Teachers finding special education transformed by one to one initiatives say that having curriculum online and using iPads enables each student to reach their full ability to learn.
In one seventh grade classroom, three students read together from their iPad screens, taking turns. The lesson subject was Benjamin Framklin’s scientific discoveries and his inventions. The lesson was simplified so the students could understand but conformed to curriculum for the Mankato school district.
Sam Seifert followed along while her teacher spoke the words out loud. It is difficult for Seifert to read on her own. Near the center of the table, Blake Hammah quickly recited the words while Jacob Voracek spoke more slowly and deliberately. The three students have developmental cognitive disabilities.
They were using the app Educations, which enables interaction and highlighting of text. Students are able to learn material that meets the seventh and eighth grade standards, but meets them at their level matching their skills and abilities.
In addition to allowing for ease of accessing curriculum online, school staff say that the one to one digital learning initiative is also encouraging the district’s special education students to gain more independence. Each middle schooler received an iPad this year. The use of iPads by special education students has led to a huge change in how they are taught, and in the material available to them. For many, accessibility is the key.