The UDL Educational Technology Guide 2019-2020: Technology for Special Education

John F. O'Sullivan

Chapter 10 Projects


One of the biggest barriers to learning is a lack of engagement. We live in a world where everyone can look up information instantaneously. Video games and move much faster. Kings and queens of the past did not have all these amazing technologies. This change in our society affects education. Attention spans are getting shorter, and academic expectations is getting higher. As a field, education must use technology to engage students. When students get instant feedback from dynamic computer tools, that leads to engagement. Right now, the distractions educators face is often technology driven. Mobile phones, earbuds, games on demand, and YouTube videos unrelated to content areas can take away from instruction. Many of these distractions are a teacher’s job to notice and stop during class. To remove barriers, I recommend using engaging hands-on projects with technology. I have collected a list of the best technology to engage this generation. 


This means using tools like Slides or PowerPoint. If you are creative, there are a number of other online tools that can make creating a presentation dynamic.


We live in a world where most people have a video camera in their pocket. There are a number of great options to create videos for educational purposes.


This is when you record audio and post the recording on the internet for others to gain information from. This is a very powerful tool. There are a number of tools on various platforms to make this happen.

Green Screen

These are screen of one color that can be taken out when you make a video. The background is then replaced by a picture or a video. Green Screen by Do Ink is one of my favorite tools. Green Screen by Do Ink is an iPad app that is user-friendly.

Screen Recorder

There are a number of programs that will record your computer screen. This is a great way for a student to comment on a subject. There are free options and even screen recorders that will record a webcam on top of the screen. The technology is much easier to use, then one would think. This is a great option for projects.

Hyperdocuments or HyperDocs

This is when a number of links to documents, webpages, and resources are put into a word processing document. This is typically done with Google Documents. Hence the “documents” or “Docs” in the word. This is a dynamic way to engage students in the learning process. 

Interactive Whiteboards

This is when you use an app, software program, or a website as a whiteboard. There are a number of programs with many tools. If you record a video of yourself using the whiteboard that makes this tool far more interesting. If students record themselves explaining a concept or a project with an interactive whiteboard, then the tool becomes extremely useful. 

Virtual Reality

This has to be the coolest technology that is currently emerging. Google Expeditions and other tools are exciting to use. If you use one of the higher end virtual reality headsets, it is like having an Imax threader on your head. Over time people will figure out how to finetune this tool for educational purposes. 


There are several great tools to create a book or publish writing. Students can also publish art as part of the book they create. Publishing a book is rewarding. This is a great way to show real-world examples. 

Curation Tools

There are a number of tools to collect and display different types of information that can be found electronically. Some of these tools are adapted for use in the classroom. This can be a great way to do research, have students collaborate, or share information with students. The various tools are also very user-friendly. 

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