Irish Deaf Kids

Irish Deaf Kids – Inclusive Education – www.irishdeafkids.ie

Irish Deaf Kids (IDK) is a Dublin-based non-profit venture to support inclusive education for deaf children in Ireland. Classroom technology plays a big part in the move towards inclusive education.

Think how life would be, as a deaf or hard-of-hearing student. Daily challenges like not being able to fully hear what a teacher is saying in class, or missing essential parts of a video’s soundtrack.

IDK is constantly seeking new technologies to smooth communication for deaf children at home, at school, or during social activities.

Technology and collaboration are vital for inclusive teaching and information relay. Some samples:

1) Captioning is a top priority in an inclusive teaching environment.

Captioning in classrooms has two main forms, (1) real-time captioning of the teacher’s words by a captioner, on-the-spot or remotely, and (2) the captioning of educational DVDs or online videos.

Captioning enables deaf children to follow teachers in class, especially if words and images are linked for visual word association. Interestingly, classmates’ overall literacy can benefit significantly when captioning and visual word-teaching are practised in a technology-progressive classroom.

Where video captioning is not viable, a transcript can suffice. Interactive learning does not have to be abandoned if a deaf child is in a classroom with limited resources for captioning. Transcripts for videos and podcasts can be a lifeline for a child who’s deaf. When watching a video or listening to a podcast in class, give a transcript to the child and if needed, sit with them to read the transcript.

2) Interactive whiteboards link visual concepts to written words and boost literacy.

In recent years interactive whiteboards have been infiltrating schools in Ireland. These are useful in linking visual concepts or images to written words. Teachers can use the whiteboard to teach new words and work with the children to construct sentences around new concepts. For deaf children in particular, visual learning predominates, making whiteboards and laptops the ideal teaching media.

3) Laptops give older children easier access to class notes or presentations during a class.

As children grow up there are even more options. Laptops benefit older deaf children especially when they can access class notes and/or presentations during a class. The material is then easily available after a class for the student’s revision. This idea is already used in some Irish schools.

IDK is constantly seeking new ways to use educational technology in Ireland and abroad, to update parents and teachers on new developments. With daily advances in technology from e-readers to teaching applications, there is always something new and fascinating to report.

Irish Deaf Kids | www.irishdeafkids.ie | info@irishdeafkids.ie | twitter: @irishdeafkids | facebook: http://bit.ly/cmYyty | tel: 01-4903237



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