If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that technology and education can be synonymous. 

Synonymous and harmonious. 

Generation Alpha, or children born in or after 2010, are the most technologically savvy students to have ever existed.  These babies were basically born with a phone in their hands. 

For our neuro-diverse learners in particular, this expansion into a tech-forward world has the potential to benefit them by providing customized and interactive tools that can enhance their learning experience. 

Why shy away from the future when it can be an effective and efficient tool in this new mode of learning?

How has technology helped students with learning disabilities?

In short, technology is assistive, personal, and fun! Dependent upon the specific disability, platforms and programs can tailor delivery to meet the individual needs of each neuro-diverse learner. 

In its 2022 Study titled “Digital Technology and Increasing Engagement Among Students with Disabilities,” Science Direct concluded, “Research has shown us how profound the use of technology can be, and how important it is for parents, teachers, and administrators to seriously consider how to leverage this tool…it is also critical to understand the value that these new tools can have for creating new kinds of rituals for students who have traditionally been on the outskirts of many class and peer-based rituals. In short, considering how SWD (Students with Disabilities) engage with technology can provide novel ways of conceiving interaction rituals that can be facilitated with technology…Thus, new technologies have provided an innovative mechanism for considering who may participate in modern-day interaction rituals, and in what ways.” 

3 types of technology support students with learning disabilities.

Assistive: Assistive technology includes devices or software that can help children by providing support for reading, writing, and comprehension. 

For example, text-to-speech software can read text aloud, while speech-to-text software can transcribe spoken words into written text. 

This technology also includes specialized keyboards, switches, and other input devices that can make it easier for children with physical disabilities to access computers.

Personal: Technology can enable personalized learning experiences that are tailored to the individual needs of each child. For example, adaptive learning platforms can adjust the level of difficulty based on the child’s performance, while learning management systems can provide teachers with insights into each student’s progress and areas of strength and weakness. Teachers can then use data to drive their instruction, honing in on targeted areas to improve.

Fun: There are many educational apps and games available that can help children with learning disabilities to improve their academic skills. For example, apps like ABC Mouse offer a comprehensive digital platform for children ages 2-8, covering Math, Science, Art, and Social Studies.

For expanded Reading Comprehension and Math assistance, the subscription-based platform IXL provides a personalized learning experience that allows teachers to monitor and adjust lessons in real time. The colorful and engaging layouts hook learners, while allowing educators to make informed choices to support their students. 

The online platform We Are Teachers provides a list of 40 educational games that provide a fun and engaging way for children to practice their academic skills.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual Reality is the new frontier in education with new schools adopting an entirely immersive world for students to engage in. Imagine introducing Shakespeare’s Globe Theater while standing in the peanut gallery. Virtual and augmented reality technologies can provide children with immersive learning experiences that can help them better understand complex concepts. For example, virtual reality simulations can help children learn about historical events or scientific concepts by allowing them to explore and interact with virtual environments. Think: life on Mars—ON Mars!

Overall, technology has the potential to greatly benefit children with learning disabilities by providing them with customized and interactive tools that can enhance their learning experience. However, it’s important to note that technology should be used in conjunction with other forms of support, such as teacher instruction and one-on-one support, to ensure the best possible outcomes for children with learning disabilities. 

Combining the personalized touch of the teacher, and the effective tools of technology, can help a child with a learning disability become a better engaged and successful student. 

Find out how the Broach School skillfully combines teacher instruction with interactive tech tools for maximum learning outcomes. Click here to explore enrollment options.