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Fall 2003 Table of Contents
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Don't Let Your Life Be RECC-less Anymore!

Using the Resources for the Expanded Core Curriculum

By Julie Prause, M. Ed., Teacher of the Visually Impaired, Columbus ISD

KC Dignan, Ph.D., Professional Preparation Coordinator, TSBVI Statewide Outreach

Abstract: This article provides basic information about the Resources for the Expanded Core Curriculum, located on the TSBVI website.  Included is a brief scenario illustrating its use.

Key Words: RECC, Expanded Core Curriculum, resources for the Expanded Core Curriculum, instructional strategies

It goes without saying that with the evolution of the internet, finding information is faster, simpler and typically more successful. Consider how we found the information we needed 10 years ago. Usually, it meant hours at the library, holding discussions with someone who was familiar with the subject, or maybe even digging through "professional" papers from conferences, workshops and meetings. And that was if you knew where to look and with whom to talk!

Now, when seeking information, most people will consider the internet, either through a computer at home, work, or the library. Of course finding the information can still be a challenge, especially for parents and new VI professionals (teachers of the visually impaired or TVI's; orientation and mobility specialists or COMS).

The RECC or Resources for the Expanded Core Curriculum is an internet-based guide created to help new VI professionals and parents find what they need as quickly and efficiently as possible. You can find the RECC at www.tsbvi.edu/recc/.

Why use the RECC?

Veteran VI professionals have established routes, or "rabbit trails" for finding new information. They have favorite websites, know which publishers print what type of books, who has information on independent living devices. That is, until there is a change in the needs of their students.

New VI professionals have not yet had the experiences needed to build their own "rabbit trails". They can spend hours looking for information, not knowing that information is available, or otherwise being frustrated in the search for a needed resource.

For parents, each week brings something new. How to find new and existing resources remains a challenge in our time-crunched world.

The RECC is intended to help people find short cuts to information, and to be able to preview resources available on a given topic.

How to use the RECC

The RECC is broken into 3 levels: a listing of the domains, table of contents for each domain, and the annotated listing of resources.

The RECC is divided in 20 domains.

The annotated listing of resources for each domain includes a title, author, annotation, a link to the resources, either for direct use or for purchase, and the format of the information; book, website, kit, video etc. To give you a taste of how to use the RECC, a scenario is included below.

Joan has a student who is interested in art. Joan believes that using art activities will help the student's problem-solving and fine motor skills. She wants to learn more about her options.

Step 1: Select a domain

What Joan found: Art Education

Step 2: Select a topical area

What Joan found: Instructional Strategies

Step 3: Select a topic for review

What Joan found: Art: A great tool for teaching students with visual impairments.

Step 4: Click on the topic

What Joan found: An annotated table to read and determine if it seems appropriate.

Step 5: Click on the title link

What Joan found: An article by Holly Cooper from the See/Hear newsletter.

One area of interest is that each table of contents includes a "Parent Resources" section. This information is specially flagged as important to families and/or parents of visually impaired children.

In conclusion, the RECC was not designed to be an all-inclusive bibliography of "everything" available to the Teacher of the Visually Impaired and Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist. It was designed to give new VI professionals and parents direction when locating needed information. Try it out!

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Last Revision: September 1, 2010