Embracing Assistive Technology: Tailoring Learning to Individual Needs

4 minute read

A happy student outside a university
A happy student outside a university
A happy student outside a university
A happy student outside a university

There are visual learners and auditory learners, the scribblers on paper and the dictators of digital notes. The ones that work best before breakfast and the ones that get their inspiration in the evening.

With so many approaches to learning, which is the right way?

The answer is that there isn't one; there is just your way. Of course, we all know the basics of learning effectively: setting goals, creating schedules, and practising regularly. But if you already have a method that works for you, embrace it and find a tool that helps take it to the next level.

Knowing what to learn but not how

We’ve all been there, sitting in a lecture, losing track of what’s being said. We’ve faced walls of text, not knowing how to break them down. We’ve stood outside classrooms, feeling unprepared at the prospect of presenting to our peers.

This is where assistive technology can prove so beneficial, allowing us to access and create content in different ways. We can record lectures, capturing information to process later, summarise notes by turning them into flashcards and build confidence with presentation software.

Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all.

Students can access support via their institution's disability services team and their wellbeing and mental health advisors. Many schools, colleges and universities offer their own study skills courses and resources, and funding via the Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) can provide software, mentors and study skills sessions.

Supporting each pupil's different needs and learning styles can be challenging for tutors, but by incorporating tech into their tool kit, they can help make learning accessible not only to those with a disability but to all students.

These study skills become all the more important when you move from FE to HE.

Disability Specialist Amy Renton shares how the students she supports are using assistive technology and the positive impact it has had on their studies:

“I often see students who feel so dejected and disengaged with their learning and somehow feel it is their fault. It's fantastic seeing them using tech in a way that works for them and grow in confidence, reigniting their drive and passion for their subject.”

Let’s take a student who struggles to organise their time. From buying tea bags to submitting an important assignment, Booost offers a way to manage it all, focus on what to do when, and, crucially, set aside time for wellbeing. Users can monitor mood, see progress with the reflection tool, and access expert advice and coping strategies ‘in the moment’. This promotes ownership and encourages good habits and routines, skills that benefit students in all areas of their lives.

Now, for a student who lacks focus and finds memorising new information challenging. An intuitive approach is needed, with minimal distractions. Luna’s clean interface allows users to drop in their course content, which is converted into flashcards at the click of a button, saving time and energy and freeing them up to engage more actively with their course. Confidence scores help to maintain motivation, and gamifying the process gives an element of competition.

We leave you with this from Ben, who told us how Luna made a huge difference to their uni experience;

“As a student with ADHD, focussing on revision is very difficult. I used to spend hours procrastinating by making perfect notes to avoid starting revising. But now I have Luna, it feels so much less daunting - it doesn’t feel hard to just get started. It feels like a game!”

Assistive technology is changing how we learn and work, promoting independence and empowerment. For students, having access to these tools can have a transformative impact, allowing them to take control of their learning journey and succeed far beyond the classroom.

Find out more about how AT can help your students

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