Contributed by Denise Sebra
Through the use of technology, teachers can scaffold, provide structure, and accommodate lessons for students with diverse learning needs. Technology makes both science and math more easily accessible to students, regardless of their learning needs.
An example of technology that can be used for both science and math is the "clicker" or student response system. This device is connected to a computer and LCD projector or an interactive white board. The teacher asks the whole class a question; there can be multiple choice answers in math or science and the students "click" the answer they think is correct. The data can be anonymous or tied to the individual user so the teacher can use this device as an on going assessment tool. And clickers are good for students with dysgraphia and help to keep all students focused on identifying the appropriate answer. (Hobgood, B. & Ormsby, L., 2011). Students with AD/HD may lack focus to listen to the teacher explain a new math concept or read a lengthy science chapter. Video streaming like Discovery Education Streaming offers digital techbooks that enhance items and formative assessments that are woven throughout the entire instructional cycle. For ELL students, closed-captioning videos enables these students to receive the same high cognitive level lesson content as mainstream students, as well as building their vocabulary through written and spoken speech. Students who have reading disabilities and ELLs can benefit from screen-reading software that highlights the words as they are being said. Teachers can create concept maps or have students design their own to assist them with keeping their notes organized as well as math processes, scientific steps in the lab as well as observations.
The technology is endless. The important thing for teachers to remember is to begin with the learning objective. The choice of technology should be the last item to consider when planning a lesson for diverse students. (Hobgood, B. & Ormsby, L., 2011). If chosen first, then the teacher is using technology for technology's sake; standards, learning goals, activities, and assessments, as per the norm, then integrate the technology to accommodate and expand the activity for the learner's needs.