Did you know that three million children in the United States have a disability? When we talk about accessibility in education, we’re referring to the fact that everyone deserves equal access to the same quality of education.
Unfortunately, things like disabilities, household income discrepancies, and other factors can get in the way of that.
That’s why there’s been a lot of buzz around the importance of technology in education lately. In this article, we’ll walk you through some ways that tech can help improve accessibility for various groups. Let’s get started!
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Different Learning Software for Different Learning Styles
One of the main problems with the American education system in the past has been a rigid curriculum. Many students are taught that there is only one “right” way to solve math equations, study, and learn in class.
However, this simply isn’t true. The reality is that many children are visual learners that require different needs than, say, audio learners. The standard lecture format of teaching won’t work with visual learners.
Luckily, technology is starting to change that. New teaching software caters its learning style toward the preferences. So, visual learners will get plenty of videos, games, and similar programs that cater to their needs.
The same goes for children with learning disabilities or similar types of problems that impede learning.
Without technology, it’d be next to impossible to cater to these different learning styles. But, with technology it’s possible.
New Tech for Blind Individuals
Thanks to braille, it’s been historically possible for the blind to learn. However, there have always been problem areas, mainly that certain concepts require visual concepts to be taught.
Think about learning geometry without the use of your vision. It can be a frustrating concept for many people in this disabled community.
When you combine that with problems taking notes and slow reading compared to other students, it can cause some serious learning problems for blind students.
This all points toward the importance of technology in mathematics education. For the visual problem, they have a tactile drawing board that’s capable of displaying visual concepts that the students can feel.
For blind students that have trouble taking notes, there are advanced screen readers that can read out any text from lectures. Finally, for students navigating online resources, there are refreshable braille displays.
All of these innovations are making it much easier for blind students to learn at the same rate as any other student.
Speech-to-Text System for Deaf Individuals
Traditionally deaf students had to be taught in their communities using sign language. Either that or they would have to learn how to read lips well enough to function in an educational environment outside of their community.
However, the advanced nature of many speech-to-text systems is starting to change that. As this tech becomes more accurate, many lectures and educational opportunities that would otherwise be impossible for the deaf community are possible.
Just remember that this technology might not be fully embraced by certain parts of the deaf community. Some deaf people take pride in their condition and communication style.
But, for those that want access to a wider range of education possibilities, this is a big step forward.
Improved Access to the Internet
These days, the internet is permanently tied to the way we work, learn, shop, and live our lives. So, it makes sense that many schools are starting to teach internet skills to their students at a younger age.
However, there is a problem. There is still a large discrepancy in internet access across the country. Many low-income communities can’t afford expensive monthly internet bills.
This puts students from these households at a disadvantage when it comes to online assignments and projects. Sadly, the solution to this problem lies in government intervention.
And while the Biden administration has made steps toward expanding internet access, we’re still a long way from full coverage. In the meantime, schools can expand access by providing high-speed internet both on campus and on the buses.
This will give students without internet access the ability to do some of their assignments before or after school begins.
Live Streaming Guest Speakers
If you grew up in a well-funded school, then you likely had assemblies featuring guest/motivational speakers. Sadly, not all schools have the privilege of this.
Some have a small budget, or they’re located in remote areas that guest speakers can’t travel to. The good news is that technology has made these types of speakers much more accessible.
This is thanks to the introduction of school live streaming. With this type of technology, guest speakers can talk to your students from any part of the world. And that’s far from the only application that streaming has for schools.
Important events like graduation, sports games, concerts, plays, school board meetings, and similar things can all be broadcasted live. That way, more people have access to school events even if they can’t drive to school to attend them.
Tablets or Laptops for Students
This is a similar issue to the internet problem. Some students don’t have access to computers or tablets to do their assignments at home.
In response to this, many school districts have implemented policies for lending laptops or tablets to their students. This is a great push toward accessibility. However, as of now, it isn’t even.
Depending on the school and its funding, some facilities may only have a few computers on-site. This needs to change if we want to be serious about improving accessibility through technology.
Appreciate Learning About the Importance of Technology in Education? Keep Reading
We hope this article helped you answer the question “what is the importance of technology in education?” As you can see, the future looks bright for accessibility in education thanks to technology.
But we still have a long way to go before all communities have access to this tech. Until every child has an equal opportunity to succeed in school we still have work to do.
Did you learn something from this article? Keep exploring our site to discover more fascinating content.