Characteristics, interactions, and attitudes of parent/child dyads and their use of assistive technology in a literacy experience on the Internet
Tara Lane Jeffs, George Mason University, United States
George Mason University . Awarded
The importance of building literacy skills in children and adults of today cannot be overemphasized. Researchers are continually investigating “best practices” for teaching children reading and writing skills. Researchers have investigated the characteristics of students with reading and writing difficulties and the characteristics of parents and children reading together but a void exists in the research of the characteristics of parents and children with disabilities reading together and using technology. By identifying and gaining a better understanding of characteristics of students with reading and writing disabilities and the role of technology in these processes, interventions can be designed and implemented to assist and overcome literacy difficulties and barriers.
This qualitative research study examined the common characteristics, attitudes, interactions, and use of technologies by parents and their children with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to identify the characteristics of parent/child dyads working together in literacy skill development; depict the interactions of dyad members; investigate the impact of technology (Internet, EPSS, and any assistive technology) on attitudes of the participants of a literacy process and reveal areas of support needed by parents to facilitate literacy learning.
Findings included examining common reading and writing difficulties and how specific technology was used by parent/child dyads to overcome such difficulties (i.e. text to speech software). This study found that dyad members used a combination of technologies to meet specific individual learning needs. Customization of the learning task through technology enhanced opportunities for engagement and interaction to take place.
The electronic performance support system component of the LiteracyAccess Online website referred to as the Literacy Explorer ©; currently in year two of a Phase I, U.S. Department of Education, Steppingstone to Technology Grant (CFDA 84.327A, Steppingstones of Technology Innovation, LiteracyAccess Online/H327A980035) was introduced to participants. Careful attention was also given to dyad interactions and the transformation and learning the dyads experienced working with one another. Dyad members began to learn from each other and from the technology.
Jeffs, T.L. Characteristics, interactions, and attitudes of parent/child dyads and their use of assistive technology in a literacy experience on the Internet. Ph.D. thesis, George Mason University.
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