Title

Developing assistive technology teams in the public school systems

First Presenter's Institution

Jacksonville State University

Second Presenter's Institution

Jacksonville State University

Third Presenter's Institution

Jacksonville State University

Fourth Presenter's Institution

NA

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Location

Poster Session (Harborside)

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

This strand will describe some of the ways assistive technology teams can be developed and used to help advance academic achievement as the students advance throughout the public education process and how these teams can be developed to save time and money for the individual systems.

Brief Program Description

This session will highlight team development, with the idea that each team will have a different makeup, and how the needs of the students, and, as such, the selection of appropriate technology can best be met with the appropriate team. The development of appropriate teams will follow along with the student as the student advances through the curriculum.

Summary

Use of educational technology, especially computers, cell phones, tablets, and computer-related peripherals/applications, has grown tremendously and has permeated all areas of our lives. For some of our students, use of technology, especially what is usually considered high-tech, plays a major role in not just their education and learning, but in their social relationships with their friends, their families, and their schools (Valdez, 2005). The line between that which is considered high-tech technology and high-tech assistive technology has not only faded, in some cases it is non-existent. With the advent and popularity of a variety of technology such as the tablet and smart phone, having personal technology devices (PD) in school is no longer just for students with disabilities. In today’s schools, owning and/or using personal technology for learning in the classroom may not only be accepted and encouraged, but, in some cases, it is required.
However, some of the technology is being used either inappropriately or not at all as some of the technology is based on what is "current" but not necessarily appropriate. The development of carefully selected evaluation teams will help not just the students, but the teachers get the appropriate devices and training to help all students progress through the curriculum. As the evidence suggests, teacher quality is the largest factor impacting student learning (Cave & Brown, 2010). It does no good for a team to recommend a device but the teacher not know now to use it or is unwilling to let the student use it in the classroom. It is possible that the more knowledge a teacher possesses of how the students can use PDs for learning in that teacher’s domain, the more likely the teacher is to be motivated to provide opportunities within the classroom for students to effectively use technology.

Evidence

Research has indicated that inappropriate selection of AT can lead to assistive technology abandonment and that almost 30% of all devices were completely abandoned. Mobility aids were more frequently abandoned than other categories of devices, and abandonment rates were highest during the first year and after 5 years of use. Four factors were significantly related to abandonment—lack of consideration of user opinion in selection, easy device procurement, poor device performance, and change in user needs or priorities. This session hopes to address these issues by putting a team together that will follow the student and device throughout the student's academic career.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Larry Beard has almost 40 years of K-12 and higher education teaching experience in special education. He earned a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in special education from The University of Alabama. Upon taking a position teaching severely/profoundly/physically-impaired pre-schoolers, he continued his education and earned his M.A. in multiple disabilities, his Ed.S. in mental retardation, and his Ed.D. in multi-handicapped all from The University of Alabama. He teaches a variety of graduate and undergraduate classes in collaborative teaching and has research interests in assistive technology for all students, not just students with identified special needs.

Dr. Cynthia Connor, Associate Professor of Special Education at Jacksonville State University (JSU), has a M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in the area of special education. Her research focus includes teachers’ use of assistive technology with students with severe disabilities and transition. She is co-director of JSU’s Transition University. Having taught special education for 23 years in Pre-K-12 schools in Alabama, Virginia, and New York City, Dr. Connor currently instructs pre-teacher candidates and graduate students in special education methodology; including transition, collaboration, and strategies for working with students with mild and severe disabilities.

Dr. Joseph Akpan is an Associate Professor of Secondary Education (Science). Dr. Akpan holds a Ph.D. from Iowa State University in curriculum and instruction with cognates in science education. His work at JSU has included teaching undergraduate and graduate science methods courses, practicum observations, and internship reflective practices. Dr. Akpan advises graduate and undergraduate students in science education programs. His approach to the learning and teaching of science is based on a constructivist approach, which both challenges and engages the learner. Dr. Joseph Akpan’s current research interest focuses on investigation of how technologies can be used to improve teaching and learning of science, as well as the nature of science.

Keyword Descriptors

assistive technology, assistive technology teams, assistive technology abandonment

Presentation Year

March 2019

Start Date

3-5-2019 4:00 PM

End Date

3-5-2019 5:30 PM

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Mar 5th, 4:00 PM Mar 5th, 5:30 PM

Developing assistive technology teams in the public school systems

Poster Session (Harborside)

This session will highlight team development, with the idea that each team will have a different makeup, and how the needs of the students, and, as such, the selection of appropriate technology can best be met with the appropriate team. The development of appropriate teams will follow along with the student as the student advances through the curriculum.