Unmasking Student Strengths

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Technology in the Schools

Let's start a new topic that I'd like you to 'weigh in' on. Please let me know what county or state you're writing from as I'd like to know where we stand in Howard County in terms of use of technology or really 'technology integration' in our system. While there is a lot of technology, i.e., computers available and many schools have a 'tech ed' class that they offer to students, I'm concerned that professional development for all teachers is not as comprehensive and on-going as it could be in this area.
Technology can be a real 'break through' for a child with a learning disability. Programs such as SOLO, co-writer (from Don Johnston) or inspiration can truly help a child with a writing or executive function impairment overcome their blocks and get their ideas on paper in very independent ways. While there are other uses of technology such as those presented by Dr. Talaiver (game design) and Dr. Staudt (science and math instruction), we're not seeing even the simplest ideas such as on-line homework so the child doesn't lose the paper, come to fruition.
Our world is a technological place, and our kids have such strengths in these areas. What can we be doing to help our teachers use the technologies in their instruction? I'd love to hear about examples from teachers who are truly integrating helpful technologies into their curricula, rather than have technology learning be a separate course that doesn't link kids in to its use.
What are the barriers?



Talia said...

Used in the UK, SAM Learning is a web-based learning program for High School Exit Exam prep that is student-driven and uses scaffolded pedagogy to move students up the learning ladder to success. The program focuses on math and science. All students show gains when using SAM Learning but those with the greatest achievement gap - Title I and ELL - see the greatest gains

Here is the complete article:

"The way we teach kids is in a structured environment, and kids aren't used to a structured environment,” he said. “We have to adapt our style of teaching to do that, and technology is one way. If we’re open and willing to keep the foundation things, but to integrate them another way, the way kids think now, we can reach a lot of kids.”
To become a pilot school in the program (in the U.S.) please contact Phil Hull at

Talia said...

According to LD and dyslexic family members, I have found that the best program they have ever used to learn math was used at Howard Community College (HCC at HCC uses computers to both assess and teach math in the classroom.

Howard Comunity College is one of the top community colleges in Maryland. Their methods have been effective for many years and could easily be integrated into highschools.

"Accuplacer" places students at the appropriate level of math using a computer program Higher Ed Services

"ModuMath" is self-paced computer math program that students can use both in and outside of the classroom. This allows for the least amount of pressure on the student.

for a FREE ModuMath DEMO CD got to

"The Wisconsin Institute of Technology's ModuMath program, which is used in the lab, is supplemented by the Introductory Algebra textbook with computerized practice published by Hawkes Learning." for more information.

Hawkes Learning texbooks