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3 Important Tips When Using Technology with Special Needs Children




By Kimberly Vogel 

It’s getting easier and easier to make adaptations using technology for our struggling learners. I recently found a new tool to help: Tech finder! You can put in what you are looking for and it gives suggestions for apps. There are also google chrome extensions that help with adaptations.


While technology is so great for engaging our children in learning, it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. Here are 3 tips to help you get the most from your technology use. 



1. The Internet is Not Safe

The rise of child predators using the internet is rising and will continue. It’s critical to have hard conversations with your child about safety. Many special needs children miss warning signs and don’t understand what information is ok to give out and what’s not. If your child falls into that category, err on the side of caution and block any communication. Also, pornography is rampant. Innocent searches such as misspelled words in the search bar can lead to dangerous sites. I’m a huge fan of only allowing devices (computers, iphones, ipads, ipods… anything with internet connection) in common areas.


2. Adaptations Can Be Overused

Modifications and adaptations are wonderful; however, there is a point where they become a crutch and overused when our child is ready to move on. When using new technology for adaptations, do so with a goal of phasing it out as the child is ready. For example, speech to text is a great resource. You could use it for anything they need help with at first. Then, setting up appropriate time frames for your child, you can move to not using it for simple answers that can be written, then phase it out for one paragraph essays, to only using it for brainstorming before writing. You will know when your child is ready to remove some of the modifications. This is also a great time to teach them to self-monitor and set their own goals of reducing modifications and the use of apps.


3. Kids Can Outsmart Us! 

Our children are not allowed to have electronics in their rooms, but we did get Amazon Echos for music and communication. They are all connected, and I can see what they ask Alexa. One day my daughter was doing her math using Alexa instead of her brain. Watch your kids! Even when there are rules and safety standards, they can go beyond them!


Some other helpful articles:
Using Apps in your homeschool
Techie Homeschool Mom
Understood – New apps

 

What apps do you use in your homeschool journey?


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