How Edtech Makes Learning More Accessible
In education, material that is “accessible” meets the needs of students from a wide variety of backgrounds, abilities, and learning styles.
Based on this definition, it’s clear that accessibility is vital. All students, at all ability levels and from all backgrounds, should be able to understand and learn from the content delivered in a classroom.
Sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it?
Fortunately, the influx of edtech has made learning more accessible than ever before. Here are just a few ways that edtech makes learning more accessible:
“Differentiated instruction” has long been an education buzzword, and it means tailoring instruction to individual student needs.
In a classroom of 25 or more students, this can seem like an impossible task. But with technology, individualizing instruction becomes a genuine possibility.
Student-paced learning is the ultimate differentiation, and it’s incredibly easy with technology. If you use a learning management system or virtual classroom like Google Classroom, Canvas, or Edmodo, you can post resources for an entire unit at once.
Students can then move through the lessons and materials at their own pace. Struggling students can preview and review materials as needed, providing them with extra time to process and absorb information. On the other hand, students who quickly grasp material can move on to the next topic when they’re ready.
Sites like the grammar-focused NoRedInk automatically differentiate instruction, giving more questions to students who are struggling with a topic while allowing students who have mastered it to move on.
You can also provide differentiated project options, permitting students to demonstrate learning through diverse mediums. Allow students to create videos with iMovie or PowToon, multimedia presentations with Prezi or PowerPoint, or even an online storybook with Storybird. Your students might be familiar with programs you haven’t used before, so encourage them to come up with their own project options as well.
As you personalize content delivery and assessment for different learning styles and skill levels, you’ll build an inclusive classroom in which all students can learn.
Edtech doesn’t only increase accessibility in your own classroom—it’s making learning accessible around the world.
Online classrooms, which can be accessed from any location and don’t stick to strict schedules, make education accessible regardless of most prevailing circumstances.
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) similarly give students, particularly those from developing countries, access to educational resources they wouldn’t encounter otherwise. Some MOOCs boast as many as 11 million students, teaching new skills and providing a springboard to success for learners from around the world.
Edtech makes learning more accessible for students with varying learning styles and ability levels, but its power doesn’t stop there.
Technology also makes it possible for educational resources to reach students in developing countries who previously had little to no access to education.
This ability to make learning more accessible is one of the most exciting and meaningful benefits of edtech.