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Great Educational Tools for Special Education Teachers

Great Educational Tools for Special Education Teachers

The potential of students with special needs is often underestimated. However, special education teachers know that these students have exceptional talents, even though it takes a greater effort and a greater number of tools and resources that will bring the lectures closer to them.

Contemporary teaching methods are inseparable with technology tools. When teachers choose the right tools, they will find an easier way of approaching students with special needs. The following resources are definitely worth trying out.

1. TutorsClass

Students with special needs can use tutoring lessons more than anyone, but it’s extremely difficult to find tutors with the right approach when searching locally. As an online tutoring platform, TutorsClass can help every student find the right tutor for their needs.

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This online environment provides numerous benefits for students with special needs, mainly by making them more focused on the learning process. Special education teachers can also find this platform very useful, because they can expand their reach and start providing lessons to more students under their own schedule.

2. Do2Learn

This is one of the best projects aimed at students with special needs. Do2Learn makes them more interested in learning by combining the educational process with games, seasonal arts, craft projects, songs, and many more fun activities. This concept helps teachers to improve the social skills, behavior, and academic achievements of students with special needs.

Do2Learn offers a teacher toolbox, plans for behavior management, literacy tools, and many other materials that enhance the productivity of the teachers and their students. It’s not easy to get access to material created by experts in the niche of special education, which is what makes this website so valuable.

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3. Help.PlagTracker.com

Students with special needs can find grammar and syntax rules too overwhelming, but they are still expected to advance their writing skills. PlagTracker offers professional writing and editing assistance that can make their work much better. One can learn most efficiently through their own mistakes, which makes the corrections provided by the professional team at this website extremely valuable for the education of students with special needs.

Teachers can also turn to the professional editing assistance provided by this website when they want to present flawless textbooks, lessons, and projects to students with special needs.

4. Brainly.com

Brainly.com is a social learning network. It takes what’s best in the traditional, offline collaboration between students, and brings it to an online space. This way, students from different locations and background are able to freely cooperate and study together. After this model proved very successful in European and South American countries, Brainly launched new language versions, including an English one—Brainly.com. Now American, British and all other English speaking students and education enthusiasts may benefit from the exchange of knowledge and skills with the use of social learning.

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5. Writinghouse

Special education teachers have to customize the lesson plans according to the capacity and productivity of their students. This means that they have to produce many pieces of academic content, and all of them need to be properly referenced.

With the help of Writinghouse, teachers can forget about all distracting referencing standards, because this free citation generator applies them automatically.

6. National Center for Learning Disabilities

The NCLD website offers great resources that enable special education teachers to keep their students interested in the lessons. Every teacher has to understand these students before being able to teach them something, and that is exactly what this website is focused on.

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The NCLD offers valuable tips that can help teachers improve their relationships not only with the students, but with their parents as well. Teachers can also find advice on how to use assistive technology that will make their jobs easier.

7. Social Media

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are tools every teacher should use. A special education teacher can join a large community of educators specialized in this niche, which can help them learn through relevant discussions and information. Making a contribution is always important in this community, and social media websites enable all special education teachers to collaborate and contribute towards the development of new teaching methods.

Teaching methods can be greatly enhanced with the right choice of educational tools.

No special education teacher can achieve great results without being aware of the contemporary teaching methods that combine the use of technology with the educational process. The concepts of this technology are constantly being reinvented, which provides teachers with unlimited options to improve the productivity of their students.

The resources we listed above will help you start exploring the innovations and improve your impact as a teacher to students with special needs.

Featured photo credit: ⤢ × × Jackie J. Schultz. Many Students, One Teacher via flickr.com

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Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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