We know that implementing technology in the classroom can be daunting. With this checklist, we want to help you make the transition as smooth as possible.
A Smart Choice
Thinking about introducing Assistive Technology into your classrooms? Great idea. Having been in the industry for over 10 years, we at Sonocent know good use of AT can have a dramatic impact on student attainment.
But the right solution(s) for your institution will depend entirely upon the needs of your students. If you want to improve classroom engagement, you’ll need to make sure you’re providing accommodations that users will get behind.
That’s what this checklist is aiming to help you with
Knowing Your Students
Do you cater for students that…
✅ Struggle with information overload?
Preparing lecture material for study can be overwhelming. Encouraging the use of mindmapping software can help students visualize information more clearly, helping identify links between topics, areas to focus on and more.
✅ Prefer handwriting to typing?
For students that don’t experience problems with handwriting or prefer it to typing, providing smart pens can be a way to provide support that plays to their strengths. Many such devices on the market will sync with the student’s mobile device or laptop, enabling easier organization, conversion to text and more.
✅ Experience classroom anxiety?
While the experience of using study software and tech tools will help some students with their anxiety in the classroom, a solution as simple as providing fidgets or weighted blankets can have a positive effect for others.
✅ Need help with organizing and studying from notes?
If a student struggles with the entire process of taking and assimilating notes, Sonocent could help build independent study skills from the ground up. It records audio in an interactive way, allowing students to highlight key passages of speech with one click, add brief notes, import lecture slides and more. Great for active classroom engagement.
Knowing You’re Ready
Once you know what your students might need, there are a few other considerations to keep in mind. Such as…
✅ Getting Faculty on Board
As we discussed in our piece on accommodations for students with ASD, faculty attitude can be instrumental in AT’s success – or failure. Getting educators on board will therefore be an important early task. We’ve created a document to help with this, highlighting key information surrounding recording in the classroom, the nature of accommodations and more.
✅ Looking at the Numbers
Implementing AT will require some initial investment. But what your institution could save by phasing out traditional accommodations will make this worth it. Look at your budget and think carefully about what you can afford to pilot.
✅ Getting the Word Out
AT will stand the best chance of success with more student users. Raising awareness, liaising with departments across the institution and making adoption as easy as possible for those that need it are all vital in drumming up student support.
✅ Preparing for Data
There are many different ways to measure AT’s effectiveness in improving classroom engagement. Maybe you want to track differences in student GPA, conduct user surveys, analyze retention rates or any other variable, dependent on what you want to get out of the technology. First, you must think about which metrics are most important and how to chart them. Having a clean set of data will make the case for continued investment that much easier to argue.
✅ Hear from Others
Browse the ‘on campus’ section of our blog to discover the impact AT has already made in institutions across the US in terms of student independence, classroom engagement, admin workload, accommodations spending and more.