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Two fourth grade boys with learning disabilities learned to use the Bank Street Writer III word processing and spelling checker program to edit spelling errors in their writing. Both boys learned to manage the spell-checking process and increased the spelling accuracy of their edited texts. Differences in their learning processes and the tool's limitations are discussed.

Author: Dalton, B., Winbury, N. E., Cobb-Morroco, C.

Source: Journal of Special Education Technology, Vol. 10, 177-191.

In this paper we report on the effect of a programme based on a view that reading problems are associated with the inability of the learner to deal with speech at the level of individual speech sounds even though they may be fully competent in the production and perception of oral language. We investigated the effect of a self-voice feedback intervention programme on the word recognition abilities of pupils who were experiencing reading delay. Our sample was made up of 159 pupils aged 6-13 years, whose reading age was at least one year behind their chronological age, drawn from seven schools in England. We used a quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test design with experimental and control groups using between-subjects (randomly assigned) and within-subjects (those waiting-in-line as controls before entering an intervention group) analysis. We found that those in the intervention condition made significantly greater gains in their word recognition abilities than their counterparts in control conditions or than they themselves had made prior to entering the intervention condition. We concluded that whilst the success of the programme suggests that pupils who display reading delay problems can have their word recognition abilities improved by an intense self-voice feedback intervention, at least in the short term, further work is necessary to investigate how the intervention works procedurally and the longevity of its effect.

Author: Macleod, F., Macmillan, P., & Norwich, B.

Source: Early Child Development and Care, Vol. 177 (6-7), 633-644.

The results of the impact on reading, writing, and literacy skills of the implementation of Success for All for differentiation of instruction.

Author: Smith, L.J., Ross, S.M., Faulks, A., Casey, J., Shapiro, M., & Johnson, B.

Source: Memphis, TN: The University of Memphis, Center for Research in Education Policy.

Employing mixed-method approach, this case study examined the in situ use of educational computer games in a summer math program to facilitate 4th and 5th graders' cognitive math achievement, metacognitive awareness, and positive attitudes toward math learning. The results indicated that students developed more positive attitudes toward math learning through five-week computer math gaming, but there was no significant effect of computer gaming on students' cognitive test performance or metacognitive awareness development. The in-field observation and students' think-aloud protocol informed that not every computer math drill game would engage children in committed learning. The study findings have highlighted the value of situating learning activities within the game story, making games pleasantly challenging, scaffolding reflections, and designing suitable off-computer activities.

Author: Ke, F.

Source: Computers & Education, Vol. 51 (4), 1609-1620.

This article details a case study that examined the integration of technology into a college-level science course over a period of six years. Through interviews and reviews of documents, the researchers identified three enabling factors that facilitated and sustained successful technology integration. The three enabling factors included creation of a sustained leadership team, the launch of a professional learning community, and positive influences of the education system.

Author: Hsu, P-S., Sharma, P.

Source: Journal of Educational Technology Society,11(4), 213-228.

This study evaluated the efficacy of the computer-assisted intervention program known as Fast ForWord Language in a sample of children in grades 1 through 6 referred for poor academic performance. Fast Forward Language combines intensive training in multiple receptive language skills with adaptive acoustic waveform lengthening and amplification of remediate deficits in auditory temporal processing that are purported to be the root cause of developmental language disorders and many reading disabilities. Students in the treatment group were matched with students in a no=-contact control group and were assessed in four domains before and immediately after the 4-8 week intervention: (a) oral language competency; (b) phonological processing abilities; (c) basic reading skills; and (d) classroom behavior. Except for performance on a measure of expressive oral language, on which children in the treatment group achieved significantly greater gains than those in the control group, changes in test scores from pretest to posttest were equivalent for the two groups. However, when the lowest performing students in each group were compared, the children in the treatment group demonstrated superior gains in expressive oral language, syllable and sound blending, and reduction in problem behaviors. Thus Fast ForWord Language had positive, albeit limited impact on the oral language skills, academic performance, and social behaviors of some children in the study. However, due to methodological weaknesses and limited treatment fidelity the study results must be interpreted cautiously.

Author: Troia, G.A., & Whitney, S. D.

Source: Contemporary Educational Psychology, Vol. 28, 465-494.

This quantitative research study compared the reading rates of adult print and Braille readers during oral reading, silent reading, and studying. Braille reading rates were significantly slower than print reading rates for all three tasks, but the range of reading rates for the two groups were relatively close.

Author: Wetzel, R., & Knowlton, M.

Source: Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness, 94(3), 146

Studied the use of a computer-based instructional package called SuccessMaker with disruptive students to determine its effects on locus of control and grade point average. Results of pretests and posttests showed an improvement in academic outcomes when the intervention was teacher facilitated.

Author: Powell, J. V., Aeby, V. G., Jr., & Carpenter-Aeby, T.

Source: Computers & Education, 40, 183–191.

This study compared learning for fifth grade students in two math homework conditions. The paper-and-pencil condition represented traditional homework, with review of problems in class the following day. The Web-based homework condition provided immediate feedback in the form of hints on demand and step-by-step scaffolding. We analyzed the results for students who completed both the paper-and-pencil and the Web-based conditions. In this group of 28 students, students learned significantly more when given computer feedback than when doing traditional paper-and-pencil homework, with an effect size of 0.61. The implications of this study are that, given the large effect size, it may be worth the cost and effort to give Web-based homework when students have access to the needed equipment, such as in schools that have implemented one-to-one computing programs. (Contains 3 figures and 3 tables.)

Author: Mendicino, M., Razzaq, L., & Heffernan, N.T.

Source: Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 41(3), 331-358.

The study examined the information gained from two methods of administering group reading inventories, a computer versus a traditional paper-and-pencil approach. These reading inventories were given to place learners in one of three instructional groups: teacher directed, dyadic, or independent. Has implications for the differentiation of instruction.

Author: Horton, S.V., & Lovitt, T.C.

Source: Remedial & Special Education, Vol. 15, 378-391.

This study involved the analysis of the complex interactions that take place between tutors and preschool children using a computer during early literacy tutoring sessions. Eight five-year-old pre- and early-readers attending a childcare centre participated in daily 20-minute tutoring sessions for two weeks. The literacy software (a beta version) was especially designed to guide tutors while working one-on-one with elementary school students falling into the lower 30% of reading achievement (i.e., at-risk). Parent surveys, videotaped tutor/child sessions, independent observer data, and tutor reports yielded rich descriptions of the tutor/child/computer process. Rigorous grounded theory analyses generated three comprehensive themes: rapport, motivation, and scaffolding. The first focused on interpersonal issues, the latter two on teaching/learning. Implications for practice for reading and literacy instructional differntiation are discussed.

Author: Schmid, R., Miodrag, N., & Di Francesco, N.

Source: Journal of Research on Technology in Education, Vol. 41 (1), 63-84.

Finds an approach to improving revision skills that integrated strategy instruction, peer response, and word processing to be highly effective with seventh- and eighth-grade students with learning disabilities who struggle with writing.

Author: Stoddard, B., MacArthur, C. A.

Source: Research in the Teaching of English, Vol. 27, 76-103.

In recent years effective instruction in reading for learners with physical and educational disabilities has received great attention in the schools. However, instruction in the corollary skill of writing has received considerably less emphasis. This review paper notes that through the use of assistive technology, students with a variety of physical and educational disabilities can learn to effectively (a) plan and organize their writing, (b) draft and transcribe their work, and (c) edit and revise their narrative and expository writing. Implications for differentiation of instruction are included.

Author: Peterson-Karlan, G., Hourcade, J., & Parette, P.

Source: Physical Disabilities: Education and Related Services, Vol. 26 (2), 13-32.

The present study assessed the use of a voice-detecting (speech) sensor interfaced with a scanning keyboard emulator to allow two boys with extensive motor disabilities to write. Specifically, the study (a) compared the effects of the voice-detecting sensor with those of a familiar pressure sensor on the boys' writing time, (b) checked which of the sensors the boys preferred, and (c) conducted a social validation assessment of the boys' performance with the two sensors, employing psychology students as raters. The difference in the boys' overall mean writing time per letter across sensors was, by the end of the study, about 1.5 s. This difference favored the pressure sensor for one of the boys and the voice-detecting sensor for the other boy. Both boys showed preference for the voice-detecting sensor. Moreover, the psychology students involved in the social validation assessment indicated that such sensor was more satisfactory, suitable, and educationally relevant than the pressure sensor, and represented the solution that they as raters supported more.

Author: Lancioni, G.E., Singh, N.N., O'Reilly, M.F., Sigafoos, J., Green, V., Chiapparino, C., Stasolla, F. & Oliva, D.

Source: Research in Developmental Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, Vol. 30(2), 203-209.

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of five variables that are believed to predict rate of learning to read for second grade students. Rate of reading acquisition was investigated through examining students' early literacy growth trajectories. The variables that were examined were (a) research-based fluency instruction, (b) verbal and nonverbal intelligence, (c) phonological awareness, (d) alphabetic understanding, and (e) initial oral reading fluency.

Author: Hancock, C.M.

Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Vol. 63 (06), 2139A. (UMI No. 3055690).

This study investigated the effect of students' ability and type of instructional program, structured and unstructured, on easy and difficult posttest items. Seventh-grade students worked through 14 instructional activities in The Geometer Sketchpad, a dynamic geometry program, and accessed a Geometry tutorial developed to parallel the state math standards for geometry. Low-ability students scored higher in the less structured program, whereas high- and medium-ability learners performed better in the structured program. High- and medium-ability students outscored low-ability learners by a greater margin on the difficult items than on the easy items. Although their overall performance was poor in both programs, that low-ability learners performed relatively better in the less structured, less traditional, mathematics activities is an encouraging finding for mathematics educators and designers of open-ended learning environments that feature differentiation of instruction.

Author: Hannafin, R.

Source: Educational Technology Research and Development, Vol. 52 (1), 19-32.

Embedded multimedia refers to teaching methods that embed video content within teachers' lessons. The research of Mayer and others has suggested that multimedia instruction can enhance learning by using the capacity of both visual and verbal memory systems. The present study is an evaluation of embedded multimedia in a year-long randomized clinical trial comparing first graders who learned beginning reading using the Success for All program either with or without embedded, brief video components. A study involving 394 first graders in 10 high-poverty schools found significant positive effects on the Woodcock Word Attack scale, controlling for pretests, in HLM analyses with school as the unit of analysis. The results provide partial support for the utility of embedded multimedia as a component of beginning reading instruction.

Author: Chambers, B., Cheung, A., Gifford, R., Madden, N., & Slavin, Robert

Source: Journal of Educational Psychology.

Discusses instructional approaches and issues relevant to the improvement of mathematical teaching techniques and achievement for students with learning disabilities. Changes in conceptions of math literacy; Cognitive perspectives on formal mathematical knowledge and learning; Comparison between new and traditional approaches in teaching. Implications for the differentiation of instruction and accessible materials.

Author: Goldman, S., & Hasselbring, T.

Source: Journal of Learning Disabilities, Vol. 30 (2), 198-208.

The purpose of this study was to document how teachers and students describe and comprehend the ways in which participating in an augmented reality (AR) simulation aids or hinders teaching and learning. Like the multi-user virtual environment (MUVE) interface that underlies Internet games, AR is a good medium for immersive collaborative simulation, but has different strengths and limitations than MUVEs. Within a design-based research project, the researchers conducted multiple qualitative case studies across two middle schools (6th and 7th grade) and one high school (10th grade) in the northeastern United States to document the affordances and limitations of AR simulations from the student and teacher perspective. The researchers collected data through formal and informal interviews, direct observations, web site posts, and site documents. Teachers and students reported that the technology-mediated narrative and the interactive, situated, collaborative problem solving affordances of the AR simulation were highly engaging, especially among students who had previously presented behavioral and academic challenges for the teachers. However, while the AR simulation provided potentially transformative added value, it simultaneously presented unique technological, managerial, and cognitive challenges to teaching and learning.

Author: Dunleavy, M., Dede, C., & Mitchell, R.

Source: Journal of Science Education and Technology, Vol. 18(1), 7-22.

Although increasing numbers of schools are investing in portable writing devices, few have attempted to provide one device for each student. Instead, classroom sets of portable writing devices are often shared across classrooms or classrooms are equipped with a limited number of devices that are shared among students. As an example of the latter, Wellesley Public Schools, a suburban district near Boston, has placed six to eight AlphaSmarts in each third, fourth and fifth grade classrooms. Although students make regular use of the AlphaSmarts in their classrooms, students are often unable to access the device when needed because other students are using them. This study used a variety of methodological tools (teacher interviews, student interviews, student drawings, and over 50 classroom observations) to examine what happened in three Wellesley 4th grade classrooms when each student received their own AlphaSmart. A summary is provided of the literature on the affects of computers and writing as well as research on laptops and portable writing devices in schools. The methodology is described and results of the study are presented and discussed. The results indicate that several aspects of teaching and learning did change when the ratio of students to AlphaSmarts increased from approximately three to one to one student per Alphasmart. An appendix includes the master coding list used in the content analysis of classroom observations. (Contains 18 references, 3 tables, and 3 figures.)

Author: Russell, M., Bebell, D., Cowan, J., & Corbelli, M.

Source: NECC 2002: National Educational Computing Conference Proceedings.