The Educator's PLN

The personal learning network for educators

Getting the same technology for students in specialized classrooms as the gen. ed. classrooms

Hello everyone! I have been in Special Education for more than 34 years.I am currently a retiree who has returned to the classroom and am teaching a high school Autism class. In all my time I have seen many things change, both as a teacher and as an administrator. But the one thing that hasn't changed is equal access to technology and other materials that are given to the general education classrooms. When it comes to deciding what to spend the budget on, we may start out with a "wishlist" but when it comes time to reduce that list, it is the special populations who have their requests cut first. Now we are required to follow the same standards as the general ed. students but at a different level. The students also have an alternative assessment which they must take and it covers the curriculum and so there is a lot of the same information that have to know. However, we are not  given the materials needed to instruct our students as the general ed. classes are. My students specifically would benefit from having iPads and using communication apps. The specialized classes however are the only classes who did not receive iPads when they were ordered and handed out.

I have been fighting these battles for more than thirty years. As an administrator, I knew what my special needs students needed but I didn't have the same type of grant money many schools have today. I was lucky to get textbooks for all students, including those with special needs, let alone anything beyond. But now, with the accountability and the push for 21 century skills, these students are still being left behind. Why? Because they only count for 1% of the school over all performance scores. I have always felt that despite the passing of time,  education will never be equitable and will always be exclusive to those who are able to learn quickly and easily while those who struggle to learn due to their background, home life or low intellect are present in the classroom or in the school but are not given much consideration. 

If I am wrong about this, please enlighten and educate me because as I have said, for 34+ years I have advocated and fought to get what my students need to access the curriculum and have made very little progress and have seen very little change.  I would like to know if there are others in the same battle and how you deal with it. 

Views: 204

Replies to This Discussion

In our district we have been fortunate to pass a tech referendum and this has provided equal technology to all the kids--especially in Special ed. We have a lot of kids who require assistive tech. I am not a Special ed teacher but doesn't PL 94-142 require equal distribution and least restrictive environment? That seem like something I would take to my union rep.

You are correct which makes this a even more sad situation. It can easily be said that the students with disabilities who are included in the general education classrooms do receive the same level of technology as their non-disabled peers. However, for those students, who are not able to be included because their disability is such that they need a different curriculum, are most often the ones who would benefit the most from the same level of technology as their non-disabled peers but are the ones who are cut out of the budget for that technology when those types of decisions have to be made. There is only so much money, who should get the technology? Fortunately, since posting this (2014) there has been great improvement. It took a lot of advocating, protesting, and pushing on our part but we were finally able to get what we needed for our students. But we shouldn't have had to go through all that. Our students are same age peers in the same grade level and should be included automatically whether they are in the general ed classroom or not. But it doesn't happen that way. I am no longer with that district however I am seeing that special education still takes a backseat or even a cellar level of recognition when it comes to providing for all students when the money is tight. Even with the Federal money set aside for special ed, it is difficult to get what is needed. 

RSS

About

Thomas Whitby created this Ning Network.

Latest Activity

David Maple posted a blog post

How to Сome Up With the Perfect Topic for Your Assignment

Modern technology and the expansion of communication shaped the education system today. Yet there’s a lot this system has to accomplish to meet the standards of modern society. But we can already see positive shifts in many processes of learning. For example, professors do not…See More
Thursday
Shane Wills posted a blog post

Enduser Support Technician

The Enduser Support Technician provides essential support to computer software development organizations, network systems vendors, software training companies and software and hardware manufacturers. The support technician forms the front line of assistance for customers encountering problems or defects with products and programs.End-user Support Technicians deliver help to system users by responding to client queries, solving technical problems and retaining an organizational network, software…See More
Mar 6
Shane Wills posted a blog post

Hire Freelance Desktop Support Engineer

Every business has to integrate technology and software into their business to some extent. That’s just part of running a modern business. Desktop support engineers make that possible by keeping systems up to date, implementing patches and fixes and dealing with technical problems as they arise. They also continually improve and streamline a company’scomputer network and approach to software.Find a Desktop Support…See More
Mar 5
Linda S. Davis commented on Emily Johnson's blog post Main Rules on Writing Historical Essays
"Thanks for the interesting article. I agree with you, students often do not know not only how to format, but also how to correctly write comparison and contrast essays and other papers, so they need help from those who understand this."
Mar 4
Linda S. Davis posted a blog post

How Easy to Write Comparison and Contrast? (Secrets of Professionals)

Is the student in elementary school or high school; he must know how to write a comparative and contrast essay. Below are some tips from writers of the company "500 WORD ESSAY", in which students can write these essays in an attractive way. These tips can be useful to a first-year student or a graduate student.We are committed to helping the student with writing different…See More
Mar 4
Linda S. Davis and Vanessa Herbert are now friends
Mar 4
Shane Wills posted a blog post

BICSI Installer

The Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI) Installer is accountable for advanced testing and fixing both copper and optical fiber installations. The installer must inspect and evaluate, through the different application of information and communication technology (ICT), cabling installation.It is BICSI installer who comes up with solutions centered on appropriate codes, criteria, along with standard practices for business. They support and are capable of leading an…See More
Mar 1
Emin Huseynov updated their profile
Feb 28

© 2019   Created by Thomas Whitby.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service