Technology as Co-Teacher in
Kelly J. Grillo, PhD
TBD Partners, LLC
Why STEM Ed for SWD?
Why in the General Setting?
A STEM Learning Story!
What Supports are needed?
What are YOU doing to support SWD?
WHY STEM for SWD?
“In a culture that values the
measurement of the few skills that
SWD are most challenged with, like
reading and writing, often times we
overlook the positive traits these
students do have”
WHY STEM for SWD?
Real-world problem solving
Calculate reasonable solutions to
Applying old models to new
Articulating needed information or
The 1975 passing of PL 94-142 include six parts: (a)
Zero Reject and a Free and Appropriate Public
Education, (b) Nondiscriminatory Identification and
Evaluation, (c) Individualized Education Program
(IEP), (d) The Least Restrictive Environment (LRE),
(e) Due Process, and (f) Parental Participation,
essentially this law became the doctrine that
protected children with special needs rights to a
Yell, Rogers & Rogers, 1998
Educational Learning Gains for ALL Students
Impact of Legislation
Overall the Field of has
(a) Phonic Instruction,
(b) Systematic/Direct Instruction,
(c) Applied Behavior Analysis/Progress
(d) Curriculum based assessment
(e) Contribute to Empirical Research Based
Current legislation has
increase problem solving for teachers
increased collaboration of sped Ed & Gen Ed
A STEM Learning Story!
During my 8th grade annual IEP meeting my family was informed that my
reading level was below the requirements to enter 9th grade as a college-
preparatory student. I had made learning gains but I was still four grade
levels below most freshman participating in College-prep programs. Against
the guidance counselor’s advice, my father signed me up for the most
challenging curriculum. First semester I earned all Fs, but that is also when I
fell in love with learning Biology and when a Biology teacher noticed I was
brilliant in learning science. She collaborated with Special Education
Teachers using Support Facilitation. Since the biology text was the largest
barrier to my learning science, she used strategies to break down the
language of learning Biology and embedded technology supports,
encouraging me to become an independent learner. I learned to read better,
but it was the video-taped recordings of certain lab techniques or a
demonstration of skill mixed with co-operative learning activities that saved
me in Biology. She also taught me to be a self-advocate, use my voice in
learning, apply new skills used in field sciences, take learning risks, and
ultimately she created the belief in me that I am smart.
UDL and the WHOLE Learning Brain
1. Knowledge networks-Multiple Means of
2. Strategic networks-Multiple Means of Action and
3. Affective networks-Multiple Means of
Having curriculum represented in
multiple ways (Multiple Means of
Representation) increases knowledge
BOLDING KEY WORDS
Multiple Means of Action and Expression
Digital Reading/Writing Software
Multiple Means of Engagement
Provide students with choice.
In learning, in gathering information and in displaying knowledge
Design activities so that outcomes are authentic.
Create opportunities to share work, communicate, display products
to real audiences, and allow learning to become purposeful.
Provide opportunities for students to work in collaborative groups.
Allowing roles and responsibilities to change and responsibilities to
“American classrooms that have
marginalized populations have to
begin not only appealing to students,
but must capitalize on the tools that
students favor. ”
Dieker, Grillo & Ramlakhan, 2011
Tools Website Cost
NVDA www.nvdaproject.ord Free
Accessibility for Mac
Readability http://www.readability.com/ Free
ChromeVox http://www.chromevox.com/ FREE
“There is one overriding conclusion that
presents itself without even the support of
meta-analytic analysis of the existing
research base: We need more and better
research on current technologies that
support compositional writing by students
with learning and academic disabilities
and we need it now!”