Rainbow Vomit is NOT the Point!

If you think that Augmented Reality (AR) is just for fun and games, guess again. Speech-language pathologists use AR to make a real difference for students with disabilities.

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If you work with any student who is also on social media you might have seen them laugh, cringe or cry over a post that incorporated Augmented Reality (AR). While AR is an impressive new technology that keeps millions of people entertained, it can also be a powerful way to strategically support students with disabilities when and where they need it most!

In this blog post, we'll explore three ways AR may be a potentially life-changing use of technology to help students with disabilities.

AR makes learning more engaging

Let's face it; some topics are just dry and dull. But with AR, even the most mundane topics can be transformed into something exciting! For example, let's say you're working on teaching about the solar system. You could use the Google Arts & Culture AR app to bring the solar system into your therapy room! The planets would appear to float in midair, and students could walk around and learn about each one up close and personal. This would make the learning process much more engaging for students than simply reading about the solar system in a textbook.

Want the evidence? Check out this great paper by Elmqaddem on the use of AR for students who receive special education.

AR can provide personalized learning experiences

With AR, every student can have their unique learning experience tailored to their individual needs. For example, let's say you're working with a student who is struggling with reading but has grade-level comprehension. Google Lens or Speechify provides students with print-to-speech tools so they can access high-interest paper-based material. Students point their camera at want to read and text is automatically recognized. Students select what to listen to and get immediate access to printed material, they otherwise would not be able to read. As a result, they gain independence and confidence and get the support right when they need it to succeed.

See the functional use of AR in action with this video posted by Matteo Di Muro.

AR changes the way students with disabilities move

With AR, students can put where they want to go and get visual and audio directions overlaid directly on their phones. This can be a game-changer for students who are trying to navigate their way around a new city or campus. AR apps such as Google MapsWaze and Magic Earth and can provide turn-by-turn directions, identify landmarks, and even describe the surrounding area in great detail. This use of AR can be a literal lifesaver for people who are blind or have low vision, as they no longer have to rely on memory or guesswork to navigate their way around unfamiliar places.

Augmented reality is a great way to support students with disabilities! However, it is essential to choose the right app for each student so that they can get the most out of it. If you have any questions about using augmented reality with your students, please get in touch with me at michelleb@easyreportpro.com. I would love to chat with you about it!

About Michelle: Michelle is the co-founder and lead clinical developer of easyReportPRO, a powerful software that helps speech-language pathologists (SLPs) create high-quality diagnostic reports quickly and easily.

Michelle's expertise in telepractice and technology-enabled strategies, combined with her personal experience of burnout and considering leaving the SLP profession, gives her a unique understanding of the challenges SLPs face, especially when it comes to the high workload of writing diagnostic reports. With this blog, Michelle aims to share her knowledge and experience to help SLPs use technology to optimize their report writing process, save time, and achieve a better work-life balance.

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