High and Low Tech Technologies in Mathematics
Assistive technologies are the services and devices used with an aim of increasing, maintaining or improving the potential of students with disabilities (Bugaj, Norton-Darr & International Society for Technology in Education, 2010). The assistive technology can be classified as high-tech and low-tech technologies. High-tech devices comprise of computerized devices and computers. Low tech technologies range from pencil grips used in slipping over the pencil. Green (2014) argues that assistive technologies that help learners with learning exceptionalities include tablet applications that play a great role in providing text to speech, computer programs and graphic organizers. The technologies are useful because they make it easy for the students to learn for example through programs that help in solving their difficulties. The technologies can help people with exceptionalities to progress in attaining the goals set on the educational plans. There two common ways that the assistive technology helps the student: the technology can help in bypassing challenging or area of difficulty and can help learners in obtaining skills of how to complete a task.
Various high-tech technologies can help students in mathematic difficulties to meet their goal. The technologies include:
Computers together with computerized gadgets
Wendt, Quist and Lloyd (2011) state that the computers and other computerized devices are useful in helping people with math exceptionalities. The gadgets are recognized as being lightweight and portable. The computerized devices contain the information including formulas that can in making mathematics simple to people with difficulties. Calculators are among the technologies that can help in improving the success of students in the field of mathematics. Proper training of the students concerning the proper use of calculators should be embraced to improve performance. The computerized devices can, however, be distractive and proper education is crucial to help people on how to effectively use them for education purpose.
Computer-assisted instructions are high-tech technologies and refer to applications and software designed in providing guidelines, instructions and practices in solving various difficulties. Wendt et al., (2011) states that the technology provides dynamic and immediate feedback and students with mathematic difficulties can benefit from the computerized and non-judgemental practice and drill. The technology has proven its effectiveness in assisting students with reading challenges, therefore, making them capable of attaining their academic goals.
Graphing calculators can help in solving complex mathematical equations, therefore, improving the success of students in the field of mathematics. Green (2014) argues that the dynamic screen in the screen that is used for displaying the information or results of the calculation enables the students with exceptionalities to be able to verify the validity and accuracy of results before starting calculating or working on the paper.
Low-tech devices are essential in assisting students experiencing difficulties in education. The devices help to improve the success of the individuals enabling them to attain their desired goals. The technology can be applicable without having the cost involved when using the high-tech devices. The low-tech technologies that can help in improving performance of people with math exceptionalities include:
Pen-top computers are less expensive and therefore affordable to people with learning disabilities or difficulties. Bugaj et al., (2010) argue that the technology makes the appropriate application of instruction policies such as providing auditory responses during math or composition works. The device is portable and has proven effective to people with mathematic disabilities because they give proper instruction while performing a mathematical test. The pen-top computer helps in solving multiplication challenges prevalent among most students. For example, the device has been useful in providing reminders to the students such as “do not forget to carry” during math lessons, especially during multiplications.
The technology is useful in improving the performance of people with math challenges. The device helps in organizing the mathematical ideas visually allowing learners with challenges in performing mathematical operations to observe the connections and the relationship in the calculations. The application of graphic organizers has been effective in demonstrating concern for all the students, therefore, improving their motivation to the subject and meeting their outlined goals.
Most of the students with mathematical and learning difficulties often face the challenge of translating the oral language in writing or in written texts (Green, 2014). audio recorders help in recording the mathematical ideas and instructions that one can review or listen to afterward for advanced clarifications. The audio recorder is less expensive and effective in making sure that the instructions and guidelines to the field are well understood by the intended students, therefore, boosting their skills and knowledge.
Most students face the learning difficulties and it has been the responsibility of the teachers to make sure that the students stay in line into the realization of their personal objectives and goals. There are various assistive technologies of ensuring that the students receive adequate care to improve or eliminate the challenges. Teachers should be adequately trained in handling or explaining the usefulness of the technologies to the students. Quality instructions must be provided to the students with difficulties to help in meeting the set goals.
Bugaj, C. R., Norton-Darr, S., & International Society for Technology in Education. (2010). The practical (and fun) guide to assistive technology in public schools. Eugene, Or: International Society for Technology in Education.
Green, J. L. (2014). Assistive technology in special education: Resources for education, intervention, and rehabilitation.
Wendt, O., Quist, R. W., & Lloyd, L. L. (2011). Assistive technology: Principles and applications for communication disorders and special education. Bingley: Emerald Group Pub.