Technological Applications: Volume 15


Table of contents

(13 chapters)

Twenty-three adolescents diagnosed with attentional disorders and reading issues were introduced to an intervention program designed to increase their reading ability through automaticity training on lists of words. For those nine students who completed the eight-week intervention program, substantial improvements were found on word reading, nonword reading, category matching and sentence completion tasks. The high rate of attrition (over 50%) is, however, indicative of the problems associated with attentional issues.

The study of eye movements relative to perception and cognition has beenan area of interest from ancient times. The present paper will trace this research activity from its origins in the Ancient Greek and Medival times through the 19th century and the technological progress of the 20th century. We will identify turning points in the history of eye movement and provide information on recently developed eye-tracking equiptment. The discussion will include eye movements and visual perception, identifying the basic terminology and phenomena considered relative to eye movements (fixations, saccades, and regressions), visual perceptual and attentional spans. Emphasis will be placed on eye movements and comprehension during text- and picture-viewing and how judgements can be made, based on eye movements, about how people try to integrate content from text and pictures. We will then describe the fundamental conclusions made 15 to 20 years ago regarding the eye movements of individuals with reading difficulties as well as recently emerging evidence that calls for a reconsideration of some of those conclusions. Finally, we will describe our current efforts at educational applications of eye-movement research involving applications to content displays on the World Wide Web.

What exactly does the research tell us about the literacy process for students with disabilities, the implementation of computers, and the role of assistive technology and emerging technologies (i.e. Internet, and Electronic Performance Support Systems) in developing literacy skills in these students? This chapter discusses: (1) the use of instructional technology and assistive technology that have been successfully used over the past decade to build literacy skills for students with disabilities, (2) contemporary educational research of the Internet as it relates to issues of effectiveness, design, and individual differences, and (3) highlights from a recent research study involving parents and children using assistive technology in a literacy experience on the Internet.

The potential of technology for individuals with disabilities has long been recognized by the special education community. However, the rate of marketplace developments has far outstripped the research base documenting the effectiveness of specific applications of assistive and instructional technology. The purpose of this chapter is to summarize critical issues associated with six areas of special education technology: accessibility, assistive technology, professional development, instructional technology, service delivery, and legal/policy issues. Within each topical area, key works defining the current knowledge base will be summarized along with an analysis of important questions that deserve additional research. The implications of these analyses for defining future leadership and research agendas are noted.

This chapter examines the role of the Internet in a system of self-containedschools for students with emotional and learning disabilities and the adoption of the Internet as a tool for teaching and learning. This qualitative study is part of a larger research project that explored issues for teaching and learning with the Internet for students with emotional and learning disabilities. The following research identifies how school context influenced teachers' use of technology tools and the Internet through teacher and administrator perceptions of the change process. Results from this study suggest that: (a) assistive and instructional technologies are necessary tools used to accommodate students with emotional and learning disabilities; (b) documentation on advances in classroom instruction around emerging technologies needs to reflect appropriate practice and involve all stakeholders, (c) students with emotional and learning disabilities are increasingly at-risk for becoming part of the gap of those who do not have access to technology, and (d) systems implementing technology innovations for students with learning and emotional disabilities need to consider decision-making processes and responsibilities for systemic change in therapeutic technology-based interventions.

Students, regardless of disability type can benefit from the implementation of different assistive technologies. The difficulty is that assistive technology devices are as diverse as the needs and characteristics of the children and families who will be using them. Professionals are now responsible for helping children and families select and acquire assistive technology devices and equipment as well as instructing them in their use. In addition, these professionals may lack training in the uses, adaptations, and integration of assistive technology in a variety of activities. This chapter will review past literature that was located addressing assistive technology needs of teachers and the results that have currently been discovered. Next, a study that was implemented with general and special education teachers in regards to their knowledge and perceptions of assistive technology will be discussed. Finally, implications for the future addressing assistive technology will be suggested.

This paper presents the results of an investigation conducted to determinethe effects of implementing technology to facilitate written communication for students with learning disabilities and other special needs. The technology was used for several purposes. First, it was used to establish whether a mentor relationship could be established between a university student majoring in education with students with disabilities. Second, it was used to evaluate whether students with disabilities writing would improve because of the additional practice writing e-mail notes back and forth to the university student. Analysis of results suggests that both quantitative and qualitative improvements were made in written communication as a consequence of the e-mail mentor project. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Problems and issues surrounding the use of discrepancy in identifying learning disability are reviewed. Since 1976, discrepancy has been the primary criterion for defining learning disability in practice. In a psychometric and statistical sense, however, issues about the best means for calculating a discrepancy remain unresolved. Another problem involves divergent findings about how systematically and rigorously the discrepancy criterion has been applied in practice. The problems and issues have resulted in questions about the status of learning disability as an independent category of special education. It is possible, however, to demonstrate that learning disability can be reliably differentiated from other conditions and that discrepancy is a major factor in demonstrating the differences. Consequently, it is concluded that discrepancy is a legitimate theoretical concept and should be considered as a necessary criterion for the identification of learning disability.

Unsuccessful students stand out in many ways, one of which is their lower efficacy in study methods. In the present research we hypothesized that low academic achievement is accompanied by a low ‘strategic coherence’, i.e. by a poor capacity to use the strategies which are considered the most effective to study a text. Study 1 found that low achievement under-graduates have lower strategic coherence than high achievers. Study 2 demonstrated that the less coherent students have a poor study method and low scholastic performance. The paper concludes with a discussion on the importance of strategic coherence for an effective studying.

Publication date
Book series
Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
Book series ISSN