We recently polled SmartBrief on EdTech readers about the ways in which schools and districts are using technology to improve education for students with disabilities. About 70% of respondents reported that in their school or district, devices such as iPads and other tablet computers are most helpful for making learning more accessible to students with disabilities, and approximately 27% said specialized software is most helpful.
A small number — just under 10% — of respondents said videoconferencing or other technology is used in their school or district to access specialized services such as speech therapy, while nearly 61% of respondents said technology is not used in this way in their school or district.
For teaching students with social challenges, nearly 68% of respondents said they believe online learning can be an effective tool when combined with other in-person instruction, while slightly more than 9% said they believe more research is needed about its effectiveness.
Here is a breakdown of the results:
What types of technology are most helpful for educators in your school or district to make learning more accessible for students with disabilities?
- Devices such as iPads or other tablet computers — 70.45%
- Specialized software for computers or laptops — 27.27%
- Other assistive devices such as classroom clickers — 2.27%
How often is technology — such as videoconferencing — used in your school or district to access specialized services — such as speech therapy — for students with disabilities?
- Never — 60.66%
- Seldom — 24.59%
- On a daily basis — 9.84%
- On a weekly basis — 4.92%
Do you believe online learning can be an effective tool for teaching students with social challenges?
- Yes, it can be a good tool in combination with other in-person instruction — 67.68%
- Yes, online learning is a good choice for many students with social challenges — 19.19%
- No, more research is needed on the effectiveness of online learning for students with social challenges — 9.09%
- No, online learning is not an effective instructional approach for students with social challenges — 4.04%
How is technology being used in special education in your school or district?
Katharine Haber is an education editor for SmartBrief, writing and editing content about a variety of topics in education.