In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which “requires federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology public content accessible to people with disabilities.” This was enacted to eliminate obstacles to obtain information and to make new possibilities for the disabled. Web Accessibility enables those with disabilities to access, navigate, understand and obtain information via the web. The also have the ability to contribute to the web. Millions of people with disabilities have difficulties in accessing the web, so this was designed to help them. I was never aware of this until now. It makes sense when you read about it; there are so many ways in which a person can be limited on web access. It is important that we see to this because if we want to live in an equal place, this is where it needs to start because the web is such a huge part of our lives today. This particularly interests me because I want to work with handicap students in the future and they need to know their rights. If they don’t know them, it is my job to inform them so they can benefit from all their resources.
WetWoo is an app that is divided into 3 age appropriate groups. It takes videos directly from YouTube that are all children friendly and appropriate for the selected ages. The ages range from 3- 5, 6-8 and 9+. This app can help teachers to use fun videos found online for educational purposes and quick navigation that is sure to be age appropriate. It can sometimes be overwhelming and difficult to find just the right video for a demonstration in class, so this app can help the search to be a lot easier. It provides a wide variety of age ranges so many teachers can find this useful. It also has videos that provide information about animals, places, people and music. It is easy to use for both the teachers and the students. It is a safe environment, so the students could even navigate their own way through the app. The videos are handpicked for entertainment and educational purposes. This app sounds like a great app to have handy especially if the classroom is equipped with an Ipad(s). The students can learn how to use the app on their own which will enable them to experience and master technology on their own!
I think that iBook is a really great app. Reading is critical in today’s society and you can never read too much or start to early. The more exposed our kids are, the better and more confident they will become. I know that I need to practice my reading comprehension and wish there were things like this around when I was learning to read. It is a great way to get kids to love to read early on. If they enjoy it right from the beginning, they will be better off! The iBook app has tons of best-selling, classic books that are available day or night to download. All teachers and parents should encourage their kids to read no matter what level they are at!
BrainPop is also another app that I think is fantastic! It is short animated movies available in a variety of topics. The students can learn about things from dinosaurs and aliens to natural disasters and the U.S. constitution. Again, I feel that everything in today’s society revolves around exposing our kids earlier to the real world and core academic subjects. Movies can help them better understand the lessons and get a firmer grasp on concepts.
Being a Special Education major, I take a particular interest to apps that are visually appealing, simple and engaging. This week, my two favorite apps are Shape-O! ABC’s and Spot the Dot. This YouTube video provides basic instructions on how to operate and play Shape-O. I find a great liking to this app because it is simple to navigate through, has the option to change the color of the screen (and colors always appeal to kids) and also, the word is written out under the puzzle of the picture. Having the word underneath the picture they are working on will help children begin to associate the picture with the word. Spot the Dot by David A. Carter, focuses on colors and fine motor skills.
The two Apps that really caught my eye were for two different age groups, myhomework and Tallytots. The myhomework App is great for students that are tech-savy and prefer for everything to be saved onto a device. Some students do not carry planners anymore and for those that don’t, this can be the perfect way to keep up to date with all their homework, tests, quizzes, project etc… It also has a feature that can link to the teacher in which he/she can send the syllabus and other important documents through the App.
The other great App that I noticed was the Talltots. Though that App is for younger kids, I still think it is a great, fun way for children to be doing education outside of the classroom. So many parents let their children play on their phones and by having that App on their can provide them with entertainment through the colors, shapes and sizes meanwhile practicing number recognition.
The assistive technologies corner provides some creative ways to use technology in the classroom that will also cater to those with special needs. For example, students with limited hand mobility have several options including a keygaurd, screen displayed keyboard, touch screen and intellikeys. All these provide ways in which students that have difficulty using a regular keyboard can still participate when using computers to complete assignments. There are also other options of input devices, head mounted pointer and switches, just to name a few. Now that technology has become increasingly popular in school and education, we have to take into consideration those who may not be able to complete all tasks done with technology. But because technology is advancing so far, they are accommodating now more than ever, those who need it. Assistive Technologies Corner also provides information on current hardware, software, and peripherals that will assist in delivering instruction to students with physical, cognitive, or sensory challenges. I would incorporate these other ways into lessons so not only the special needs students will benefit, but also it will teach the entire class something new. It will help not to single out certain students and in the end we can all benefit from learning new methods.