DISPLAYING ITEMS BY TAG: EDTECH

We all agree that education is the primary necessity of our society. Educated people invent new technologies to achieve more comfort in their daily routines, however, both are dependent on each other. I believe that literate people innovate more and more while technology helps to produce well-educated citizens.

Whilst we know that the skills associated with computational thinking are vital for today’s children to flourish in the 21st Century workplace, the practicalities of teaching coding during school hours can sometimes be perceived as a challenge. There is often a misconception that incorporating workshops and lessons that will instill the important skills associated with computational thinking will take a lot of work. But, with simple techniques, we know how easy this can actually be! Here are my top tips for breaking down barriers to coding and setting your pupils up with life-long skills...

Last year huge investment was made in the education industry, with almost two-thirds (64%) of education employees reporting investment in digital technologies. This, according to government statistics, equates to more than £900m.

A chatbot is an "artificial intelligence (AI) program that simulates interactive human conversation by using key pre-calculated user phrases and auditory or text-based signals" (technopedia.com). Businesses throughout the United Kingdom and elsewhere are rapidly adopting chatbots to support their business. Vodafone, the well known phone company, has a chatbot to help people learn about which phone plans best fit their needs, for example. But what about using chatbots in educational settings?

When expectations are growing but budgets are falling, you have to be confident that how you spend that budget has a strong impact in the classroom, and is therefore really great value for money.

I still find it hard to believe that the internet as we know it today was only created around 30 years ago in the 1990’s. It was only much later than this date did it start to become mainstream, with my own first experience of it in 1996 - and that was only at school. This is because it was still really expensive for your average person to have at home, our household certainly couldn’t afford it until some years later. The internet’s true potential was yet to be fully realised, however, and in such a short space of time, it has created (and destroyed) billion pound businesses in that small time frame.

Arguable the busiest day so far, the Innovate My School and Edtech Impact teams greeted day 3 with energy and excitement. As the coffee and conversation flows, we soak up as much as possible as the final day of Bett approaches.

Conversations are powerful, and they fuelled day 2 at Bett. Edtech Impact were joined by the Innovate My School team who, after grasping the sheer scale of Bett, loved every second they had catching up with suppliers and securing more innovative companies for our pioneering Speed Date sessions. The Bett Futures area was absolutely buzzing with people discussing Edtech Impact, which went live on Wednesday. Here are our highlights from Day 2.

Upon entering The Excel, it becomes clear why Bett Show veterans recommend you plan your day carefully: it takes ten minutes to walk from one end of the hall to the other, with countless curiosities to catch your attention along the way. From dancing robots to discussions with industry leaders, it truly is an action-packed, immersive event for all involved in education.

So what made day 1 special for us?

The goal of a teacher is to teach their students the best they can. To achieve this goal, educators need to be adaptive. This is because, of course, each student is an individual. As such, they learn differently and have different needs.

Students that place on the autism spectrum have certain difficulties that need to be addressed by educators. Luckily, with the numerous technology innovations that the modern era has brought us offers plenty of opportunities for educators and students with autism alike.

What Is Autism?

To understand which technologies help students with autism and how they help, it’s first important to understand what autism is. You have to understand what difficulties an autistic student faces in a classroom to be able to address them.

According to the American Psychological Association, autism spectrum disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is recognised by social and communication impairments as well as restrictive and repetitive patterns in their behaviours, interests, and activities.

The full title autism spectrum disorder should be noted as well. This means that even if you have a pair of students with autism, they might present very differently. The goal of technology is to help make the learning process helpful to all students.

Visual Scene Displays

The Diagnostic Center Central has said that as many as 50% of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are non-verbal. Many others struggle with communication and are limited verbally. This can make simple learning processes in a traditional classroom setting more difficult. For instance, how does a student join in a class discussion when they aren’t verbal?

This is where visual scene displays can come in handy. These can be found in the form of mobile apps most often, making them easy to weave into the classroom.

This type of technology allows students to put their answers and join in the discussion via an art scene. This way, students can join in without being limited by the struggle with speech.

On the note of autistic students and visuals, it can also be helpful to add graphics to classroom assignments. These can be much easier to process for these students rather than a page of written instructions.

Adjust Technology for Sensory Sensitivity

Another aspect of ASD is that many individuals with it have trouble with sensory sensitivity. This might include sensitivity to bright light, loud noises, and even tactile feelings such as an itchy sweater can be uncomfortable.

In this section, we will look at how the technology that you already have can be adapted to fit these needs.

One example would be helping students that get overwhelmed by bright lights. If you go into the settings of almost any desktop, laptop, or tablet, you'll be able to turn the brightness down. It only takes a few seconds and it can make a huge difference. Some students might also do better with a bigger screen or for computers to be bypassed with printed assignments when possible.

Students who are sensitive to sound might benefit from a pair of headphones or muted background music on educational games. Due to tactile sensitivities, headphones might not be an option. When it comes to tactile sensitivity, some students might do well with the flat surface of a tablet while others might do better with traditional keyboards.

Also, having a sensory-informed classroom is important, because sensory tools improve attention and participation, and can have big benefits for kids with learning and attention issues.

Once again, you’ll be able to learn more about what works for a student through working with them and taking advice and information from their parents about their sensitivities.

Social Skills on Tape

It was noted earlier that students with ASD struggle with social skills. This can cause them to act inappropriately when they don’t mean to. However, unlike most students, they might not understand another student’s reaction to their behaviour and learn from it.

What can be very useful, though, is to use videos for teaching social skills to students. This can be particularly useful to younger students as videos teaching manners can be useful to all students.

Typing Vs. Writing

We mentioned earlier that the topic of typing on a smooth tablet vs. physical keyboard might appeal to some students with autism more than others. However, there is an argument for utilizing typing vs. writing in the classroom.

It was noted that autism affects an individual’s development. Among these developmental steps that they might struggle with is fine motor skills. That means that when they have an idea in the classroom, it can be difficult to express it by writing it down on a worksheet.

Instead, consider introducing the use of computers or tablets into the classroom that will allow students to type up their ideas and answers even though they are struggling to write them down.

This is useful to all students as well. In the modern era, the likelihood that students will need typing skills is very high. So, teaching these skills in the classroom can be helpful to all your students. 

Want to receive cutting-edge insights from leading educators each week? Sign up to our Community Update and be part of the action!

Page 7 of 42

Get articles like this every week 

 

We promise to protect your personal information. Read our privacy policy.

  • "Inspiring every school by sharing the latest ideas and innovations"

  • USEFUL LINKS

    About  
    Contact
    Privacy
    Terms
    Press

  • OFFICE ADDRESS

    Watergate Building
    Crane Wharf
    New Crane Street
    Chester
    CH1 4JE
    United Kingdom

  • GET IN TOUCH

    [email protected]
    +44 (0)1244 312 720

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"