Saturday, April 02, 2005

Storybook Weaver and Deaf Students

Storybook Weaver and its use with deaf and hard of hearing students: Review found at: http://clerccenter2.gallaudet.edu/stg/STGTitle.asp?RecID=427


Although this was not an article, it did contain a review of the use of Storybook Weaver with deaf and hard of hearing students, as completed by a teacher of the deaf. I was interested in looking at this review, because I was wondering whether or not the teacher felt this program had strengths with deaf and hard of hearing students since it was designed for the mainstream. The reviewer mentioned that the program worked well for motivating students, was easy to use, could be adaptable to different levels, and allowed for scaffolding if needed. However, she mentioned that it would only be beneficial to primary age students or students working at a much lower level than your average "older" student. In specific reference to deaf and hard of hearing students, she stated that students often required assistance in the beginning on how to use the program, but I believe this would be true for any novice user.

One of the reasons I decided to focus on a review of software designed for the mainstream is that I wanted to "analyze" in terms of the characteristics presented in last weeks post. If one recalls, I posted an article that described characteristics of software designed for the mainstream. In order for a piece of software to be "worthwhile" it should be visual, interactive, engaging, motivating, challenging, intuitive, structured, and include an assessment feature. With the little experience I have with Storybook Weaver, I know that it is an extremely visual program, with little dependence on auditory learning. This is extremely beneficial for deaf and hard of hearing students. Furthermore, the reviewer stated from first hand experience that the program was motivating, which in my opinion also implies that it was engaging. Obviously, with students writing and illustrating their own stories, the program is interactive in nature and this is one of the key attributes of software for deaf and hard of hearing students. The reviewer also mentioned the ability to scaffold and individualize instruction which addresses the ability of the program to be challenging and structured. I believe assessment could be seen within the student's final product and through comparison of various projects completed throughout a year. Students would be able to see their progress throughout their "writing career" in the classroom.

Although I knew about Storybook Weaver before, and have seen it used in classrooms, it was not until the previous post that I had "valid" (I use that term loosely) judgment to decide whether or not it would work well with deaf and hard of hearing students. However, I now feel that it would provide students with a creative, interactive outlet to reading and writing in which they take ownership of their literacy, which can be nothing but positive with any student, especially those that are deaf and hard of hearing.

1 Comments:

At 2:38 AM, Blogger krystallo said...

Hi,

I find your blog interesting, and informative. Well done. Please keep posting similar articles to your blog in the future. I am also interested in developing educational interactive programs for deaf students. What is your full name and your email address?

Thanks,
Krystallo

 

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