Exclusively written for Eduspire by J’s Class
Mobile Devices in the Classroom
Mobile devices have proven several times over to be indispensable learning tools, offering students a myriad of easily accessible and interactive educational materials. Research in 2014 found that nearly 75% of students in grades 6-12 believe that every student should be able to use a mobile device in the classroom for learning. But, does the same ring true when it comes to special education?
Will Weatherly, a Florida teacher, successfully utilizes mobile technologies in his special education class. In a featured post by K-12 Tech Decisions, Weatherly said he uses a combination of iPads, apps and projectors to improve academic performance and increase social interaction in students with autism.
“A computer is non-judgmental and you don’t have to make eye contact with it, and those are important aspects in a relationship with autistic children,” Weatherly explains. “They feel freer to interact with something like that.”
MTech Solutions for Special Education
To assist educators, many mobile tech companies have worked hard to provide the best educational solutions for special ed students.
Apple has a particular department that focuses on iOS and OS X for Special Education. They feature innovative functionalities for learners to enhance their literacy, vision, hearing, and motor skills. Most of the company’s devices, including their newly released iPhone 7, come with features ideal for SpEd students. According to O2, the new Apple smart phone comes with a clearer and brighter display, longer battery life, and iOS 10 with upgraded functionalities like Speak Selection, iBooks, Guided Access, and much more.
Mobile technology has been the key component in the success of special education today. Educational programs that use mobile devices provide students with dynamic content tools in learning. For example, features such as text-to-speech help many students with dyslexia to digest and review content in a new and more effective manner.
There is also quite a variety of learning software and apps that offer specialized educational content to suit the learning pace and style of special ed students. Cloud-based integration enables students to collaborate with their classmates and freely share their thoughts about various subjects in a virtual environment.
How to Utilize a Smart Phone or Tablet for a Successful Learning Experience
1. Participate often in online group activities and discussions
2. Expand your learning network (student and teacher)
3. Use your mobile devices responsibly, setting rules, if necessary
4. Record lectures and look for other educational resources
5. Relax and have fun: find a new hobby online
While mobile technologies provide effective learning tools, they are also a great platform for relaxing after a long day of studying. Using smart phones and tablets to play video games has been found to boost learning.
Mobile devices will continue to shape the educational sector by offering modern students and those with special learning needs an interactive, relevant, and adaptive platform for education.
Guest Post Exclusively written for Eduspire by J’s Class