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Creative Teaching Strategies in the Special Needs Classrooms

I was browsing through YouTube last evening, searching for videos to show my students about new and emerging technology.  I was quickly side- tracked by looking to see if there were any good videos made by teachers about how they use technology in their special education classroom.  I was quite surprised to see the number of results , in-depth explanations, about variety of assistive technologies being used, and how many teachers are going to YouTube to share their creative teaching strategies.  Below is a synopsis of links to great videos with great ideas!

Great Videos!

Lace Cook, a vocational program teacher from Campbell Collegiate, posted a video on YouTube about how she uses technology in her special education classroom with students who are nonverbal or have physical and cognitive limitations.  She believes that technology helps the students to participate in class.  She demonstrates the ways that the students had to complete class assignments before and after the implementation of the new technology.  Students use laptops for communication and to magnify text and iPods with audio books for students to use during silent reading time.  It is very apparent from the videos that the students are far more engaged in learning when using the technology!

Lance Huebner, a Special Services Teacher from South Valley Junior High, posted a presentation on YouTube about Technology and Special Education.  His presentation includes information about how he uses Blogs, Blackboard, Interwrite Pads, MP3 Players, Audacity, United Streaming, Extranormal, and Photo Story 3 to engage his special needs students in learning.

A student from Towson University taking a Special Education Courses created a video about Assistive Technology.  It includes a definition of assistive technology and provides examples, definitions, and photos of different technology tools.

Kathy is a Special Education Teacher at the Holland School.  In her video she shows different assistive technology devices in her classroom.  She demonstrates and explains the different technology she and her students use including TextSpeak, Sign Language Videos, Partner 4 (for making choices), 7 Level Communicator (interchangeable choices for retelling for stories), step-by-step communicator (helps children participate in class), and switches.

Another interesting view I found was from the news channel WTNH who posted a video on YouTube with a special news segment on assistive technologies that make life more independent for individuals with disabilities.

There are many more great special education videos on YouTube on a variety of topics including assistive technology.  If you find any other great videos to share, feel free to leave on comment on this post!

Article by Laura Ketcham

Free Teacher Resources | Special Education by MangoMon


New Drivers, New Learners – Alternative for Special Education

Preparing for a driver’s test can be somewhat nerve wrecking. For students with special needs, who have different ways of learning, sometimes a different approach to preparing for the test is needed.

Flashcards and graphics of road signs and symbols can greatly help prepare students for the test. Since a lot of students are visual learners, instructional videos with real life situations can aide them in preparing for the test.

The California DMV has released a YouTube Channel with a series of 54 short clips helping students prepare for their driving test and being on the road for the first time. For students who learn visually, these videos are a great alternative to texts or long documents on computer screens.

The video clips offer real life examples and situations that can happen when taking a driver’s test or preparing for one. They present the top ten common mistakes that a lot of first time drivers do when they are starting out, including unsafe lane changes, failure to yield, and failure to stop.

The videos include interviews with real driving examiners about their experiences with taking out first time drivers. They give examples of these mistakes that so many students make and then details on what you should do to correct that mistake.

These short videos are a great refresher for students who want to see real people in real situations. The comments from other YouTube members can also offer advice or personal experiences in addition to the videos.

Since YouTube is watched by millions of people a day, the California DMV realized a great way to get this safety information out there would be to post it on YouTube. For those students who need visual aides to help them retain information, this is a great resource.

Photo by redja

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