Special Education Resources on the Internet (SERI) is a collection of Internet accessible information resources of interest to those involved in the fields related to special education." This is a particularly interesting site because it contain links to a wide variety of other sites such as: Products & Commercial sites, Legal and Law Resources, Discussion Groups, Medicine and Health, Inclusion, and information on specific disabilities and the area of education for the gifted and talented student.
The collection exist in order to make on-line Special Education resources more easily and readily available in one location.
Target Student Population:
Professionals in the area of special education and parents of students with disabilities and those students who are gifted. This a particularly good site for pre-service and in-service teachers.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
None noted by the reviewers.
Type of Material:
A collection of internet accessible information dealing with all aspects of special education.
Professionals working with children and youth with disabilities and those who are gifted. Pre-service general and special education teachers.
Acrobat Reader is needed for some of the sites. Free down load links are provided for those who may not already have this on their home computers.
Evaluation and Observation
This web site brings together the largest collection of links with the latest information concerning the nature and needs of students with special learning needs by category; legal resources; resources for parents; disability products; and commercial sites that offer services and materials to those who serve the "exceptional population" of students. The information appears to be current and accurate and reflects a variety of treatment options from a number of theoretical perspectives.
There are many commercial sites that only give information regarding their productgs and then requires the reader to purchase the item if he/she wants to know more. The product information is supplied by the developer and does not appear to be unbiased. The viewers of these sites are cautioned with regard to the commercial sites.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This mega site is only informational in nature. The effectiveness as a teaching tool lies in the creativity of the instructor who leads his/her students through purposeful learning activities. The potential for learning by the pre-service teacher is unlimited and is an invaluable resource because of the magnitude of topics, teaching practices, activities, and other information in one location.
No identifiable learning objectives are present. The teacher educator must develop his or her own learning outcomes. Since the site is static by nature, it can easily lead to random searching if the user enters without a purpose. Maintenance of the numberous links for this site is one of concern. One reviewer encountered several sites that were not active or received a note that the site was under construction. This could be discouraging to the novice and lead to "shopping around" for the information sought.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
This site is easy to navigate. No special instructions are needed.
The site is not Bobby Approved. For the most part, the links are informational only and therefore not engaging. Engagement and appeal will need to be created by the teacher eductor through specific learning activities using this site.
Other Issues and Comments:
Maintaining the integrity of the links for such a large site is of concern to the reviewers.