A Step toward Assistive Technology Evidence-Based Practices: Latent Dimensions of Information and Communication Technology

A Step toward Assistive Technology Evidence-Based Practices: Latent Dimensions of Information and Communication Technology

Boaventura DaCosta (Solers Research Group, USA) and Soohnwa Seok (Korea University, South Korea)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5015-2.ch008
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Abstract

In an attempt to meet the need for validation research that contributes to Assistive Technology (AT) evidence-based practices, this chapter presents the findings of a study aimed to identify latent dimensions of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that can serve as the basis for the eventual development of a standardized instrument for ICT assessment and selection in the context of AT. The ICT preferences and practices of 1,258 postsecondary students across 7 major universities were examined. A confirmatory factor analysis within the framework of structure equation modeling revealed the 5 latent dimensions: communicating, socializing, downloading and sharing, gaming, and learning. These dimensions examined in the context of age, gender, and income, further reveal that these demographics, as sole determinants of ICT usage, are not supported. Noteworthy findings were also found with regard to participant’s preferences for ICT, to include a tendency to text over all other technologies surveyed.
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Introduction

The amount of information and communication technology (ICT) available today is astounding. Take smartphone ownership alone, which by 2013 is forecasted to surpass PCs as the most common way in which people will access online content (Whitney, 2011). In fact, it has been predicted that the number of smartphones and similar types of devices will surpass 1.82 billion, with 6.5 billion mobile connections projected by 2014 (Whitney, 2011). Explosive growth such as this has in part helped fuel a number of research interests, to include ICT preferences and practices, as well as identifying underlying factors that may be used in the proper selection of ICT (e.g., Nasah, DaCosta, Kinsell, & Seok, 2010). These are topics of particular importance, especially to those in special education who are involved in the evaluation and selection of assistive technology (AT). Unfortunately, research on the subject is inconclusive if not lacking, both generally and with regard to ICT in the context of AT.

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