What I Have Learned So Far

I have learned a lot through my research on the technology used in special education classrooms for those with Down syndrome. I have found sources from the UGA Galileo Library, links from twitter, and from other professionals from participating in a Twitter chat. One of my sources includes a study from the Galileo library that focuses on input technologies for those that have Down syndrome (DS). I came across this study by typing ‘technology for Down syndrome students.’ The research on the subject is limited, because of the continuing advancement of technology into the classrooms, but the results have been conclusive. In this particular study, the researchers gave DS children and adults transcription and composition task through 3 input technologies: word prediction, speech recognition, and keyboard and mouse. The results showed that the best technology depended on the ability of the child. The most preferred was speech recognition, next was word recognition, and last was keyboard and mouse. What I have learned from this study is that every person with DS is at a different stage in their lives and some have had more technology experiences then others. Therefore, the choice of input technology differs for each child and teachers and parents have to be aware of that. I believe that if we allow more typing classes and computer usage at school, DS students will be able to use more advanced technologies to input information more efficiently.  This will result into learning techniques that will help DS students in the future find better jobs and be more independent. I participated in the #edtechchat Twitter chat, where we talked about how Creation Content with IPad usage. Although this chat’s topic was not specifically focused on special education, I was able to learn a lot about the benefits of IPads in the classroom and find some apps that could be beneficial to DS students as well. Apps such as educreations, Puppet Pals, Explain Everything, and TinyTap are great tools to help DS students be creative and grow their cognitive skills. This twitter chat was very enlightening and gave me many perspectives and resources that focus on the importance of creation content in the classroom. One question in particular was, “What are some good iPad apps for student content creation?”  Because I do not have a classroom of students, I was able to sit back and observe the apps everyone suggest in the chat.  I believe that it will help me answer my question by informing me about the different apps out there to encourage meaningful, creative learning. Below is the link to the #edtechchat archive and has the whole conversation that was held last Monday. Although there is a lot, you can easily type in a keyword in order to find that specific concept through the document. You can also type Q1, Q2, Q3…etc in Find to locate the questions the moderators asked. I would highly suggest participating in a Twitter chat to everyone because it’s such a great way to build on to your knowledge and hear different opinions. http://edtechchat.wikispaces.com/file/view/2015-05-18%20edtechchat%20archive%20-%20Sheet10.pdf/551456028/2015-05-18%20edtechchat%20archive%20-%20Sheet10.pdf This process is teaching me so much and is encouraging me to keep on researching and find more answers and ideas.  This project is near and dear to my heart and I’m so thankful for all the resources that are available to me and those that others, such as my classmates and Twitter handles, have shared with me.

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