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Embracing Technology In Special Education

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Mahsati Abdul

on 12 February 2014

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Transcript of Embracing Technology In Special Education

Embracing Technology
Special Education

"Digital Natives"*

Technology is an essential tool that facilitates student’s active participation in learning.

There are two types of technology crucial for academic and social success of child with special needs: Assisstive Technology (AT) *** and Educational Technology. (ET)

ET is not limited to simple use of certain devices like SmartBoard, tablets or laptops, but it also serves as a tool to overcome challenges of writing, reading and socializing for students who are non-verbal, have physical or cognitive limitations.

Students today are considered "Digital Natives" who were born and raised in a digital environment and inherently think different because of this exposure to technology.*

Based on my personal observation, students are now learning faster than ever with the growth of technology. The topic that could take 2-3 blocks to cover is actually accomplished within 1 block. WiFi and SmartDevices save time and eventually advance the learning. There are chances that in 3-4 years use of Internet and ET in schools will eventually advance K-12 Curriculum.
Years ago students with IEP** had limited opportunities to enhance their learning. They were totally dependent on their teachers/guardians. Most of them were home schooled.

ET supplements the learning regardless of the special education opportunities available at school.

With the aid of technology we can now personalize instruction for each student based on specific learning needs.

Engagement & Exploration
Connection &Collaboration

Students can study at a time and location they prefer and can obtain the study material very quickly online without an assistance.

Students can use their computers and internet to conduct research, participate in social media, email, play educational games and stream videos without reserving a library study room.

An interactive whiteboard that provides touch control of computer applications. This promotes visual learning, and it is interactive so the students can draw, write, or manipulate images on the whiteboard. (Also available free white board apps for Ipad)

The IpodTouch Auido Books make silent reading independent, expanding vocabulary, and best of all IEP students can remain in the classroom with their classmates.

Screen Reader a program that combines sound and picture helping to understand what is on a screen...

and all kinds of AT and ET that are used in schools
will not leave a child behind the classroom doors.

The bottom line?
Technology simplifies the learning journey of a "special" child, advances his intellect and opens up the doors for them to fit in our society.

* Gu, X., Zhu, Y. & Guo, X (2013). Meeting the “Digital Natives”: Understanding the Acceptance of Technology in Classrooms. Educational Technology & Society, 16 (1), 392–402.

** IEP - Individualized Educational Program is intended to help children reach educational goals more easily than they otherwise would.

***Assistive Technology (AT) provides assistive technology resources to make learning and working environments usable for people with physical limitations (hearing aid, battery powered wheel chair, Mountbatten Brailler & more)

Background music "Arazbari" by Uzeyir Hajibeyov ( father of Azerbaijani composed classical music and opera) "see the "Opera of Korogly" 1936
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