Wednesday, September 22, 2010

DOGO News at Morning Meeting

Our class has been trying a new morning meeting format since July.  It is a format I have used before, but in a different setting. We are having a morning "news show".  The students rotate in pairs through a different role each week - Top Story, Sports, Entertainment and Weather.  Students help pick the story of the day for their role which is recorded on a sequential switch and also use some means of generative language (speech, AAC) to tell the day, month, year, weather and temperature (as it applies to their role).

This means that every morning we start the day at computers or the iPad searching for the story of the day.  For a while we used CNN Student News but it was a too complicated and often too depressing for our needs.  Sometimes we would use the World News Updates on News-2-You but they aren't updated very often.  WE have similar problem with ELIVE at SymbolWorld.

For now we have settled on Dogo News.  Dogo News, which has won an ALA Award for Best Web Site for Children, focuses "Fodder for Young Minds".  Although sometimes a bit inaccessible for our students as far as complexity and vocabulary it is certainly more accessible than sites like CNN Students News.  If used with a free screen reader such as  Read Please, Browse Aloud or My Study Bar students can hear the news story read to them.  Dogo News features stories from Current Events, Science, Sports and more.  Many stories link to video clips or other websites.  

In addition to Dogo News there is Dogo Sites which highlights different sites for kids daily and Dogo Earth which is a fun spinning globe that pops up with stories from all over the world.  Dogo Teachers allows teachers to create a free account and customize the website for their students.  I am hopeful that if many special educators and their students find Dogo News useful and frequent it they will add universal design and accessibility features (i.e. text to speech, literacy support symbols, vocabulary  and switch accessibility) like some other sites, such as Silly Books, have added just for us.

Many of the stories we start out learning about from Dogo News (or our weekly News-2-You, Unique or another source) we follow up with at Amazing Stories, which is a great site from primary sources.

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome program! I wish I would have read your post at the beginning of the school year when there were additional funds to be had. I too use both the Unique curriculum and N2Y readers with my students and would love to add DOGO my mix of educational materials. You mentioned that you have been using this program since July, (love the "News Show" idea) how are your students responding to the program? Do you find the material to be age appropriate? I really enjoyed reading through your posts and have bookmarked your page. I love reading about special education teachers who are inspired by their students and in turn inspire others. I enjoyed reading “Part of the Syndrome to Be” so much that I had to share it with my coworkers prior to a staff meeting. Thank you for sharing such great information on assistive technology in a way that is not completely overwhelming.


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