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January 13, 2017 Volume 1, Issue 1 INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY THE BENEFITS OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM Modern technology is a common fixture in most homes and workplaces today. It is used for communication and entertainment. People tend to rely on the functionality of technology to connect to others and complete routine daily tasks that might include paying
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    January 13, 2017    Volume 1, Issue 1   INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY    THE BENEFITS OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM   Modern technology is a common fixture in most homes and workplaces today. It is used for communication and entertainment. People tend to rely on the functionality of technology to connect to others and complete routine daily tasks that might include paying bills or shopping. It has changed the way we think, work and play. The importance and significance of technology is recognized in society and has become a necessary and useful tool in everyday life. Technology has also become mainstream in the classroom. It is important to consider the effects of technology in education. According to Karenka Ramey (2012) there are several reasons that integrating technology into the classroom proves to be important and beneficial for students. The reasons Ramey (2012) noted are: easy access t0 educational material, student motivation, increase in participation, improves writing skills, subjects are easier to learn, and person-alized learning plans. Donston - Miller (2013) states that websites, apps and devices are all availa- ble to help the teachers with instruction. Therefore, students can learn in new  ways. Providing the teacher has been trained and the tools are developmentally appropriate, students can utilize a variety of personalized tools. The tools can  be used to promote student engagement, complete assignments and projects , and improve academic achievement.   INSIDE THIS ISSUE   Benefits of technology   ........................ 1   Examples of technology ..................... 2   Technology for special needs  .............. 2    Assistive technology spotlight  ............ 2    Assessing Assistive Technology .... 3   Debunking Assistive Technology Myths ................................................. 3   The cost of Assistive technology  ……..4   SPECIAL POINTS OF INTEREST     What technology can provide for students in the classroom    Choosing technology for teaching and learning    How assistive technology can help students with special needs    Electronic worksheets     Assessing assistive technology      Assistive technology myths     Who pays for assistive technology       Education for special needs students presents a different type of challenge for the teacher, student and learning environment. There is a range of assistive technology solutions to address students needs. Hayes (2013) has described how assistive technology has expanded and improved significantly within the last five years. According to Hayes (2013), today  ’ s smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices have the option of allowing assistive technology apps to be downloaded with easy access. Hayes (2013) states that that this gives the schools the flexibility and ability to integrate special needs students into the general education classroom.  Assistive technology is mainly used to enhance teaching and learn-ing for developmental issues, communication and cognitive disabilities. The use of assistive technology has been successful at motivating and engaging students. Hayes (2013) mentions that students get positive reinforcement from regular use that includes:     Achieving greater levels of independence and confidence    More willing to reach out to teachers and peers with questions    Self advocate  Challenging themselves and seek new opportunities    ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY SPOTLIGHT   There are many ways to accommodate special needs. One way, is by using electronic worksheets. Students can benefit from using this method because it  will eliminate the challenge students face lining up  words or equations. This software program will allow text or numbers to show up on the screen and can be read aloud by a voice synthesizer. Stanberry & Raskind (2010) suggest MathPad, MathPad Plus and Math Talk for students who are struggling with math. 2   Technology has already changed the dynamics of the classroom and will continue to shape the  way students learn in the future. Currently, there are many ways to incorporate technology into the lesson. Each tool possesses a unique benefit for the teacher and students alike. Ramey (2012) mentions seven ways to bring technology to the forefront allowing students to have many new and exciting ways to learn.  Computers     Websites and blogs    Digital microphones    Mobile devices    Smart interactive whiteboards    Online media    Online study tools   Please visit http://www.useoftechnology.com for a detailed description of the technology listed above.   TYPES OF TECHNOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM     TECHNOLOGY FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION       ASSESSING ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY    In order to achieve the desired outcome of using assistive technology, the initial process should determine which tools are a good match. It is important to ask questions to gain a better understanding of the students needs. Hayes (2013) mentions that the necessary questions should ask about the tasks the student has difficulties with, the students abilities and challenges and the environment in which the student will perform these tasks. In the education field, Hayes (2013) states that these questions are referred to as the SETT Framework–   Student Environment, Tasks and Tools. This was devel-oped by an educator named Jay Zabala, Ed. D.    Assistive technology determination and assessment is a collaborative process that includes feedback from the student, family, school team and other relevant professionals. If at any time academic progress isn ’ t being made , tasks change, or a student improves, a redetermination of needs may  be made. Debunking the  Assistive Technology Myths   It is important to understand the role assistive technology plays for students with learning disabilities. Many times a gener-alization is made about the use of Assistive technology that isn ’ t true. Those who have experi-ence working with assistive technology or have a family member who has used these tools, know first hand how ben-eficial they can be. Martin (2015) lists seven common myths:   1.    AT gives LD students an unfair advantage   2.   Digital natives can teach themselves the best ways to use AT in school   3.    AT can replace good teaching   4.   In order to reach their academic potential, LD students should use AT for everything   5.    AT reduces students ’ motivation to give their  best effort   6.    Adults with LD are too old to start using AT   7.    All technology is assistive technology    For a more detailed description of the myths listed above please  visit http://www.noodle.com   Caption describing picture or graphic   3      REFERENCE LIST   Donston - Miller, D. (2013). 10 tech tools to engage students. Retrieved January 15, 2017 from http://www.informationweek.com   Haven, S. (2016).  Assistive technology assessment –find the right tools. Retrieved Janu-ary 21, 2017 from http://www.techpotential.net Hayes, H. (2013).  How technology is helping special  - needs students excel  . Retrieved January 17, 2017 from http://edtechmagazine.com   Martin, J. (2015). 7 myths about technology explained  . Retrieved January 21, 2017 from http://www.noodle.com   Millstone, J. (2014) Who pays for assistive technology? parents or schools? Retrieved Janu-ary 24, 2017 from http://www.understood.org   Ramey, K. (2012). Types of technology used in the classroom. Retrieved January 16, 2017 from http://www.useoftechnology.com   Ramey, K. (2012). Why is it important to use technology in the classroom . Retrieved Janu-ary 14, 2017 from http://www.useoftechnology.com Stanberry, K., & Raskind, M.,(2010)  Assistive technology tools: math. Retrieved January 21, 2017 from http://www.greatschools.org 4   Bonnie Scarpino   ED501    Assignment 2   My child may need assistive technology. How will I know who covers the costs of the tools or devices that are needed? Millstone (2014) explains that this is how that process generally works.  When there is a concern that a student may need assistive technology in order to learn effectively, the school and/or doctor needs to determine how much of a disability is present. If it is determined that the student ’ s ability to learn is effected, the assistive technology will then be included in the IEP or 504 plan. Once the determination is made, any necessary tools or devices will be provided to the stu-dent free of cost. If at anytime a repair is necessary, the cost of that is covered as well. However, if the student moves the device is considered property of the supplying school district.  WHO PAYS FOR ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL?  
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