Despite the best efforts of talented teachers across the US, engaging K-12 students during the pandemic was a challenge. Amid the technical difficulties of remote education and the distractions of the home classroom, learning loss proved unavoidable.
In 2020 and 2021, Congress poured nearly $191 billion into the Elementary and Secondary School Education Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. Twenty percent must be allocated to address learning loss through evidence-based interventions. Schools have until the end of September 2024 to use these funds.
One of the most effective ways to use ESSER funds is to invest in Boardmaker, a software solution. Boardmaker helps to create visual and interactive educational materials. It is particularly beneficial for students with disabilities, who often benefit from visual learning support.
A visual learning solution for students with disabilities
Boardmaker helps to reverse learning loss through visual learning activities. Visual supports can boost comprehension, encourage independent learning, and enhance receptive and expressive communication skills for students with auditory processing difficulties. Using the Boardmaker Editor, teachers can easily create visual and interactive materials using over 45,000 symbols, web images, and photographs. Boardmaker pre-made curricula cover the most common K-12 science and social studies topics and include symbol supports to help learners.
Accessible technology for students with complex learning needs
Accessible technologies allow students with complex learning needs to engage with and demonstrate their learning across all subjects. Boardmaker supports multiple access methods including touch, alternative mouse, scanning, and eye gaze. These settings can be customized and applied to any interactive activity. Additional features of Boardmaker, such as text to speech, high contrast and sign language libraries, adjustable text size and colors, and highlighting, make it more accessible to a wider range of learners.
Visual communication for all learners
Providing access to symbol-based communication aids helps children with communication deficits develop language and speech faster. Symbol-based tools allow children to utilize visual and auditory representations to combine words and express intent.
Social and emotional learning
Boardmaker supports social and emotional learning. Visual supports help children with self-regulation by making expectations more concreate, permanent and clear. With the Boardmaker Editor, teachers can find and create visual schedules, reinforcement systems and social narratives. Instructors can customize the level of support, language, and usability in Boardmaker to meet the individual needs of each student.
Flexible, highly visual and easy-to-use, Boardmaker is a powerful tool, particularly for teachers who support students with disabilities. Boardmaker can help schools use ESSER funds to reverse learning loss and ensure that all students have the opportunity to succeed.