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Research on Using Technology for Students With Emotional and/or Behavioral Disorders: Cruel Optimism or Meaningful Progress?

aGeorge Mason University, USA
bUniversity of Massachusetts Lowell, USA
cShennandoah University, USA

Using Technology to Enhance Special Education

ISBN: 978-1-80262-652-0, eISBN: 978-1-80262-651-3

Publication date: 2 February 2023


In this chapter, we examine the current research on how technology is applied to benefit students with emotional and/or behavioral disorders (EBD). First, we describe the iterative yet unpredictable nature of technological innovation to suggest that incremental successes are qualified by the creation of often unforeseen consequences. We then identify commonly used nonelectronic technologies in education to emphasize that the hoped-for advances in electronic technology have failed to deliver on their decades-old promise of educational revolution. We continue with our review of the literature on empirical studies examining how technology is used to support students with EBD. These findings indicate that the research design primarily employed in this field is single-subject. Examples of specific findings include web-based graphic organizers for student writing, virtual self-modeling for targeting student behaviors, and virtual coaching for teachers of students with EBD. We conclude by reviewing how leaders in the field of special education predict the field will change in the future. Overall, with an increased emphasis on research accessibility and practitioner-validated knowledge, and advances in neuroscience and artificial technologies, practitioners may hold a more central role to the creation and dissemination of knowledge.



Brigham, F.J., Claude, C., McKenna, J.W. and Lemp, L. (2023), "Research on Using Technology for Students With Emotional and/or Behavioral Disorders: Cruel Optimism or Meaningful Progress?", Bakken, J.P. and Obiakor, F.E. (Ed.) Using Technology to Enhance Special Education (Advances in Special Education, Vol. 37), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 29-50.



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Copyright © 2023 Frederick J. Brigham, Christopher Claude, John William McKenna and Larissa Lemp. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited