Technology enters into every field to help people perform tasks quickly and efficiently. Especially in the field of education, technology plays a crucial role to improve learning standards and teaching practices.
The most important thing about
technology in education is that it helps students with special needs. Students with speech delays, autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome have found new ways to express themselves, thanks to modern technology. Special Education Degree published an infographic that explains the history and how the evolution of the focus within special education has shifted through recent decades. Few important points are as follows:
A Brief History of Children with Special Educational Needs
Sad but true: Before the 1800s, people with physical and mental disabilities were targets of discrimination across cultures for thousands of years. In virtually every continent there are records of isolation, exclusion, and even destruction of people with disabilities.
Late 1800s-early 1900s in the U.S.: The first public schools for children with disabilities were established. These were segregated programs, and often served children with specific disabilities. Children with disabilities did not go to their home schools.
1918: Compulsory education laws passed. But many children with disabilities were routinely excluded from public schools.
1933: Special education advocacy groups begin.
1947: American Association on Mental Deficiency is launched.
1954: Brown v. Board of Education extended equal protection under the law to minorities, and paved the way for similar gains for those with disabilities.
1965: Congress creates a Bureau of Education for the handicapped, later named, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).
1975: Public Law 94-142 is passed, requiring public schools to provide education for students with a broad range of disabilities – including physical handicaps, mental retardation, speech, vision and language problems, emotional and behavioral problems, and other learning disorders.
1990 and 1997: Public Law 94-142 is authorized and renamed as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
6 million: number of children, OR 10 percent of all school aged kids, that receive special education services.
$51 billion: estimated cost of educating special Ed students
$44 billion: of that $51 billion, the estimated cost to state and local school districts
15: percentage, on average, of the cost to educate special education kids paid out by the Federal government.
This infographic also explained the technologies that are being employed in classrooms to help students with special needs:
Multimedia technology is being employed in classrooms to help with a variety of challenges from hearing and vision loss to limited physical movement.
Digital textbooks offer high-quality images, video and audio capabilities.
Laptops and notebooks have become a low-cost option for the classroom. Students who struggle with a pen and pencil find new opportunities to express themselves on the computer.
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices—that help make it possible for individuals with no speech, or individuals with poor speech, to overcome their communication problems. Such as:
Voice Recognition Technology: For those students who are still challenged by the physical keyboard, voice-recognition technology has greatly improved, often reaching 98% in simple text documents. It can be used to replace keystrokes in a document as well as control the overall computer. Most of this software “learns” as the student speaks to it so the results become even more accurate.
Text-to-voice: available on computers and many eBook readers, this software scans text and reads it back to the student. This is helpful to the vision-impaired students but is also useful to the students who need the audio reinforcement of the words they are reading.
Touch screen: there may be no need for a physical keyboard. Tapping on a tablet screen with a finger or stylus will give the same results.
Here is the infographic.
This infographic originally appeared here .