Using Technology to Provide Access to Grade-Aligned Content

TeachTown Technology

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the law that special education is built on, mandates different requirements to ensure that students with disabilities receive their right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE).

Under IDEA and FAPE,  ensuring that IEP goals for students with disabilities are based on grade-aligned content is required. This content may be adapted and/or have embedded accommodations to serve these students, however, the mandate remains the same; students in special education must have access to academic content that is aligned with general education standards.

Where does technology come in?

When you throw a global pandemic into the mix, the growing demand for technology-based instruction becomes increasingly clear.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced schools and administrators to navigate the best ways to support our complex student population to guarantee continuity of instruction, whether that is via in-person, hybrid or remote/distance learning. This is especially true because districts must continue to meet federal mandates to provide FAPE for all students regardless of unprecedented events.

With more and more educators relying on technology to help provide instruction to students, let’s discuss what this can look like.

Many educators utilize technology-based lessons for instruction and incorporate this into their daily routines. Due to the increase in pandemic-related funding and the laws surrounding special education, financial and federal support is becoming readily available for districts, administrators and teachers. With these supports in place, having access to various devices and technology-based lessons should not only be more convenient for educators and support staff, but also increases opportunities for generalization as students can access these lessons in multiple settings, including their homes.

What does the research say?

Research indicates that utilizing computer-assisted Discrete Trial Training (DTT) in conjunction with other teaching methodologies can be effective for teaching discrete skills to individuals with disabilities.

In TeachTown’s enCORE curriculum, students independently engage with DTT instruction to address academic needs in both IEP goals as well as grade aligned content in the domains of reading, math, science and social studies.

Similarly, with TeachTown Basics, students can independently engage with tech-based lessons to address skill gaps in early development using a DTT format that systematically scaffolds necessary supports for students to demonstrate success.

Video-modeling is another form of technology-based learning that has been proven effective in teaching social and vocational skills to students with disabilities.

Our TeachTown Social Skills solution utilizes character-based video modeling to teach critical social skills for students. In addition, our Transition to Adulthood curriculum utilizes first person video modeling to teach secondary to post-secondary students skills that are necessary for transition.

Data-driven learning

That’s not all! Utilizing technology can help educators make data-informed decisions to guide next steps for students with disabilities as they collect data for progress monitoring.

For example, with TeachTown’s enCORE curriculum, data from teacher-led technology lessons and independent student-led lessons combine to provide an ongoing and accurate picture of student performance and progress. enCORE supports progress reporting for student performance by domain and skill, IEP goals and state standards to ensure that the requirements set forth under IDEA are fulfilled.

Interested in learning more about TeachTown, its solutions and how technology is utilized to access grade-aligned content? Click here for more information.

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