5 ways to support students with special needs with a dynamic digital strategy

Thomas Courtley, ex teacher and LessonUp education specialist

Thomas Courtley

Education Specialist

A teacher and student using sign language to communicate with each other online

The purpose of this article is to inform you about the existence of a cost-effective digital toolkit for teachers, which, by itself, is a complete digital strategy solution. One of its most important benefits is that LessonUp is a great platform to supports students with special needs.

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1. LessonUp facilitates adaptive teaching

With LessonUp, teachers can make lesson time as effective and engaging as possible for all students, including learners with autism, hyperactivity, or other diverse needs. Within a LessonUp school subscription, teachers can share lessons and resources. They can save them in their LessonUp accounts, divide them in modules, and then adapt the material based on students’ needs. This is very helpful as it takes many experts to cover all the aspects of teaching students with special needs.

LessonUp has immensely helped us by enabling us to send interactive lessons to different learners, and provide unique differentiation. We have been adapting lessons as we go along. This is helping us evaluate what each student needs.
Anastasia Sergiou
Classroom teacher - Ambitious College
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2. It helps gather clear evidence per pupil

Anastasia Sergiou is a teacher specialised in supporting learners with autism to achieve their goals. She teaches neurodiverse learners and that implies being creative, adapting learning material and methods, and looking for targeted, personalised solutions every day. After months of using LessonUp, Anastasia and her colleagues noticed an increase in student engagement. This information is securely stored in the students' reports. To effectively support learners with diverse needs, it's essential for teachers to thoroughly review these reports, which contain evidence of progress.

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3. It facilitates the implementation of routines

 Students with major issues might need specific support, but in general, LessonUp can help address some common challenges that teachers face with students with special needs. Organising lessons consistently can help neurodiverse learners recognise and engage with the material more effectively. This could entail using the same font, size, text positioning, and image order. A structured approach might begin with a clear learning objective, followed by steps like activating prior knowledge, using formative assessments, and ending with an exit-ticket.

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4. It limits the possibility of distraction

As Anastasia says, ‘it is important to create learning material that is meaningful and engaging for them. I show them situations that they will see in real life.’ With LessonUp, teachers have the flexibility to customise visual materials according to their students' needs, from keeping it simple to creating highly detailed content—there are no limits. It's quite likely that students will find working with visual, interactive elements in a digital environment enjoyable and very engaging. With LessonUp, teachers can see how they're performing during interactive exercises, tests, formative assessments, and more.

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5. It helps bring the world into the classroom

Reading is a skill we learn, as opposed to speaking and picture processing, which are abilities most of us are naturally born with. With LessonUp teachers could create lessons around present-day themes, with interesting videos, engaging interactive assessment features, and eye-catching imagery to stimulate engagement. It would be a shame if teachers didn’t use videos and imagery to promote engagement, especially with SEN(D) students, to give them access to experiences they might not be able to have in person. This could be learners' chance to interact with real life situations within a safe space.

Our School Subscriptions are the best solution for a fully collaborative dynamic digital strategy!