Accessibility - ADHD and Blogs

Lori Wilson

Web 2.0 has in many ways leveled the playing field for students with learning disabilities. Online tools like blogs remove the social stigmas often associated with ADHD by providing a place to express themselves in a safe environment. These students can sometimes feel excluded in class activities, but web 2.0 allows them to be equal participants. They may feel inhibited to actively participate in class discussions for fear of scrutiny or humiliation from fellow classmates. The teacher can moderate the comments before posting to ensure the safety of all participants. When contributing in a blog, they can feel free to express their opinions and show their creativity in a less threatening environment. They can begin to feel they are part of the classroom community in cyberspace, and that feeling of inclusion can carry over into the actual classroom. Students are more motivated and productive when they feel they are part of a community. Web 2.0 tools can bridge that gap for many students with ADHD. It can help them feel they are contributing members of the classroom community. It takes participation from all students to make a blog the collaborative experience it was designed for. Without the contributions from all students including the ADHD students, the classroom blogs would not have the same impact.
The freedom to express themselves in a blog can present a challenge for students with ADHD. They can have a difficult time focusing in an unstructured environment like a blog. The teacher could help the student by narrowing the topic for discussion and helping the student to focus his or her thoughts.