Assistive Technology in the Classroom: Types & Uses

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  • 0:03 Assistive Technology
  • 1:24 Low-Tech
  • 3:33 High-Tech
  • 4:58 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Harkema

Becca teaches special education and is completing her doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

Students with disabilities benefit from using assistive technology. In this lesson, you will learn why assistive technology is used and the different types of assistive technology that are available.

Assistive Technology

When you think of assistive technology, do you think about complex computer programs or expensive equipment? Although some types of assistive technology can be complex and costly, there are many kinds of assistive technology that are simple and cost-effective. In fact, you may not even realize that you own at least one or two pieces of assistive technology!

Assistive technology (AT) is defined as any device, program, or piece of equipment that helps a student learn, function, or communicate better. In this lesson, we will learn how AT can support different types of learners and some of the common devices that are used in schools.

You will probably be surprised that you use AT more often than you think. Actually, you may be using it right now!

Students with disabilities often use AT, as it can help them overcome areas of weakness by using their strengths. Even though AT does not eliminate a student's disability, it can help a student perform to his or her potential.

AT can help support students in many different areas. In academics, AT can support students in the areas of reading, writing, and math. AT can also support students' organizational, memory, and listening skills. AT can help students communicate better, participate in social activities in school, and access content that would have been inaccessible to them otherwise.

AT can be organized into two categories: high-tech and low-tech. High-tech AT devices are usually more complex and more expensive than low-tech items. Let's take a look at some of the low-tech AT first. Be on the look out for items that you may own!

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