Toolkit Topic: The potential of digital tools/ new technologies in learning paths
Case Study Title: Microsoft Teams- one of the most used digital tool for educators
Duration of Activity: — minutes
This case study will show how new technologies help in interacting with people with disabilities
Aim of activity: Working with people with disabilities can be quite challenging, especially if they themselves do not feel comfortable with the existing learning environment and they need additional support. We will present an educator experience with the facilitation of teaching and interacting with students with disabilities through new technologies.
Sometimes some students with disabilities feel worried about how and if they will do during the current control and final exams at the University.
They often need additional consultation to understand whether they are correctly interpreting the assignment they are given and need detailed learning still had advantages for students with disabilities, because they were able to receive additional support even remotely. In the specific example, for a student with special needs in Univercity of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria, additional teaching hours must be allocated to conduct consultations on a course project, ecomomic analyses filed, lead by Nedko Tagarev.
The first challenge is when the student has not yet used the Microsoft teams product and does not know how to join a video conference with the lecturer. Not all students have a high digital culture, and for some of them any innovation is initially difficult. To overcome this difficulty, the solution is for the teacher to give a detailed instruction how to work with the platform. The instructions are prepared with a lot of photo material, which step by step describes the steps for working with the program. The pictures are very important because they represent where the student should click, what window will open, etc. This is extremely useful especially for people with disabilities and those with learning difficulties.
After the student has received the instructions and still does not manage, there is an option to use Viber video chat, for example, to contact the teacher and start the platform together.
After the first difficulty is overcome, it comes to the essential part with the use of Microsoft Teams. The main priorities of the platform are the possibility of video and audio live connection. The student joins and starts a real conversation with the teacher. The option to share the student’s screen with their coursework is then used. Thus, in real time, a student and a teacher simultaneously look at the same text, on which comments, corrections, remarks, etc. are made at the moment, if necessary.
In this way, the consultation is conducted as if the teacher and student were in the same room, even virtually. It is at these times that the advancement of technology plays a key role in the development of education. They overcome physical limitations and help both parties continue their training schedule. The ability to transfer files, photos, and other content eases the learning process.
- Despite the development of technologies and their easy-to-use interface, remember that people with disabilities need extra help sometimes, attention should be paid to their needs at the moment and an approach and digital tools should be used to help them, not to make it difficult for them. If the teacher considers a certain platform is more inaccessible or requires more skills, he can choose another one that corresponds to the needs of all students. Thus, education does not exclude, but includes everyone.
- New technologies provide a number of opportunities to make the learning process easier and more interactive.
- In-depth knowledge of the platform’s functionalities enables anyone to use all its benefits
- What digital learning tool do you use?
- Is there audio?
- Is there a video?
- Can real-time scoring be done?
- Is there autocorrect?
- Do you know all the features of this tool?
- Would you recommend it to your colleagues?
- What recommendations do you have for improving it?
- What would you like it to include additionally?