Technology, UDL & Literacy Activities for People with Developmental Delays

Technology, UDL & Literacy Activities for People with Developmental Delays

Kevin M. Ayres (The University of Georgia, USA), John Langone (The University of Georgia, USA) and Karen Douglas (The University of Georgia, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-120-9.ch002
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As with technology, literacy is evolving. No longer is word decoding a sufficient skill for independently navigating a text rich environment. For individuals with severe developmental delays accessing literacy has always been a distant, seemingly unachievable goal. As technology has transformed what it means to be literate, it also has transformed how individuals can interact with text. Through technologymediatedinteractions with electronic text, individuals with developmental disabilities are beginning to have greater access to the world around them. While technology is no panacea for the learning difficulties these individuals exhibit, it potentially can alter how these individuals gain meaning from text. The purpose of this chapter is to explore this evolving definition of literacy in terms of technology, paired with universal design, which might allow teachers to provide students with severe developmental delays greater access and interaction with text.
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Traditional concepts of text-based literacy are narrow, exclusive, and dated (Katims, 2000). The idea that for a person to be “literate,” translates into gaining meaning by decoding text and mastering advanced language skills, quite possibly marginalizes a population of individuals whom have very little likelihood of mastering these skills (i.e., phonemic awareness, working memory, long term memory). Arguably up to a few years ago, the only way for individuals with significant developmental disabilities to interact with text was to have someone read to them. Similarly, because of their significant learning differences, these individuals would not be able to interact with text in a functional way (Katims, 1996; Fish, Rabidoux, Ober, & Graff, 2006; Copeland & Keefe, 2007). For example, an individual with a severe cognitive deficit or developmental disability (DD) could not reasonably be expected to read and follow a recipe to make a meal. It would also be unreasonable to expect them to independently decode the words, interpret the language concepts, and comprehend to any great extent a news story in the daily paper. As we merge text with technology, new frontiers are opening to students who have severe DD that may allow them to extract greater understanding from an environment saturated with text. Electronic text, in the form of web pages, textbooks, and leisure reading material, offer a malleable medium that can tap into other information sources and provide literacy supports for non-readers (Brochner, Outhred, & Pieterse, 2001; Koppenhaver, Coleman, Kalman, & Yoder, 1991).

Generally, to educators and the lay public the ability to read translates into a description of the mechanics of phonetic analysis and comprehension (Ehri, Nunes, Stahl, & Willows, 2001; Ehri, Nunes, Willow, Schuster, Yaghoub-Zadeh, & Shanahan, 2001). Certainly, much of the emphasis of education law in the United States involves analyzing and comparing standardized test scores using measurements of reading ability (Hintze & Silberglitt, 2005). Others can argue whether or not this approach or narrow description of reading success is warranted for the general education population. However, it should be evident that for individuals with moderate to severe DD, standardized measures of reading will not provide us with an accurate picture of literacy gains or use. Our contention in the sections that follow will be to view literacy in terms of the end result such as understanding concepts or information presented through electronic text (e-text), how individuals interact with text (e.g., manipulation and use of technology that presents e-text and supports), as well as if and how they use the information gained from this interaction (e.g., following an e-text recipe). Specifically, we intend to link literacy with the researched based practices for curriculum development and implementation that have been the foundation for high quality programs for these individuals since the 1970’s. We will also advocate for defining literacy based on the inclusive environments where many parents and professionals attempt to structure environments that allow individuals with moderate to severe disabilities to meaningfully interact with peers from the general population.

For example, an adult with DD interacting with electronic text delivered on a mobile internet device at a Laundromat (as opposed to reading a magazine) is as natural a definition of literacy as is a friend without disabilities reading a leisure book while waiting for her/his laundry. In this scenario, the fact that both individuals are engaging in similar pursuits sets the stage for communication about what they each are reading. The interventions presented in this chapter that we, as well as others, are testing are designed to determine what electronic supports will best help students gain information and enjoyment from their interaction with literacy related materials presented by technology-based delivery systems. In addition, we will discuss how these interventions can impact the current view of literacy as a concept. Finally, we will discuss how we might enhance literacy beyond the interaction of electronic text and provide individuals with information in other media formats. Before discussing the expanding definition and conceptualization of literacy, it is important to consider the learners on whom this chapter is centered.

Key Terms in this Chapter

E-text: A visual, electronic depiction of text whereby the text itself is digitally recognizable by both the user and the computer. Allows for the use of screen/text readers and other assistive technology.

Multiple Means of Expression: A UDL practice of allowing different students, based on their abilities, to communicate “the answer” in a way best suited to their communication strengths.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL): Derived from the field of architecture and the practice of making buildings universally accessible to users, UDL is an education practice founded on designing learning materials and environments so that all students are able to learn to the greatest extent of their abilities, regardless of disability.

Literacy: Gaining meaning from text. This might include phonetically decoding and comprehending words as well as listening to those same words being spoken.

Multiple Means of Engagement: A UDL practice where by students are presented with several ways to interact with and learn from instructional materials and where teachers allow students flexibility to work with instructional materials (or text) in the way that best meets their needs.

Multiple Means of Representation: The UDL practice of presenting the same basic learning materials in more than one medium or manner. This could include text-based presentation coupled with auditory presentation.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Leo Tan Wee Hin, R. Subramaniam
Chapter 1
Guy Merchant
Over the last five years there has been a large scale shift in popular engagement with new media. Virtual worlds and massive multiplayer online... Sample PDF
Learning for the Future: Emerging Technologies and Social Participation
Chapter 2
Kevin M. Ayres, John Langone, Karen Douglas
As with technology, literacy is evolving. No longer is word decoding a sufficient skill for independently navigating a text rich environment. For... Sample PDF
Technology, UDL & Literacy Activities for People with Developmental Delays
Chapter 3
Maureen Walsh
This chapter discusses the changed nature of literacy within new communication contexts, the literacy that is needed for reading, viewing... Sample PDF
Pedagogic Potentials of Multimodal Literacy
Chapter 4
Derek E. Baird, Mercedes Fisher
In this chapter we outline how educators are creating a “mash up” of traditional pedagogy with new media to create a 21st Century pedagogy designed... Sample PDF
Pedagogical Mashup: Gen Y, Social Media, and Learning in the Digital Age
Chapter 5
Jörg Müller, Juana M. Sancho, Fernando Hernández
This chapter explores the intimate relationship between new media literacy and the digital divide. The longer and deeper digital technology (DT)... Sample PDF
New Media Literacy and the Digital Divide
Chapter 6
Thomas G. Ryan
In this chapter technology is viewed as a tool and an enterprise that can be used to educate, change and empower people in schools and society.... Sample PDF
Teaching and Technology: Issues, Caution and Concerns
Chapter 7
Liisa Ilomäki, Marja Kankaanranta
This chapter discusses the information and communication technology (ICT) competence of the young. The discussion focuses on students at lower and... Sample PDF
The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Competence of the Young
Chapter 8
Wei-Ying Lim, David Hung, Horn-Mun Cheah
We are entering into a milieu which makes the global world look much smaller because of digital communications and technologies. More recently... Sample PDF
An Interactive and Digital Media Literacy Framework for the 21st Century
Chapter 9
Michael A. Evans
Mediated collaborative inquiry within communities of practice is proposed as a critical educational goal for the 21st century. Mediated... Sample PDF
Promoting Mediated Collaborative Inquiry in Primary and Secondary Science Settings: Sociotechnical Prescriptions for and Challenges to Curricular Reform
Chapter 10
Tamar Levin
Drawing on the empirical data from two longitudinal studies, the chapter describes the evolution of teachers’ educational beliefs and their actual... Sample PDF
Re-Culturing Beliefs in Technology: Enriched Classrooms
Chapter 11
Piret Luik
Developing effective educational software requires an understanding of the complexity of multimedia components. The relationship between the... Sample PDF
Effective Characteristics of Learning Multimedia
Chapter 12
Nancy J. Hadley
This chapter defines empowerment, describes an empowerment rationale for new media literacy, and articulates a schema for empowering curriculum... Sample PDF
Empowerment Rationale for New Media Literacy
Chapter 13
Lisa Kervin, Jessica Mantei, Jan Herrington
In this chapter the authors discuss two central themes: the changing nature of literate activity brought about by Information and Communication... Sample PDF
Using Technology in Pedagogically Responsive Ways to Support Literacy Learners
Chapter 14
Zvia Fund
The study examines cognitive support for science learning in a computerized environment. The research was carried out with junior high school... Sample PDF
Scaffolding Problem-Solving and Inquiry: From Instructional Design to a “Bridge Model”
Chapter 15
Nicola Yelland, Jennifer Masters
This chapter will discuss the ways in teachers can support their student’s learning in new media contexts with the use of effective scaffolding... Sample PDF
Reconceptualising Scaffolding for New Media Contexts
Chapter 16
Yufeng Qian
This chapter reviews the use of 3-D virtual learning environments in kindergarten through secondary education in the United States. This emerging... Sample PDF
New Media Literacy in 3-D Virtual Learning Environments
Chapter 17
Margus Pedaste, Tago Sarapuu
The general aim of the present chapter is to focus on the factors influencing simulation-based computersupported inquiry learning in small groups.... Sample PDF
The Factors Affecting Multimedia-Based Inquiry
Chapter 18
Stephenie Hewett
This chapter examines the differences in the educational needs of males, the origins of video games, and the issue of the decline in literacy... Sample PDF
Using Video Games to Improve Literacy Levels of Males
Chapter 19
Andrea J. Harmer
This chapter introduces an inquiry designed to foster learner engagement in science and literacy in using new media. The design included an online... Sample PDF
Engagement in Science and New Media Literacy
Chapter 20
Thiam Seng Koh, Kim Chwee Daniel Tan
This chapter discusses the potential uses of Web 2.0 technologies in enhancing scientific literacy and the learning of science in the K-12 sector.... Sample PDF
Web 2.0 Technologies and Science Education
Chapter 21
Romina Jamieson-Proctor, Glenn Finger
Teaching and learning in the 21st Century requires teachers and students to capitalise upon the relative advantage of integrating Information and... Sample PDF
Measuring and Evaluating ICT Use: Developing an Instrument for Measuring Student ICT Use
Chapter 22
Clare Wood, Karen Littleton, Pav Chera
This chapter explores the question of how interactive multimedia talking books can promote young children’s literacy development. Whilst... Sample PDF
Using Talking Books to Support Early Reading Development
Chapter 23
Yu-Chang Hsu, Yu-Hui Ching, Barbara Grabowski
Web 2.0 affordances have changed the landscape of technology use for learning, knowledge construction, and collaboration important for K-12 learner... Sample PDF
Web 2.0 Technologies as Cognitive Tools of the New Media Age
Chapter 24
Steven C. Mills
Educators face the challenge of keeping classroom learning relevant for a generation of students who have never known life without computers, cell... Sample PDF
Implementing Collaborative Problem-Based Learning with Web 2.0
Chapter 25
Jo Tondeur, Arno Coenders, Johan van Braak, Alfons ten Brummelhuis, Ruben Vanderlinde
This chapter explores the possibilities of online tools to support ICT (Information and Communication Technology) integration in primary education.... Sample PDF
Using Online Tools to Support Technology Integration in Education
Chapter 26
Susan Gibson
This article identifies digital literacy as an important aspect of new media literacy at the K-12 level. Digital literacy includes developing the... Sample PDF
Developing Digital Literacy Skills with WebQuests and Web Inquiry Projects
Chapter 27
Robin Kay
The design, development, reuse, and accessibility of learning objects has been examined in some detail for almost 10 years (Kay & Knaack, 2007c... Sample PDF
Understanding Factors that Influence the Effectiveness of Learning Objects in Secondary School Classrooms
Chapter 28
Mark van‘t Hooft
This chapter describes the use of wireless mobile devices for teaching and learning, and their impact on digital literacy. Following a brief... Sample PDF
Tapping into Digital Literacy with Mobile Devices
Chapter 29
Fotis Lazarinis
Internet as a new medium offers unlimited opportunities to education and knowledge sharing but it can also shape specific improper attitudes and... Sample PDF
Towards Safer Internet for Students with the Aid of a Hypermedia Filtering Tool
Chapter 30
Virginia E. Garland
Internet as a new medium offers unlimited opportunities to education and knowledge sharing but it can also shape specific improper attitudes and... Sample PDF
Wireless Technologies and Multimedia Literacies
Chapter 31
Pavel Samsonov
Though extremely popular with school teachers, PowerPoint is almost never used as an interactive tool of teaching and learning. The following... Sample PDF
Good Old PowerPoint and its Unrevealed Potential
Chapter 32
Beverly Plester, Clare Wood, Samantha Bowyer
The authors present three investigations into pre-teen children’s text message language and measures of their standard literacy abilities. The... Sample PDF
Children's Text Messaging and Traditional Literacy
Chapter 33
Gregory MacKinnon
This chapter on electronic concept mapping introduces a specific example of a learning technology that has potential for serving and promoting an... Sample PDF
Concept Mapping as a Mediator of Constructivist Learning
Chapter 34
Katherine Mitchem, Gail Fitzgerald, Kevin Koury
This chapter introduces the use of electronic performance support systems (EPSS) as an assistive technology for students with mild disabilities... Sample PDF
Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS) Tools to Enhance Success in School for Secondary Students with Special Needs
Chapter 35
Rebecca Brent, Catherine E. Brawner
Two elementary schools received large three-year grants to support the integration of technology into their curricula. They each followed the same... Sample PDF
A Case Study of Contrasting Approaches to Integrating Technology into the K-5 Classroom
Chapter 36
Lyn C. Howell
This chapter traces one K-8 school over the course of four and a half years as it went from very limited technology through a three year period of... Sample PDF
Using a Technology Grant to Make Real Changes
Chapter 37
Jennifer Way
The purpose of this chapter is to provide some insight into the technology related changes that are occurring in Australian primary schools... Sample PDF
Emerging E-Pedagogy in Australian Primary Schools
Chapter 38
Amy S.C. Leh, Lee Grafton
This book chapter reports an Enhancing Education Through Technology Competitive Grant (EETT-C) project that was designed to improve student... Sample PDF
Promoting New Media Literacy in a School District
Chapter 39
Linda R. Lisowski, Claudia C. Twiford, Joseph A. Lisowski, Quintin Q. Davis, Rebecca F. Kirtley
Public schools need to address issues of 21st century literacy, which go beyond reading and mathematics to include teamwork and technological... Sample PDF
K-20 Technology Partnerships in a Rural Community
Chapter 40
Tamara L. Jetton
A university education professor and a high school English teacher redesigned the curricula of their classrooms, so their students could participate... Sample PDF
Computer-Mediated Discussions within a Virtual Learning Community of High School and University Students
Chapter 41
Carita Kiili, Leena Laurinen, Miika Marttunen
The purpose of this study was to investigate the interrelations between information searching, textprocessing, information evaluation, and... Sample PDF
Skillful Internet Reader is Metacognitively Competent
Chapter 42
Gráinne Conole
This chapter provides a summary of current research exploring students’ use of technologies. It focuses in particular on a case study carried out in... Sample PDF
Research Methodological Issues with Researching the Learner Voice
Chapter 43
Art W. Bangert, Kerry L. Rice
In this chapter, the authors examine past and current efforts in evaluating the quality of online high school courses. They argue that policy... Sample PDF
What We Know About Assessing Online Learning in Secondary Schools
Chapter 44
Yasemin Gulbahar
This chapter introduces the use of electronic portfolios (e-portfolios) as an assessment method in the K-12 classroom. Aligned with the... Sample PDF
Usage of Electronic Portfolios for Assessment
Chapter 45
Robin Kay
Extensive research has been done on the use of Interactive Classroom Communication Systems (ICCS) in higher education, but not in secondary schools.... Sample PDF
A Formative Analysis of Interactive Classroom Communication Systems Used in Secondary School Classrooms
Chapter 46
Chin-Chung Tsai
Many educators have suggested the usage of peer assessment for the improvement of learning outcomes. Peer assessment facilitated by Internet... Sample PDF
Internet-Based Peer Assessment in High School Settings
Chapter 47
Giorgos Hlapanis, Angélique Dimitracopoulou
How can we assess the effectiveness of a course that is implemented in the context of a technology based Learning Community (LC)? What are the... Sample PDF
Course Assessment in a Teacher's Learning Community
Chapter 48
Dougal Hutchison
This chapter gives a relatively non-technical introduction to computer programs for marking of essays, generally known as Automated Essay Scoring... Sample PDF
Automated Essay Scoring Systems
Chapter 49
Bracha Kramarski
Effects of two online inquiry discussions in mathematics are compared: one inquiry was based on metacognitive feedback guidance (MFG) and the other... Sample PDF
Metacognitive Feedback in Online Mathematical Discussion
Chapter 50
Leaunda S. Hemphill, Donna S. McCaw
Three junior high teachers and 12 senior high school teachers were introduced to online teaching strategies and tools in a three-day workshop. The... Sample PDF
Moodling Professional Development Training that Worked
Chapter 51
Nancy Wentworth, Charles R. Graham, Eula Ewing Monroe
The teacher education program at Brigham Young University (BYU) includes three stages of development in technological pedagogical content knowledge... Sample PDF
TPACK Development in a Teacher Education Program
Chapter 52
Manuela Delfino, Donatella Persico
This chapter assumes the importance of developing Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) competences in students in order to cope with the challenges of... Sample PDF
Self-Regulated Learning: Issues and Challenges for Initial Teacher Training
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