The Internet can be a great resource for special education teachers. There are many different sites dedicated to providing assistive technology information, lesson plans, classroom activities, and special education resources. Here are 20 sites worth visiting:
- NASET - The National Association of Special Education Teachers devotes itself to supporting current and future special education teachers. NASET offers an online reference library, information about education, event calendars, and teacher publications.
- About Special Education - This About.com site offers a wide range of information for special education teachers, parents, and students. Specific features include a blog, a community forum, and feature articles.
- Marc Sheehan's Special Education Page - Marc Sheehan's Special Education and Exceptionality Page is an excellent resource for special education teachers. Marc links to associations, adaptive technologies, lesson plans, and many other classroom resources.
E-Ready - This NEC Foundation of America site offers useful information and resources for anyone who teaches students with disabilities. Specific resources include lesson plans, a glossary, a listing of national organizations, case studies, assistive technology information, and tips that can be implemented in the classroom.
- Teaching Students with Special Needs - This behavior management course is offered free though the University of Southern Queensland. It can be taken entirely online--no registration required. Self-study materials include a study schedule, readings, and assessments.
Assistive Technology Resources
- AssistiveTechnology Guide - This free PDF guide was written for special education teachers who want to learn more about how assistive technology can be used to assist elementary and secondary school students. The guide includes product reviews, information about online resources, and much more.
- Abledata - Abledata's database of assistive technology includes information on more than 30,000 assistive technology products. This U.S. Department of Education sponsored site does not sell products but it can lead you to companies that do.
- Closing the Gap - This magazine/website provides information about assistive technology resources and training as well as information on annual conferences. Teachers can request a free copy of the print magazine or sign up for a free 14-day trial subscription to the online publication.
- NCIP - The National Center to Improve Practice in Special Education Through Technology, Media, and Materials (NCIP) offers an online library, videos of students using assistive technologies, online workshops, and many other teacher resources.
- DisabilityInfo.gov - This government website provides several pages of educator resources, including a page devoted specifically to special education teachers.
- Curry School of Education - This University of Virginia school has assembled a comprehensive database of effective teaching techniques to help educators develop lesson plans. The database includes research-validated methods for teaching students of every age and grade level.
- Teachnology - This online teacher resource offers teacher submitted lesson plans for special education students. Other site features include community message boards, printables, and worksheets.
- TeacherVision - TeacherVision is a good place to find free lesson plans, printables, and other classroom materials. The site also offers teaching tips and other helpful resources for special needs teachers.
- Kodak Lesson Plans - Kodak offers a modest collection of special education lesson plans that have been created and implemented by other teachers. Each lesson plan includes the purpose of the lesson, a list of required materials, and a detailed description of the lesson or activity.
- KinderArt - This site provides an eclectic collection of free lesson plans for adults and children with disabilities. All of the lesson plans are art related and include detailed instructions along with a list of required materials.
- Scholastic - The Scholastic site is one of the best places to find classroom activities online. The site offers more than 10,000 teaching ideas and student activities.
- RISE - Michigan State University's Resources In Special Education (RISE) page provides a great collection of teaching activities and ideas. Other page resources include classroom management plans and assistive technology resources.
- Misunderstood Minds - Misunderstood Minds is the companion website to the PBS program of the same name. The site offers a nice collection of classroom activities that incorporate reading, writing, and math.
- SparkTop - This site was created by a non-profit organization to help kids with learning disabilities. SparkTop provides a teacher resource center with activities and a safe place for students to interact with other kids just like them.
- Click-N-Type Virtual Keyboard - The Click-N-Type makes it easy to incorporate the computer into classroom activities. This free on-screen virtual keyboard can be managed by anyone who can control a mouse, pointer, or touch screen.
Guest post from Karen Schweitzer, who writes for TeachingDegree.org.