Our goal at Compass High School is to expose students to a variety of technologies–both educational and assistive–so they can discover what works best for them. Here are some of the highlights of the technology program at Compass.
iPads facilitate interactive learning as students discover answers to their questions and use apps to deepen their mastery and engagement with material. All Compass students are supplied with an iPad loaded with the latest assistive software to use for in and out of the classroom.
Every classroom is equipped with technology that allows teachers to use a multisensory approach. Interactive whiteboards, wireless Internet access, a variety of cutting-edge software apps, and other instructional technologies are standard in every class. We use Reading Assistant to work on reading fluency and comprehension, Inspiration to brainstorm, and movies and podcasts to provide material in a multisensory way. Technology allows our students to do virtual lab experiments and other simulations, create webpages and blog about literature. At Compass, we use technology creatively to make learning exciting.
Each student is encouraged and trained to identify an individual Assistive Technology Profile. Students use specialized software programs to develop reading fluency, and improve decoding and comprehension skills. Students are introduced to text-to-speech software and audio books to help them find the most comfortable way of reading text. To facilitate written language, students master keyboarding and basic word processing strategies. Students also use Inspiration to help them generate and organize ideas for writing. Other software programs help with spelling, word-finding, and editing. For students who prefer to dictate their writing, we assist them in mastering speech-to-text software.
Communication and Organization
All students and parents have access to our online homework and grade book to keep track of assignments and due dates. We use Google technologies like Google Calendar, Tasks and Google Documents to facilitate and manage communication between teachers and students, teachers and parents, and between teachers. These tools assist in organization, planning, and communication, providing simple ways to manage short-term daily schedules, as well as long-term assignments. We also introduce students to a variety of computer note-taking and study aids.
Students who learn differently are often passionate and talented with computers. Many will pursue this interest as a career path. As Compass High School grows in size and our elective program expands, we will be offering several computer elective courses. These may include Graphic Design, Game Design, and Robotics.
Teacher Training and Support
We recognize that successful implementation of our technology program depends on robust training, coaching, and support of teachers. That is why we have pursued a partnership with Stanford University’s Department of Educational Technology to help develop a progressive technology program. Teachers will attend conferences and workshops, and we will bring coaches into the classroom to assist teachers in deepening their knowledge and mastery of educational and assistive technology.