It's one thing--a difficult thing, at that--to teach a class of high school students one particular subject. But what about teaching a class of special education students a variety of subjects at a variety of teaching levels? That was the responsibility of June Weston, and she accomplished it with good software and exceptional pedagogy.
Students who have physical, cognitive, sensory, and learning disabilities might find learning mathematics particularly challenging. Appropriate accommodations and technology can help them learn and demonstrate their mastery of mathematics just like anyone else. Unfortunately, software might lack features and learning supports that make it fully accessible to all learners.
Students can have a range of physical, cognitive, sensory, and learning disabilities that affect their entire lives. Any of these might pose unique academic challenges, particularly when learning mathematics. The good news is that technology is removing barriers for the education of students with disabilities in regular classrooms. Unfortunately, not all software is based on principles of universal design.
The Henry County School District in Georgia has brought educational gaming its its preK and special education students. This semester, the district purchased 21 copies of AT KidSystems' Cosmo's Learning Systems--a combination of hardware and software targeted toward 2- to 8-year-olds.
Curriculum developer AbleNet has launched a new service called AbleNet Student Achievement Program, a suite that includes curricula, assistive technologies, and professional development for special education.
Over the last month, two schools and one district have reported improvements in student achievement in reading resulting from a reading program based around speech recognition technology, Soliloquy Reading Assistant from Soliloquy Learning.
In a recent editorial in K-12 Tech Trends by Patricia Deubel, Ph.D, "Should States Mandate Online Learning," the author questions Michigan's new high school graduation requirement, which mandates students take an non-credit online course or learning experience.</p><p>It should be noted that, in addition to this experience, Michigan has adopted 16 credits state graduation requirements, including four credits in mathematics and three in science—yes, Algebra, Algebra II, Biology, and Chemistry which will go into effect for the Class of 2011.
How assistive technologies have contributed to the
successes of four unique special needs students.