Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes for OnlineCollege.org, an accredited online college resource.
20 Tech Tools and Resources for Special Education Students
Finding tech tools and resources for special education students is a great way to increase student comprehension and classroom productivity. Here is a selection of 20 free tools for special education teachers and students.
Thunder - Thunder is a free downloadable screen reader. The software makes tests, quizzes, and books more accessible and understandable to students with reading difficulties.
LibriVox - LibriVox features a large assortment of free public domain audio books read by volunteers. The site is a great way for students with reading difficulties to explore poems, stories, and other literature.
Bookshare - Bookshare provides free audio books and periodicals to students with qualifying disabilities. The site is backed by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs.
Do-It - The University of Washington's Do-It program provides many different resources for special education students, including online math lessons, tutoring, explanations, and visual aids.
E-speaking.com - E-speaking.com offers downloadable speak recognition software for your computer. It allows students to use their voice instead of keystrokes to command their computer.
LAT Kids - This educational site for students with disabilities features several tools and resources that make life easier through technology. Resources include an online library, speech augmentative communications, and a smart instant messenger.
Mindomo - Mindomo offers free software for creating mind maps. This visualization method is an excellent way for students to formulate and organize ideas.
Visuwords - Visuwords features an online graphic dictionary for a visual demonstration of words and concepts.
KartOO - KartOO is a visual search engine that provides images of pages as well as text. Search results include news, images, web pages, and online references.
Interactives - This interactive education tool features strategies, content, and activities for teaching concepts that are difficult for some students to understand.
Quizlet - Quizlet is a free flashcard creation site for students who want to find or create flashcards of their own.
Do2Learn - Do2Learn is an activity site created for children with special needs. The site provides games, songs, communication activities, and print resources.
Education World - Education World provides many different resources and tools for teachers, including articles and lesson plans for assisting special education students.
MySchoolog - This free web app provides students with easy-to-use tools for organizing school life. Students can schedule weekly lessons, drag and drop lessons, and establish assignment reminders.
RFB&D - Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic provides several resources for learning through listening. The site also offers audio books for every subject and grade level for a fee.
Ghotit - This site features free assistive writing tools for special education students. Ghotit offers a spell checker, an online dictionary, and text to speech software.
BrainPOP - BrainPOP offers interactive games and learning tools for all subjects. This educational site works especially well for teachers who want to help special education students better understand difficult subjects.
Help Read - Help Read is free Internet and text reading software for students with dyslexia or reading difficulties. Once downloaded, this software reads the material on the screen for you.
Mindplay - This teaching site features resources and tools for students with ADHD/ADD, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities. Resources include reading assessments, games, downloads, and speaking lessons.
EdTechTalk - This education technology podcast discusses the benefits of technology in the classroom. EdTechTalk provides useful information for special education teachers who want to implement technology in the classroom.