Let me say first and foremost I LOVE having students come and their discussions make me so proud and optimistic for the future
The main topic was use of SMART technology for the extended core program student classroom.
Remember, these are students with SIGNIFICANT COGNITIVE DISABILITIES. My program serves 15 students and about 55 peer tutors.
My feeling is that the expense of putting in a smart board and the data collections system is not cost effective. Why? Two main reasons:
1) ECC students in an inclusion setting are mobile learners. True inclusion, for me, means nobody has the same schedule. So my direct teaching could have from 2 to 13 students (with peer tutors ~ 5 to 8 per class). Also the peer tutors are taking this class to learn about data collection and are required take it. SMART data collection systems are not needed because I have wonderful data collectors unlike the regular classroom teacher. Those systems are most valid for a group size of 20 or more. ECC programs are less then 20 at all times (or at least we hope so). As mobile learners they need mobile technology. A SMART BOARD IS NOT MOBILE.
2) I can achieve the same uses using mobile apps and Apple TV for a lot less! Sorry SMART TECH! eClicker has been so much more effective as I can quickly create assessments that let me put in picture support. And it uses the iPad. Without a doubt, for my students, iPads open their world. Also to run an effective program you must build in the learning rate for these very diverse learners. iPads allow individual rates a large Smart Board does not. With iPads we can review and guide repeated exposures from 1 to 290 and different levels. So the bigger bang for my small bucks, I would recommend you look at iPads and apps. Also by configuring your iPads to speak ... the world just got more accessible and more independent learning. Warning! Invest in earphones or you will have a robot convention in your room!