Monday, August 12, 2013

What: A group of Roosevelt Middle School students in Cedar Rapids will have a unique audience when they demonstrate what they’ve learned at a three-day assistive technology camp this week led by staff from the University of Iowa College of Education’s Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (ICATER).

When: The camp culminates Wednesday, Aug. 14, with a visit from Herky at 11 a.m. Herky will pose for photos with the students while they also demonstrate what they have learned. The Roosevelt Middle School students will demonstrate their use of assistive technology for parents from 11:15 a.m. to noon.

Where: Roosevelt Middle School, 300 13th St. NW in Cedar Rapids, in the school's new assistive technology lab on the third floor of the school. Reporters and photographers/videographers who are interested in covering this event should check in at the front desk and ask for Roosevelt Middle School Principal Autumn Pino.

Why: Although most students won’t be back in school until later in the month, a select group of Roosevelt Middle School students will be hard at work at this three-day camp to learn about assistive technology, or computer programs and technology that can help them have success in the classroom. The lab will be available to all Roosevelt students in the fall.

Students will work with Dragon Naturally Speaking, a speech recognition software tool, and WordQ, a word predication tool, for writing. Many of these students have learning disabilities that cause them to struggle with spelling and writing. Both of these tools will be used to improve their writing. They will also be working with a tool called Snap&Read for reading.

Who: Experts on site to help with the camp training include the following: Jim Stachowiak, UI College of Education ICATER associate director; Pino; Stephan Frischkorn, Roosevelt Middle School librarian; Kandy Bekeris, Roosevelt Middle School assistive technology lab coordinator; and Jenny Andersen, ICATER graduate assistant.

For additional information, visit