Please note, though this is already posted in the discussion, I’m reposting it to keep it in my dashboard so I have a record of my posts for A4, since I have very few badges to speak of and still don’t really understand how this badge system is supposed to work.
Q3: I’ll piggyback on Laura’s response: “In an area of the world where there are continuous cutbacks to the field of education, it is critical that we look at ways to support students to be more independent in their learning so that special supports are best utilized across all students”.
The Ontario government and the union to which I belong, ETFO, finally came to an agreement this week after us not having a contract for the past two years. I still don’t know what it says, but one of our grievances was that Spec Ed. support keeps getting cut, so when there is a kid with an LD or ADHD (this is very common, at least 1 in every class I have ever taught) who may have been removed from class for individual support 10 years ago, now remains in class, taking the teacher’s attention away from all the other students and often derailing learning.
Can technology replace the special education teacher? Of course not. Can it help the hyperactive child who can’t focus on regularly taught lessons? Probably, since many of these kids are on either extreme of the academic spectrum: bored because they are way beyond the middling lessons of the teacher or bored because they are way below and have no reference point for where the teacher is at. If they can be put into the corner of the room with some headphones and a tablet to either try to catch up or to be challenged in broader ways than currently being provided by the teacher (whether for writing or any other subject), and they can key in and focus for even 5 to 10 minutes, that child, the teacher, and the other students in the class will all benefit.