Thursday, January 26, 2012

Assistive Technology

I love all things tech and I am a special education teacher, so it is obvious that I would LOVE assistive technology :)  I am on the AT Team in my school district and I can tell you it is pretty exciting when you see a student PRODUCE and demonstrate their knowledge by using an assistive technology tool that had they not had access to would not be able to perform.  Sometimes teachers don't realize that assistive technology can be as simple as a pencil does not always have to be "high tech" and cost a fortune.  I happen to work in a wealthy district where the majority of the students have their own iPads at home so access is not a problem.  If anything, it is the plethora of new information, tools, and apps that we are bombarded with daily that can put us into brain overload and leaves many running for the hills.  It can be intimidating to think you have to learn all of this new stuff and right away! 

I think teachers should start off slow and invest their time and energy into one or two tech tools that will yield the best return on investment in terms of student output.  Furthermore, once you learn to start navigating new technology you will be less fearful when approaching something new and more apt to figure it out with less time invested.  Most of the technology tools I use I have learned through self study.  I still don't know ALL of the bells and whistles on every tool.  There are still things that I can do in Word that I probably have not discovered yet!  So, my advice is to ask some techy teachers what they are using and love and get the most out of their students by using.  Let them show you some of their favorites and then dive in.  Even if you only doggie paddle, you will be on your way to a new shore!

1 comment: