Teaching Children with Special Needs using Technology

Watson’s special education teachers and instructional aides utilize a variety of special education technologies when teaching children with special needs. Technologies such as communications devices, SMART Boards and iPads are easily adapted to meet each student’s individualized educational needs.

iPads in Special Education Classrooms

In this modern age of technology, Watson’s students are proving that kids of all abilities can use an iPad. In classrooms throughout the Education Center Sewickley, special education teachers and instructional aides work with children with special needs, helping them achieve their educational goals.

The use of iPads and adapted technologies such as specialized apps is prevalent in Life Skills Support classrooms. Apps such as Proloquo2Go, a symbol-supported communication app, can be tailored to each student, enabling special education teachers to work on each student’s goals such as language development and building communication skills.

“I’m able to create customized screens for each of my students that are tailored to fit their educational goals. Some screens may have fewer options to help students recognize specific target words. You can add more options as they progress. These app on the iPads have been really helpful in working with the students.” said Kaitlyn Gorniak, a special education teacher at the Watson Institute.

Special education apps such as Proloquo2Go and SENICT Touch Trainer help students not only work on improving communication, but also aid in the development of fine motor skills. Students learn how to reach towards specific targets on the screen and make eye contact with items on the iPad to help them communicate.

Additionally, students in Life Skills Support classrooms with Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI) are aided by the backlighting on the iPads, making it easier for these students to see what is displayed on the screen.

For more information on how to set up your special education classroom or how to incorporate technology into learning, check out the Watson Institute’s special education resources.