Using technology in the special education classroom has many benefits. It can transform how students interact with teachers and classmates. Educational technology (EdTech) tools can aid students with learning or physical disabilities. Modern technology is the future of education, adapting to student needs to personalize the learning experience.
An online Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education from Mississippi College can prepare graduates to implement individualized programs for special needs students using technology. By learning the best, most inclusive materials and strategies to use in a special education classroom, graduates of this program will be able to meet the needs of their diverse learners in various ways.
How Technology Helps Students With Special Needs
While no single assistive technological tool is suitable for every student, technology in the classroom can enable the best outcome when implementing custom-made solutions. Educators should encourage the use of technology in the special education classroom because it has the following proven benefits:
- Increased independence. Technology can help students experience improved independence, freeing them from relying on constant teacher support. Students with more control over their learning have reduced anxiety and increased confidence to regulate the speed of learning that’s right for them. Classroom technology that increases and improves communication can level the playing field for students.
- Reduced anxiety. Students with social anxiety may have difficulty interacting with classmates, asking questions, speaking or performing in front of others or reading out loud. Specific EdTech tools or apps can help students complete tasks on their own so they can stay focused while still receiving supportive feedback from their teacher.
- Assists with mobility impairments. Students with motor or mobility impairments may experience difficulty with interactive participation or hands-on learning activities. Students who use braces, canes, wheelchairs or walkers can use virtual reality or interactive technology tools to participate in classroom activities. Technology that incorporates touchscreens, gesture-based communication systems and voice-activated programs can provide a well-balanced learning experience.
The Best Technology Tools to Use for Special Needs Students
Because the needs of students vary, learners excel when their learning is personalized to their individual abilities. EdTech software can help students learn at the pace that works best for them. Educators can customize assistive technology for their students to get the most out of the school day. Below are some valuable learning tools for the special education classroom.
- Screen readers. A screen reader will convert text to braille or audio for students with learning disorders or visual impairments. Screen reader software provides image descriptions and describes what’s happening on a screen. The student can format text, search websites, look up words and more.
- Virtual reality. Virtual reality technology allows students to participate and interact in a classroom setting in the event of online learning. They can also experience virtual field trips for valuable educational events.
- Voice recognition. For motor or visual impairments, voice recognition software can perform a student’s request at the sound of their voice. Students can speak to their teachers, create assignments and direct apps.
- Artificial intelligence. AI can help teachers by personalizing lessons and anticipating their needs. Students can use AI to transcribe class notes and create their own written documents by using braille or voice commands.
Graduates from Mississippi College’s online M.Ed. in Special Education program will gain instructional goals to meet the needs of special needs students and develop knowledge to teach interrelated disciplines as an independent teacher in a specialized setting.
Learn more about Mississippi College’s online M.Ed. in Special Education program.