During Semester 3, 2014, one of the subjects I completed was EDX3280 Maths Curriculum and Pedagogy where we were required to build a WebQuest. We had to carefully select websites which would be appropriate for the age group we were designing our WebQuest for, as well as be able to have the students independently rehearse, practice and master the maths concepts we were trying to teach. Since starting this course, our attention has been drawn to Socol’s Toolbelt Theory where we have seen the necessity to choose the right tool to do a job. It has become clear to me that as I have progressed through my teaching degree, my personal toolbelt has become weightier as I take on new knowledge and learn new technologies.
As I am studying Special Education, my readings have lead me to an article, Matching Assistive Technology Tools to Individual Needs which points out the necessity to match assistive technology tools to each student’s individual needs. The article stresses the importance of carefully selecting an assistive technology which is socially appropriate for the student and mindful of the student’s strengths and weaknesses. It also explains the way that the technology may be suitable for the student to use at home but may not be appropriate for use at school. An example given of this situation may be where an assistive technology such as speech recognition is used effectively in the quietness of the home environment but may not be useful in the more noisy classroom setting.
There are certainly many aspects to consider when assessing the most appropriate tool for the job particularly when it comes to teaching. I realise though, it doesn’t just stop there. We should continually re-evaluate the the technology tool we have selected to ensure that our students are using the most suitable assistive technology tool for them, at that time.