I am a special education teacher at The Princeton House Charter School in Orlando, Florida, working in the education field, specifically students with Autism Spectrum Disorder for over seven years. The special education field has provided opportunities to utilize a variety of educational resources and assistive technology. One of these technologies is the Bluebee Pal Tech Companions, compatible with all IOS and Apple devices via Bluetooth.
It’s essential to be flexible in the special education field, but this school year, the pandemic brought on unprecedented challenges in teaching our students. I am teaching students in the classroom and others through virtual instruction. During these difficult and unknown times, many students can become uncomfortable with all the unfamiliarity and sudden changes. Bluebee Pals educational tools maintain a sense of comfort and familiarity with my students. Bluebee performs as a teaching assistant and allows our students to interact with a plush animal who can read, sing, ask questions, and even answer phone calls.
Bluebee Pals Beneficial to Teaching in the Classroom.
When I was introduced to Bluebee Pals, I was impressed by the warming and comfortable presence in our classroom. Bluebee Pal has succeeded in its job by engaging and comforting the students this year. Every educator must discover new and inventive educational resources that entertain and motivate them during virtual learning. When working on the other side of the computer screen, it becomes difficult to engage your students with the educational resources you would ordinarily use in a face to face classroom setting. This year, my school team has found many beneficial resources for virtual learning and compatible with Bluebee Pal. http://bluebeepals.com
Applying Digital Tools in Education
Boom Cards are interactive, self-checking, and digital tools that can be used in the classroom or for the whole group and individual learning. When working with boom cards, they display only one question at a time, with multiple ways to answer. The student or teacher can select an answer choice, type, or drag the answers depending on the activity. Also, many of the cards will read the questions aloud to the students. Boom cards is an interactive digital tool that can be paired with Bluebee Pals by asking the questions aloud to the students.
GetEpic.com is another great tool to use with and without virtual teaching. I have used GetEpic.com for three years now. The website consists of many published books that are well known. Many of the books have the read to me option. There are educational videos, and quizzes that go along with some of the books. Bluebee Pals is a great educational tool that can be used with GetEpic online, especially for the read to me books. You can hit the play button on the read to me books, Bluebee Pal will read the book aloud to the students while the GetEpic book turns by itself on the digital screen. The students enjoy the books being read aloud by Bluebee Pal instead of the teacher.
Twinkl is a digital educational tool that our school recently discovered for the virtual and face to face learning. Twinkl has resources for all ages and grade levels consisting of lesson bundles, assessments, interactive PowerPoints, and stories. It provides educational resources that can be used as supplemental work for the classroom as well. Bluebee Pals, paired with Twinkl, increases students’ motivation to complete the activities. Bluebee Pal can read the stories to the students, parts of the text or activities that can be read aloud.
Lastly, Starfall is a fun and interactive digital website for elementary-aged students. It consists of fun videos, stories, calendar activities, mathematics, and letters, and reading activities. The students really enjoy Bluebee Pal paired with Starfall. Bluebee Pal will sing the songs, read the stories, and ask questions aloud to the students.
Bluebee Pal has been extremely beneficial in the classroom before virtual learning, especially now when schools teach remotely. It is imperative to find educational and digital tools to capture, engage, and motivate the students. By connecting to a diverse selection of digital teaching tools, they provide educators with a teacher assistant who inspires learning, encourages communication, and add comfort and familiarity during virtual learning.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCES WITH BLUEBEE PALS
**Carissa Savoy, Special Education Teacher Princeton Houe Charter School Orlando, FL