For the winter 2014 edition of the Southeast Education Network (SEEN) magazine, George Saunders, product manager for IEPPLUS, penned a feature, titled Special Education Advances Individualized Learning for All.
The feature begins: “There was a time when children with disabilities were routinely denied a public education. Often these children were turned away if the public school system was not equipped to educate them or the system simply did not want to expend the effort or incur the cost. They were never given a chance to learn and participate in society and, the shame of it is, many of them could have,” Saunders wrote. “The Education for All Handicapped Children Act and its successor, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), set out to right this wrong. Today, IDEA protects children with disabilities and requires public schools to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), with an Individualized Education Program (IEP), to prepare children with disabilities for further education, employment, and independent living.”
The article goes on to make the case that special education is now at the cutting edge of individualized learning for all students by creating the need for technology that promotes collaboration and manages personalized learning.
“It may not be long before individualized education is a reality for all students. Districts working with Response to Intervention and Individual Learning Plans are already dabbling with personalized education and providing students with custom services and supports to correct deficiencies and nurture strengths,” writes Saunders. “A collaborative framework facilitated by technology may allow these programs and other innovative initiatives to flourish.
“Ideally, this collaborative framework would build off of existing information systems, affording the team instant access to relevant data that enables student-centric action. This may not be what the future holds for education. But one thing is certain: if special education can successfully deliver individualized education programs and leverage technology for new levels of collaboration and virtualization, the rest of the education community should pause and take notice.”
To read the full story, visit the SEEN website at THIS LINK.