New Assistive Technology Implementation Framework Announced to Help K-12 Educators Make Technology 'SHIFTS" in Schools and Districts

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AT Implementation Framework is a Professional Development Program Helps K-12 Educators Make Important Technology 'SHIFTS' in Schools

SHIFT ' Shaping Habits in Fellow Teachers' ...Teachers learning technology

SHIFT is as flexible as the educators who will use it. We guarantee that these tools and strategies will help any individual, small or large team to make lasting advances in using assistive technology to improve student achievement.

Don Johnston, assistive technology pioneer and advocate for children with special needs, released a new AT Implementation Framework at the 2010 Closing the Gap (CTG) conference in Bloomington, MN. CTG is recognized for its annual showcase of innovative technologies and exemplary programs to benefit students (persons) with disabilities of all ages.

The AT Implementation Framework, dubbed SHIFT for 'Shaping Habits in Fellow Teachers', was carefully developed for K-12 educators and specialists who work collaboratively and cross-departmentally to improve student achievement using assistive technology tools.

"SHIFT symbolizes our core vision at Don Johnston; that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary results," said Mary Krenz, Director of Professional Development. "Through our professional learning summits, we have worked with both rural and urban districts that have successfully set up and implemented an AT infrastructure and have learned a great deal about what it takes to create a formula for change. SHIFT comprises all of these proven best practices into four key professional development areas: Create Your Vision, Build Your Team, Design and Deliver Training and Keep the Momentum Going."

Within each target area, the AT Implementation Framework (SHIFT) provides an array of free resources, including videos, interactive strategies, worksheets, planning matrices, tutorials, and reward and recognition tools. These resources help districts explore creative techniques to excite and incent team members to utilize assistive technology in a natural and comfortable manner.

SHIFT includes information to address a plethora of roadblocks facing educators such as lack of time, making cost-effective decisions, sustaining technology use, creating student-centric and digital learning environments and receiving real-time technical support. Tools and resources are available in an ala carte fashion for educators to select where to start, shift, pause and stop from the earliest phases of implementation to in-depth sustainable district-wide efforts.

Educators are encouraged to sign up for SHIFT so that they can receive support, tips and fun rewards to recognize the superstars that will emerge in their district, school, or classroom as they experience the power of the program.

"For 30 years, we've worked with AT specialists, SLPs, OT's, teachers and administrators and know how difficult it can be to make changes stick in education," said Ruth Ziolkowski, President of Don Johnston Inc. "SHIFT is as flexible as the educators who will use it. We guarantee that the tools and strategies we've pulled together will help any individual, small or large team to make lasting advances in using assistive technology to improve student achievement."

Resource Links:
Learn more about SHIFT on the Don Johnston website
http://www.donjohnston.com/prof_services/shift/

Sign up for SHIFT
http://www.donjohnston.com/prof_services/shift/membership.html

Schools Making the Grade - Effective use and district-wide AT implementation
http://www.donjohnston.com/educators/schools_news/index.html

Visit http://www.donjohnston.com or call 1-800-999-4660.

About Don Johnston Incorporated

Don Johnston develops accessible and emerging reading and writing technologies to support K-12 and postsecondary students with cognitive, physical, and learning disabilities. Since 1980, the company has partnered with literacy experts, AT specialists, SLPs, OTs, special education teachers, university researchers and DSS coordinators to improve access to learning and to increase writing independence. Students and individuals with dyslexia, autism, dysgraphia, down-syndrome and diverse learning challenges will benefit from software and hardware devices to accommodate them in education and workforce programs.

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Valerie Chernek
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