Student and Educator Training
VocaLinks is considered a thought leader in the area of Assistive Technology, providing awareness building conferences, software and hardware sales and superior training and support. Advancements in today’s Assistive Technology provide immense potential for engaging learners in their unique style of learning and educators multiple ways for delivering the curriculum to support differentiated learning in a 21st Century classroom.
As an organization, VocaLinks has been supporting student and educator learning through the sales, training and support of Assistive Technology since 2001. We believe that student independence and success can improve dramatically through effective use of technology tools.
VocaLinks is home to a large team of diversely qualified and certified instructors. Our more than 25 instructors have delivered over 110,000 hours of instruction since 2007 in over 30 school districts and dozens of Colleges and Universities across Canada. Our instructors have come to us with prior experience as classroom or special education teachers, post-secondary Assistive Technologists, Board of Education technologists, disability activists, and from many other fields as well.
In addition, many VocaLinks instructors regularly use Assistive Technology and SMART Interactive Whiteboards to support their own learning and literacy needs. All of our instructors offer an unmatched approach to instruction that combines their experience-based knowledge of classroom demands with a passionate desire to meet the varied learning needs of students and educators.
VocaLinks offers a wide range of training and instructional programs to suit the needs of students, educators and parents. Each program is designed to ensure that the concepts and skills taught are differentiated to suit each student’s learning need and stage of intellectual and emotional development.
For Board of Education we offer:
We partner with School Boards to create positive learning environments which support both educator and student needs. Our goals include assisting in the implementation and integration of Assistive Technology (AT) tools to access curriculum through superior training and support programs for students and educators. These programs can be purchased as part of a SEA student program or for general education.
We have considerable experience working with School Boards to provide custom-designed PD solutions that fit each Board’s unique goals. We work with Principals and Administrators to organize and facilitate Professional Development programs such as Summer Teacher Institutes, Summer AT Camps for students and Education Technology Conferences for educators. VocaLinks Professional Development programs draw upon a number of unique resources such as our portable PC and Macintosh Assistive Technology labs and our online web-based virtual classroom capabilities.
In addition to all our student training options, we provide the following programs to School Districts:
- One-on-one AT Coaching
- In-school Professional Development
- Assistive Technology Workshops for Educators
- Assistive Technology Presentations and Briefings for Principals and Administrators
- Comprehensive Multi-day AT Courses
- "Train the Trainer” PD Model
- In-class mentorship in Assistive Technology
- Integration of SMART Interactive Whiteboard Technology with Assistive Technology Tools
- Certified SMART Interactive Whiteboard Technology training programs and teacher certification
For educators we offer:
- Software and hands-on training on SMART Interactive Whiteboard and Notebook Software that integrates technology into classroom instruction and meets the requirements from the “Education for All” legislation to provide support that meets the learning needs of all students including students with intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities and physical disabilities.
- Individual, group and teacher institute training programs on the most popular Assistive Technology tools such as ClaroRead Pro, Kurzweil, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, WordQ, Inspiration and more.
- Independent coaching to support educators with differentiated instruction, implementing technology into learning, and to ensure integration of assistive technology in the classroom.
- Building individual educator skills on Interactive Whiteboard technology for lesson plan development.
For elementary & secondary students and their parents we offer:
- Assistive Technology training for students is provided as one-on-one or small group training at their schools, in the most popular Assistive Technology tools such as ClaroRead Pro, Dragon Speech Recognition, WordQ, Inspiration and more.
- Foundational and advanced software training for reading strategies, vocabulary support, worksheet completion, test-taking, note-taking, studying strategies, writing assignments (including essays), all stages of the writing process, major research project strategies, and more
- Independent tutoring to support parent learning and strategies to ensure integration of assistive technology into a student’s class work and homework
- Strategies to help support students with textbooks, research papers and novel readings
- Home tutoring available to coach students and parents at home
- Software and training to support student organization, editing, writing, and time management tasks
- Transition support for students moving from elementary to secondary school
Nancy Knowlton, co-founder of SMART Technologies says, “Articulating a clear vision, ensuring adequate professional development ... all work toward guaranteeing successful technology integration.”