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Inclusive learning in the 21st century

Issue: Volume 94, Number 22

Posted: 07:58pm, 07 Dec 2015
Reference #: 1H9cyU

The Inclusive Education website has more than 20 online guides to help teachers and school leaders support learners with diverse needs. The guides provide a window on what others are doing and illustrate what current research and practice look like on the ground.

In this and following issues we’ve asked users to review a range of guides on the Inclusive Education site (http://inclusive.tki.org.nz/(external link)). In this issue, Te Ahua Park, a dearning with digital technologies facilitator from Kaikohe in Northland, shares her thoughts on the Digital Technologies guide. The guide explores resources and ideas for using digital technology to support curriculum access and participation.

Tell us about your role and how the digital technologies guide fits in with it.

“I support teachers to think about ways digital technologies can support learning in their classrooms and ultimately engage students and the guide has been really useful for that."

“I actually use a lot of the guides but the ones I have been using the most link directly to working with digital technologies. There are quite a few others I branch off into which supportbuilding a culture of learning, and effective practice which are really important in the work I do also."

“The Digital Technologies guide goes through what teachers can do to engage with students using technology. There are some great strategies and resources in the guide for teachers to create engaging environments. There are also some great suggestions about how technologies can support access to learning materials and how students can create, learn and share their understanding”

What is a good resource in the digital technologies guide that teachers you work with use?

“They use a lot of them. A great one that comes to mind is an application called Storybird; it allows students to create their own books, it is quite neat. Once they have put them together they can be published on their school blogs or website. It really motivates students to write.”

How do these sorts of resources benefit students?

“It is all about creating confident, connected independent learners who can use digital tools to manage themselves and their own work. The idea is that if they have more input to their learning they will be more engaged. Learning with digital technologies can really motivate students.”

Having used the guide, do you work differently now?

“Having used the wider website I have changed the way I facilitate. I used to do a lot of standing up and talking to teachers. Now we sit down and we discuss things, we look at the examples on the site and we talk about how some of the strategies could support the learners in their classrooms and how they could implement them, which is much more empowering for them.”

Who would benefit from using the digital technologies guide?

“All teachers would, especially any that would like to make the most of technologies to engage their students and meet their diverse needs."

“When we look at the diverse learners we have in our classes, these guides are really good at identifying some practical strategies and resources that can help them – not only diverse learners, but all learners.”

Do you have any other comments on the inclusive education website?

“I really like the site. It gives teachers heaps of ideas for how they can support student engagement, achievement and wellbeing in many different ways.”

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

The Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero is produced by NZME for the Ministry of Education for teachers, leaders, and other education professionals working in New Zealand.

Posted: 07:12pm, 07 December 2015

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