Educators and Assistive TechnologyClassroom Solutions
Managing a classroom whilst providing the appropriate amount of support to each individual student is a challenging day-to-day task for any teaching professional. Spotting potential disabilities can often be a task in itself.
The standard methods of testing for disabilities in the classroom are not always the most appropriate and accurate. Standard group tests are not accurate enough to gauge an individual learners needs. Individual attention and testing is far more conclusive. However, this can be a very inefficient way to run a classroom.
What can I do as an educator?
Deciding what course of action is the most appropriate, and how best to approach it can be difficult. Some teaching professionals that we have consulted have provided these potential solutions:
Individual attention and support
Providing more one to one support and development for your students can be a challenge, especially if you have a large classroom.
This is often very difficult to maintain over a long period of time. Other methods of support can become necessary. This may include the long term support and development structures that are possible through the application of Assistive Technology.
Provide parents with tools and advice
Providing parents with simple tools and advice to help them spot their child’s potential learning difficulties can often be the best course of action.
This can help parents identifying that their child may have a learning difficulty, and decide if it would be appropriate for their child to have a formal assessment through the school.
Assessment through the school
Supporting the needs of a learner through an assessment is sometimes the most appropriate course of action. Trained assessors can accurately identify learning disabilities and advise on the best solution.
Provide the appropriate learning tools
School and college budgets are always a source of debate, on how they can be more cost effective and provide a positive return on investment.
Carrying out numerous assessments and potentially having to provide individuals with Assistive Technology can sometimes be a little expensive. However, there are tools that can be utilised by the entire classroom.
Unique packages such as the Learning Access Suite are used as disability support tools for learners who need it, and productivity support tools for other learners.
This is often seen as the most cost effective solution, as the entire classroom can utilise and benefit from the solution primarily designed to support and develop individuals in need of extra support, without slowing down the classroom.