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SXSWedu 2014

What's so Special about Special Education?

Responsive instruction, personalized learning, and data-driven decision making. Over-used buzzwords to describe the ed tech goals of making learning more meaningful and efficient for each student? Maybe, but they’re also a pretty good description of what Special Education has been trying to do for the past 35 years. This session will look at those three concepts through a lens that may be unfamiliar to many in the ed tech community, that of Special Education, with the ultimate goal of generating new connections through the comparison. We want to help special education teachers make their voices heard in the larger education world and we want to share some of the successes and challenges that come with educating our most complex groups of students. Once you see the creativity of these teachers, the complexity of their reporting systems, and the enormity of the data sets that they create, you’ll never think of Special Education in the same way again!

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  1. What systems do special education teachers utilize in order to be responsive to the needs, progress, and challenges of their students? From progress monitoring in the classroom to submitting data for federal compliance, we'll give you a working familiarity with the systems and the outcomes.
  2. How effective and efficient is the process of personalizing a learning plan for every student receiving special education services? We'll look at 35 years worth of performance data and let you be the judge.
  3. What kinds of data do special education practitioners, at all levels, use to improve services for students with disabilities? What can be done to use that data more effectively? We'll explore the strengths of the current system and highlight some areas that need technical support.


Matt Holloway, Education Specialist, Region 13 Education Service Center

Meta Information:

  • Event: EDU
  • Format: Panel Discussion
  • Track: Accessibility & Special Education
  • Level: Intermediate
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