Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How can technology be used to support the development of an equitable, inclusive learning environment that addresses the needs of all learners?

Technology is great for supporting needs equitably because there are many different tools with different functionalities and so students can choose the one which works best for them.  Some factors could include: different devices and needing software which is supported, user friendliness, tools with with other gadgets to use, advertising limits, etc.
In my classroom, if I want a certain tool to be used I will show my students a couple different sites or apps which do the same thing.  I give the children time to play with all of the tools and then they can use whichever they feel more comfortable with.  I find this makes for a more equitable experience because all of the students pick their most preferred tool which relatively gives the same result and the students feel that they were able to have a choice in their learning.
I also like the fact that we use tools in the classroom especially the assistive devices ones as in the past, students who had SEA claims, stood out like sore thumbs.  They were the only ones with the software on their devices to help them and even though they need the support, it might not have helped their self esteem as everyone knew who they were and assumed that they were not like everyone else.  I had a couple students this past year who refused to be identified because they didn't want the whole class thinking that they were "dumb."  I had a paperless classroom so I would teach all students to use tools like word Q or Google Read and Write. I found that those who needed it, didn't feel as targeted because it was offered to the whole class.  I also felt that those who were not identified but might also need support, were able to.  To me, technology is a win win for all students.