There are several ways by which smartphones and tabs have become useful in our lives. Though largely used for communication and entertainment purposes, these devices have also proved to be useful in education, business, and in the healthcare industry.
But smartphones and tabs have made the most interesting impact in the special children education sector. The devices have been identified as a useful learning apparatus to improve collaboration and engagement among students. There is a lot of buzz around the devices in the autism community. In fact, they have proved to be such a useful therapeutic tool that some special children’s organizations are providing grants to families to purchase one.
Benefits as a therapeutic device
For children lacking in motor skills, a digital learning app on a touch screen offers intuitive input. Computers from the older technology require visual shifting between a keyboard or the mouse and the screen. But with a digital learning app running on a tab or smartphone, special children can watch one of their fingers directly write on the screen, or select something, which in turn helps improving fine motor skills.
To autistic children, using touch technology is almost a natural phenomenon. Susan Williams, an instructor in an autistic elementary school, finds tabs and smartphones to be great supplemental apparatus for instruction. It’s almost like a fish taking to water, she says, moderating her student interactions using touch technology. Susan is an active promoter of technology in special education on various online platforms. She estimates that nearly 80% of her autistic students have got great results by using touch screen devices.
Personalizing lesson plans and apps
For special needs students, it’s important to understand each of them individually and how differently they’ll learn. With a digital learning app, teachers can make individualized lesson plans to assess the needs of every special child. There are several apps that are especially tailored for the needs of special children. Teachers can choose the best digital learning app that best fits their teaching methods and relevant to how the students learn.
The way special children are learning with smartphones and tabs is undeniably remarkable. It’s changing the way these children are taught in schools. These devices have improved many aspects in their life in more ways than we could have imagined.
For schools still hesitating whether or not to adopt a digital learning app for its special education classroom, the use of technology is expected to help in more ways than one. But for a proper implementation, make sure that your school has the backup technology like LAN connectivity or Wi-Fi routers in place.
Besides, the teachers should first get properly acquainted with the devices themselves before introducing them in the classroom. Each digital learning app has various customizable lessons appropriate for a particular level of the autism spectrum. Teachers have to discover the full potential of these apps and only then they can educate the students. And like Susan they too can champion the use of technology.
Apps for autistic children are here to stay and they will become more advanced in the coming days.