Everyone needs assistance at a certain point in their time. I, as an educator, is my job to assist my students in every way I can. This week Daniel, Janeen, Reid, and Darcy had an outstanding presentation on assistive technology. Their presentation every detail were so well explained; the style of their presentation was really great. They mentioned using SETT (student, environment, tasks, and tools) for integrating different types of assistive technology in the classroom that is specific for each student. Whether a student has some sort of difficulty or not, they have the right to gain the same amount of knowledge. The school I taught for more than five years provides inclusive education. So, I had the chance to meet with some students who need special tools. According to Cranner (2020), “Inclusion is not easy to define. Conceptions tend to incorporate analysis of individual actions alongside structural framing. This emphasises the potential failures within society that impede opportunities for inclusion rather than emphasising individual differences. Inclusion, therefore, places the need for change onto society rather than individuals in order to contest the oppression that is potentially created and sustained by discriminatory social markers such as ableism, ageism, class, heterosexism, racism and sexism”.
Unfortunately, not all schools are well equipped for special needs students. I got to know a lot of new technology tools that were discussed in the presentation. I really wish that maybe not all but at least some were used in my school would be great. Young & MacCormick (2021) stated that, “assistive technology refers to the devices and services that are used to increase, maintain, or improve the capabilities of a student with a disability”. At the moment, we are using so far a smart board, document scanner, headphones, tablet, laptops, mobile devices and projector to assist the Inclusive Education students and accommodate all learners. However, this is not enough as special students need more attention and more technology to help them.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an excellent example of a growth mindset instead of deficit thinking. The term “universal design” was coined by architect and designer Ron Mace at the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University (Burgstahler, 2008; Center for Applied Special Technology, 2011b). It is a combination of an excellent approach to engage students and engage them in critical thinking.
Finally, when new technology tools are introduced, I have acknowledged that the students try to learn and explore with more passion. Though it is not possible to introduce new tech day-to-day, it is possible to have more tech tools to make learning easy and exciting and, last but not least, for ALL.
Image taken from: ei-ie.org