(August 21-27): Introduction to Assistive and Instructional Technology

Learning Objectives:

Gain an understanding of assistive and educational (instructional) technology

  • Definition of assistive and educational technology
  • How educational technologies can provide assistive supports


Things To Do


  1. Review SPED 601 Syllabus

Welcome to SPED 601! Watch the introduction video  and go over the SPED 601 syllabus to get an overview of objectives, expectations, and assignments in SPED 601. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me (Min Ok: okmin@hawaii.edu). The best way to contact me is through e-mail, which I check often throughout the day.


  1. Read: When Educational Technologies are Assistive

This short article written by Dr. K. Rao provides an overview of what assistive technologies (AT) and educational technologies are.  Several educational technologies (also known as instructional technologies) have assistive features that are useful to know about in inclusion settings.


  1. Complete IRIS Center “Assistive Technology: An Overview” module.

The IRIS Center is a great professional development online resource. You can find many modules on various topics in education (e.g., assessment, mathematics, early intervention, etc.). You will complete only the “Assistive Technology: An Overview” module for this course, but if you are interested, please explore other modules for your own learning!


  1. Watch: Two AT Videos 
  • How Assistive Technology Enables Dreams: This video provides an overview of some of the different types of assistive technology tools available, from voice-activated software to customized laptops, and provides examples of how tech can change the way students communicate, learn, and play.
  • Head-Designed: Giesbert Nijhuis was a talented photographer and graphic designer when he had a spinal cord injury due to a car accident in December 1995. Left paralyzed from the neck down he took up his old professions again replacing his pencil with a computer. Watch how he uses a head mouse and an onscreen keyboard to do his graphic design work.


  1. Explore AT device websites

Explore ONE of the following AT device websites to become familiar with various types of AT devices. You do not need to spend a long time exploring the sites. Skim through the sites and take a look some devices you are interested in. I hope you can use these sites as future resources for your learning or when you need to find devices for your students.


   6. Optional: Read Chapter 1: Introduction to Assistive Technology (Assistive Technology in the Classroom, written by Dell, Newton, & Petroff)


Assignments & Important Dates

1. Week 1 Introductory Assignment (15pts)- DUE: August 27 (Sunday) by 11:55 PM

Detailed directions for the Introductory Assignment can be found in Laulima–>Assignments–>Week 1 Introductory Assignment.  You will create an introductory post (text, audio or video) and submit in Laulima, Week 1 Introductory Assignment


2. Work on “Week 1 questions (Q1 & Q2)” in  Weekly Reflection #1 (Week 1- Week 4)

The completed Weekly Reflection #1 is due on Sept. 17 (Sun), 11:55 PM

However, the Weekly Reflections are designed so that you can work on them incrementally each week. By working on the questions weekly, you will not have to rush to complete the reflection at the last minute.

  • Download the Weekly Reflection #1 questions
  • Complete Week 1 questions (Q1 and Q2) based on weekly readings/activities
  • Save the document with your responses to Week 1 questions and continue to work on the weekly reflection next week.
  • To view some model responses and how they were scored for a Weekly Module Reflection, click here.


 I Will Do! 🙂 – Min-