Here are some ideas for using apps to improve student confidence and encourage participation in the classroom.
In the article Using Technology to Empower Students With Special Needs, published on Edutopia on November 8, 2016, the American teacher in special education Kathryn Nieves explains that the lack of motivation of her students is one of the most important problems of everyday life. The challenges that young people face give them a rather negative view of education.
She explains how technology has become a tool to restore confidence in students in the classroom.
HyperDoc to customize tasks
As the students in Ms. Nieves' class often do not have electives since they have to take more core courses, it is difficult to match their interests. The teacher has therefore created HyperDocs that she shares via Google Classroom to provide a variety of options for students regarding their homework. In one HyperDoc, young people can choose the tasks that interest them most from the list provided and complete them at their own pace. This personalized individual progression option helps them feel in charge of their own learning.
Applications to reduce the anxiety of speaking
For people with significant difficulties (and many others for that matter), speaking in front of others in class can become a source of anxiety on a daily basis. However, using some apps can make it easier. For example, the questions & answers option of Google Slides can be used in class to have young people ask questions in writing and anonymously. Those who feel too shy to express themselves orally in front of others can then ask for and receive the necessary information, without anxiety. For students who speak more than average, this practice forces them to think more carefully before speaking, since they must write down their question or comment and send it.
Likewise, Verso application, for the Chrome web browser, is also to be discovered. Indeed, learners can also use it to ask questions and give ideas anonymously. However, the little extra is that you must first publish something to have access to the contributions of others, thus promoting the participation of all.
These are examples that show that technology can indeed help increase self-confidence, and therefore, the success of people with special needs (and many others too!).
To learn more, read the article Using Technology to Empower Students With Special Needs, published on Edutopia on November 8, 2016.