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How Does Assistive Technology Work in an Inclusive Classroom?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Inclusive classrooms are much more common now than they were in the past. Students of varying abilities and native languages learn together in the same environment with the same primary teacher. This can be challenging for teachers at times. One of the best ways they can reach every student in their classes is to make use of assistive technology when possible. These devices and services make it easier for teachers to differentiate instruction and present the best education for all present.

Several Teachers in One

Assistive technology is an attractive option when an inclusive classroom has a broad range of abilities. This can include students with learning disabilities or even students who speak different languages. Teachers intend to teach subjects in a way that each student can understand and master. Before implementing these technologies, teachers should ensure that they have the knowledge to integrate the technology into their instruction to fully assist students. Technology is not always useful on its own, and it can be more of a hindrance than a help if not properly implemented. But, with proper planning and execution, assistive technology can greatly enhance a learning environment.

Using What Students Know

Another great reason to use assistive technology is the technological familiarity that students bring to the classroom. Children of all ages have experienced more exposure to different types of technology now than their teachers had at the same age. It can be easier to tailor technology and lessons to students who are not challenged by a steep learning curve in regards to technology.

The Advantages of Affordable Technology

When looking for the best ways to enhance an inclusive classroom, teachers have access to a variety of software and hardware that can assist students at all levels in the classroom. Assistive technology does not have to be large or expensive. There are many simple items or changes that might help students with varying abilities. Teachers need to weigh all options after surveying their class and then make the best choices to secure the widest range of uses and benefit for their students.

There are many reasons why a teacher may choose to implement assistive technologies in a classroom. When it is the best option to help a varied student population learn and master the material, it can be a very useful and beneficial choice. Teachers have many options at their disposal, and such choices can help them pursue the success of their inclusive classrooms.

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