We asked Laura Koch, IA Specialist for Muscatine Community School District, Iowa, to share examples of how Bookshare has supported students in her school district this year. Laura, an early adopter of our online library of accessible books, gave us this wonderful story for our website last year; we wanted to follow up to see how Bookshare was helping her students. Here are Laura’s answers to our questions:
Has Bookshare helped more students participate in inclusion settings?
Yes..100%. I have teachers asking me about books on Bookshare before they enroll a student in class. Without the benefit of class books to listen to, these students would not have the opportunity to be successful in the general education curriculum without huge modifications being done to the curriculum material.
Are more students using Bookshare to get ready to transition to college?
I train all of my students on Bookshare and coach them along. During their senior year I remind them that they should get their own account at home so they have it when they go to college. For some students, Bookshare has become an item on their list of transition skills needed for their IEP (Individualized Education Plan).
Are there specific tips you would recommend to teachers about Bookshare?
Explore the program with your students. I know that class sizes can be large so you may want to use a projector to show the entire LD class how to explore it. Then sit with a student ‘one-to-one’ for a minute to answer any questions that they may have. Watch how they quickly catch-on!
Is Bookshare a resource you would present to parents/guardians/families?
I talk about it to parents at my parent-teacher conferences as I do many technology programs. Families need to know about Bookshare so they can pass on the resource to another family who can benefit from the program.
Are your students enjoying improved reading skills? Are they reading more often and experiencing more reading independence now that they are a Bookshare user?
If you have a Bookshare story or great teaching tip on how to use Bookshare effectively, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share your good works!
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