Thursday, November 26, 2009

Effects of Technology on Non-traditional Students

Today I read an article from the Journal of Research on Technology in Education entitled "Technology-enriched Classrooms: Effects on students of low socioeconomic status." I ran across a statement which read "Although a clear justification for including technology in American classrooms is at least arguable, a stronger case might be made for inclusion among learners with special needs. Computers appear to be especially productive with children designated as nontraditional."

Based on what I read in this article, it seems that the evidence shows that children who start out already at a disadvantage and are provided the opportunities that technology can offer will benefit to an even greater degree than traditional students. As most everyone who knows me is aware, I have a son who is physically disabled. Due to the fact that he only has full use of his left hand, and his handwriting was extremely poor and slow, he was introduced to a computer at a very early age. It was determined early on by his teachers, working together with physical and occupational therapists, that this would be his most effective means of communication in order to complete his written assignments. He quickly became comfortable using technology because he depended on it to keep up with his classmates and still continues to do so as a college student. Today I depend on my son to trouble-shoot and help me solve my own computer problems. His interest and experience with various forms of digital technology is very high. I have often wondered if this scenario could have been quite different had he not had a disability and had been a traditional student.

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