My experience with assistive technology is quite limited. With a foundation in Inclusive Education/Special Education I am very familiar with making adaptions or modifications to ensure the success of the student in my class. I am able to make changes to the work, expectations, outcomes, and the processes in which a student can show what they know. Sometimes technology has been involved in these adaptations but more often, it has not been. To date, I have a student that uses various reading applications to have literature read aloud while he listens to grade appropriate text as he cannot yet read it for himself. Each of our classrooms has a FM system to project and promote
sound quality for students with hearing and attention deficits. I have two students who have microphone for their computers to dictate work(scribe type method) that is to be written. Other than that I would say I have not had a lot of experience in the setting of a typical classroom environment. We also have data projectors in every classroom to assist those visual learners.
The presentation given by Channing, Kelsey, Jill,and Haiming on Tuesday gave me an indication of what assistive technology can do in special needs classrooms. One thing that struck me as odd or a little “pie in the sky” was to have the assisitive technology for everyone in the room. I think this is a lovely thought and would help all students in so many ways but financially it is not possible. The speaker in the video said that the students who do not need it will let go of the novelty and the ones who require the assistance will continue with it. I wish it were as easy as that. The cost of these support items is often too much to have a class set. We are consider ourselves fortunate if we receive the funding or support for the students who require it.
In recent readings by Pitchford et al.(2018) Interactive Apps Promote Learning of Basic Mathematics in Children With Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, the use of math apps gave students a boost in learning outcomes. Students with disabilities utilized the same apps and were found to be a positive source of support for them. The SEND (special needs and disabilities) students were shown on average to need twice as long to receive the outcome, but they still met the requirement. It was also noted that students with hearing or speaking impairments found the technology to be more difficult. More proof that even with technology supports is needed for many students.
Lots to think about.