The benefits of modern technology reach far and wide, and this includes educational benefits for students both in and out of the classroom. From tech tools to apps, assistive technology can help students with learning disabilities — and students with all learning styles — learn more effectively.
Beth Becher, a teacher at Westfield Washington Schools who deals with assistive technology, offers some suggestions for apps and websites that can help every type of learner.
Tools for Hearing Assistance
Tools for hearing text read aloud include:
Snap&Read: Students can use Snap&Read to listen out loud to text on a website or digital handout.
Bookshare.org: This is a tool with access to over 10,000 digital books, which students can listen to online.
Overdrive: Students with access to a library card can listen to audiobooks on Overdrive, using the Hoopla or Libby Apps.
Tools for Writing Assistance
For help with completing written assignments, there are several options:
Co:Writer: This is a word prediction and speech to text tool.
Kami: This tool allows students to annotate (type or draw) on top of worksheets.
Snap Type: For tablet users, this app will allow you to take a picture of a worksheet, and draw or type on top of it.
Google Docs: Google’s word processing tool has a built-in voice typing feature.
Tools for Math and Science
Khan Academy and AskRose are websites that students can visit for math assistance. EquatIO is a tool that allows you to speak, type or write equations and formulas. It is helpful for students who may have difficulty writing with pencil and paper.
Help for All Learners
Becher says that these tools are options for all learners, from students with different learning styles to students who want to take ownership of their learning.
“These tools not only provide access to grade-level content, but they allow students to learn independently and gain confidence, which is especially crucial for our students with learning disabilities,” Becher says. “In the past, students with learning disabilities have had to have an adult read to them or scribe for them, but now they can do this on their own and stay in the classroom like their peers.”
Just like every person is different, we all learn differently. There are many apps, programs and websites to help children with disabilities thrive both in and out of the classroom. Be sure to check with your school for more resources that may be a good fit for your child.