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iPods & iPads are Innovative Tech Tools for Special Education

The iPod Touch and iPad, are great innovative technology tools for educators and students to use in the classroom.  There are many applications and features of these tools that may potentially increase learning outcomes and motivation for learning in the classroom.  While not all schools or students may have access to these tech tools, it is time to add these innovative devices as a wish-list request for next school year!

Functional Skills System for the iPod Touch

The Conover Company has a great package for special education classrooms that includes a classroom set of iPod Touches pre-loaded with age-appropriate videos setup into a functional skills system.  This system allows the students to learn functional skills to gain more independence in society.  The videos include an instructional phase, review phase, and generalization phase for life, literacy, math, social, and work skills. Some of the topics for the videos are learning about money, safety signs, tools for work, manners, social skills, describing words, clothing, entertainment, transportation, restaurants, shopping, labels, hygiene, grooming, and groceries.

The advantage of the iPod system is that the students can travel with the functional skills system to assist them in their day-to-day lives.  The touch screen capability of the iPod allows access to this system for students who may have limited hand movement or motion.  There is also a feature to modify the iPod into a single switch compatibility mode.  The videos include high-quality audio which used in conjunction with the vision impaired features of the iPod, allows access for students with low vision to utilize the functional skills program.  Closed-captioning is also available for the videos for students with hearing impairments.  This system can also be used on the computer instead of using iPod, but it would limit the use of the program outside of the classroom.  Another addition to the program is that there are print exercises that accompany this software for students to learn the functional skills in the classroom without the technology.

Videos of Special Education Students using iPods in the Classroom

Click Here to view a great video about how iPods can be used by teachers, students, and parents in the special education classroom.    In this video the teacher and sign language interpreter use the iPod as a communication device between the teacher, student, and parents.  The teachers also created videos of vocabulary in sign language and student accomplishments.  The parents can then see what the students are learning in class and become more involved at home.  The voice memo feature of the iPod is used to send information back and forth from families to teachers.  They have expanded the roll of the iPod in the classroom by video taping the stories that are being covered in class including audio, sign language, and photos from the books.  The stories can then be read at home to increase reading comprehension.

This video shows hearing impaired students utilizing the iPad for science education.  The teacher has the students completely engaged in their lesson combing the use of the iPad with sign language.  The video shows that the iPad is an innovative tool where the students can interact with each other in conjunction with their online textbook.  The features of the iPad that the students felt were helpful include the flip the screen, easy ability to scroll, enlarge images, search the net, and load their textbook.

Article by Laura Ketcham

Photo by FHKE

Free Teacher Resources | Special Education by MangoMon



Students with Special Needs Get Real World Experience

The process of finding a job can be difficult if you don’t have any work experience. For students with special needs, it may be even harder.

We’ve all heard the saying “practice makes perfect,” and that is just what a new program is offering to students with special needs.

At St. Mary’s Warrick Hospital in Boonville, Indiana, the Gibson-Warrick-Pike Special Education Cooperative and Southern Indiana Resource Solutions have come together to offer students with disabilities a chance to get real world job experience.

The hospital’s program, SEARCH, is based on a nationally recognized program that was started at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

The program offers internship experience to adults ages 18-21. The goal of these internships is to prepare these students for a full-time, real world job in the future.

The program offers students the chance to work in various areas of the hospital, learning about each department and gaining skills they can use in future jobs. The program runs for thirty weeks and is broken into ten week rotations.

Students have a daily agenda. This includes an hour of classroom instruction on employment and independent living skills, two hours of job rotations, lunch, another two hours of job rotations and one hour of classroom instruction. Topics can cover anything from personal hygiene to current events. Job coaches are provided throughout the day to offer guidance and assistance to the students.

Students get to be involved in many areas. They spend time working with medical records, environmental and custodial services, food and nutrition services, health information management, mail room and delivery, data entry and much more.

If the students spend the entire academic year in Project SEARCH, they receive a portfolio of their work experiences including pictures, recognitions and letters of recommendation that would be very useful for future employment.

The main goal of this program is to have the students build independent living skills. Organizers want to be a part of a team that builds those skills that will land these students better jobs when they graduate. By learning these necessary skills, students can work towards future jobs and goals with confidence.

Photo by tahitianlime

Free Teacher Resources | Special Education by MangoMon by MangoMon


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