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Smash the old images of a classroom with digital text

There is no doubt that digital technologies are a great way to support independence. The use of digital text within the classroom is a support that benefits many students who experience barriers with traditional printed media.

Assistive Tech is only for special needs kids… isn’t it?

Gotalk In the past only students with special education needs used assistive technology to access printed media, or to convey their ideas in writing or speech. Many devices were bulky, expensive and generally were only able to perform one function, like text to speech. As technology has evolved, the devices themselves have improved too. The development of portable devices; such as the iPad, tablet and smart phone means that assistive technologies are now more readily available to more students for a wider range of accessibility and learning needs.

Image source: Poule at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], from Wikimedia Commons


This video clip highlights the impact technology has on accessibility for a wide range of students needs. 

The Case Against Assistive Technology 

 View The Case Against Assistive Technology on YouTube

I particularly like that the concerns of educators from 1815 to 1950 are non-existent now, which gives me hope that the concern from 2008 will soon also be a thing of the past. 

  Assumptions about tech 

What would happen if we were to deny students with special education needs the use of Assistive Technology because of these assumptions?

Is there any difference to all students having the option to access digital text to be more independent?



  • linda Ojala (View all users posts) 04 Mar 2014 8:48pm ()

    Thanks for the video link - food for thought and reflection, will be sharing this one.  I had a recent conversation around a student that really stuggles to write legibly but like so many stories we hear about has great ideas, you just cant read them.  Simply being able to use technology makes such a different but it is still seen as giving him an unfair advantage when other students need to use "pencil and paper".  Don't we want students to be independent and successful, to feel confident and make choices that will help them with their learning?   Often our students know what they need, what will help them -  we just need to ask.

  • linda Ojala (View all users posts) 06 Mar 2014 8:13pm ()

    Hi Cathiesten,

    Its been a pretty full on 5 weeks with BYOD. My class have been amazing, we are learning from each other all the time. I'm still trying to get my head around so many aspects but love seeing the engagement, collective community that is starting to develop and of course for a range of learners who can now use a range of tools to express their thinking, it's pretty exciting.  So much potential.

    What have you found successful with your learners.


  • linda Ojala (View all users posts) 08 Mar 2014 6:12pm ()

    Hi Merryl

    In terms of writing apps I guess it depends on the learner but 2 that students choose to use a lot are


    Book Creator

    With both of these you can insert video, voice, pictures and their own drawings.  It's fantastic to see one of my learners using Storykit to record her stories.  Currently she makes marks on paper with no letter formation. Storykit offers her a way to tell her stories and then share these with others.  



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