Christopher R. Bugaj, MA, CCC‐SLP, is a founding member of the Assistive Technology Team for Loudoun County Public Schools. Chris co-hosts the Talking with Tech podcast, which features interviews and conversations about augmentative and alternative communication, and has hosted The A.T. TIPSCAST, a multi‐award winning podcast featuring strategies to design educational experiences. Chris is the author of The New Assistive Tech: Make Learning Awesome for All, published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Chris is the co-author of Inclusive Learning 365: EdTech Strategies for Every Day of the Year and The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools, both of which are also published by ISTE. Chris co-authored two chapters for a book published by Brookes Publishing titled Technology Tools for Students with Autism. Chris co‐produces and co‐authors the popular Night Light Stories podcast, which features original stories for children of all ages. Chris has presented over 500 live or digital sessions at local, regional, state, national, and international events, including TEDx.
Students of all abilities head off to kindergarten with bright smiles, eager for the journey of discovery, and with a passion for learning. Then, somewhere along the way, school becomes a chore. It transforms from an experience students want to do into something they have to do. For many, one of the first lessons they learn in school is that they are not good at it. Let’s shift that paradigm by rethinking how we design educational experiences to empower every student to embrace his or her passion for learning. This session will allow participants to take the opportunity to mesh contemporary educational principles such as Universal Design for Learning, the Growth Mindset, Project-Based Learning, the Maker Movement, the Least Restrictive Option, and the use of technology to transform practices to empower students of all abilities to take charge of their own learning. Come to the session as an educator; leave transformed as an Educational Experience Designer.
What’s the point of technology in educational design? What features of technology can be used to design educational experiences that work for every learner? Participants will explore a wide variety of necessary features presented by different technologies that can be used as universal supports for learners in inclusive learning environments. Leave with practical ideas for how to consider, select, and implement contemporary technologies for instructional experiences.
Teaching core vocabulary and using partner-augmented input/aided language stimulation are practices more widely implemented now than ever before. The widespread implementation of these two techniques is promising. What other actions by those who support individuals learning language with AAC are necessary to foster skills to create generative language whenever, wherever, and to whomever? This session will focus on seven additional factors that can be used to boost the language acquisition process. Factors to be discussed include least-to-most prompting, morphological instruction (shifting the focus from just words to a more inclusive approach of morphemes = Corephemes!), explicit instruction of phrasal verbs (two or more core words put together that result in an altered meaning), consistent symbol/word location, learning experiences centered around authentic problems, the Specific Language System First approach to tool selection, and developing a culture with embedded peer support.