Can AI Help With Special Education?

Teachers have been experiencing increased efficiency in handling paperwork thanks to artificial intelligence (AI). However, using AI for instruction for students with disabilities and learning differences is still challenging and requires a cautious approach. A recent article from Education Week, “Can AI Help With Special Ed? There’s Promise and Reason to Be Cautious,” explores the potential and challenges of AI in special education. This article is based on insights from a June 25 panel discussion at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference, featuring our CIDDL PI’s Trey Vasquez Ph.D., a professor at the University of Central Florida, and James Basham Ph.D., a professor at the University of Kansas.
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CIDDList: Replacements for Your Retiring Favorites

If you haven’t heard, Google is retiring Jamboard and Microsoft is limiting availability of Flip to those with Teams accounts. While this news may require some revisions to courses and classrooms, it provides an opportunity for teacher-educators and special education personnel to leverage newer innovations in their curriculum. Thus, in this CIDDList, we will highlight tools you can use in place of these well-loved sites.
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National Education Technology Plan

In January, the Office of Educational Technology released the 2024 National Educational Technology Plan entitled “A Call to Action for Closing the Digital Access, Design, and Use Divides”. The focus of the plan is on closing digital divides. It defines the digital use divide as an inequitable implementation of technology use, bringing more awareness to an issue highlighted in a previous CIDDL blog. Some students use technology for purely passive task completion, whereas others use it to create, produce, build, and analyze. The digital design divide refers to the inequality in professional learning opportunities, wherein practitioners can learn to design learning experiences through educational technology. The final area, the digital access divide, refers to inequitable access to devices, connectivity, and content. This includes digital health, safety, citizenship skills, and accessibility.

Myths and Facts of “Hi-Flex” Course Design

On June 26th, 2024, CIDDL hosted a webinar to discuss the evolution and current state of “hi-flex” teaching, addressing common misconceptions and providing factual information. During the webinar, Martha Burtis, Director of Open CoLab Plymouth State University, and Bryan Mascio, Ed.D. Faculty-in-Residence, Power of Place Learning Communities: Educational Consultant emphasized the importance of pedagogy over modality and technology in the ‘Hi-Flex with an AI’ approach.

Diversity and Inclusion in Artificial Intelligence Development

Ensuring diverse representation in discussions and Artificial Intelligence (AI) development in education is crucial. This diversity is essential for AI to effectively bridge educational gaps for students with disabilities and other academically struggling populations. Including thought leaders and experts from diverse backgrounds is key to integrating AI into the classroom effectively and safely.