I just finished writing a research paper for my Shakespeare class on using Shakespeare in a special education classroom, and much of the research that I came across discussed the benefits of using technology to teach literature to students in special education. I thought this was an interesting topic to share with the class, as I know many students in this class are education majors, and let’s face it regardless of if you are certified in special education or not, you WILL have special education students in your classroom!
Using technology in teaching literature is not only engaging to students and makes them more willing and excited to read, but technology also can incorporate a variety of different activities that can help improve students’ literacy. One common way of using technology in a classroom is by showing a film or video clips that enhance the lesson you are trying to teach, but there are many other options. Programs like Microsoft Publisher and Windows Movie Maker allow students to create professional looking projects that they can be excited about producing and take pride in the finished product.
In my research I came across one article by a teacher who documented her results of using different technologies to teach a Shakespeare play in her classroom. In addition to using Microsoft Publisher to have her students make pamphlets that featured a main character in the play, she also used digital cameras to take photos and Photo Shop to create scenes that were used in a PowerPoint presentation of the play. She was thrilled with the results, saying, “Technology was the vehicle that built their confidence, gave them an understanding of Shakespeare, and ultimately the willingness to take the risk reading the actual work” (Savoring Shakespeare 1). With creative teachers and developing technology there is no saying how much will change in education and how much students can learn. Students in special education are capable of learning to the same extent of any other general education student, and technology is the tool that will help them succeed.
The article I mentioned is cited below:
“Savoring Shakespeare.” Reading Today 21.2 (2003): 10. Academic Search Alumni Edition. Web. 1 Apr. 2014