Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ed Tech Trends to Look for in 2012: AT Connections and Accommodations

I read this article "12 Education Tech Tends to Watch in 2012" today and thought it was an important list of trends to consider in the assistive technology field. One trend in particular caught my attention, the BYOD trend (Bring Your Own Device). More and more, students have iTouches and iPads, Smart phones, laptops and tablets. If we want them to accommodate their learning with tools, text to speech, online dictionaries, research sites, etc. the issue of schools allowing the students to bring these devices to learn is going to have to be addressed.
Fortunately in my region and districts, the students who have laptops or iPads and need them at school are allowed to bring them. They are on IEP's and have the need for support with this tools for accommodating learning. I want to know what will happen when regular student populations want to bring them as well and they are declined the opportunity to use them because of mis-use fears by school administrators and school boards. It will be a growing issue and full of heated debate!
This article from 2010 in Toronto Life: "Why Smart phones in the Classroom Equals Smarter Kids" addresses some of these fears.
There are some interesting trends to think about and I hope you read and enjoy. I would like to explore some of these trends and share thoughts over how they might impact AT. I welcome your thoughts and comments as well.
All the best in 2012!