During the 2011-2012 school year, the school I taught was challenged to integrate our disabled students into society. This learning objective was a long term goal that involved teachers to use technology to help prepare the students for Standards of Learning (SOL) test. Our schools used augment devices to help our students become better learners. Recently there have been a need for technology improvement with in the adult community. However, this paper is going to focus on adults with mental disabilities and they lack the skills needed to survive in society. Knowing that some learners are visual and some learn through repetition I decided to use two emerging technologies to bridge the gap between society and adults with mental disabilities. The two technologies are the ipad and podcast.
An iPad is a tablet computer designed and developed by Apple and launched in April 2010. It is particularly marketed as a platform for audio and visual media such as e-books, e-newspapers, movies, music, games, and a wide range of applications. The main features include mail, web browser, photos, videos, YouTube, iPod, maps, contacts, calendar, notes and application store. Current limitations of this first device include the lack of a camera, USB port, Adobe Flash support, multi-tasking capabilities, SD memory slot, only 64GB internal storage (tiny for “terabyte days”), and the fact that it is not a stand-alone device, depending on a PC/Mac to install updates via the iTunes interface.
In my experience with using iPad’s I believe that it will make the task of searching, studying and reviewing easy. I also believe that the I pad will help adults develop information in notes, articles, and books will be organized on the device. “This will make studying to be more ubiquitous than ever. The iPad could provide students with the chance to take better care of their educational resources. It may also promote individualized curriculum, and applications could be developed to customize the learning experience of individual students” (Reyna 2010, p.1). Courses could become more independent of a teacher. Students could begin working more or less at their own pace as educators help each student to progress individually
Even with all of the technology capabilities the I pad is not being used in different communites for various reasons. One the iPad is expensive and not a lot of adults with disabilites make a lot of money. Another problem with iPads is when it is used at work it can
bring usability issues that can impact IT departments. “For instance, if iPad-toting workers can't open PDFs or Microsoft Office files on their tablets, they may seek assistance from busy IT staffers. Luckily, there are several easy and cheap software applications, including Good.iWare's GoodReader, that enhance the iPad's weak file-viewing capabilities. And another app, SlideShark, allows iPad users to view and show PowerPoint presentations” (Bertolucci, 2012, p.1).
One of the oldest technologies used was the tape recorder. Now a podcast has been developed to help act as the tape recorder by recording different information such as television shows, books, and classes. As a teacher there are some adults that learn through repetition. By using a podcast my adult learners will be able to stay current with information around the world, and develop information to help organize their daily routine in life. “Available 24/7 -The basic advantage of podcasting in education is the portability and convenience of listening to learning resources anytime and anywhere without requiring extensive technical knowledge. Podcasts can be downloaded to all kinds of mobile devices, such as MP3 players, mobile phones, PDAs, and mobile computers. Learning materials downloaded into mobile devices can be listened to by learners in their own time and place”(Pittman, 2012, p.1).
The problems with podcast are that most people prefer reading and not listening. Most adults with disabilities have short attention spans so they don’t want to listen to a long book or movie. Adults also want to have their day free to do whatever they want to do. “A podcast needs to immediately grab a person's interest and then hold onto it. Depending on the content your podcasts, that's often easier said than done. Text is an effective source of content, because people can scan each section to find what they want and what interests them. That's more difficult to do with video. If you appear nervous or don't have a clear, engaging voice, it's much easier for a person to exit your podcast and go search for other content” (Miksen 2012, p.1).
In conclusion both technologies have great potential to help adults. Even with great technologies come issues and problems that can also prevent a person from taking advantage of a device potential to take an adult learner to the next level no matter what issues he or she may be facing.
Bertolucci, Jeff. (2012). 10 iPad Problems Solved. Retrieved
Miksen, Chris. (2012). Disadvantage of Podcasting. Retrieved: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/disadvantages-podcasts-businesses-34095.html
Pittman, Alison. (2008). 4 Benifis of Podcasting in ELearning. Retrieved:
Reyna, Jorge. (2010). Ipad Enhancing Learning in the Digitial Age: 21st Century Learning Retr