Tools to create an inclusive classroom
Inclusion in the early years’ education
Fighting bias and nurturing inclusion is a massive challenge among children and young people. Biased behaviours become visible already during the early years of education. The good news is, they can be unlearned. In this blog post from the Inclusion series, I will try to address a question: how?
Make sure to read our previous article on How to Approach Inclusion in the Classroom.
We can do a lot to enable our learners to create a great sense of community and embrace the inclusion of learners with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
A pilot study on how tablet apps can support the early years’ inclusion of autistic children in mainstream schools has shown that Assistive Technology greatly helps increase social response, boosts interaction among peers and improves the wellbeing of all children.
In this article, we present our top choices for Assistive Technology tools to create a fully inclusive learning environment.
Talk for Me is a Text-to-Speech app designed by a person who lost the ability to speak. The app enables non-speaking learners to write. The device then turns writing into speech. Users can save the most used phrases and customise them on the spot. The app can also read words instantly after writing them, enabling learners to communicate faster and more efficiently. Talk for Me doesn’t require an Internet connection, so learners can use it during offsite trips and even if the network is down.
Sit With Us is a ground-breaking social networking app for children and young people designed to promote kindness and inclusion in schools. The app was created by a 16-year-old who suffered as a victim of severe bullying. Learners can use the app to plan lunches and other social events together with their peers. Sit with Us creates a strong sense of community and allows students to form new friendships. No one is excluded!
Mosoco is an Augmented Reality app designed to help autistic learners develop social skills by practising eye contact, interacting with peers, asking questions or talking about common interests. The app was created following a study on how mobile AT can support the social skills of autistic children. The results have shown that the continuous use of the app helps significantly increase social interaction among all learners.
Although there is still little research on how technology can support inclusion among neurotypical and neurodiverse learners, various tools are already available on the market.
How do you promote inclusion in your institution? Have you used similar tools? Other educators are waiting to hear from you. Share good practice in the comments below, or get in touch with us to connect with fellow professionals.
For more information, read the full study Tablet Apps to Support First School Inclusion of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Mainstream Classrooms: A Pilot Study
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