Four iPad Assistive Technologies For Increasing Learner’s Independence
Apple iPad comes with built-in accessibility apps related to vision, hearing, mobility, and learning disabilities. Ranti et al. (2013) claim that “the rapid rise of e-reading makes it crucial to become familiar with the complex e-text accessibility landscape in order to support disabled patrons” (p. 23). The first example is the Safari Reader program which helps reduce the chances of sensory overload for a student by removing possible distractions. It also allows the student to modify the reading space in a way that would work best for them – set the needed screen contrast or invert the colors on the screen. Secondly, there is the Dragon app that transcribes the words of verbal speech for a hearing-impaired student to easily read on their iPad.
For visually impaired students, the BrailleTouch program would be helpful as it uses a specific set of six-key Braille keyboards for typing out the text. Finally, there is another quite useful technology for the hearing impaired or colorblind students – the Color Identifier app, which lets the user distinguish the colors of their environment by pointing the device’s camera at them.
In my opinion, Dragon and BrailleTouch would provide the best assistance in the classroom. Dragon app can be used by students with hearing disabilities to record the teacher’s speech and take notes during a class without losing any valuable information. BrailleTouch, on the other hand, would help the visually impaired students type out the assignments and exercises they need to accomplish in the class.
Implementation of a Flipped Classroom and Its Impact on Students with Disabilities. A Real-World Application for Video-Based Instruction
A flipped classroom can be very effective for students with disabilities if implemented correctly. The student would benefit from this method because it allows them to work in their own tempo and with the tools that are most comfortable for them. In a flipped classroom, a disabled student would no longer feel the pressure of needing to be on par with their classmates who are used to traditional learning methods. Schaffhauser (2013) gives a good example: “if a student with autism needs to work on social skills, a flipped model allows the teacher to focus on those skills by setting up activities that are team-oriented and collaborative” (p. 35). The teacher constructs their lectures and practice in such a way that each student in the class gets an assignment according to their abilities and needs.
A real-world application of skills and knowledge a student learns from video instruction is an essential part of flipped classroom methods. During the class, the students learn how to use the information they gained from video lectures practically, and the teacher guides them through this process. The video format allows the teacher to preserve a personal approach to each student as if the new material is being taught just for them and not for the whole class. With this approach, all lesson time is devoted to practical exercises: seminars, laboratory and test works, colloquia, and discussions.
Booth, C., Mates, B. T., Guder, C. S., Ranti, J. S. G., Riley-Huff, D. A., Tatomir, J., & Tatomir, J. (2012). E-books and E-readers for Users with Print Disabilities. In Making libraries accessible: Adaptive design and assistive technology (pp. 22–28). essay, ALA TechSource.
Schaffhauser, D. (2013). Assistive tech goes mainstream. T.H.E. Journal, 40(5), 31–36.