Pennsylvania State University is launching a new teacher professional development program aimed at helping teachers address the needs of disabled students in general education classrooms. With Internet-delivered video lectures and online collaboration tools for participants, the program is open to current and prospective teachers around the country.
Software developer Serotek Corp. has announced a new program for blind and visually impaired students called Keys for K-12. The program provides the company's System Access Mobile software for text to speech and screen magnification free of charge through an annual licensing program.
AutoSkill International announced last week that its Academy of Reading has been selected by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for inclusion in its Intensive Reading Instruction grant. The announcement will allow schools eligible for the grant to choose AutoSkill's reading intervention solution for use in their programs.
At the NECC 2008 conference this week, Spectrum K12 School Solutions debuted a new software solution for managing individualized learning called Exceed/RTI ("response to intervention").
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.
Five school districts announced this week that they're deploying student information systems and special education management systems from SunGard Public Sector.
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.
Seventy schools in Orange County, California will be receiving free math instructional software and professional development, thanks to a $10 million, five-year program from the Orange County Math Initiative.
Metro Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee this week announced that it's adopting an alternative high school program. The district voted to contract with Educational Services of America for its technology-assisted educational program, Ombudsman, as part of its goal of reaching 100 percent graduation by 2014.
"These students just blossomed.... We saw their self-esteem go through the roof." That's Trena Nave, a reading specialist at Carbondale Middle School in Illinois, talking about a group of 12 seventh-graders in self-contained special education who last year benefited from a new, partly computer-based reading program.
- By Linda L. Briggs