SEN Students Excluded From Web 2.0

I have been teaching for nearly a year now and have been inspired by the other teachers I have encounter on blogs, conferences and podcasts. I’ve tried to use some of the great ideas in my teaching in a school for children with special educational needs, but I have encountered a big problem – the login screen.

We have tried to use Google Apps, email, flickr, etc. However, they all require a login, for obvious reasons. This proves to be very difficult for nearly all of the students I teach. Many of them struggle to spell, with many not even registering on standardised tests. Whilst they can read a bit, use the computers better than some of the staff and create all kinds of media, when it comes to logging in, they just can’t enter the text accurately enough. As many of the children I teach have emotional and behavioural problems, two negative responses from a website can have a major effect on their behaviour for a good deal of time. Once they have logged into something like Google Docs, they can spell well enough to produce some creative and readable work, but a login screen is obviously unforgiving. Even giving the children their login details to copy into the computer isn’t enough for them to get it right.

Whilst I would love my students to be part of the exciting possibilities presented by the web, i’m not sure there’s a practical way to involved them. Any ideas?