Teachers awarded for tablet technology research
Stacie Carroll and Sabrina Tayebjee Morey are teachers at Toronto's Beverley School, a school that serves special needs students.
They're now also Prime Minister teaching award winners because of their groundbreaking research into how tablet technology can be used to reach non-verbal students, particularly those who have autism.
The two were celebrated at an assembly at the school Monday afternoon, with about 150 students, staff and parents cheering them on. MP Olivia Chow presented their awards. Both Carroll and Morey -- who is off on maternity leave, and brought her 3-month-old daughter -- were given flowers by two young students.
Here's an excerpt from a nomination letter written by Sarah Patterson, mom to 5-year-old Landon, who was on the front page of Monday's Star because of the amazing strides he has made using an iPad:
"We are fortunate that our son was placed in Stacie’s classroom. Stacie has an extremely extensive knowledge base regarding touch technology and their applications for children with special needs. In the special needs community, Stacie is well known for this expertise.
"The knowledge that Stacie has acquired in this area has allowed children to communicate when they previously were unable, or did not possess any skills to allow them to communicate.
"She has given our son a voice. My son has not been able to communicate with anyone and has become quite frustrated when we do not understand him or when he is unable to communicate his needs. He also became quite passive in general as his attempts to communicate were not understood and not reinforced. In a very short time with Stacie, my son was able to identify pictures and words on a device and has learned to communicate with everyone. Stacie focuses on family-centred care initiatives and generalizes what she teaches our son into our home. I can honestly say our experience with Stacie has changed not only my son’s life but my family’s as well."