George Lucas Educational Foundation

Special Ed Students and Technology Integration

Special Ed Students and Technology Integration

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I was surprised to learn how supportive my administration was to integrate technology in special ed. language Arts classes. I work with students with autism and learning disabilities. Certainly, this would be a great adventure for all of us. With all of the excitement of using smart devices in schools, my students were hesitant in touching our recently purchased iPad Minis. Many of my students didn't have any experience withsmart devices. I came to realize that those with sensory issues didn't want to touch the glass. Other students were skeptical that the devices would actually help them. I brought my iPad to class and demonstated the initial hand gestures. Opening a file and closing a file seemed a good place to start. In 20 minutes, students were touching the glass and opening files and closing files. At times we assume students love all technological devices, expecially in education. It simply isn't the case. However, skills need to be developed and the adventure of learning is just as important and the journey itself. in my class, the level of skeptisism is decreasing and the level of acceptance is increasing. We are off to a great start.

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Debbie Rice's picture
Debbie Rice
3-5 SDC teacher San Jose, Calif.

I too teach children with high functioning Autism and it has now been about 6 months since they were introduced to the iPads. It has been an amazing experience and they are thriving. Their level of motivation, time on task, confidence and creativity are shining through. I have been a SDC teacher for over 20 years. The iPads have definitely changed the landscape of my classroom and my teaching!

Debbie Rice

Lester Poast's picture
Lester Poast
Soph. Special Ed. teacher from Marion, Oh.

Our school provides every student with a netbook for use on a daily basis. It is great for communicating, giving tests, and instant access to the web. The difficulty at times is the filtering of inappropriate websites and constant social emailing. When certain requirements such as grades, attendance and behavior are met by there senior year the netbook is theirs to keep.

April's picture
SLP from VA

My students respond positively to the iPad. They are motivated to complete tasks with minimal complaining when presented via iPad. I recently discovered Notability and I have been importing my worksheets onto the iPad. My students are much more willing to complete worksheets when they can use the iPad (plus it saves trees!). A quick screen shot and the data is saved. I am enjoying having motivated students as well as quick data collection.

pederosa's picture

Wow. It's awesome. It's a creative idea to improve their learning. It's also important to introduce technology to them. I often see that people don't know how to teach autism children well so there is no significant progress in their learning. All started from a sense of caring. Thanks for your sharing.
Roku Tech. Fan

Rhonda Arms's picture
Rhonda Arms
High School English

Our classroom uses every type of technology offered. The students have embraced the idea, "mistakes do happen." "Let's fix it."

jjd005's picture
K-3 Emotional and Behavioral Disorders Special Education Teacher

Yes, we sometimes "bite" off technology we think will be great with our students, but fail to consider the challenges we may face in integrating its use! Students with sensory disorders are increasing, so educators must become more cognizant of the challenges these students will face when participating in daily classroom activities we consider to be typical. We are preparing our students for 21st century living and working. It is our responsibility to provide our students with special needs the opportunity to use technology in a productive way, so they have the skills necessary to pursue their dreams after they have completed their education!

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