Preparing Special Education Learners as Future Workforce using Technology

Preparing Special Education Learners as Future Workforce using Technology

From special education to vocation is the pathway that most SEN students gravitate towards, and there is plenty of growth today in the field of technology to assist.

Careers in the technology field today can set the students up for future success. The prospects for SEN students lie in using STEM lessons to introduce them to advance technologies.

Giving students 21st century vocational skills is essential to help SEN students compete for jobs in today's world. Using STEM education in SEN classrooms is the key to a successful future for special-needs learners. Preparing students with basics in coding and programming, technologies like metaverse or working with things like the 3D printers are some of the possibilities. Today, SEN students can learn robotics, coding, computer-aided design, and more if they are exposed to artificial intelligence and machine learning. They can learn different types of hydroponics systems to grow foods, design a website, or enjoy videography. Some could be very skilled in editing production, while others can work with different advanced technology equipment.

The key to helping SEN students learn is igniting their passion and finding their niche. An Autistic child who can hardly speak a few words can explain a device he is using in a STEAM fair if it is something he loves. Working with technology allows the SEN students to come out of their shells. Once the students' confidence is built, they are at the forefront of their learning. When they love doing something, they love talking about it too. As educators, we must utilize the student's natural skills and passion for training them. Without giving students access to learning opportunities and equipment, we would never realize what kind of skills they have.

Introducing advanced tech in our classrooms also is the answer to teaching independence to our students. Working with STEM devices and programs also helps special education students with their schoolwork. When we introduce independence through learning, primarily through technology, students take the initiative to learn to do it on their own. It gives them the responsibility of their work and builds their confidence that ripples out to other areas of learning. Educators can capitalize on the newfound motivation to break learning barriers and bring out the best in their students. If a student can learn to code a 3D printer overnight, that student certainly can learn Math. Also, using STEM devices for SEN students gets them excited about learning, shows them and everyone else what they are capable of, and sets them up for future technology careers.

EdTech is giving students increased access to learning, and it is also making education more equitable. Technology is increasingly helping educators provide students with special needs the same access to STEM learning opportunities as their peers. Differentiating instruction with short video clips, devices, learning apps, and tools like drones or robots can help keep all students engaged on more even playing fields. Additionally, the increase in technology has broken down geographical barriers that formerly determined how students could learn. From virtual field trips to specialized classes, ed-tech is taking students worldwide. It has improved the ability of the students to access instructional content anytime, anywhere. Nothing is impossible to teach or to learn anymore. If you are thinking about including technology in your special-ed classroom, be ready to see results you have never expected.