Technology Would Help Special Ed Students Find Independence

As a Special Education teacher at Auburn Elementary School, Alexandria Lorentz is a much-needed advocate for her students. Alexandria works with students in Kindergarten through fifth grade, meaning she must cater to many different levels and learning styles. Consequently, she spent over $1000 during her first year teaching.

Alexandria knew she wanted to help people in her profession. Her grandmother was a Special Education teacher, and as a child Alexandria helped out in her classroom. “I found I had such a passion for [teaching] kids who learn differently,” she shared. “I love helping kids, especially those that may learn a little differently or have different challenges for them. I feel like they sometimes need an advocate on their side.”

The students Alexandria works with all have different abilities and often need special supplies to help them stay engaged. She incorporates auditory, kinesthetic, and visual learning into each of her lessons, “which makes the lessons pretty deep,” explained Alexandria. “It keeps my kids engaged too, because a lot of the students I service have ADHD. They’re very bouncy.”

After she spent $1000 out of her own pocket during her first year teaching, a coworker of Alexandria’s told her about So far, she’s been able to add stability ball chairs and fidgets to her classroom. Now, she’s looking to bring in iPads for her students.

With iPads, her students could access applications unavailable on computers or in books. For example, one app teaches students with difficulties socially about social narratives. Using the app, students can learn how to appropriately ask to play a game, or the appropriate way to eat lunch.

IMG_6557For Alexandria’s students, the mobility of iPads is also important. “You can’t have a student go over to a computer on their own and take them away from the learning. It’s easier when it comes right to them. iPads are flexible and portable enough to do that.

Alexandria’s main goal is to help her students learn how to use the tools independently. “The more independent that I can help them to become the more successful they’re going to be on their own. I don’t want them to get used to someone holding their hand all the time.” Though her job is not an easy one, Alexandria’s passion is obvious, “I couldn’t imagine my life any other way.”

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