Our assignment this week was to look at Chapter 15 in our book to briefly describe how you would use assistive technology for student with special needs. It is important to remember that technology is a wonderful recourse for teachers to use with special needs. I think we often forget this and tend to not use our recourses to the benefit of all students.
Students who have mild disabilities often have difficulty retaining information. For these students software like JumpStart Kindergarten Reading, Simon Sounds it Out, and FastForward from Scientific Learning are wonderful recourses because they focus on teaching children a specific skill. The website http://jc-schools.net/tutorials/interact-read.htm is a great website to use because it has a list of interactive websites for all subject areas. Also http://www.nlvm.usu.edu has a lot of online math manipulative for students to use. Students with mild disabilities really thrive when using interactive websites.
Moderate and Severe Disabilities
Students who have moderate to severe disabilities are in need of life skills. It is important for them to learn things like personal hygiene, social skills, shopping, making change, time management, and using public transportation. I found a wonderful website, http://www.ocali.org/up_archive_doc/spectrum_apps_asd.pdf, with several apps for students with Autism, but can be used with any student under this category.
Students with physical disabilities are students who have some physical disability. For these students, it maybe beneficial to find alternative methods for accessing the keyboard, mouse, and/or monitor. Students can use Joysticks that function just like a mouse. They can also use a special keyboard with bigger buttons or an on screen keyboard. Some helpful website are: www.ablenetinc.com, www.adaptivation.com, and www.orcca.com.
Students with sensory disabilities are students who have impairment with their vision or hearing. For students with impaired hearing I would try these apps: iSign, ASL Dictionary, Signing Math Dictionary, Signing Science Dictionary, and Sign 4 Me. All of these apps use sign language and can benefit students who have trouble hearing. For student who are blind or have trouble seeing I would use text-to-braille converters, CCTV magnification systems, and screen readers.
For these students they need a lot of positive reinforcement, something that can motivate students to do their best with their behavior and academics. There are several apps that promote behavior management. Some of the behavior management apps are: Behavior tracker pro and iReward. Some educational websites that will engage these students are www.brainpop.com, www.donjohnston.com, and www.tomsnyder.com, because they provide immediate feedback.
Gifts and Talents
Students who are considered gifted and talented are those students who need to be challenged in the classroom. They need to be engaged in activities that will help them grow academically. For these students I would let them use golgster.com, prezi.com, and www.hoagiesgifted.org. All of these websites can all be used to challenge students. You can use glogster and prezi to extend your lesson. Students will love to complete and share their glog and prezi. These are great ways to challenge your students!
Roblyer, M.D. & Doering, A.H. (2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching
6th edition. Columbus, Ohio: Merrill Prentice Hall.