All students are made aware of how technology can help them better understand and access the curriculum. Students have access to 25 portable Mac laptops, as well as three desktop computers stationed in the Learning Center. Several computer applications that can enhance learning, honor the individual learning styles of the students, and help students approach academics in a more methodical, independent manner are available to students as well. Students can access audiobooks, AlphaSmarts, and educational software such as Inspiration and Kurzweil.
Each of the following programs are installed on the Learning Center computers:
Inspiration is an application for creating concept maps and is especially effective for visual learners. Maps can be easily modified and rearranged as ideas develop. A click of the mouse transfers the diagram into 'outline' form. Alternating between the 'outline' and 'diagram' views is useful for examining logic, note-taking, brainstorming, and organizing ideas prior to beginning a rough draft. For more information and a free 30-day demo, visit www.inspiration.com.
Kurzweil 3000 is an interactive reading system that fosters reading skills and comprehension. Text is scanned into the computer, which creates an interactive reading environment. The application's main features involve reading material aloud and highlighting text. Other functions include note-taking, dictionary, and thesaurus. While students are welcome to utilize the computers in the Learning Center, materials can be scanned at school and read at home if a 'reader' version is purchased for home use. For more information, visit www.kurzweiledu.com.
As a member of organizations like Bookshare, Learning Ally, and IMODS through the CA State Department of Education, Gateway has access to audio files and alternative print materials (ie: braille, large print) to make learning meaningful to students with disabilities.