This report provides an evaluation of two assistive technology solutions for reading, spelling and writing for students with mild learning disabilities. It describes the purpose and capabilities of each assistive technology and how each technology can be applied in the classroom for student learning. Finally, it recommends one assistive technology for a school to adopt. This essay compares Picture It and Edmark Reading Program assistive technology solutions (Beard, Carpenter & Johnston, 2011).
Picture It Assistive Technology
Picture It assistive technology is a computer software that entails over seven thousand pictures. The pictures and words are integrated together to help students with mild understanding disabilities to comprehend the text with ease (Beard, Carpenter & Johnston, 2011). Words in the text are assigned fitting pictures to help students link the pictures with the text for easy understanding. Moreover, it enables students to listen to various stories and read along with the highlighted words. Picture It assistive technology solution automatically matches pictures and words ahead of the competition or reading exercise (Brady et. al., 2008). This technology helps students who find difficulties in comprehending the text when it is not paired with the pictures. Integration of pictures with words makes reading and text comprehension easy because the pictures make abstract letters to become meaningful words.
This assistive technology is straightforward because it involves typing the word and clicking a button-presto!-to create picture assisted document. It is easy, fast, and frustration-free to use assistive technology. This software is comprehensive because of its flexibility to customize materials and vocabulary to support learning. It is capable of adopting academic lessons, worksheets, communication boards, and flashcards (Brady et. al., 2008). Furthermore, it provides assistance to struggling students at kindergarten and high school levels. The software can work in Macintosh and all versions of windows environments such as windows 7, Vista, and XP (Judge, 2006). Picture it assistive technology costs just $999.
Edmark Reading Program Assistive Technology
Edmark reading program assistive technology solution involves print and software versions. It uses a whole-word approach to teach students with mild understanding disabilities comprehension and recognition of words. This program is stepwise. It first teaches sight recognition and word meaning before providing comprehension practice, and use of the word in story context (Judge, 2006). This technology is associated with repetition and short instructional steps that enable the learner to master reading (Brady et. al., 2008). Edmark Reading Program is available in Win/Mac version or print version. It is regarded as “the one that works” because it offers struggling students an alternative to phonics. Moreover, the technology is user friendly.
Edmark Reading program is consistent with the US education policy slogan -“no child left behind”- because it ensures that students learn vocabulary, comprehension and fluency in all lessons. This program is affordable. According to Judge (2006), Edmark Reading program assistive technology costs $59.00 for level one assistance. However, the overall cost for this program is $999.
Evaluation of which AT would be a better investment
Edmark Reading Program is better than picture It assistive technology because it is affordable and available in print and software versions. Moreover, it is flexible and can incorporate almost all classroom learning activities to help students with mild understanding disabilities. In fact, it can be used by students of all ages that are not familiar with reading (Beard, Carpenter, & Johnston, 2011). Therefore, Edmark Read Program is a better investment for a school that intends to install assistive technology solution for its disabled students.
Beard, L.A., Carpenter, L.B., & Johnston, L.B. (2011). Assistive Technology: Access for all Students (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Brady, R. T., Long, T. M., Richards, J., & Vallin T. (2008). Assistive Technology Curriculum Structure and Content in Professional Preparation Service provider Training Programs. Journal of Allied Health, 36(4), 183-192.
Judge, S. (2006). Constructing an Assistive Technology Toolkit for Young Children: Views from the Field. Journal of Special Education Technology, 21(4), 17-24.