This semester I learned so much about creativity, meaningful learning, and how much technology can make a difference in the lives of students, especially Down syndrome students. I’m so thankful for this project and the many learning opportunities it provided for me, such as, using Twitter as a resource, being able to share ideas with classmates, and being able to collaborate and view different perspectives from people across the world in Twitter chats.
Through my Genius Hour Project I was able to discover the different apps and technologies that are available to students who have Down syndrome. Some of the most essential technologies included Injini, Puppet Pals, Speak It, and Smart Steps. These apps seem to be the most beneficial to those in the Down syndrome community by helping them with their fine motor skills, cognitive delays, problem solving, and critical thinking. I believe that it is important that everyone knows about these apps so that they can pass them on to teachers, friends, or families who have the pleasure of knowing a DS child or adult. Using these apps in a classroom setting will advance the learning of DS students and contribute to their everyday lives. It will lead to DS students being able have more autonomy and confidence in their skills. Just imagine how beautiful the impact would be!
Although I have learned a lot through this process, I know that there is so much more for me to learn. There has not been much research in the impact technology has on DS children and adults, but I’m hoping that changes in the near future. I would encourage students to ask more biological and psychological questions about how the mind of a DS person works. By understanding from this perspective, scientist can have a better understand of how those with DS learn. I would also suggest determining whether those in the DS community prefer the use of advanced technology or if it they prefer the more subtle technologies.
EDIT 2000 might be coming to an end, but my desire to learn more about those with DS will not. Even though I’m not exactly going into the education field, I hope that I will able to impact the life of one DS students in some way, whether it is suggesting an app, encouraging him or her to be the best they can be, or just letting them know that they are not alone in this journey and that their voice matters just as much as anyone else’s.