1. AI Episode 1: Intro to Artificial Intelligence in Teaching
  2. AI Episode 2: What Does An AI Teaching Assistant Look Like?
  3. AI Episode 3: Implications for Thought Leaders and Policy Developers
  4. Introducing Simulations into Teacher Preparation Programs
  5. Assistive Technology to Support Writing
  6. Enhancing Instruction and Empowering Educators with AI Tools and Technology
  7. So, AI Ruined Your Term Paper Assignment?
  8. Step by Step Use of Chat GPT
  9. CIDDL ChatGPT: Summarizing Text
  10. CIDDL ChatGPT: Solving Multiple Choice Questions
  11. Equity, Diversity, and Access to Technology in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
  12. CIDDL ChatGPT: Writing Programs
  13. CIDDL ChatGPT: Solving Word Problems
  14. Artificial Intelligence: Positives and Negatives in the Mathematics Classroom
  15. AI to Support Literacy
  16. Using the AI Bill of Rights to Guide Education’s use of AI and the European Commission’s “Ethical Guidelines for Teaching and Learning” to Guide the Future of AI in Education Part 1 of 2
  17. Using the AI Bill of Rights to Guide Education’s use of AI and the European Commission’s “Ethical Guidelines for Teaching and Learning” to Guide the Future of AI in Education Part 2 of 2
  18. Three Free & Easy Tools to Support Tiered Reading in Your Classroom
  19. The Question of Equity in the Age of ChatGPT
  20. CIDDList: 5 AIs You Need to Check Out This Summer!
  21. Mixed Reality Simulations, Personalized Learning, AI, and the Future of Education with Dr. Chris Dede
  22. Foundations for AI and the Future of Teaching and Learning from the US Department of Educational Technology
  23. Apple Enters the AR/VR/MR/XR Scene
  24. ChatGPT, AIs, and the IEP?
  25. There’s An AI for That: A Site Dedicated to Curating AIs
  26. UDL, Design Learning, and Personalized Learning
  27. Embracing the Future: How Teachers Can Harness AI at the Beginning of the School Year
  28. Empowering Special Education Faculty: Navigating the AI Landscape in Higher Education for 2023-2024.
  29. CIDDList: Back-to-School Checklist for Technology in Teacher Preparation Courses
  30. Cracking the Code: Students with Disabilities in the Computer Sciences 
  31. UNESCO Discusses Artificial Intelligence
  32. AI-integrated Apps for Those with Visual Impairments: Camera-Based Identifiers and Readers
  33. Publishers Respond to Generative AI
  34. K-12 Generative AI Readiness Checklist
  35. CIDDL Talks How AI Will Change Special Education at TED
  36. Re-designing and Aligning an Intro to Special Education Class to the UDL Framework through Technology Integration: Minimizing Threats and Distractions
  37. Resources for Learning About AI Going Into 2024
  38. Artificial Intelligence in Education 2023: A Year in Review
  39. Revolutionizing Mathematics Education in K-12 with AI: The Role of ChatGPT
  40. Image Generating AI and Implications for Teacher Preparation
  41. Are We There Yet? AI for Statistical Analysis
  42. Answers to Your AI Questions: A Conversation with Yacine Tazi
  43. Emerging Trends in Special Education Technology: A Doctoral Scholar Symposium
  44. 2024: A Space Odyssey? How AI and Technology of the Present Compares to HAL9000 and the Predictions of 2001: A Space Odyssey
  45. Using ChatGPT for Writing Lesson Plans
  46. Updates in the World of AI
  47. CIDDList: Exploring GPTs Available with ChatGPT Plus
  48. Prompt Engineering for Teachers Using Generative AI: Brainstorming Activities and Resources
  49. Understanding the AI in Your Classroom
Keyboard as assistive technology

Assistive Technology to Support Writing

Author: Samantha Goldman; info@ciddl.org

Bringing Assistive Technology (AT) to K-12

Technology for writing is embedded in just about every aspect of our lives. Students with disabilities can and should have access to Assistive Technology (AT) tools so that they can have the opportunity to express themselves in writing, share what they learned in an essay, and create their own storybooks. Moreover, since the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures, the number of classrooms that have one-to-one devices has skyrocketed, making it easier to put these helpful writing tools in the hands of the students that need them. As we prepare pre-service teachers, we need to make sure they understand and implement AT tools to support writing for students with disabilities. In this blog post, we will explore three major types of AT tools for writing.

Must Teach Tools: Technology-Based Graphic Organizers

The benefit of technology-based graphic organizers is that they offer students added layers of support like picture dictionaries, speech recognition, and audio recording. This type of technology also supports students in their ideas through features like drag-and-drop. We Go RIITE  is a tool created by researchers from George Mason University that provides pre-service teachers with step-by-step directions on how to navigate technology-based graphic organizers. Check out this user manual for specific guidance. Another great resource to expose pre-service teachers to is Read Write Think, from which they can choose a diverse array of interactive organizers. Moreover, interested readers can check out Corgi, a project created by CAST that combines the features of interactive graphic organizers and the principles of Universal Design for Learning to support diverse learning needs of all students.

Must Teach Tools: Drafting and Composing

The two main technologies to support drafting and composing are predictive text and speech-to-text, both of which are readily available on a variety of devices. Speech-to-text, where students can dictate to the computer and it will transcribe for them, is found within the “tools” menu of Google Docs under voice typing. Smart Compose, from Google Docs, and text predictions from Microsoft Word, offer word prediction.

Must Teach Tools: Editing and Revising

Technologies to support editing and revising include grammar supports, like Grammarly and Writer, which is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) writing assistant. It is also important that we prepare our pre-service teachers to explicitly teach students how to use the embedded grammar and spelling checkers within word processing programs. One suggestion to do this is through the use of video modeling and task analysis. Screen readers, like Google’s and Apple’s, allow students to hear what they wrote, which can help them revise their writing for clarity.

Bringing AT to Pre-Service Teachers

In order for students with disabilities to learn about and gain effective access to these writing  tools in the classroom, Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) need to integrate technology into teacher preparation programs. Pre-service teachers and related service providers need to be 1) made aware these tools exist, 2) taught how to use them effectively including when they should and should not be used, and 3) seeking funding for these tools and/or free options. Research showed that these tools benefit students with disabilities; however, if we do not explicitly teach all pre-service teachers and related service providers about what they are, how to use them, and how to access them, students will not be exposed to those tools.

Let’s Talk about It

One way to leverage these tools and help pre-service teachers embed them in their classrooms is by modeling effective use on an everyday basis. Reflect on your typical day and think about how many times you use an AT to support your ability to get your ideas down in writing. Share about your favorite tools and learn about the tools others are using in our community!