I am really interested in using technology for students who cannot access the curriculum or record their work to a standard commensurate with their verbal ability.
I’ve shown students how to use speech-to-text and text-to-speech. A tablet can also be transformative, as can concept mapping software. These Assistive Technologies are liberating for students, although sufficient training is vital. Often software is issued, but it remains unused. I sometimes hear “we’ve tried that, it doesn’t work”, but no-one had the skills to help the student. I want to build capacity in schools so there are members of staff who are confident in using the technology and can therefore encourage the students to stick with it. Once learners see its potential they are far more likely to use it consistently.
I would also like to see technology integration become ubiquitous. Currently students who are less confident can feel embarrassed. Thankfully, as laptops and other digital devices become more commonplace, this is less of an issue.
Giving appropriate technology to those who need it removes barriers. It can help attainment, make a student happier and may even improve attendance.
By: @julesdaulby – SEN Teacher, Dorset – first published in October 2014 UKEdMagazine. Click here to view.