A big part of offering up science, technology and math (STEM) opportunities for students of all abilities is differentiating instruction for each students' needs.
"Anything can be adapted for students with disabilities," says A. Harry Moore School Technology Coordinator Stephanie Talalai in an EdTech article. "It's just a matter of what accommodation you are going to give them."
One great way to provide accommodations for all students is through the use of mobile apps. For the "M" of STEM in particular, several mobile apps let teachers help students access high-interest, leveled math content.
1. DreamBox Leverages Data and Game-Based Learning
In general, game-based learning is a great way to engage with students who are struggling in STEM topics. DreamBox is a K–8 app that is available in English or Spanish. This app engages students in a gamelike environment and shares real-time data to help educators inform instruction.
2. ALEKS Uses Adaptive Curriculum to Cater to Students
A huge part of adaptive learning is tailor lessons to students level of ability. After an assessment to determine competency levels, students make their way through textbook-style lessons and practice questions. The app gives students feedback and slows or speeds up progress depending on performance.
3. ModMath Takes Pen and Paper Digital
Created by the parents of a child with dysgraphia, a condition that inhibits clear writing, ModMath helps pupils work through math problems without pen or pencil. Students work on virtual graph paper, typing numbers on touch screens.
4. Redbird Mathematics Marries Games and Standards
While game-based learning is a great way to engage with students at all levels, if they aren't used in a purposeful way that meets the standards of education students need to have, they are useless. Redbird Mathematics was developed by Stanford University and this standards-aligned program lets students apply their knowledge through rigorous online practice and advanced games.
5. Prodigy Makes Common Core More Exciting
This math video game provides another standards-based alternative for students in grades one through eight. Students enter a virtual world where they engage in Common Core–aligned, game-based learning.
For more on how to use technology to engage with students of all abilities, check out our Fall 2017 magazine feature, "How Tech Can Help Students with Disabilities Thrive in STEM Education."