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Assistive Technology: Evaluation - Assignment Example

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Evaluation of Assistive Technology Name University Evaluation of Assistive Technology Beard, Carpenter, and Johnston (2011) effectively state that, “Assistive technology, like education, should not be approached with a ‘one size fits all’ mentality’” (p…
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Assistive Technology: Evaluation
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Assistive Technology: Evaluation

There are dangers in considering assistive technology as a one size fits all solution for students. As educational psychology continues to develop and new theories emerge, it becomes clear that there is still much to learn. Multiple learning styles have emerged that depict the way that students learn in various ways, which leads to the necessity of implementing various teaching methodologies into the special needs classroom. Assistive technology devices should not be viewed any differently. The uses vary depending on the needs of specific students and must be viewed with individual education plans in mind. If this means that the devices must be tailored made for each student, then that is what needs to occur. The bottom line is that such devices do not work the same for each and every student in a classroom environment, so careful consideration must be placed on this fact alone. When evaluating assistive technology, one must consider it from a different perspective than just another device. Such technology is viewed as a way towards including special needs students into a mainstream classroom. This goal remains, but it is certainly not the only use of such devices. It has been noted that many teachers and parents of special needs students make a mistake by trying to tie a piece of technology to a particular child. This can prove disastrous because the needs of the child were not first considered. Just as a teacher cannot expect all children to adapt to their particular teaching style, educators in the field of special technology cannot expect a piece of assistive technology to work for every special needs student in their classroom. Instead, a proper referral and assessment program must be implemented that matches a specific special needs student to a specific piece of assistive technology equipment. This will help ensure that the equipment benefits the student in the most optimal way. In essence, then, students need to be looked at individually in the context of the available technology in an effort to best determine what will benefit them. In order to assure that this takes place, a proper Individual Education Plan Team should be assigned that serves to best assess the needs of the child, and then matches that to a specific piece of equipment (Beard, Carpenter, & Johnston, 2011). In so doing, there is a rather set and commonly accepted process that should take place. The Individual Education Program team should begin by conducting a thorough assessment of the student. This involves looking at specific definitions of the evident strengths and weaknesses of the student in question. This also includes describing those strengths and weaknesses in a context that either supports or denies the use of assistive technology devices. Within this assessment, the IEP team should begin to look at the specific cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills of the student in question. Should it be determined that a particular assistive technology device would benefit the student, then this information will prove be invaluable during the assessment process. Such information, for example, can help the IEP determine exactly which device would be useful, under what circumstances, and why this can then lead professionals to determine how each device would be best suited for the student and then begin to design a plan for its implementation. It has also been ... Read More
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