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Category: EdTech Inquiry

Inquiry Conclusion

There are many different kinds of technology out there to aid children’s health such as smart inhalers and continuous glucose monitoring. There is also technology that helps students function better in daily activities such as wheelchairs, glasses or hearing aids. As a teacher you must be aware of the students in your class with disabilities. Being adaptable, organized and compassionate will help you best teach all your students including those with health disabilities. I am hoping my project helps inform other future teachers about different disabilities and technologies associated with them. As teacher we need to help all students learn to the best of their ability therefore teachers will most likely need to alter the way they teach if they have a student with a disability in their class. It is important to understand that students with disabilities are very capable and may simply need a little extra help.

Auditory disabilities

There are various people who suffer from hearing loss at different stages. Hearing impairment can be caused by aging, illness, injury, and excessive noise exposure. The technology most commonly used for people with hearing impairments are hearing aids which use a telecoil. The goal of hearing aids is to improve audibility of soft sounds while assuring other sounds do not become too loud. Assistive listening devices help amplify the sounds you want to hear, especially where there’s a lot of background noise. There is hearing loops which use electromagnetic energy to transmit sound. FM systems which uses radio signals to transmit amplified sounds. FM systems are where the person speaking wears a small microphone connected to a transmitter and the student wears the receiver. Infrared systems use infrared light to carry sound to the receiver. A transmitter converts sound into a light signal and it beams to become sound. There are also Personal amplifiers they increase sound levels and reduce background noise for a listener. Lastly there are devices to convey information visually such as visual alerting devices and captioning. 

If a student in your class has a visual impairment you may…(dependent on the students visual impairment)

  • Use captions when showing videos.
  • You could teach students gestures and sign language to use when speaking.
  • Give interpreters copies of lessons in advice to help prep the student for the vocabulary being used.
  • Provide visual cues rather then auditory cues.
  • Keep instructions brief.
  • Create lesson plans that allow the student to participate.
  • Attempt to keep unnecessary noise to a minimum in the classroom.
  • Consider the students location if they have an ear that is better then the other make sure you are facing it and allow them to sit near the front so they can see visual cues clearly. The best sitting arrangement for students with hearing impairments is circular seating.
  • Use assisted listening devices to help the student such as an amplifier. Also make sure the student is wearing they’re hearing assistive device. 
  • Encourage the class to speak clearly. Repeat students if they are too quite.
  • Always face the student as you speak. 
  • Provide written materials as much as possible.
  • Do not limit their activities or underestimate mental abilities.

Visual disabilities

There are many kinds of visual impairments some people struggle seeing long distances, some struggle reading small print, some people cannot see colours and others cannot see at all. Visual impairment can be caused by not enough use of eyes as a child, missing parts of the eye, or damage to the eye. People may use glasses to help them see. There are many versions of smart glasses that have been created to help blind people see. Brainport V100 record’s its user’s surroundings and converts these images into electric symbols transmitted through the tongue. EyeCane sends out infrared rays to translate distance into auditory cues. It provides visual information from sound and touch letting the user sense objects within a range of up to five meters. Blitab makes it possible to view whole pages of braille text at once and direct conversion of any text file into braille.

If a student in your class has a visual impairment you may…(dependent on the students visual impairment)

  • Use specific coloured pens when writing. As some colour blind students may stubble seeing certain colours.
  • Provide lots of time for students to inspect an object presented
  • Provide lots of auditory instruction and tactile learning.
  • Explain any visuals used in the class.
  • Allow students with vision problems to sit up front.
  • Use large text and images.
  • Create lessons the learner can do.
  • Provide students additional time to complete their work.
  • Provide braille, page magnifiers.
  • Maintain a consistant classroom arrangement.
  • Use students names when addressing them.
  • Do not limit their activities or underestimate mental abilities.

Mobility disabilities

Mobility disabilities affect a persons use of extremities. Mobility disabilities are caused by a number of factors including an accident, disease neuromuscular disorders or a congenital disorder. Examples include arthritis, spinal cord injuries and amputations. There are certain technologies that can be used to help the person with a mobility disability. An example is a wheel chair or prosthetic device. Some other tools that aid people with mobility disabilities are specific keyboards, speech to text technology, book holders, adapted pencil grips.

If a student in your class has a mobility disability you may…(dependent on mobility disability)

  • Extended exam time or create alternate testing.
  • Offer note takers and assistants.
  • Create an accessibility in the classroom. This means allowing room for assistive technology like wheelchairs.
  • Have equipment being used within reach of the student.
  • Be sure if you go on a field trip there are accessible ramps washrooms ect..
  • Create lesson plans that allow the student to participate.
  • Have course materials available online in electronic format.
  • Have tools in the class that aid students with mobility disabilities. An example is page turners. 
  • Do not limit their activities or underestimate mental abilities.

Asthma

Asthma is when your air way narrows and your lungs produce extra mucous. This makes breathing difficult and may trigger coughing or wheezing. Inhalers are used to deliver medication to the body via lungs. The new smart inhaler technology is useful for students with regular respiratory issues. They use bluetooth technology to detect inhaler use and let the person know when they should be using their inhaler and keeps patients on top of their asthma. 

If a student in your class has asthma it is important to…

  • Allow students to take breaks during physical activity.
  • Make sure if you are going on field trips or bringing smells into the classroom that you are still providing healthy air quality.
  • Do not limit their activities or underestimate mental abilities.

Diabetes

Type one diabetes is where the body does not produce insulin and type 2 diabetes is where the body can produce some insulin but not enough. People with diabetes used to have to draw blood to check their glucose levels but now there is new technology. Continuous glucose monitoring has been created which is a tiny sensor inserted under skin that tests glucose every few minutes. Most of the newer models will send this information right to your phone. An alarm will sound when glucose levels are too high or low.

If a student in your class has diabetes it is important to… 

  • Be prepared! Inform the other students in your class if there is ever a situation where you are outside the classroom and your student starts to develop Hypoglycemia (low glucose levels) the students will know what to do. * I would recommend having juice boxes in your classroom so that if the student glucose levels are too low you can give them one.
  • Allow the student to have their device whether it is a phone or pump on them do not be upset if it goes off while you are teaching.
  • Permit lots of snack breaks throughout the day.
  • Allow the student to sit out of activities until their glucose levels become regulated.
  • Check up on students if it is a primary classroom the student may still be getting used to the machine and how it works make sure they are tracking their glucose levels.
  • Do not limit their activities or underestimate mental abilities.

Caution

It is important for teachers to explain to the other students how to best support the student with a health disability. The teacher should let other students know that sometimes the student will not be able to participate as much as other students or may need to participate in a different way. Although you must be careful when doing this because you do not want to make the child feel singled out and less capable it is simply how their body works. I will be researching diabetes, asthma, mobility disorders, visual impairment and auditory impairment.

Why is it relevant?

It is important to learn about these technologies as teachers need to ensure safety surrounding these technologies in the classroom. But mainly because teachers need to adapt lessons to ensure they are teaching the student with a health disability in a way that fosters maximum learning.

My Tech Inquiry

There are various learners in a classroom and each learner has their own needs. I have decided to have my presentation outlines students with disabilities related to their health. I will be explaining what the disability is and I will be giving a brief explanation of what technology students with health disabilities may use. Lastly I will explain how teachers can help the students in their classroom. This includes how to create an environment that will help these students learn. 

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