Structured Abstract for Research Study on Specials’ Teachers Perception of Assistive Technology Competence

Structured Abstract Example

Woods, M., Karp, G., Hui, M., Perlman, D. (2008). Physical educators’ competencies

and usage. Physical Educator v.65 (2), 82-99.

Introduction. Physical education teachers’ perceptions of ability and usage of technology are examined in this study. These teachers must effectively utilize different types of technology in classes for the benefit of students. The purpose is to examine the perceptions of physical education teachers of grades K-12 with a variety of backgrounds and teaching strategies.

Methods. Researchers examined the teachers’ perceptions of ability and usage using open-ended survey questions. An inter-rater method was used to categorize responses that assessed their perceived technology competency, how and why they use technology, where they learned to use technology, and the challenges that the teachers face in using technology.

Results. The results of the study indicated a high level of perceived competency with many of the types of technology used by the teachers. Results also showed that there were differences in perceptions based on gender, age, and years of teaching experience. Certain types of technology, like Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and website creation, were related to low levels of perceived competency by the physical education teachers. Teachers also reported that technology worked to enhance the learning and development of their students if it is used in class.

Discussion. It is significant that physical education teachers view technology as being a useful classroom tool but view themselves as having low competency in the usage of computer based technologies like website creation and PDAs. This shows that physical education teachers are in need of further training while working in the field and while in physical education programs in a post-secondary setting. One may also gather that, if physical education teachers perceive themselves as having low levels of competency with computer and web-based technologies, the same can be said for other Specials teachers (Art, and Music).

Deutsch, J. E., Borbely, M., Filler, J., Huhn, K., Guarrea-Bowlby, P., (2008). Use of a

low-cost, commercially available gaming console (Wii) for rehabilitation of

an adolescent with cerebral palsy. Physical Therapy v.88 (10), 1196-1207.

Introduction. The feasibility of utilizing a Nintendo Wii gaming system as a rehabilitation tool for an adolescent with Cerebral Palsy is examined in this study. Many schools and rehabilitation centers are interested in technology that can help adolescents with physical disabilities but might be concerned about the high cost of many virtual reality based and motion-capture systems. The purpose of this study is to examine how useful a low-cost video game system like the Nintendo Wii would be in rehabilitation programs in hospitals and school.

Methods. Researchers tested the physical and visual-spatial skills of an adolescent with Cerebral Palsy by using the Quality of Upper Extremity Skills Test (QUEST) and the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM). These were administered before and after the adolescent participated in an eleven week rehabilitation program that required him to play sports themed games on the Nintendo Wii.

Results. Post-tests in this study revealed that the adolescent with Cerebral Palsy improved in both his visual processing and postural control as a result of the rehabilitation activities. Results also showed significant improvement in his mobility (ambulation with forearm crutches). Since the training also required problem solving skills and team play skills, the researchers state that behavioral changes can also be monitored through the use of this rehabilitation method.

Discussion. While examining the results of this study, school or hospital administrators will see that the Nintendo Wii can be used as an effective rehabilitation tool for adolescents with Cerebral Palsy. The fact that it is also a low-cost activity is also significant for those who are interested in utilizing virtual reality based activities for these individuals. It is significant that researchers have shown that the use of a commercially available video game system is not only feasible but also effective for an adolescent with Cerebral Palsy.

Lin, X. (2001). Reflective Adaptation of a Technology Artifact: A Case Study of

Classroom Change. Cognition & Instruction, 19(4), 395-440.

Introduction.   Researchers in this study examine what changes occur in a classroom when the students and teacher are exposed to a new technology. A teacher in Hong Kong uses an American style mathematics video in her class of fifth graders. The teacher and students are interviewed and observed to see how they change their classroom routines and ideas when exposed to culturally different technologies. Examining the process of how students and teachers adapt to changes in classroom technology is the purpose of this study.

Methods. The school and teacher were selected from several schools who volunteered to be a part of the study. The researchers gathered data based on video recorded class lessons and daily interviews of the teacher and students. Each recorded class was coded for the sequence of class activity, the social arrangements of the students, and the lesson content. The interviews focused on information concerning competition among students, attention focusing, and assessing student understanding during class.

Results. The teacher of the fifth grade math class changed her class sequences and put more emphasis on group work for the students as a result of this new technology being used in class. These changes came about primarily as a result of the new challenges that this technology brought, namely discussion of cultural differences and the lack of a common correct answer to the problem. Also, the students’ reflections and concerns about working with this type of technology focused on how the teacher perceived their abilities and their concern over finding one correct answer among the groups.

Discussion. The findings of this study suggest that teachers and students are able to effectively adapt to different class routines in order to accommodate new technologies in the classroom, even when the technology is from a different culture. The introduction of this new technology also brought about a variety of feelings in the students, ranging from disappointment in the group’s work and results and confusion about differing cultural practices. This illustrates that the adoption of new, culturally different technologies should be seen as an opportunity to explore different views and routines, rather than a setback in class progress.

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