Ms. Amal Shoaeb Kasmani
Ms. Amal Kasmani is an Educational Counselor & Special Educator at a school in Muscat, Oman. She has also been associated with Al Ahlam Higher Education Services, providing support and training to children with special needs (SEN). She completed her undergraduate degree from Heriot-Watt University, Dubai Campus. She has over 4 years of experience working with children and is actively involved in various research projects in Child Psychology. Her profound commitment lies in fostering a comprehensive development of personality, ambitions, and abilities in children with special needs. She endeavors to expand their horizons beyond societal expectations, enabling them to flourish as individuals. By instilling these essential skills, she aims to empower children to effectively apply them in their academic pursuits, professional endeavors, and future careers.
She has recently co-founded a skills development center named Hidaya Muscat, which provides support to all children to develop their passions, interest, and develop skills beyond academics. The ultimate goal is to unlock and unleash the hidden potential within each child, empowering them to excel in all aspects of their lives.
Personalized learning through technology: A game changer for skills development in children with learning disabilities
The focus of this presentation is on the impact and the use of technology and digital programmes to improve independent skills and personality development in children with learning difficulties. Specific examples through research will include those with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Speech Language Impairment (SLI), and Intellectual Disability (ID).
Children with learning disabilities face various challenges in a mainstream classroom that hinder their academic potential. These challenges may stem from differences in learning styles, pace, content delivery, and the availability of adequate sensory integration or assistive technology. As a result, many of these children struggle academically, leading to a delay in building a strong foundation in receptive language, literacy and numeracy skills (Muter & Likierman, 2008). These children also face challenges with attention, organisation, study, and social skills. However, the primary focus in school is on their academic development, often causing them to fail in acquiring important transferable skills until much later in life, skills that their peers without learning challenges have the opportunity to develop from a young age (Poore et. al., 2019).
With an equal amount of focus on building transferable skills in these children, we are preparing them to survive in the world. Academic progress alone may not adequately prepare them for success in an environment beyond formative schooling years, where constant guidance is not provided. Without training in these essential skills, they may struggle to effectively apply their intellectual abilities.
There are various research-driven digital programmes that can assist these children in building these skills, using neuroscience principles, and a range of assistive technologies.The benefits of such digital programmes include self-paced learning, continuous progress monitoring and promoting engagement and confidence. Recent literature reviews have shown that e-learning software has multidimensional benefits on the personality of children with learning difficulties, including cognitive, social and psychological skills (Vouglanis & Drigas, 2022).
This presentation will explore some of the benefits and challenges of these e-learning tools when working with children with learning disabilities, either in a 1:1 setting or in a classroom, with realistic suggestions given to overcome identified obstacles. Through collaborative efforts and continued research, we can harness the potential of technology and ensure a brighter future for our children.
Muter, V., & Likierman, H. (2008). Dyslexia: A parents’ guide to dyslexia, dyspraxia and other learning difficulties. Vermilion.
Poore, B., Wrigley, S., Matthews, D., Ross, J., & Forsyth, H. (2019, June 26). Why can’t students recognise transferable skills? Times Higher Education (THE). https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/why-cant-students-recognise-transferable-skills
Vouglanis, T., & Drigas, A. (2022). The Positive Impact of Internet on the Cognitive, Psychological and Social Side of People's Personality with disabilities. Technium Soc. Sci. J., 35, 29.