Saturday, February 18, 2012

Assistive technology and its assistance in learning

After reading a fellow student's blog about learning disabilities and how it is our job as teachers to be sensitive to our students abilities or disabilities, i decided to look at technology and its impact on students with learning disabilities and how it can be incorporated in the classroom. Assistive technology or AT is equipment, or a system that uses a student's strength to work around their disability. For example, a student who struggles with reading may listen to an audio book. For a student who may have difficulty writing, there's even a special software that allows students to verbalize a paper or report and the software converts it to a text. There's AT tools for students who have disabilities with listening, reading, writing, organization and memory and even math. Some AT tools like an abbreviation expanders which allow students to create,re-use and store abbreviations for words they use often. Other tools help a student organize information into categories and specific orders like graphic organizers. Assistive technology can increase a students independence and self-esteem by providing them with the  ability to work successfully on their own. However, AT doesn't teach skills like writing or reading, for that there is instructional software. Yet, this type of software is often developed without considering educational components. This software may not be adaptable or does not relate to what's going on in the classroom. For further information on AT tools and instructional software check out this link     


  1. Thanks for sharing this article, Travis. I think it's very important to be aware of programs and tools that are out there in the event you have a student who needs adaptive technology. Do you discuss this in your technology class at all? I know when I taught the technology class at Pitt that it was a part of the course. I'm just curious as to where this fits in at SRU, if it does at all.

  2. I can't recall discussing this in my technology class and if we did it was barely mentioned. I feel that this would definitely benefit SRU students especially those who plan on teaching in a special education classroom. It would give them more ideas on ways to help individual students and enhance their educational experiences.

  3. That is great information, thank you for sharing that.