ICT for Children with Special Educational Needs
Currently, society is promoting an increasingly inclusive model for schools. This model aims to accommodate all students, regardless of their characteristics. In that sense, one way to achieve this goal is by using ICT for children with special educational needs.
This way, these students can easily access the learning that the educational curriculum establishes, so that they receive equitable treatment that guarantees equal opportunities.
ICT for children with special educational needs
ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) play a very important role in tending to the diverse needs of students. In that sense, these technological tools facilitate:
- Communication and language
- Pedagogical re-education
- School and social inclusion
Thanks to these tools, children with special educational needs can compensate for limitations, as well as overcome or reduce the difficulties and problems that exist in the educational environment due to their personal characteristics.
Therefore, we can say that the use of ICT is an excellent support measure for these students. In fact, according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), we can consider them support products:
“Any product (including devices, equipment, instruments, technology, and software), specially manufactured, or commercially available, to prevent, compensate, control, mitigate, or neutralize impairments, activity limitations, or participation restrictions.”
– ICF –
Some of these support products are:
- Adapted keyboards
- Adapted mouses
- Interactive digital whiteboards
- Braille text transcribers
- Sign language translators
- Virtual reality glasses
- Augmented reality glasses
- Computers and tablets with specific programs and applications to support diversity
- Web pages and accessible social networks
Benefits of using ICT for tending to diversity
According to Doctor in Research and Innovation Methods, Rafael Sánchez Montoya:
“New technologies favor and stimulate students to develop their most effective intelligences at even higher levels. And draw cognitive bridges between them and those that make it difficult to achieve certain skills and abilities.”
– Rafael Sánchez Montoya –
In addition, there are many other benefits related to the use of ICTs for addressing diversity. We can say that they:
- Facilitate access to a standardized educational curriculum
- Allow individualized and personalized teaching, since they adapt to the special educational needs of each child
- Increase student motivation by being attractive, interactive, and easy-to-use tools
- Bring entertainment and fun to the teaching-learning process
- Promote students’ self-esteem, due to the fact that they acquire skills in the handling of the device and content
- Facilitate the accessibility of knowledge
- Promote digital literacy
- Help to overcome limitations derived from cognitive, motor, sensory or other learning difficulties
- Improve and enable communication, language and cognitive development
Training teachers to use ICT for children with special education needs
To include ICT in the classroom, teachers must have specialized training in this regard. On the one hand, they must have sufficient knowledge to adapt their classroom methodology so that it allows autonomous, meaningful and cooperative learning. Therefore, at the same time, they must be flexible in planning and organizing class times.
Likewise, they must show an active interest in getting to know existing digital resources, making sure they use technologies that favor:
In addition, they must be clear that the computer tools serve to facilitate inclusion in the teaching-learning process. Therefore, they need to tend to the individual capacities of their students, focusing on the demands and needs of each one.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Cabero, J., Córdoba, M. y Fernández, J. M. (2010). Las TIC para la igualdad. Educatio Siglo XXI, 28(1), 353-356.
- Sánchez-Montoya, R. (2002). El papel de las Nuevas Tecnologías en la Estimulación de las Inteligencias de las personas con NEE. Recuperado de: https://www.uab.cat/Document/221/482/PapelNuevasTecnologias,2.pdf
- Torres, J.A. (2000). El papel de las nuevas tecnologías en el proceso de atención a la diversidad en las aulas: niveles de utilización de la tecnología informática en el asesoramiento externo. En J. Cabero y otros: Las nuevas tecnologías para la mejora educativa. Sevilla: Kronos.