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27.02.2019 Feature Article

The Relevance Of Technology In Special Education

The Relevance Of Technology In Special Education
LISTEN FEB 27, 2019

An education which is specifically or specially designed to focus on meeting the unique needs of children with a disability or to meet individual special needs is known as special education.

The special needs are the difficulties that make it harder for children to learn like most children of their age.

To solve these difficulties and help students with a disability to benefit from education as their age-mates are benefiting, technology over the years have been implemented and its relevance cannot be undermined.

Students with learning disabilities are mostly unable to adapt to the regular classroom or finds it difficult to benefit from the traditional classroom settings and the introduction of technology in education or special education has indicated a great improvement and therefore its relevance in special education is clear that students who struggle in the traditional classroom setting may find education to be more productive with technology.

Technology has made it possible for special education students to use either one or a combination of assistive technologies which comes with different learning styles and abilities to aid the special education student to learn as any normal person would.

Software, games, computers to mention few have help students with special educational needs to approach their teaching and learning methods differently.

For example, A student with dyslexia may benefit from text-audio-matching exercises. Or a child who has difficulty holding a pencil may find typing on a computer or tablet to be an easier alternative.

Another benefit which has established the importance of technology in special learning is collaborative learning.

The integration of Multimedia into lessons and assignments is another relevant breakthrough to consider when looking at technology and special education.

To eliminate the needs of separating special needs students from their peers, text-to-speech options can be integrated for students with difficulties with speech or language when making classroom presentation. These tools help special need students to work alongside their mates which at the end will ensure that they all completed the curriculum concurrently.

This along the line leads to social inclusion which is good for the special need student, self-esteem and builds confidence.

The integration of technology into special education is gradually erasing the borders. Special need students can now at least get educational services that suit them around the world.

The educational standards claim that students with disabilities should be provided with opportunities to realize their potential. They should participate in education and training on the same basis as students without disabilities and that they are not subject to discrimination. Due to the progress in the IT industry, digital technologies are easily accessible and widespread which allows using them for providing students with new opportunities.

According to the National Center For Education Statistics, in 2015–2016, the number of students served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in the US was 6.7 million. This number is equal to 13% of all public school students. While the percentage of such students stays pretty much the same during the last years, the total number of them has increased by 0.3 million since 2011-2012.

Conclusion
In Conclusion, the use of technology in special education helps break the barriers for people with disabilities and provide them with access to the most relevant educational programs. Properly designed software and hardware allow students with special needs to get modern education and achieve any required information online.

Technology helps provide students with individual learning events, enables reaching higher flexibility and differentiation in educational methodologies. With modern technology, teachers can adapt to the possibilities of a particular student with minimum effort and choose one of the dozens of available learning tactics designed to meet the needs of individual learners.

Joseph Yaw Mawunyo
Joseph Yaw Mawunyo, © 2019

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