Modern technology has allowed huge innovation in many areas of life. That includes special education classes, where it enables new ways of teaching and communicating with students who may struggle in more traditional lessons. Technology can be used to improve literacy and numeracy, help with planning and organizational skills and generally make the learning experience simpler and more enjoyable.
Use of different forms of technology in special education classes
Technology Enabled Active Learning
Technology enabled active learning (TEAL) is a form of teaching where technology is used to enhance the experience of students. It is not just about using computers, but about how technology can enable students to be more actively engaged in the learning process. This involves a mixture of individualized support and collaborative learning using both traditional methods and more interactive, hands-on exercises. These elements can be tailored to the specific needs of the student.
Access to online learning programs gives students the ability to learn at their own pace, without being as reliant on teachers or other pupils. It allows for a more individualized form of instruction. This can reduce the anxiety of being in a class and allows not just for improved academic performance but also a boost to confidence and self-esteem.
Many children with special educational needs can experience difficulties with communication. Assistive technology such as text to speech programs or voice recognition software can provide them with new ways to express themselves. Things like the lighting and colour of the screen, type of controller (such as a braille keyboard) or the presence of a screen magnifier can improve interaction not just with the device but mean that device may be useful in communicating with the rest of the world.
Basic academic skills such as literacy and numeracy can often benefit from technological support. Specially designed programs provide innovative ways for children to master counting, basic mathematics, reading and writing. Alternative ways to looking at lesson tasks can be essential to children whose brains do not always process information in the same way. Digital education is also an essential part of any curriculum in the modern world, so learning with computers is valuable in its own right as a skill for the future.
Assistive technology can also include physical support such as wheelchairs and hearing aids. These make the classroom and lessons more accessible to children who have physical disabilities.
Technology in the classroom is not just valuable to students, but to teachers as well. It can make it easier to track how each student is progressing through their lessons and assess their performance, which in turn can facilitate future lesson planning. It also becomes simpler to share progress reports with parents.
These are just some of the ways in which modern technology can be applied in special education classes to improve the experience of students. Used properly, technology increases accessibility, provides alternative forms of communication and learning, allows children to be more actively engaged in their lessons and improves the monitoring, assessment and reporting of work. This can help students achieve the best educational outcomes and render them much happier in school life.