When a growing diverse population in many

When it comes to learning in school, students have
diverse physical and mental abilities as well as different diverse cultural
backgrounds. It is also possible that a student in the class may have a
learning disability. It could be very difficult for a teacher who must meet the
needs of students who have different backgrounds and/or academic skill levels.
Along with a growing diverse population in many classrooms, teachers must be
prepared to accommodate any differences in individuals learning ability and tailor
these accommodations to the students’ strengths and knowledge(Wahl). This issue
is prevalent in many classrooms around the world, however there are tools that
could help teachers meet these needs. One of these tools is technology.
Learning technology is a way to increase the quality of education that these
diverse students are given. It is capable of personalizing learning for the students
which in turn could help the student’s ability to learn (Arizona K12 Center).
There are different types of technology that teachers can use. It is the
teacher’s job to assess and evaluate the situation as well as purposefully
integrate the technology as needed in the classroom. Regarding technology and
its effect on students, the primary focus of this paper is to show the
beneficial effects that technology can have on students with learning
disabilities.

As stated above, technology can help
students in a variety of ways. For students with learning disabilities,
technology seems to have an immense impact in the way that they learn. It can
enable students to demonstrate their understanding of the subject. This is very
important as it is necessary to evaluate the standing of the student when it
comes to learning. Technology can also help provide a way for students to
communicate. Communication between a student and his/her teacher is essential
as it provides a positive and stimulating environment where the teacher and the
student can learn, grow, and mature together. Furthermore, technology can help
students with specific learning disabilities. It can help diminish the barrier
for learning as well as help provide a more inclusive setting for the student
to learn. Technology also can inspire students. It not only inspires them to
learn with the class, but it inspires and gives the student opportunities to
learn by themselves. As a result, it is important for the teacher to know the
appropriate technology to incorporate in their classroom setting, as this may
be the key for the student’s ability to learn.

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Learning
styles can vary greatly from student to student. It should be the instructor’s
objective to sit back and think on how they can reach and impact the student’s
learning. Integration of technology can help educators design resources in
multiple formats and allow students to use their strengths to demonstrate what
they have learned (Creegan). This is achievable by using the principles for
universal design and implementing those principles in the use of their
technology in the classroom.

There
are many different types of technology that can help achieve what the teacher’s
desired plan for the technology is. One technological category is augmentative
communication. It is reported that students with learning disabilities make up
about 42 % of all students with disabilities in a general education environment
(Kaczorowski). Characteristics of students with learning disabilities include
difficulties with memory, information processing, attention, and metacognitive
strategy (National Association of Special Education Teachers, 2007). This is
where augmentative and alternative communication technology can help a teacher
accommodate these specific needs.

Augmentative
communication is used to help supplement or replace speech or writing for
students with impairments in the comprehension of language, both spoken and
written (Turnbull). One piece of technology that encompasses this result is a
simple version of a pencil and paper for a person who cannot speak. There are
also word processing software’s that can produce text and synthesized speech
through a variety of input options. Another form of this type of technology is
text to speech software which allows a student the ability to hear what they
wrote. This may seem like a piece of technology that is not essential and may
be pointless. However, for students with learning disabilities, this may be one
significant way that they can learn. This piece of technology can be very low
cost and in many cases free. It can assist in helping those who are deal with difficulties
in reading comprehension and in the case of students with speech impediments,
it can help them communicate. For example, it can be used to relay what a
student has typed or can just help in enhancing the student’s ability to read a
desired sentence. This is done by altering the size and color of the words or
simply adding more space between lines.

Another
piece of technology that can help students with learning disabilities is a
hearing aid or a voice amplifier. This can be used to help students who have a
hearing impairment or who simply can’t focus on an intended task in an
educational setting. The most commonly used hearing aid is an FM listening
system. This system allows a teacher to wear a microphone into which he/she can
speak into, then is relayed into the student’s hearing aid. This may seem like
a waste of money and use, however is very beneficial to the students who need
it. It can make all difference in the student’s belief that he/she is included
and valued. It can also encourage assistance for self-learning and help
students feel less isolated as it is like someone is in their ear talking to
them. This can be used to keep students on task and help a teacher achieve the
diverse students’ needs in the classroom.

            One more tool that has the same
effect as technology but can be very low cost is a graphic organizer. These
organizers can be effective in helping students organize their thoughts as well
as process information given to them by the teacher. As an assistive
technology, graphic organizers can be a strong choice for students with
dysgraphia or disorders of written expressions — particularly the conceptual
aspects of writing (Neese). The way this works is that it helps a student map
out a course of action and it can prompt a writer to describe an object or
perform a task. These organizers don’t need to be advanced as they may be given
out in the form of a handout. This allows students with learning disabilities
the chance to focus on a specific action therefore increasing the student’s
production in the class. Low tech and low-cost products like this can make all
the difference for teachers trying to maximize student’s efforts and acquired
knowledge in all types of classes.

            In conclusion, technology can be a
useful resource that can help students overcome learning challenges in an
educational setting. More specifically, students with learning disabilities
will be able to benefit from these devices as it can ease anger, increase
motivation, or simply improve productivity. It is also a way to help students
from diverse cultural backgrounds and accommodate any differences in the individuals
learning ability. Technology can personalize learning and improving the quality
of education that is given. As a result, it is the teacher’s job to assess and
evaluate the situation as well as purposefully integrate the technology as
needed in the classroom. If used in an appropriate manner, the teacher has an
opportunity to not only inspire his/her students, but to also diminish the
barrier for learning as well as help provide a more inclusive setting for the
student to learn.