My name is Leslie-Anne Stacey, I am an elementary school teacher with 12 years experience working with children who have special needs. I'm special needs myself, I'm legally blind, which makes me a far better teacher for students with special needs. Im asking for your support for a 27" Mac computer(with peripherals and Applecare). I have 3 great plans for the Mac:
Returning to University
I earned my certificate in First Nations and Inuit Education from McGill University in 2006. I began my certificate in Inclusive Education 2 years ago but funding was cut for the program (until just very recently that is!). I was told by Tina Schiavone (my student advisor) that we (teachers) will be going back to finish our program in the winter 2015 semester. Due to my low vision I need the large computer so I can see it properly. it also has the correct amount of brightness that my eyes need to see it well. My old laptop doesn't go bright enough, nor is it large enough...it's a mere 15". This new computer is to help me with my homework and projects.
Apps for a Dying Language
My biggest plan will be creating apps to teach our Mohawk language which is on the brink of extinction. We are a small community of 10,000 (give or take) and we are making a lot of effort to try and restore our language to what it was before the horrific events of the Residential Schools just about destroyed the Mohawk language. We were able to get a Rosetta Stone program made for us, here's a link showing that our language is indeed threatened. http://www.rosettastone.com/endangered/projects
There are currently no apps for the iPad to learn Mohawk. Rosetta Stone is good but it has it's limits, My apps will not only use a small amount of "multiple choice" but will be very interactive and will also use: following directions, learning through song (which is how we all learned language as a child). Providing answers. It will have the ability to create your own social stories.
I will be taking our traditional stories and putting them on the ipad and will highlight whole words in the same manner a karaoke machine does. It will have a read to me feature. It will also have a feature that will allow the words to be highlighted and pronounced by syllables.
My Mohawk apps will include our phonetics chart which is what our language is built upon. We have a great many resources at our cultural and language centre and I will be partnering up with them to put all of these into apps using the Mac computer. This will help advance our language into the digital world.
I will make apps for for use in all of our schools from kindergarten to grade 11 as well as for use in our community. 3 schools and about 600-700 students. We also have other "sister communities" Akwesasne and Kanehsatake who also have Mohawk as their language.
Apps for Students with Special Needs
At my work, I'm well known for creating innovative hands on activities that are a fun way to learn the foundatons of reading: Phonics, Phonemic Awareness and Sight Words. My apps will be different than the ones out there right now because I will be integrating our culture within these apps. My apps will be used in all of our 3 schools in our education system (kec.qc.com). By doing so, this will enable the teacher to split her class into groups making teaching and cllassroom management easier and more effective.
I am home taking care of my son, I had a year off which ended just a few weeks ago. I opted to take an extra year to be home with my baby, so I will have time to develop my apps and have them ready when I return to work next fall (2015/2016). Part of my job as a teacher was to research and test apps for our students in all subjects and grade levels and I have seen a lot of horrible apps. They weren't any fun, not functional or just didn't make sense and some even had errors in them. I know where the apps are lacking and have many great ideas for creating better ones.
As a teacher I've created many innovative hands on activities for my students who struggle with reading/writing/math, so I know I have the creativity and am very tech savvy to make ipad apps that will not just benefit my own students but anyone with an apple device!