Online Preschool Special Education: Complete Guide to Online Learning
Online preschool special education is one of the hottest topics nowadays. Considering how complex the process can be, this isn’t surprising.
This time of uncertainty has required us to shift into online learning, at least in the short term. The way lessons are delivered gradually changed, and this isn’t easy.
Everyone, be it, teachers, parents, or students, are challenged with the sudden transition. No one is ready, as nobody has foreseen that this is going to happen.
What was supposed to be a fun and exciting moment for teachers students has suddenly become a nightmare. How will they adapt? Will they still teach and learn effectively?
This pandemic gave rise to a lot of issues and endless questions. With it, paraprofessionals, school administrators, and special education teachers are wondering how they can deliver their lessons to students with disabilities.
Likewise, parents are having a hard time thinking about how their child can cope up.
With this in mind, we have created a comprehensive guide for preschool special education. Continue reading and find out more!
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Online Preschool Special Educations Apps
Since classes are done online, using the right app will help you go through the learning process smoothly. Here are some of the best apps for students with special needs that you can use during your online classes.
For Autistic Learners: AutiSpark
AutiSpark is an educational app designed and approved for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD. The app is full of fun, interactive, and engaging learning games that can help you cope with online preschool special education apps.
Its games are carefully designed to address the needs of children with autism. They are also aligned with the ABA principles, which endured that preschoolers can develop basic visual, communication, and language skills.
The app also comes with positive reinforcement that kids need to learn and remember. With the app, kids with special needs can enjoy social stories, words and spelling, math games, tracing games, memory games, sorting games, matching games, puzzles, and so much more.
For Dyslexic Learners: Dyseggxia
Dyseggxia is an education app perfect for preschool special education, most especially those who have Dyslexia. The app is made up of games that help dyslexic learners to practice recognizing and building words that they find it typically difficult to remember.
Exercises within the app have five levels – First, Easy, Medium, Hard, and Expert. The medium level is offered free, and other levels will require you to pay $0.99 to access them.
Within each level of the game, a word or phrase is presented in a wood letter block. Children are asked to do either of the following tasks:
a. Insert a missing letter
b. Remove an extra letter from the word
c. Replace an incorrect letter with the correct one
d. Add the correct ending to a base word
e. Separate two words that are connected
f. Reorder syllables to create a word
Dyslexia is scientifically validated, which means that its effectiveness is ensured. The app comes in both Spanish and English languages.
For Hearing Impaired Learners: VL2 Storybook App
Stories are an essential part of the lesson. It makes the topic more interesting and easier to digest as much as it can also make it more interactive and engaging.
Inserting stories into your lesson is an effective way to teach your students the basic concepts. Children with hearing disabilities can still enjoy such things with apps like the VL2 Storybook App.
The app provides children exciting and captivating stories in both American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Based on several studies, learning two languages leads to greater literacy skills in both languages, and the younger, the better.
With it, they can either watch or read the story. When a child taps on a word, the word will be fingerspelled, and the ASL is displayed too.
For Vision Impaired Learners: Talking Calculator
Even at a young age, preschool kids are taught how to count already. Their curriculum also includes basic operations.
Given how fast-paced the world is today, equipping them with a tool that can help them stay on the tune is very important. And perhaps, one of the best apps that provides preschool special education students can have with them is the Talking Calculator.
The Talking Calculator is a free mathematical app for iOS devices. It works by reading aloud what has been inputted to avoid mistakes. As you type in, the symbols are being spoken either by your voice, by someone you have recorded, or by a downloaded voice of your choice.
The Talking Calculator App is very easy to use. It offers two layout options – the default and the simplified. The simplified version has only the operators and numbers on the screen. It also has bigger buttons.
Furthermore, it also has two different color settings: the Low Contrast setting, and the High Contrast setting.
Just like any other calculator, the app can add, subtract, multiply, and divide. It can even take the square root of a number and use exponent.
For Students with Writing Difficulties: Alpha Writer
Writing is an essential skill that your preschooler must learn. This skill is one of the foundations that he will need throughout his entire life.
Alpha Writer, by Montessorium, is a Montessori-style learning app that can help preschool special education students learn letter sounds.
It also can help them learn how to form words. With it, your child can also identify vowels and consonants.
Alpha Writer is equipped with fun and unique illustrations that preschoolers can use when practicing how to read and write. It also comes with over 100 unique, phonetic illustrations from 3 different internationally acclaimed artists, namely Zeptonn, Mike Lowery, and Marloes de Vries. Children can also create their own stories.
Recently, the app has introduced a new feature – the Alpha Spy. This new feature contains a fun and exciting adventure called “I-Spy with My Little Eye.”
Tips When Teaching Preschool Special Education Online
Teaching online is no small work. It takes a lot of effort and time.
To make things a little lighter for you, here are some tips that you can practice when teaching preschool special education online.
Know Your Child Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan
Being able to identify your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan is necessary. This will help you figure out what your goals, objectives, and services for your child are.
In addition, this will also help you plan the lessons that you will teach your child. Since classes are online, make sure that you are following local and state due process protocols.
Use Online Communication Tools
Online learning will require you to be in constant communication with your child’s teacher. If you are not yet familiar with these online communication tools, then start figuring them out now.
Choosing the right tool that fits your needs is very important and can directly affect the success of your child’s online class. These online tools also make this challenging situation more bearable.
Incorporate Assistive Technologies
Assistive Technology refers to software, device, or equipment that help people overcome challenges. This can be in the form of text-to-speech, word prediction, and the like. It also includes low-tech tools such as a pencil grip.
Incorporating Assistive Technologies when teaching preschool special education is a must considering that classes are online. These tools won’t just make it easy for you, but they will also ensure that lessons are delivered to your child the best way apparent.
Children with disabilities need more time and attention. And the situation just made it worse for them. In times like this, having you beside them is very important.
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to be there for them all the time. Another responsibility has just been added into your shoulder – to teach them their lessons.
Yes, it’s hard, but it’s your child that we are talking about, which makes it worthwhile. So, do your best to give your child the best education at home.
Do I still have to enroll my child online?
Yes, you must. Not enrolling him might sound like a good choice, but think about this, “Do you exactly know what your child needs to learn?”
Enrolling your child online is one of the best things that you can do for him today. Having a professional who can help you with your child’s lesson is still more preferable. After all, they know what they are doing, and they have been trained to do so.
What is Assistive Technology?
As mentioned above, Assistive Technology is the gadget, software, or device that we use for us to solve problems. These are the tools that make life easier and more convenient for us, those with special needs.