Unlike the past, computers have become extremely common with schools up and down the country. And, despite the expensive price accompanying the device, it has become a rare occurrence seeing a school that doesn’t have an array of computers.

These devices offer a huge amount of benefits to the students, however. From easily accessible information sources, online lessons and virtual courses, these pieces of tech provide skills not only in the classroom but beyond too.

However, these devices can provide more. They have the ability to give specialist schools the chance to teach those with more specific needs and allow them to learn just like everyone else. Therefore, they can then build a successful education for themselves regardless of their learning difficulties.

So, in this article we will be discussing the real benefits technology has on those that may find traditional education a little harder than others. And how these devices and workstations offer more to some, then just the ability to find information quickly.

Typing Instead Of Writing

Some disabilities make the simplest of tasks, like writing, extremely difficult or even impossible. From being able to spell, learn new words, and form grammatically correct sentences, this is something that everyone needs in order to be able to progress into the working world.

Because of this, technology has provided the chance for those who struggle, to learn exactly like others. The ease of being able to type instead of hand-write will still allow the child to learn everything to do with words and sentences, just without the case of having to hand-write.

From this, there are even alternative keyboards that have a programmed, special overlay that can customize the way in which the board functions and looks. These types of customizations offer features that can reduce the number of input choices given, and can even group keys into categories by color or location on the board.

Reading Skills

There is an extensive range of assistive technology that aids those who struggle with being able to read. The platforms involved offering audio and e-books that allow users to listen to texts in a variety of different formats.

Or for example, a hard copy of a book can be scanned and displayed as a digital version, with the option of audio to read the words aloud to the child. This way they can take part in-class reading sessions (even if apps such as ‘Audible’ don’t have it in-store) without the trouble of not having the book in front of them, or not being able to follow along with reading.

Those who find reading challenging have the ability to learn and listen to books just like the rest of their classmates, and will then be able to progress further into taking tests and reaching class targets.

Spoken Language

Some children may face the difficulty of processing and remembering spoken language, without the help of technology. Such devices can be used in various settings, all working in the same way, to help the child remember what they hear.

There is a whole range of speech recognition software available that allows speech to become a digitally generated format. In doing this, the child will be able to follow along with conversations and lessons, with less struggle. However, speech recognition software will require the user to have rather comprehendible reading skills, in order to keep up with the talking.

Therefore, in a case where this can be used, the help the child needs will have to be monitored, in order to find if this is a good fit.

Concept Mapping

Some individuals may face trouble when it comes to planning or integrating ideas into a piece of writing. Therefore, a platform called concept mapping has been created in order to allow those struggling, to have a place where they can visually represent their ideas or concepts instead of writing them.

The graphically represented ideas have the ability to show links in ideas, through simply drawing some arrows, color co-ordination or even the use of icons. Then, these ideas can be moved to replan the piece of ‘writing’, (just as the other children would when planning to write a piece of content).

The software allows the child to plan for almost any task that would be asked of them in a  traditional English lesson. From poetry, resume writing, and even computer programming, concept mapping doesn’t stop anyone from creating work just like the rest of the class.

Summary

In schools, technology and computers can provide for even better lessons, teaching the children the skills and software that will aid them as they progress into further education.

However, apart from prooving to be a good source of learning, technology can help the children even more. Because of this, those with learning difficulties and disabilities have the chance to attend class with their friends, and keep up with daily tasks, just with the added aspect of technology walking them through it.

From speech recognition to aiding in writing, computers have a huge amount of intellect to allow these children to gain a respectful education and help them progress through the school years until the next step. Deciding on a workplace – if this is necessary.

Without this software, children up and down the country will still be gaining a less effective education, due to the school system not being able to apply their learning formats to their specific needs.

But this is a problem of the past. With computers being available in almost every classroom, there is no say as to how far a child can go within the education system, even those that may need a little extra aid than the others.

Posted by Miley Dowling

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