This week in my Assistive Technology (AT) Class ED7724, my classmate +Gail Dandelske developed a survey to measure teacher AT training. Her survey was titled, “Are teaching staff trained adequately in the use of AT?” Our class has been discussing how teachers’ training on assistive technology impacts its use in the classroom. This survey confirms our belief that there is a prevalent lack of teacher training on AT. Gail collected 174 responses and recorded the data using emaze. This is a link to her emaze on this survey. Interesting data that was gathered is:
- 93% of the teachers completing the survey teach students that have mild to moderate
- 80% have taught students with sensory disabilities.
- 75% percent of teachers that have taught students with AT devices have never been trained on its use.
- more than 70% of the teachers felt they have not been adequately trained in the use of AT.
- approximately 78% believe that “every student has the right to an equal education and the tools that make learning possible”.
The data suggests a disconnect between a teacher's willingness to help and the teachers’ use of AT in the classroom to assist students with mild to moderate disabilities. The data clearly shows that the majority of the teachers had not been adequately trained on AT. Professional in the field of AT know that teachers need adequate training on AT in order to effectively support its effective use by students. From this data, I conclude that a majority of teachers may not be able to support students that are using AT in their classroom because they have not been trained.
To better address the learning needs of all students in the classroom, school systems need to provide all teachers with adequate training on the effective use of AT tools. In order to effectively use At equipment teachers need to be trained on the equipment. With training, teachers will be better informed and equipped to help every learner in the classroom succeed.