Creating equity in the classroom with technology

It’s quite exciting to watch how technology tools create equity in learning environments.  Research shows that IWBs help to build equity in the classroom and we’re seeing evidence of this at Variety School, a school dedicated to educating students with learning disabilities.  Since implementing the Promethean ActivClassroom, Variety School teachers report that students are more engaged, attentive, patient, and cooperative.  Behavioral disruptions have decreased.  The technology gives teachers the ability to isolate and target specific skills and concepts, reducing student frustration due to other deficiencies (i.e. fine motor skills). 

It seems that yet another technology tool, the iPad, has the potential to build equity in the classroom.  It’s not that tablets are new devices but the slick, cool iPad seems to be catching folks’ attention.  The real power behind the iPad as a learning tool or assistive device are the apps it can run.  An Education Week story today highlighted how some schools are using iPads with special needs students.  One powerful example shared in the article was how a student with Down syndrome and apraxia (which makes it difficult for the student to form words that others can understand) used an application on the iPad called Proloquo2Go to effectively communicate.  The student scrolls through pictures or choose from phrases and the computer speaks for her.  Powerful! 

So, where do you begin finding the perfect app?  I found this resource Teachers with Apps.  It is evident from the reviews that these teachers understand how children learn, how children interact with technology and have actually  spent time using the app with kids.  Check it out – you’ll likely find something useful and interesting!

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