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.
Two women using a laptop

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.

The New DOJ Rule on Web Accessibility: What Educators Need to Know

In today’s digital age, accessibility is critical. As technology integration in education is getting more widespread, it is becoming more important to ensure all students, including those with disabilities, have equal access to digital learning resources. The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently introduced a new rule to enhance web accessibility. This blog post presents the summary and key points about this new DOJ rule and its implications for education.
new apple iPhone

Apple Intelligence: How Apple’s AI for the Rest of Us Will Impact Special Education Personnel Preparation

In a much-awaited gathering, Apple announced how it is upgrading its devices to integrate further artificial intelligence, or Apple Intelligence (AI), as they call it. Apple devices have used natural language processors, a type of AI, for years to create SIRI and their word prediction software. Unlock your phone with your face? That also uses AI. At this most recent event, though, they announced how they use generative AI to enhance their platforms. Apple is branding this upgrade as AI for the rest of us, making using the novel, albeit sometimes complex, AI features more user-friendly.
Parents and teen working on homework on a laptop

The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Cognitive Load

In the digital age, the integration of technology into education is inevitable and potentially transformative. Artificial intelligence (AI), in particular, stands out as a powerful tool with significant implications in education. There are several cognitive variables that AI may influence in learning processes. One of the critical factors is cognitive load—the total amount of mental effort being used in the working memory. Understanding how AI influences cognitive load can help educators optimize educational practices to better meet the diverse needs of students.
Person reading on a kindle

Using AI-Powered Chatbot for Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension is one of the most important skills for academic success in this contemporary information-driven society. However, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, many students struggle with understanding texts with increased complexity. Supporting struggling readers has long been a challenge in educational settings. These students often require personalized attention that can be difficult to provide in classrooms with many students. However, advances in artificial intelligence (AI), particularly chatbots, offer promising new ways to meet these needs. This blog post explores how AI-powered chatbots can be integrated into learning environments to improve reading comprehension for struggling readers.
School bus

Jump on the Bus!

Perhaps one of the most influential AIs to hit special education is MagicSchoolAI. As an AI designed especially to support teachers, it can help with lesson planning, differentiating, writing assessments, writing IEPs, communicating with parents, and so much more. MagicSchool is quickly gaining popularity among educators, with over 2 million teachers and 3,000 schools and districts currently using it.