Using Assistive Technology to Increase Vocabulary Acquisition and Engagement for Students with Learning Disabilities in the High School Science Classroom
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There is a growing recognition of the importance and effectiveness of instruction in the STEM subjects, including science. The movement towards increased requirements and expectations in science presents a challenge to both students and teachers as many students with Learning Disabilities (LD) often particularly struggle in their science classes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of an assistive technology (AT) intervention targeting the acquisition of science vocabulary for adolescents with LD in a general education secondary biology classroom. Participants for this study included 3 secondary students with LD who were enrolled in a biology class. An alternating treatment design was used to compare the effects of a keyword mnemonic vocabulary intervention via index cards or iPod touch on student, vocabulary acquisition, academic engagement and disruptive behavior. All students' acquired the content vocabulary equally well during both conditions. When using the AT, students' engagement increased compared to baseline conditions. It was clear that the students had a strong interest in using AT to increase their grades and engagement, however the teachers had little access and training on using AT to support their students with disabilities.
- Education - Seattle