Students with Disabilities, the Learning Process, and Handheld Technology
The purpose of this research was to evaluate the use of handheld technology and electronic task analyses with students with learning disabilities. The project was funded through a grant by the Regional Alliance for Science, Engineering, and Math Squared sponsored by the National Science Foundation and conducted at a southwestern university in the United States. A convenience sample of Special Education pre-service teachers was chosen. Students with learning disabilities and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in their placement sites were selected to participate. A pre/post test methodology was implemented. The overall impact of the project was positive. Pre-service teachers were able to reflect on their practice and develop effective instructional methods and techniques. Technology was incorporated into classroom instruction and applications helped to solve specific problems that often limit the success of individuals with disabilities in content curriculum. Students used the technology to complete in-class assignments successfully and, ultimately, submitted more assignments. They were more attentive in class and posed fewer questions to their teachers. They worked independently for longer time periods and remained engaged in the learning process.
Keywords: Handheld Technology, Learning Disabilities, Technology in the Classroom
Dr. Elissa Poel
Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education/Communication Disorders, New Mexico State University