Assistive Technology for Students' Organizational Skills

Instructor: Amanda Wiesner-Groff

Amanda has created and taught English/ESL curricula worldwide, has an M.Ed, and is the current ESOL Coordinator for the Saint Louis Public School District.

If your students struggle with focus, time management, prioritization, and organization, assistive technology can help. This lesson describes what assistive technology is and how incorporating it into your classroom can help your students.

Where Is Your Work?

Imagine you give your student Ben an assignment, only to have him misplace it and need another. That's not so bad, until it comes time for the assignment to be turned in, and Ben's is nowhere to be found. He can't find it in his desk full of papers, his backpack full of papers, or his folders full of papers. It's like an avalanche of papers everywhere you turn, and you know an intervention is needed because this is not the first time this type of thing has happened.

Sound familiar? If so, let's take this a step further. Do you have students who have:

  • Desks overflowing with loose papers?
  • Disorganized backpacks?
  • Missing, late, or lost assignments?
  • Difficulty remembering steps/sequences in tasks?
  • Difficulty completing tasks, regardless of the time given?
  • Sloppy work?

If you answered yes to these questions, you have students who need assistive technology for self-monitoring and organizational skills. This lesson defines assistive technology and then describes different types that can be used in the classroom to increase student efficiency, productivity, and success.

Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is an item, program, or piece of equipment used to improve instruction as well as the functional capabilities of students. Assistive technology can be low-tech to high-tech, depending on the training, cost, and complexity involved. For self-monitoring and organizational skills, a majority of the assistive technology used is low-tech although a couple high-tech options are available.

  • Low-tech options - Do not require much training, inexpensive, not mechanically complex, most commonly used in the classroom
  • High-tech options - Require training, expensive, mechanically complex, typically used by or with the teacher

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