Empowering Special Education Teachers with AI: A Guide for Administrators

By Trish Geraghty

A day does not go by that I don’t hear, “I’m too busy” or “I’m overwhelmed” from a special education teacher. As administrators how can we help our busy and stressed out teachers? Give them a nudge into AI. I think of AI as a support to the huge cognitive load we are all carrying. Many of the tasks AI can help with are simple, but time-consuming things. I use AI to brainstorm and jump start my motivation when I’m stuck on a project. AI can complement a workflow like Word does. The human aspect, experience and expertise, is still needed but the shift of cognitive load can free up some processing space. 

We already know how busy special education teachers are from heavy workloads, limited resources, and often a lack of adequate training. Fortunately, AI offers some solutions to address these challenges and give special education teachers the gift of time so they may provide even better support to their students.

It is our job as administrators to stay current of emerging technologies like AI and explore how they can be leveraged to enhance the effectiveness of special education programs. AI can be used to support special education teachers in personalizing learning, providing real-time feedback and assessment, identifying students at-risk, and my favorite: providing administrative support. AI can automate many administrative tasks, such as scheduling, data entry, and report generation. This frees up special education teachers’ time so that they can focus on providing direct instruction to their students. Don’t worry if you do not know how to get started yourself. There are tools available to support this. Check out Kit. Kit is a workflow management app designed to simplify the workday for IEP Teams. The app provides an innovative guided approach to information sharing, data management, planning, assessments, and more. 

Here are some key strategies for administrators to consider in facilitating AI adoption:

    1. Provide Professional Development: Offer training workshops and webinars to help special education teachers learn about AI and how to use it effectively in their classrooms.
    2. Facilitate Collaboration: Encourage collaboration between special education teachers and technology experts to explore and implement AI solutions. Take the new and scary out of AI implementation. 
    3. Encourage Experimentation: Provide opportunities for teachers to experiment with different AI tools and find what works best for them and their students.

By taking these steps, you can help ensure that special education teachers have the tools and support they need to leverage AI to enhance their teaching practices and provide even better support to their students.

Trish Geraghty
Trish Geraghty, an accomplished educational leader with 20+ years of experience, excels in curriculum development, instructional design, and professional development. Her proven track record includes successful support for schools, districts, educators, and students. Committed to ensuring universal access to high-quality learning, Trish is a visionary advocate for inclusive education. Her innovative approach to curriculum development reflects a keen understanding of evolving standards. Trish's transformative influence extends beyond traditional boundaries, actively contributing to the broader advancement of education. A catalyst for positive change, she inspires excellence in others, shaping the future of education through unwavering commitment and visionary leadership.

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