Despite the struggles they face day to day, my students with special needs are amazing in every way. My first and second graders live in a low socioeconomic area and attend a Title I school, at which 100% of the students receive free or reduced priced breakfast and lunch. Every day they walk through their neighborhoods full of gun violence and gangs and then, they are expected to sit still, be quiet, open up a book and learn something new. Unfortunately they are not always focused on the task at hand. Well, it's time to shift the traditional 20th century learning towards the 21st century interdisciplinary learning to get them more engaged.
My students are ready to become innovative thinkers.
But how can they achieve this when they are unfocused. There are some students in my class who have difficulty sitting still and keeping their attention on instruction because they are thinking about his or her home life. Coming to school with a focused mind, is just the beginning to a productive day and great education.
There are some engaging ways for using the Amazon Echo Dot and Alexa to be used in the special needs classroom in order to infuse technology into science, math, and more! My students will love using the Amazon Echo Dot’s voice control to ask questions and get answers. Additionally, they can also enable Audible Science books to be read aloud on the Echo Dot. The wireless headphones can be used to listen to the science books being read aloud by Alexa or be used on a computer for a listening station.
There are tons of other ways to integrate the Echo Dot into the curriculum.
All of my students have fluency goals – most of which are met during instruction – but some of the students do need more fluency practice. It is important for my student to speak clearly and read with a steady pace and expression in order to understand the scientific concepts. Students can practice asking question such as "Alexa, what is the weather?" "Alexa, tell me about dinosaurs." and "Alexa, what is the definition of...?" to Alexa and get answers instantly.
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