The use of technology in the classroom has become a main topic of conversation among education reform experts, teachers, and parents. One of the many approaches to reformed instruction in the classroom is the use of “differentiated instruction.” This method asserts that each student should be taught differently, depending on his or her strengths and weaknesses. While this is not a new concept, it is hard to effectively implement due to a lack of time and resources in the classrooms of many teachers.
Technology can be a valuable asset in the classroom when resources are lacking. One-to-One (1:1) technology, an advanced use of technology in the classroom, where every student receives a personal computer or similar device, has become a focus in many schools. If a learning institution hasn’t incorporated this method of providing students with tech devices, they are often planning to implement it in the future. One of the advantages of 1:1 technology is the number of specific apps that are available for children with learning disabilities. These apps help teachers integrate differential instruction. This also provides teachers with the ability to create stations throughout the classroom where students can work on different assignments using their device. Each station would allow for use of a different app depending on the student and assignment. Some children with learning disabilities have felt frustrated in a typical learning environment. Researchers have found that these apps help them participate more freely.
According to a PBS press release, PBS LearningMedia published findings from a national survey in 2013 displaying the growing list of benefits of including technology in America’s classrooms. Alicia Levi, PBS Education, asserts that technology is a critical part of teaching and learning in all classrooms today:
Teachers today need access to high-quality digital content to keep pace with schools’ investment in interactive whiteboards, tablets and other devices to maximize the educational benefits of technology in classrooms.
While app development for learning, specifically for children with learning disabilities, has come a long way, there is still much work to be done. We, as a worldwide community of users, developers, and supporters of technology, have only scratched the surface in the implementation of technology in the classroom. We need to continue working with educators and parents to develop these apps further for the educational development of all children.
Technology in the classroom can make a big difference for educational institutions. For other ideas or help implementing these types of solution in your school or classroom, contact us today!