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Monday, July 02, 2018

Is technology delivering for special educational needs? | FE News

From interactive whiteboards that aid language learning to virtual reality headsets that allow visual content to be delivered in a compelling way, technology has the potential to yield strong results in the classroom - and to make learning more accessible; helping ‘level the playing field’ for students with special educational needs, as FE News reports.  

Deborah Millar, Group Director of Digital Learning Technologies, Grimsby Institute Group
Photo: Grimsby Institute Group
 
And yet the benefits are far from universal.
Some teachers struggle to get the most out of classroom tech, meaning that schools, colleges and universities risk investing thousands of pounds in hi-tech apparatus that fails to deliver.

Even with the best will in the world, tech that’s designed to open up opportunities for all risks not meeting its potential when implemented without proper planning.

To overcome these barriers, we believe that tech needs to be bought with accessibility and pedagogical objectives in mind, not because it’s an ‘easier or cheaper’ way to deliver learning.

Technology for technology’s sake risks not only reducing the effectiveness of tech-based teaching and learning, but also widening the accessibility gap for SEND students...

On of my favourite examples of this is a student I taught with ADHD, who had spent most of his school career struggling to keep up with his work.

He’d usually start his classes with 10 to 15 minutes of distraction, searching for books and pens or trying to find homework at the bottom of the bag; and by the time he’d settled down at his desk there wasn’t much time left to get stuck into the lesson.

Traditional methods of teaching weren’t working for him, so when he was tasked with making a poster he chose to do it on an online platform instead.

This meant there was no opportunity for it to get lost or forgotten, and crucially, his peers were able to give him immediate feedback which provided him with instant positive feedback.

The fact that this technology was available to him meant he could reach his full potential, and produce an excellent piece of work.
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Source: FE News 


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