According to UNESCO, India is home to 8 million children with disabilities (which includes both physical and mental disabilities). UNESCO pegs it as between 10 and 12% of the school-going population, which means every classroom has at least four children with learning disorders.
In India, home to 8 million children with disabilities (which includes both physical and mental disabilities), inclusive education is not just a need – it’s a necessity. According to UNESCO, these children account for 10 to 12% of the school-going population, indicating that every classroom has at least four children with learning disorders.
Inclusive Learning Through AI and Assistive Tech
A traditional one-size-fits-all approach falls short for these students. AI-enabled adaptive learning and assistive technologies, however, can transform this challenge into an opportunity for inclusive and personalized education.
Understanding Special Needs Learning and the Power of Assistive Tech
The WHO projects that by 2030, over 2.5 billion people will require assistive technologies. Let’s explore how different types of tech can aid various special needs in children.
1. Empowering Students with Physical Disabilities
Children with conditions like muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis can benefit immensely from technologies like eye trackers, which enable them to navigate and interact with e-learning materials in a way that was once impossible.
2. Nurturing Minds with Developmental Disabilities
Children with Down’s syndrome, autism, dyslexia, dyscalculia, and cognitive and processing disorders often thrive with visual aids.
Children with autism for example tend to be visual, literal, and logical thinkers, with the ability to retain more information when they are presented with graphic images. Educators can harness AI-aided computer graphics to teach children with autism and give them a personalized learning experience.
AI can also adapt fonts to make them more dyslexia-friendly (some fonts make the letters less crowded, and therefore more readable).
3. Supporting Behavioral and Emotional Development
For students with attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or bipolar disorder, AI-powered tools can personalize learning materials, and incorporate interactive elements like educational games to maintain engagement and focus.
Several schools use curriculum-aligned math games to accommodate different learning styles and support those with ADD or ADHD. These games keep learners engaged as well as encourage them to answer skill-building math questions.
4. Bridging the Gap for Sensory Impaired Students
For visually impaired students and for those with limited hearing, technology has a vital role in enhancing the e-learning experience.
AI-powered automatic speech recognition allows for live audio input to be converted into easy-to-read captions for seminars or lectures, which can go a long way in integrating the deaf student community into an inclusive learning experience.
The Rochester Institute of Technology is already collaborating with Microsoft Translator to test its AI technology that helps turn spoken words into written text for the benefit of the 1,500 students who are deaf or hard of hearing in their classrooms.
AI and Adaptive Learning: Customizing Education
Manually making changes to cater to diverse learning needs can be a challenge, particularly in special education. However, AI can be used to automate the creation of adaptive learning experiences that tailor content, pace, and assessment methods to accommodate learners’ varying abilities. This provides:
1. Personalized Learning Pathways
Adaptive learning adjusts the difficulty of tasks and the pace of instruction to accommodate varying abilities and strengths. It creates personalized learning experiences for people with different levels of cognitive, sensory, and physical abilities.
2. Catering to Multiple Sensory Modalities
By incorporating auditory, visual, and tactile elements, adaptive learning can cater to the diverse sensory needs of students. Based on the student’s needs and previous choices, the most appropriate elements can be presented to them to deliver a more enjoyable e-learning experience.
3. Real-Time Progress Monitoring
Adaptive learning systems continuously monitor a student’s progress. AI can also offer a better approach to assessment, allowing educators to track student progress in real-time, identify areas of weakness, and provide personalized feedback. For example, if a student is struggling with a particular concept, the system can provide additional practice or alternative explanations.
4. Engaging All Learners
By tailoring content to a student’s abilities, adaptive learning can enhance engagement, ensuring no one is left behind due to a learning challenge or physical disability.
Inclusivity is the essence of progressive education. Join us in transforming the educational landscape with AI-driven inclusive e-learning solutions. Get in touch with Hornbill FX to discuss how to make your curriculum more adaptive, and your learners’ journeys more inclusive.