“Literacy Instruction for Young Learners”: Workshop tour coming in NOVEMBER!

Things may seem a little quiet around here at Spectronics, but fear not – we are diligently beavering away in the background, working on our next workshops and webinars and blog posts!

One of the things that is at the top of the list, is getting ready for the Literacy Instructional tour in November. I can say that I am pretty excited to be teaming up with Classroom Teacher Jenni Mac for this. She has loads of experience and practical ideas, and between us we are planning an awesome full day of learning.

Photos of Amanda Hartmann (Speech Pathologist and Inclusive Learning Technologies Consultant) and Jenni McDonald (Early Childhood Teacher and Literacy Consultant)

Our workshop will be based on strong pedagogy and teaching strategies for literacy. Then it’s up to us to show you how to use the technology to accelerate the learning of literacy! Let’s harness the power of technology that we have available to us, to boost and develop and strengthen the literacy skills for all our learners. Use it to differentiate your learning tasks. Never has there been a better time to start utilizing the technology in your classroom – it’s time to get on board or fall behind!

We are targeting literacy instruction in the classroom and we hope to see LOTS of teachers in the audience. But of course there are MANY members of the educational team that could benefit from the workshop. I think that Teacher assistants/aides, Administration Team, Speech Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Parents, Learning Support teachers, Special Education teachers, Literacy Coordinators/Coaches, Student teachers should ALL attend this workshop. Imagine the power of your literacy instruction if everyone in the team was on the same page, using consistent pedagogy and technology across the whole team….


Anyway…. What can you expect to see and learn?


There will be iPad stuff and Apps. Yes – we still love the iPad as a powerful instructional tool! And we will be wading through the thousands of apps to bring you solid, dependable apps that support literacy.

There will also be key websites and resources for your computers and IWBs.

But more than that, there will be practical ideas, strategies and real life examples to make this technology happen in your educational setting.


Here are the specific literacy areas to be covered in the workshop:


Do you love language? We do, because we know the importance of oral language within literacy development and we will look at ways to use technology for speaking and listening. Students with strong oral language skills – those that can speak clearly and fluently and sequence their ideas well, often become students with well-developed writing skills.


Again, early sound awareness skills are essential in effective literacy development. Supporting students to develop rhyme awareness and sound identification as well as segmenting and blending skills, provides a solid foundation to their literacy. A crucial step in this process is teaching letter-sound links.


How can we use technology to help our students become rocking readers? It is a combination of teaching them to decode unfamiliar words and remember sight words, as well as develop competent reading comprehension. Let’s get our students reading fluently and confidently, but also reading for meaning.


Technology is one of the most powerful tools that we have at our fingertips to fight writing and support spelling. Let’s use it to develop spelling and spelling strategies, but also sentence writing and expansion. We also have amazing writing tools such as graphic organisers, word prediction, word banks and text-to-speech that help support the developing writer.


Often the last session of the day is the “boring-time to go to sleep-watching the clock till finishing” session. But not in this workshop. Jenni and I will be sharing our ten favourite technology-enhanced strategies and tools for literacy learners. This will be fast and fun and seems like a great way to finish the day – with an extra 10 take-home tools and tips! And I have even heard mention of PRIZES being given out in this last session… Leave the day feeling energised and maybe with a prize in hand!?!


Phew! I’m so keen and eager to get this show on the road! So I better get back to the planning and prepping – we want to make this PD event the best you’ve been to in 2014! Hope to see you there!



PS> If you want to see more about the workshops – when and where –

then follow THIS LINK!

Fiona Allen, 'Congratulations Amanda, Cha and Barbara and the rest of the Spectronics team... great day today, I feel so much  more confident with the app. Great training, as expected!!' Mandy McLean, Facebook comment, 'Just gotta say THANK YOU Amanda and Barbara, yesterday in Sydney was  wonderful, my head was spinning with thoughts for the whole of my 6 hour  drive home (arrived 10.40pm and avoided heaps of big `roos). I showed my  lil' mate in yr 7 how I could change his homepage... MASSIVE SMILES!!!!!'  Angi Tippet, Facebook comment, 'THE best professional learning I've been to  in 15 years of teaching!'  Angie Hibberd, '@Spectronics you've done it again! I'm home and more excited than ever to go back to work!'

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About Amanda Hartmann

Amanda is a Speech Pathologist with over 17 years experience. She has worked within educational settings, as an Inclusive Technology Consultant with Spectronics www.spectronics.com.au , and currently focuses her time on her busy private practice.

Amanda is a Key Word Sign/Makaton Presenter, an official Proloquo2Go trainer www.assistiveware.com/amanda-hartmann and an official expert TBoxApps Trainer for Therapy Box. She is also a certified Apple Trainer and regularly runs iPad workshops to help schools integrate iPad technology into the classroom, for all learners.

Amanda has a special interest in supporting and developing communication, literacy and learning for a wide range of diverse learners, often through the use of visual tools, sign language and technology. She has spent many years providing therapy support and teacher/parent training in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) for students with complex communication needs, due to disabilities such as: Cerebral palsy and other Physical impairments, Visual impairment, Hearing impairment, Autism, Down Syndrome, Fragile X, Intellectual Impairment, Angelman Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and others. She also has specialist knowledge to support the literacy learning of students with learning difficulties, language impairments and other diverse learning needs. She is passionate about providing interactive and engaging presentations to educators, parents and therapists.

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