Children with learning disabilities (LD) often fail challenges, especially when it comes to their educational needs. Educational technology or assistive technology (AT) as it is more commonly known helps students in facing different types of disabilities. The use of this kind of technology allows disabled students to use their abilities and strengths to work around the challenges they face during their learning phase. The tools which come under assistive technology help parents to introduce their children to skills they never thought they could learn. You can also hire a private tutor so he can help your child and help with learning.
The role of this blog is to inform you about the basics of assistive technology and tell you how it can benefit your child and his success in school, recreational activities and even work later on in life. But before we begin talking about these technologies, it is best to discuss the type of learning disabilities (LD) that students face so you can benefit from the tools accordingly.
So without wasting any more time, let’s talk about the problems faced by these students.
Types of Learning Disabilities the Assistive Technology Focuses On
The assistive technology makes it easier for disabled students to face their learning difficulties. If your child faces challenges to compose a report, he can use assistive technology that can dictate it and have it converted into text with the help of specialized software. Someone who has difficulty with math can use a hand-held calculator that can help him keep track. Moreover, a student with dyslexia can also use AT to read along with a written word.
Here are a couple of things that educational technology addresses.
If your child faces challenges or has difficulty in processing and remembering the English or other spoken language, certain assistive technology tools can help him overcome it. These devices which are used for special needs can be used at home, in class, a lecture or other such group settings.
Anyone who finds it challenging and has a learning disability that focuses on the reading skill can benefit from the wide range of educational technology that helps with the exact issues. Though all of these tools will work a little differently, all of them make use of text-to-speech so they’re very good tools for decoding, fluency and even comprehension. All you need to do is get your hands on a good private tutor and you’re good to go.
Another type of challenge that assistive technology is very good at targeting is writing. There are a lot of tools available for this particular problem and students can use them without much difficulty. While some of these tools help students in the actual task of writing, others will help in punctuation, grammar, spelling, and organization.
Apart from the usual listening, reading and writing disabilities, a few children also face problems with organization and memory problems as well. The assistive technology tools that help students with this assist in planning, organizing, and managing daily tasks. The tools that your child benefits from will depend entirely on his need and he can start to manage things easily with the help of software and devices that are handheld.
Educational Technology Tools That Help Students with Special Needs
Educational technology tools for disabled students are those assistive tools which apply hardware, software and electronic knowledge to help students. These can either be used in coordination with you or a private tutor so your child understands and excels academically. Though these are most common, as technology has progressed, we can also find that tools are available online as well. We’ll discuss a mix of both hardware and software tools as well as those which are easily accessible over the internet.
The Intel Reader
This handheld mobile device uses TTS technology and reads printed text aloud. Whenever your child wants to listen to something, he can simply point it towards the text and the high-resolution camera inside the device will capture the text and read it after converting it into digital text. If the student wants to know the spelling of certain words then he can do so by pausing when the device is highlighting the words during playback. This Intel Portable Capture Station can help students capture text from books and text so students can listen to it.
This device is also easy to carry because it is almost the size of a paperback book and doesn’t weight a lot as well. Another great feature is that students can transfer text from another computer and even save the audios for later use.
This writing tool is perfect for outlining, draft writing and taking notes. The perfect feature about it is that it breaks down the writing process and makes it easier for the students to integrate all the steps together. With the graphical organizer, the students can easily visualize the project and put in information without the need for conceptualizing the entire process. Finally, it creates the paper by helping the student to drag and drop each of the notes and composes a rough draft.
You can also ask a private tutor to help the student work with the Draft: Builder and make use of other features such as the talking spell checker which uses the TTS technology, the dictionary, and the bibliography tool.
Your child can also use abbreviation expanders, audio books and publications, freeform database software and electronic math worksheets to help him with the academics as well.
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