Twenty-Five Years Later: How is Technology Used in the Education of Students with Disabilities? Results of a Statewide Study
Cynthia M. Okolo, Michigan State University ; Jeff Diedrich, Michigan Integrated Technology Supports
Journal of Special Education Technology Volume 29, Number 1, ISSN 0162-6434
This study provides a snapshot of factors associated with assistive technology (AT) use in one large Midwestern state. Conducted about 25 years after the passage of the original Technology Related Assistance Act, the study presents results from a survey of 1,143 Michigan educators. Results of the study show that respondents use technology frequently in their personal and professional lives, but less so during the instruction of students with disabilities. AT is viewed positively and educators believe they are knowledgeable about some aspects of technology use. However, in other areas, educators provide low ratings of their knowledge of specific AT uses and functions, and have mixed impressions of the support they receive for technology use. Scores on measures of self-reported knowledge and perceived support vary significantly among different categories of respondents and are only moderate for special educators and low for general educators. Nevertheless, educators express interest in further professional development about AT. The need for additional professional development, along with better access to technology and more funding, are perceived as top barriers to more widespread AT use. Other findings include a lack of knowledge about how technology is used by students in and out of school and the low rate of participation of general educators, students, and parents in AT decisions. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for reforming practices related to technology implementation, professional development, and research.
Okolo, C.M. & Diedrich, J. (2014). Twenty-Five Years Later: How is Technology Used in the Education of Students with Disabilities? Results of a Statewide Study. Journal of Special Education Technology, 29(1),.