Making Learning Interactive For Students With Disabilities
My special students need interactive technology, an Apple iPad, that allows for self-correction, interaction, and on-level academic and social skill lessons.
Have you ever seen a child in the grocery store throwing a tantrum and wonder why the parents are not doing anything about it? Maybe you have seen a class on a field trip and a teacher seems to be struggling with one single student. What about a student who just can't seem to get the right answer?
Children with disabilities struggle to express themselves in academics and social situations.
I am a special education teacher in the 10th largest school district in the nation. Schools in large districts are overcrowded; over 80% of students identify as minority, and over 90% of the students qualify for free and reduced lunch. With the adoption of Common Core State Standards to push students to college and career readiness, students with disabilities continue to struggle even more. Students are expected to acquire more knowledge at a younger age. For students with disabilities, as much exposure to academics and social skills in as many various manners, is necessary to allow for practice and acquisition of skills. While many students are able to acquire these skills through peer and teacher interactions, students with Autism struggle to make those social connections.
Imagine looking through a store window everyday to see the thing you want most in the world, but never being able to touch it. That is how it is for my students. I have a work-issued IPAD that I used to monitor student progress, coordinate meetings, provide teacher feedback, track student data, and access student information. Although it is a great resource and tool, I cannot put it in the hands of those who most need it: the students. I have already been able to acquire Big Grip to protect the outside of the IPAD, IPAD crayons for touch screen fine motor skills, and multiple research based apps that demonstrate improvements in academics and social skills for students with disabilities. Allowing an IPAD in the hands of a student, opens doors for differentiated instruction, direct feedback, self-correction, and interactions. Students with disabilities struggle with day to day skills, and the smart technology of an IPAD is just one accommodation to make learning accessible for all.
Common Core State Standards push students to college and career readiness.
While students with disabilities struggle to understand concrete skills, abstract skills are even more difficult to grasp. Students who attend urban, low socio-economic class, minority schools are not afforded the same opportunities as many of their age level peers. Help to level the playing field and increase success and learning for all students!
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