The Best High Tech Tools for the Special Ed Classroom
Written By Felicity Dryer ( Guest Blogger)
Both general and special education classrooms are full of diverse learners, spanning the spectrum of skills, knowledge, and abilities that all need to be addressed. Using technology in the special education classroom is an excellent way for teachers to provide personalized lessons for children with a variety of needs.
The assistive technology used in special education classrooms is often high-tech, including computers, other electronic devices, and software that help special needs students maintain or improve their functionality in the world. For example, a student who has not been able to express their thoughts through writing by hand may be able to use a word processor with a keyboard or a talk-to-text program. The use of this technology not only helps the student with the writing process, but also allows him or her to use that particular kind of technology in the larger world.
Criteria for Technology Use in the Special Ed Classroom
High tech tools in the special education classroom are only helpful if they can be used on a regular basis by teachers and students alike. When considering incorporating technology into the special education classroom, consider asking these questions.
● Educational Purpose – Can the technology can be used in clearly defined ways to increase the knowledge and skills of students who use it? Can the technology be used as an assessment tool to gauge improvement?
● Ease of Use – Is the technology easy for teachers to prep and simple for students to use on a daily basis in the classroom setting?
● Versatility – Can the technology can be used for more than one activity or purpose? Would the transition between the activities be easy for students and teachers to facilitate?
The Best High Tech Tools
The above questions and criteria have been taken into account when considering the top high tech tool for children with special needs. All three of these technological advancements can be used in a variety of practical ways to help children learn in the special education classroom.
Tablets and iPads – These high tech tools get high marks in versatility because they can be used in so many ways. Use an iPad or a tablet as a:
● Video camera
● Remote for white boards
The availability and affordability of tablets and iPads also make them easy for parents, counselors and teachers to provide them for kids with special needs.