Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Use of Computer Technology to Help Students with Special Needs

In today’s society, the world is an on-going transformation with new technology, inventions, and information that continues to help society grow and leap to new boundaries that once was only a dream or imagination. The use of computer technology to help students with special needs was a very well put together article. This article showed that people in the world today still care about other people and most importantly, the people whom are at a disadvantage when it comes to learning and keeping up with the modern world. The article explained how all of this new and modern technology can assist our children with special needs in the classroom so they will not get left behind and just pushed to the side. A child with special needs still has the capability to learn, it will just take a little more effort and attention. Computer technology can assist in closing the learning gap between a special needs child and a child whom is not special needs. So, what does special needs consist of? Special needs can range from a child having social, emotional, or mental disabilities to a child that may have hearing, sight, speech, or physical disabilities. The article gives some great examples of how computer technology can assist like, “augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices-that help make it possible for individuals with no speech, or individuals with poor speech, to overcome their communication problems”. Augmentative devices are designed to support or enhance the speaking capability of a person. Alternative devices, on the other hand, replace speech as a means of communication.
So how can computer technology live up to its potential and be most effective? Well, it starts with the teachers being the most important factor in this equation. Inadequate training to teachers is the largest inhibitor when dealing with this computer technology in the classroom. Our teachers today have to be well trained on how to operate this new and modern technology, so that the learning process and education being acquired is still just as helpful and effective to a child who has special needs just like it is for a child who does not have special needs. If teachers can get this training it would make a very big difference, especially if those teachers were to get compensated for their extra hard work, time, training that it will take to be effective using this new technology within the classroom.

Thought Provoking Question on Assistive Technology
Should teachers be compensated for the learning how to operate, teach, and work with assistive technology?!

I really enjoyed this video because it shows the lifestyle of a young lady who depends on assistive technology on a everday basics and how she goes through life living with cerebral palsy. She explains in details how each piece of assistive technology she uses assists her in her daily life so that she may be as independant as the next person or college student. The video is lengthy but well worth a view.

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