
Explore online banking options, including options such as storing credit card information in the Wallet on an Apple phone (or Google equivalant), using Apple Pay, etc. What are the pros and cons?
Have the student create and organize a digital file about routes he has learned in O&M lessons (can be school routes, community routes, or routes inside businesses). This is a critical skill for learning university campuses and future job sites when students may not have access to or limited access to an O&M.
Ask students to create O&M related materials (such as ePub books or Youtube videos) for younger O&M students that can be shared on Paths to Technology
Topics might be on a specific cane technique, street crossing information, human guide, information, comparing cane tips, about what is found in various stores, layout of a grocery store, bank, etc. O&M trip to a bank, fast food, dentist office, etc. tips on riding an escalator, using Uber, asking for assistance in a store, the list is never ending!
Apps for Younger Students
ePub books – download and read teacher-created O&M-related ePub books available on Paths to Technology
Cody Went to Sheetz: iBook (community O&M lesson – notice that the book mirrors self-familiarization techniques – the pages are in same order as Cody walks around the perimeter walls.)
Aeden’s Journey on the iPad and VoiceOver (Includes a PDF file of his school book. This post is the first in a series – this post demonstrates how Aeden was introduced to VoiceOver and the commands needed to read his ePub book.)
The student, COMS, student or family members can create O&M related books and share with everyone via Paths to Technology!
Blindfold games with O&M concepts. Note: These math grid games are also O&M concepts and great for mental mapping and O&M routes too! Did you know that there are over 80 Blindfold games available?
Coding Concept activities: coding concepts are all about navigating a route through a grid. These are fun ways to teach spatial relationships, mental mapping, navigation and route planning!
Coding Post Summary – this post is a summary of all the coding-related posts on Paths to Technology. The list of posts is divided by “Unplugged” Activities (no device required), Apps, Coding Robots, and Coding Languages. (Too many posts to list individually here!)
Concepts that can be taught through a virtual classroom (through Zoom or phone call):
Odd/Even for address systems
Using a tactile map, small toy car, and small character, have the student demonstrate traffic patterns and intersection crossings
Cardinal directions and clock-face orientation
Find or assign Veroniiiica’s posts about using tech to visit various places or how she uses various apps (She has over 100 posts – here is a list of Veroniiiica’s posts)
Create tactile maps: of home, school, community, and/or inside local businesses – depending on the student’s level. O&M can create the maps and send them home or can send map making materials home and ask a family member to facilitate map making with the student, or have the student independently create maps.
Use the map during a virtual classroom activity (thru Zoom, Google Meet or other virtual meeting app), parent assist with map exploration or have the student use the map independently to answer specific questions
Listen to O&M related podcasts or blind experiences