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Assistive Technologies

4.3  Incorporating AT into your lessons

There are many different types of AT to serve a wide variety of needs. In general, these can be grouped into seven functions. Our student videos are arranged according to these functions and we encourage you to watch the videos to get an understanding of the basic applications and how students can make use of them.

That said, doing a task is not the same as teaching it. Some tools lend themselves well to teaching in a group setting, while others are better suited for individual use. We organized the AT into these two categories, and prepared a reference page with some ideas for teaching strategies using each.

Because AT serves as an umbrella term for so many different tools and technologies, and teaching itself can involve a wide variety of subject-matter and age groups, there is no one best approach.

We prepared the following tips and ideas to help you explore options for various subject areas. You are the pedagogical experts and we hope that these ideas will help you become more confident in applying your own creativity to the use of ATs.

Ideas for implementing AT in your classroom by curriculum:

Social Sciences:

Create mind maps of whole chapters with your students using an interactive whiteboard. This can serve to review and identify the most important aspects of the lesson. Students can be further engaged by choosing the images to add. When finished, the map can be printed.

Ask students to use software such as “Photostory” to create a project for their history lesson by using images they’ve found on the Canadian Archives website.

Help students use mind mapping to brainstorm and organize their ideas before starting to compose paragraphs.
Ask students to practice their creative thinking by creating a blog written from the perspective of a favourite character (this will also allow students who use word prediction software or speech-to-text to use these tools)


Present the carbon cycle in a mind map format, asking students to recreate it and add images found online. Alternatively, ask students to recreate it in a storyboard format. (One example of storyboard software is called Comic Life and it offers teachers more ideas on using storyboarding in their lessons.)

A research project can begin by asking students to find the relevant information from an article by first listening to it being read out loud using text-to-speech software. Important points can be identified using functions such as the highlighters and sticky notes. The final project can be presented in a website format.


Mind mapping can serve to illustrate math lessons, including the basics such as addition and subtraction, and show relationships represented in Venn Diagrams. (For more ideas on using mind mapping in math and other academic areas, explore templates created by other teachers.)

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