DJLN School in the News: Achim Academy

| By Gary Harstein

The DigitalJLearning Network is proud to see one of our schools featured in an article. Achim Academy is a very special Jewish school serving a very special population.  Finding ways to differentiate instruction is always tough.  But in a school where all of the students have special needs, it can be a rather daunting challenge.  Achim Academy has developed and implemented technology-integrated, blended learning curriculum that allows students across all grade levels, and more importantly with varying individual needs, to learn.

The article in Touch Technology News references a program called "Play Attention".  And the claims they make in the article about what it does are 100% accurate.  When I visited Achim Academy last year, I was blown away with how they were using this program.  Students use a specially wired helmet that somehow tracks head and eye movements. (I hope I got that right.) Students whose disabilities include motor coordination (having difficulty operating a mouse and keyboard) are actually able to move objects on the screen without using their hands!  And as I always say, it's not about the technology - even here.  Achim Academy developed processes and curriciulum to accompany the Play Attention system. By doing so, they insure that students' needs are driving this product's use.  This is not just some bell-or-whistle. This is a wonderful example of talented Jewish educators reaching students who may have been deemed "unreachable" before.

Please click here to visit the Achim Academy web site to learn more about the great work they are doing and about how online/blended models can help Special Education students to learn in meaningful ways.