Special education requires a little extra effort to ensure that students with certain limitations meet their full potential. In order to truly unlock a student’s true learning potential without ever making him/her feel limited in any way, there is a wide range of special education software which is available for use in schools around the world. However, it is important to note that there should be a careful consideration when selecting special software programs for students with special needs as it is commonly known that software is expensive, grants are limited and teachers only have a limited amount of time to study and incorporate these packages into their everyday teaching exercises.
Therefore, when selecting special education software, there are certain questions that should be kept in mind before making a final decision:
Will the education software do justice in meeting the individual needs of the student?
Will the special education software be good enough to support the curriculum or education plan of student that has a learning disability?
Will the special software help in facilitating the physical access needs of the student?
The teacher concerned should go a little out of his/her comfort zone in collecting useful information about what kinds of software are available, what kind of software can be recommended in a similar situation and what are the training and technical implications, if any, that one may require to implement the program successfully in a classroom. One of the few things that will help a teacher make an informed decision when choosing a particular education software would be to actually see the program in operation in another school. This will help the teacher determine its effectiveness. In addition, teachers should also plan to review the use of the software regularly and to use it in the most effective way when teaching students.
Special education software for use with students with special needs is divided into two main categories:
Content-free software enables a user to incorporate their own content which may include text, graphics, and sound. This particular category includes word processors, word prediction programs, presentation software, and multimedia authoring programs in addition to planning and organization software.
On the other hand, content-rich software includes the following:
Reinforcement Software which is also commonly referred to as Drill and Practice
The use of Interactive Talking Books
Exploratory or Simulation Software
Reference and Information Software
Study Skill Software
Assessment Software to evaluate a student’s progress