Option 1: What are your experiences with assistive technology, and what are some of the challenges and limitations? What conclusions can you draw around the philosophical and theoretical understandings that underpin the technologies that you have used?
After recently completing my third year of teaching, my knowledge of assistive technology is continuously growing and evolving. Three years is a limited time, but every year I have had a student with exceptionalities who require assistive technology. Last year, I had a student who had visual impairments who required personalized technology. Throughout my educational training, I had never learned about assistive technology to assist the visually impaired. However, I always knew at some point throughout my career, I would have a student who would have an exceptionality who required assistance I was not familiar with. I had to call and email her prior teachers and utilize Google for ways to assist this student. Was it difficult? Absolutely, but it is rewarding when you can learn something new to assist your students.
As I discussed in our presentation today, there are many limitations when it comes to assistive technology. Some technology is expensive, but others are inexpensive (pencil grips, low-tech calculators, guiding reading strips). From my experience, there are so many new, innovative, and creative ways to incorporate wearable technology, as well as various forms of assistive technology. My issue has always been trying to figure out what I can use, how to use it, and how it can benefit my teaching and help facilitate learning. I do not think I will ever be an expert when it comes to assistive technology. There is always something new, and ground-breaking on a regular basis. I wish I was able stay up to date and know how to utilize specific up to date technology on a regular basis, but it is not a reality. Every year is a new year, with different challenges. It is our job to assist those who are in need of assistive technology based on their needs once they are in your class. Year after year, I feel as though I learn something new to assist those who require assistive technology for their education. It is one of the many reasons as to why I love this profession.