Teachers in special education will welcome this new book, published in association with NASEN, which is full of ideas for using technology in the inclusive classroom. The book focuses on children learning, rather than on technology per se and explains everything in a clear and non-tech way. It has been specifically designed to help develop key skills, such as problem solving, developing concepts and communication, while being grounded in the practicalities of working with students with special and additional needs.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part covers 50 classroom ideas, presented in the form of short case studies, each with a clear rationale and explanation offered by the teachers concerned. The second section concentrates on simple starter tutorials to get us up and running with some popular programs such as Clicker, PowerPoint, GarageBand and I Can Animate.
For each ‘brilliant idea’, the authors show why and how a particular resource was used and show how similar techniques can be implemented to open up the curriculum to learners. This section covers ideas that we may have used before, such as comics or PhotoStory, and many that may be new or unfamiliar, such as data logging, iPads and visualisers. One of the most rewarding things for me was to see how another teacher used a familiar piece of technology in a creative and inclusive way. I am sure that there will be new ideas here for even the most tech-savvy teachers. It is gratifying to note that most of the technologies showcased in the book are either free or available at a reasonable cost.
The two authors are well known in the SEN technology field. Sally McKeown runs an interesting blog at http://sallymckeown.co.uk/blog/ and Angie McGlashon has an excellent web site at http://edit-training.co.uk which has lots of downloadable resources.