The use of personal technology devices in the classroom is prevalent at colleges and universities. Rather than embracing this trend, some faculty, departments and even entire institutions have started putting limitations on students’ use of personal technology in class.
Students are technology natives. Using technology is second nature to students. They have grown up with it and incorporate it into almost every aspect of their lives. Notebooks, tablets and cellphones are all technology that students are accustomed to and can use them as learning tool. They should not lose access to potential learning tools that have known benefits in a classroom. Students use e-books. Many students are purchasing digital editions of textbooks instead of traditional printed copies for a variety of reasons, including cost efficiency, ease of accessibility, and environmental friendliness. E-books are typically accessed through a student’s personal device, such as a notebook, tablet or cellphone. Students should have access to them to look up information during class.
There are many different types of technology that are used in special education classrooms, from devices to address specific disabilities to standard devices that can be used in modified ways. Many of the following pieces of technology are also being used in mainstream classrooms with similar positive results for students of all kinds of abilities.
Smartboard – Teachers can use these modernized versions of overhead projectors to help students to learn properly and to allow them to memorise things visually
Phonetic Ear – This device allows a teacher’s voice to be heard more clearly by students. The teacher wears a microphone device around his or her neck (like a lanyard) and then the sound is transmitted to speakers in the room.
Clicker Response Systems – Students are given small handheld devices that they use to respond to questions posed by the teacher. The teacher can receive almost instant results to know whether or not the class is ready to move on to the next topic or if more clarification is needed. Think of it as a digital way for all the students in the classroom to raise their hands and answer at the same time.
iPads – When many people think of technology in the classroom the iPad is usually what comes to mind because of its lower comparative cost,diverse capabilities, and ease of use. Technology such as this can be used in many ways:
Ways Technology Benefits Special Education Classrooms
1) Most students are drawn to technology apnd special education teachers often find that these students are then more motivated to work because they get to use a technology device in the classroom.
2) Teachers can work with more students at one time more effectively, such as using a phonetic ear so that more students can hear or a clicker response system to engage all of the students at once.
3) Children learn valuable technology skills that can translate into marketable skills.
4) Children with physical disabilities have more opportunities for engaged learned with modified assistive technology such as touch screens andassistive wands.
5) Students who spend time in mainstream classes and special education classrooms can use technology to bridge the expectations and demands of each, such as by using a device to record lectures for playback later.
6) Technology can help build confidence in children. They are finding more success academically and they are also feeling more like their classmates who utilize technology every day properly.