More and more teachers across the world are starting to embrace technology in their classrooms. With the quick growth of technology, it can be hard to keep up with what’s available. All teachers can benefit from this transition to technology in the classroom but special educators may benefit the most! After visiting several school sites and seeing technology being utilized in different ways, I created a list of my favorite ways to use technology in the special education classroom!
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5 Great Uses for Technology in a SPED Classroom
If you play music in your class, the ECHO DOT is a must–have! Once you set up the dot, you instantly have access to so much knowledge and thousands of songs. During a classroom observation, I heard a teacher say, “Echo, play calming music.” Just like that, the classroom was filled with quiet kids and calming music.
Listening to calming music is extremely helpful in a SPED classroom. There are lots of ways to use this device in your classroom, but calming music is one of my favorite ways! I purchased the Echo Smart Speaker with Alexa speaker for my classroom. Click on the pictures to find out more about these products.
If you work in special education and haven’t jumped on this bandwagon yet, you need to! Collecting behavior data can be difficult if you are not with the child every moment of the day or if your students change classes throughout the day. Data can become unclear or invalid due to inconsistencies with each teacher that takes data.
Google Forms has been a life saver when it comes to data collection. Once you get used to how to create and use Google Forms, it only gets easier from there. If you are in sped and worked with general education teachers, then you know you need to make things simple for them because they are busy!
Google Forms makes it easy to track behavior data, take surveys from staff, and easily share information with parents. Google Forms is not only great for sped teachers but also for behaviorists, general education teachers, parents, para-educators, psychologists, and any other member of a special education team.
*Need to collect BASELINE Data in Academics?? Click HERE or on the picture to see more!
Have you ever heard the phrase, “…there’s an app for that.”? Well…it’s true! We live in the time where we can have virtually anything instantaneously. Every day thousands of apps are being created to satisfy a need. In education there are thousands of apps we can use with our students.
For example, did you know that there is an app named Photomath that you can use to solve any math problem? The student takes a picture of the equation and the app breaks it down, step by step, demonstrates how to complete the problem. This is great to support students with checking their work. It’s great for parents helping their students complete difficult problems at home.
What about the app Snaptype? This is an app that allows students to take a picture of an assignment and type over the assignment and submit work to the teacher via email. This is great for students that have trouble writing legibly. I highly recommend you take a look at the educational section in your app stores.
Along with collecting data about the students, I use survey websites like SurveyMonkey to collect data from staff. Why do I survey the staff? I’ve surveyed staff to help determine a good time of day to hold IEPs. I’ve surveyed staff to see what type of data collection would be preferred in their classes. I have surveyed staff to check in on my instructional aides (is the support is being provided and are there are any suggestions about supports in a classroom?). Whichever way you use them, creating surveys can be extremely helpful!
In my sped class, we use timers all day! Especially big, VISUAL TIMERS. However, just like anything in a sped class, timers can get lost or broken at any moment. That’s when I use online timers. If you search for “online timer” on the internet, you will find several websites that offer a free timer. Online timers are great when you are in a pinch! You can read more about the importance of time and using timers in my other post “5 Reasons Why TIME is Extremely Important to SPED Teachers”.