Technology. IEPs and iPads

February 17, 2014 § 2 Comments

I think this a bigger topic than I can handle in one post but I’m going to give a piece of it a shot.

The use of technology for kids with needs is under utilized. I think there are still too many teachers who are not tech savvy enough and whom are intimidated by students having technology in the classroom.

I believe I was the first parent ever in my daughters school to request a Technology Evaluation. Arianna’s hands just don’t work well and her visual motor skills are lacking. She was making mistakes because it is so hard for her to think about concepts and write at the same time because she is still having to think about letter formation, sizing and spacing. Ultimately she was approved for the use of some software and I was promised she would have an iPad dedicated to her but it would not go back and forth from the school to home.

As the year passed we found out it was an iPad passed around between students and it was not always available to Ari. So we bought her one to go back and forth. Ultimately it goes unused at school. It frustrates me to no end!! It is partly due to inexperience by her sped teacher who ultimately doesn’t know what to do with it.

It kills me when teachers say things like “well, she’s not always going to have an iPad with her” or “she must learn to keyboard first!” My response is “WHAT!?!?” If it was up to me I would have iPhone surgically implanted into my arm! I actually don’t know any adults without some sort if smart phone. To say that she won’t always have technology with her is absurd. And, have you ever seen anyone use an iPad keyboard without doing hunt and peck? I write every post for this blog in my bed, on my phone using my two thumbs and that’s it. Why are there so many teachers who deny our kids the fluency technology can provide?

I do think that many schools are becoming better with this in older grades, middle school and high school levels. I hear some local schools have made iPads mandatory. Why is it our younger kids are not afforded the same privilege if they need it? Why is it a battle? Technology based communication, writing and education will be such a huge part of their lives as they grow up – shouldn’t we start early? I’m not throwing the baby out with the bath water here – learning to write with paper and pencil is totally still very important but it is slowly falling further down the list.

In the mean time if it’s on a kids IEP to be using technology in the classroom please do so – it’s a key to success for many students with needs.

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§ 2 Responses to Technology. IEPs and iPads

  • Susan says:

    Hi Michelle, I totally agree that tech is under used and misunderstood. For the record, Drew has a school issued ipad to use and it goes back and forth to home and school. However, it is rarely used at school. It is used mostly for the assignment planner. Drew uses it at home to do long comp open responses but that is because we taught him how. The school has no idea how to use the ipad.

  • olivedavis says:

    You are both right. I think it is the answer for some kids especially if they cannot physically perform tasks that require holding objects such as pencil/pens etc. I hope that more kids get to use technological equipment and supports in the future and I hope whoever is working with them is educated on how to use them for the child’s benefit.

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