PenME!! Assisted Technology for LD…

A group project I am currently working in EPSY has us looking at Intellectual disabilities.  I thought this would be an interesting topic to blog about, especially considering my part of the project is to look into assistive technology.  As part of my ECMP class is to blog about things related to classroom technology, this topic is interdisciplinary between these two classes.

Firstly, here is a short video explaining the term intellectual disability.

The following information is copied from the website Reading Rockets.

AT for kids with LD is defined as any device, piece of equipment or system that helps bypass, work around or compensate for an individual’s specific learning deficits. Over the past decade, a number of studies have demonstrated the efficacy of AT for individuals with LD. 1 AT doesn’t cure or eliminate learning difficulties, but it can help your child reach her potential because it allows her to capitalize on her strengths and bypass areas of difficulty. For example, a student who struggles with reading but who has good listening skills might benefit from listening to audio books.

This website links loads of different assistive technology resources that can be used in the classroom.  The website breaks them down according to the specific areas that the students would need help in.  There is listening, math, reading, writing, to name a few.  The main idea of using these technologies in the classroom is to help the students by-pass some areas of the lessons that they are having difficulties with.

I would be interested to hear from people as to whether they think that having all of these technologies available is the best idea.  It definitely helps in making the students keep up with the class, but at the same time, they are skipping some of the steps that may be essential in truly learning the lessons being taught.  Some people believe that this differs from the Universally Designed Instruction philosophy and just makes it easier to get the students to get the work done.

Personally I believe that there should be a combination of the two and as long as the students are meeting the required outcomes, how the reach them can be individualized.

Some of the common AT’s would include something like rad reading, or tumble books, where the text is being read to the students and they are required to answer comprehension questions.  This could be used for children with dyslexia, as it highlights the words as the text is being read, and the student follows along.

I will end this post with a video of a math tool, called Math Talk, I found.  The student talks to the computer and the program writes out the math equation step-by-step for the student.  Thus could be used to help with understanding the steps in the question or for people who are unable to write.




Filed under ECMP 355, Uncategorized

4 responses to “PenME!! Assisted Technology for LD…

  1. Hey Melissa,
    Awesome to see you blogging about a topic from another class (especially since I’m in your group for the EPSY project)! I like how you included videos in your post.

    I think having ATs available is extremely important. I find it interesting that people criticize AT for making it easier for students to get their work done. Isn’t that a good thing? Aren’t we all looking for ways to be more efficient in our work? I think it would be ridiculous to take away these tools and make students do things the “old-fashioned way” just because we had to do it that way. If we have tools that can help students be successful, why wouldn’t we use them?

    Additionally, I think these tools should be available for all students to use, not just students with intellectual disabilities. We had all my students in internship download Google Read&Write, and they ALL benefitted from it. Having AT available for everyone means students with exceptionalities aren’t singled out by the adaptation.

    Great topic! Thanks for sharing these resources on assistive technology.

    • Thanks for the comments Raquel. I did find it interesting that some people have criticized some of the AT resources out there. The main parts of the negative comments were that they thought it was doing the work for the kids. It is an interesting topic to be able to learn about for EPSY. I don’t have a lot of experience in this area, so it’s been awesome to look at how much is out there, for us to use with the students.

  2. I agree that there has to be a balance with the assisted technology! It can really be a great adaptation for some students. The MathTalk looks very interesting! Writing down steps may be an obstacle for some students and this may be a way to overcome it. It is amazing what AT is out there now and how well it works for some individuals.

    • Thanks for the comments Kylie. I agree, I have learned lots about all of the types of AT out there and I am only just beginning to research it. I thought the MathTalk was pretty cool too!!

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