Students with Disabilities, the Learning Process, and Handheld Technology

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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
Stream: Special Education, Learning Difficulties, Disability
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Elissa Poel

Assistant Professor, Department of Special Education/Communication Disorders, New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM, USA

Elissa Poel earned her B.S. degree from the University of Pittsburgh and M.A.T. and Ph.D. from New Mexico State University. Currently, she is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education/Communication Disorders at New Mexico State University, which is located in the southwestern part of the United States. She serves as Director of the Special Education Student Teaching and Practicum programs. Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of teacher preparation, specific learning disabilities, and assistive technology. She has presented at national and international conferences, published in numerous journals, and received grant funding related to her areas of interest. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Learning Disabilities Association of America, which is a grassroots organization focusing on improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

Ref: L09P0308