When thinking about technology, the mind often wanders to computers and telephones. However, several pieces of technology can be used in the classroom to help students who are struggling. Assistive technology is a broad term that encompasses anything that helps the student learn in the school. Today some of the most innovative pieces of technology for the school will be shared.
- Helpful Worksheets
Electronic worksheets take reading with a bookmark or pencil to the next level. Instead of using these essential tools to keep their place when reading, the electronic worksheet helps students align numbers and letters. Some electronic worksheets even have voice-to-text or text-to-voice features.
- Spelling Software
Spelling is a difficult topic for a lot of students with disabilities. Spelling software is similar to the spell check feature in word processing programs on most computers. This software can predict the word that the student is attempting to spell and fix their mistakes. These programs differ from traditional spell-check programs because they are designed to decode the word’s phonetic spelling, which often differs from the actual spelling because of the unique sound combinations in the English language.
- Help in Math
This is a unique classroom tool that will benefit students with dyscalculia. The Talking Calculator makes it easier for students to check their work or work with numbers.
- Variable Speed Recorders
It is no secret that every student has a different learning style. Variable speed recorders are great tools for students who need to refer back to a slower speed lecture. This is also an excellent tool for teachers who talk fast while teaching.
Videos are often used with students who struggle to grasp the concept of social skills. Videos are a great way to demonstrate to the student what the expected interaction should look like without gathering students to demonstrate. It also puts less stress on the student because they do not know the students in the video the same way they know their peers.
Dr. Catherine Barnes is a Jacksonville, Florida-based educator with over 25 years of experience. A graduate of the University of Florida, Dr. Barnes forms her educational philosophy around the belief that “kids deserve a fighting chance—even if you have to fight to give it to them.” She understands that, by adapting to modern students’ needs, today’s teachers can change the trajectory of a child’s life, and has allowed her to continuously embody success and vision in her field.