Monday, October 24, 2011

Whiteboards Engage Autistic Students

    The article Whitebaords Engage Autistic Students caught my interest since I am hoping to teach special education and would greatly like to have an emphasis in teaching autism and make a difference in their lives. So this article is something that I could incorporate into my future classroom to help my students learn more then just the basic book skills.

What: Many students with autism struggle with attention deficits that inhibit their learning and their ability to have appropriate social interactions, and teaching them how to overcome this takes a great deal of effort and individualized attention from teachers and aides. In 2006, Spaulding Youth Center in Northfield, New Hampshire bought interactive whiteboards to integrate into classrooms for students with a range of neurological disabilities between the ages of 7 and 20 hoping to change the accepted paradigm of education for autistic learners.

So What: The use of the whiteboards were hoping and were able to help prove that students with these disabilities are able to have social interactions and that they are able to generalize their learning in the classroom to beyond the classroom. Through these whiteboards and the programs that they use teachers were able to show appropriate social behavior and in turn students started to model the same behaviors. Students were also able to pay attention to learning longer starting from 15-19 minutes improving to 45 minutes and at their best to 90 minutes, with this students were becoming more engaged in their learning and teachers increased their expectations of students as the school year went on.

Now What: If teachers in special education classrooms and even regular education classrooms are aware of the effects that these whiteboards can have they are more likely to bring them into their classrooms. It is not only students that have autism that have issues with their attention span there are many students that need to be doing something almost constantly to stay involved and active in their learning. If these whiteboards allow for a great deal of student interaction it is a way to get every single student involved in learning. If I am given the chance to work with technologies like this it will defiantly be something that I incorporate into my classroom.

McClaskey, K., & Welch, R. (2009, February). Whiteboards Engage Autistic Students. Leading and Learning for Technology36(5), 30-31. Retrieved October 24, 2011, from
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  1. Sydney,
    I believe these Whiteboards can play a major role in each individual classroom. I agree that they can enhance a child’s learning whether they are working together or individually. These boards allow collaboration among students and I believe that is what we need to focus on as teachers. I think it is awesome that these boards help enhance learning of autistic children; however, I think it can be used for all students and really have a major impact on them. As perspective teachers, we need to be able to find ways students can work together and this is a fine start in the correct direction.

  2. Sydney,
    I agree that the use of interactive whiteboards are a great resource for children who are autistic or children with other disabilities. It's amazing that the students attention spans were affected that much by the introduction of the technology. I think the whiteboards can also be used for all students and it shouldn't be limited to just one group. I think that interactive whiteboards are a great tool that should be made accessible to all educators, for all students.