Technology Needs in the Special Education Secondary Classroom

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In secondary school settings the use of technology within the special education classroom is lacking. Special education class rooms and resource settings utilize only the basic, out of date technology that has been in use for many years. Typically the only available technology made available to special education or resource settings are the overhead projector, television, and tape recorder. According to the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (2009), seventy-five percent of students with disabilities rarely or never use computers. General education classes are more frequently equipped with current technology items such as smart boards, iPads, computers, projectors, write pads, and smart pens. Special education students, like their non-disabled peers, are learning 21st Century skills in the general education setting using 21st Century technology. Special education students needing remediation or small group instruction are hindered by the lack of available technological devices. According to King-Sears, Mainzer, and Swanson (2011) technology can be universally beneficial for all students as a vehicle for learner engagement or conveyance of instructional content, and it can promote participation, learning, and performance by students with disabilities. Students with disabilities who used computer-based instruction made improvements using technology that matched their learning needs, (King-Sears, Mainzer, and Swanson, 2011). Many students with disabilities have problems with mobility and use of their arms and hands. In classrooms where technology is obsolete it is impossible for these students to obtain educational success. Other students with emotional or social disabilities find it hard to convey... ... middle of paper ... ...cation Technology, 24(1), 1-13. Demski, J. (2008). And access for all. T.H.E. Journal, December 2008, 30-35. Frank, F.X., & Xin, J.F. (2011). Using the smart board in teaching social stories to students with autism. Teaching Exceptional Children, 43, 18-24. Haywood, K., Johnson, L.F., Levine, A., & Smith, R.S. (2010). Key emerging technologies for Elementary and secondary education. Education Digest, 76(1), 36-40. LaFee, S. (2010). Taking the i21 initiative. Education Digest, November 2010, 47-51. King-Sears, M. E., Mainzer, L., & Swanson C. (2011). Technology and literacy for adolescents with disabilities. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54(8), 569-578. Okolo, C., & Smith, S. J. (2010). Response to intervention and evidence-based practices: where does technology fit? Learning Disability Quarterly, 33(4), 257-272.
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