Special help

10/15/2008 By: Kevin Hogan

from Tech&Learning

No group of students can better benefit from the use of technology in a classroom than those identified with special needs. Name the challenge, and you can find a tool that is made to help. From sound systems that amplify a teacher's voice, to reading intervention software that tracks student progress, to hardware that provides computer access to students with physical disabilities.

Three articles this month attempt to categorize and clarify the burgeoning trends of assistive technology for schools. T&L managing editor and product maven Christine Weiser consulted with experts in the special ed field to compile our Special NeedsGuide. Match the challenges to the solutions. You may find that you already have some of these technologies and are just not using them to their best advantages.

Using software to target the specific needs of students is a relatively new and exciting field. RTI (Response To Intervention) is the most popular technique people are talking about—but does anybody really understand it? To find out what exactly this acronym means, we asked Christy Chambers, the immediate past president of the Council of Administrators of Special Education and CEO of Beyond the Box, how schools can best incorporate RTI into everyday curriculum.

Last, meet Edward Foote, a special education teacher at the Jefferson Avenue Elementary School in Fairmont, NY, who shares his successes with using technology to inspire and advance kids with a range of learning challenges (p. 50). How have you used tech to help with special needs? Log onto techlearning.com and share.

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Kevin Hogan
Editorial Director

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