Assistive technologies (AT) refers to various technologies that teachers can use or make available to students to support equity in the classroom. Integrating assistive technologies following Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles can help all students find success as they share in an equitable and meaningful educational experience. In particulary, these digital technologies support students with exceptionalities and particular learning needs. They may be a part of an individualized learning plan and, in some cases for students with specific identified needs, may be provided through integration support teachers. Visit SET BC to learn more about this valuable program and partnership to support BC students in both independent and public schools. Their blog has many excellent examples of digital technology integration in action.
As an educator, you may find it difficult to make a choice between helping the majority or spending your time assisting one student. By effectively integrating assistive technologies into your lessons, varied learners in your class will be given the opportunity to participate. For example, by using a multi-modal assistive technology such as ShowMe, students can choose different ways to express their ideas whether through drawing, writing, video or audio clips thus enabling them to communicate with each other and you (the teacher) in his/her preferred way. Click here to see an example of a second grade English as an Additional Language (EAL) learner “showing” her learning through drawing, writing and narration.
Although there are many ways to classify these technologies, we’ve divided them into five categories (click on each category to further explore different technologies for various types of support):
Take some time to review the various digital technologies in each category and try some out as you consider the possibilities of integrating them into your own teaching context.
PS. if you have any recommendations on a specific technology that you have used/heard of, or if there are some technologies that you wish to explore and share with us, please feel free to let us leave us a comment to this post OR email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!