Remote assistive technology training in Newfoundland and Labrador’s rural schools: Is there a need? | Perceptions des enseignants quant au besoin de formation en technologie d’assistance dans les écoles rurales de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador

Kimberly Maich, Tricia Van Rhijn, Heather Woods, Kimberly Brochu

Abstract


This study examined the perceptions of teachers in rural Newfoundland (NL) about their current ability to support the use of assistive technology (AT) in their classrooms, and identified possible training needs that could be accomplished remotely. Thirty-two educators from rural areas of NL completed an online survey with a mix of closed- and open-ended questions. Five dimensions were explored for this needs assessment including: current beliefs, skills, use, comfort level, and perceptions of AT; identification of specific service needs; learning preferences; available technology; and potential barriers. Results reveal that teachers had positive attitudes about the utility and use of AT in their classrooms, yet were not fully implementing AT with their student’s due to a variety of perceived barriers. The study identified a clear need for AT teacher training. Based on the results and the research, literature recommendations are made for teacher training to address the need identified by this study.

Cette étude a porté sur les perceptions des enseignants dans les régions rurales de Terre-Neuve de leur capacité actuelle d’appuyer l’usage des technologies d’assistance (TA) dans leurs classes et a cerné de possibles besoins de formation que l’on pourrait combler à distance. Trente-deux éducateurs de régions rurales de Terre-Neuve ont rempli un sondage en ligne comprenant un mélange de questions ouvertes et fermées. Cette évaluation des besoins a exploré cinq dimensions : croyances, compétences, utilisation, perceptions et degré de confort actuels quant aux TA; détermination de besoins de services précis; préférences d’apprentissage; technologie disponible; obstacles potentiels. Les résultats révèlent que les enseignants avaient des attitudes positives quant à l’utilité et à l’utilisation des TA dans leurs classes, mais ne les mettaient pas entièrement en œuvre avec leurs élèves parce qu’ils percevaient une variété d’obstacles. L’étude a cerné un besoin manifeste de formation des enseignants relativement aux TA. Selon les résultats et la recherche, des recommandations sont avancées pour que la formation des enseignants réponde au besoin cerné dans cette étude.


Keywords


assistive technology, learning disabilities, Canada, Newfoundland

Full Text:

PDF

References


Alkahtani, K. D. (2013). Teacher's knowledge and use of assistive technology for students with special educational needs. Journal of Studies in Education, 3(2), 65-86. doi:10.5296/jse.v3i2.3424

American Psychiatric Association. (2017). What is specific learning disorder? Retrieved from https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/specific-learning-disorder/what-is-specific-learning-disorder

Ault, M. J., Bausch, M. E., & McLaren, E. M. (2013). Assistive technology service delivery in rural school districts. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 32(2), 15-22. https://doi.org/10.1177/875687051303200204

Bano, N., Arshad, F., Khan, S., & Safdar, C. (2015). Case based learning and traditional teaching strategies: Where lies the future? Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Journal, 65(1), 118-124. Retrieved from http://pafmj.org/pdfs/February-2015/Article_25.pdf

Barbour, M. (2005). From telematics to web-based: The progression of distance education in NL. British Journal of Education, 36(6), 1055-1058. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2005.00574.x

Beach, R. (2012). Can online learning communities foster professional development? Language Arts, 89(4), 256-262.

Billingsley, B., Israel, M., & Smith, S. (2011). Supporting new special education teachers: How online resources and Web 2.0 technologies can help. Teaching Exceptional Children, 43, 20-29. doi:10.1177/004005991104300502

Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation. (2014). About us. Retrieved from https://www.cdli.ca/about-us.html

Cheng, C., deRuiter, W. K., Howlett, A., Hanson, M. D., & Dewa, C. S. (2013). Psychosis 101: Evaluating a training programme for northern and remote youth mental health service providers. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 7(4), 442-50. doi:0.1111/eip.12044

Clover, D. E. (2007). From sea to cyberspace: women’s leadership and learning around information and communication technologies in coastal Newfoundland. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 26(1), 75-88. doi:10.1080/02601370601151430

Cowden, P., & Sze, S. (2012). Navigating online learning through assistive technology. In Allied Academies International Conference: Proceedings of the Academy of Organizational Culture, Communications & Conflict, 17(1), 3-6. Retrieved from http://www.alliedacademies.org/pdfs/proceedings30/AOCCC%20Proceedings%20Spring%202012.pdf#page=9

Creswell, J. W., Plano Clark, V. L., Gutmann, M. L. & Hanson, W. E. (2003). Advanced mixed methods research designs. In A. Tashakkori and C. Teddlie (Eds.), Handbook on mixed methods in the behavioral and social sciences (pp. 209-240). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Davies, R., Yeung, E., Mori, B., & Nixon, S. A. (2012). Virtually present: The perceived impact of remote facilitation on small group learning. Medical Teacher, 34(10), 676-83. doi:10.3109/0142159X.2012.687490

Davis, T. N., Barnard-Brak, L., & Arredondo, P. L. (2013). Assistive technology: Decision-making practices in public schools. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 32(4), 15-23. doi:10.1177/875687051303200403

De Freitas Alves, C. C., Monteiro, G. B. M., Rabello, S., Freire Gasparetto, M. E. R., & De Carvalho, K. M. (2009). Assistive technology applied to education of students with visual impairment. Revisita Panamericana de Salud Pública, 26(2), 148-153. doi:10.1590/S1020-49892009000800007

Department of Education of Newfoundland and Labrador. (2012). Inclusive education. Retrieved from https://www.cdli.ca/sdm/inclusion-pamphlet-(english).html

Department of Education and Early Childhood (2017). Assistive technology guidelines. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/k12/studentsupportservices/assistive_tech.html

Desch, L. W., & Gaeblre-Spira, D. (2008). Prescribing assistive-technology systems: Focus on children with impaired communication. American Academy of Pediatrics, 121(6), 1271-1280. doi:10.1542/peds.2008-0695

Dibbon, D. (2004). It’s about time!! A report of the impact of workload on teachers and students. Retrieved from http://files.nlta.nl.ca/wp-content/uploads/public/documents/wrkldstudy_rprt/wrkldrprt04.pdf

Edyburn, D. L. (2004). 2003 in review: A synthesis of the special education technology literature. Journal of Special Education Technology, 19(4), 57-80. doi:10.1177/016264340401900407

Eleven, E., Karuovic, D., Radulovic, B., Jokic, S., & Pardanjac, M. (2012). Development of distance learning, independent learning and modern education technology. Technics Technologies Education Management, 7(1), 111-121.

Garcia, K. D., & Seevers, R. L. (2005). General education teachers’ attitude regarding the use in their classes of assistive technology by students with learning disabilities. Electronic Journal for Inclusive Education, 1(9), 1-19, Retrieved from http://corescholar.libraries.wright.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1062&context=ejie

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. (2015). Education statistic: school information 2014-2015. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/publications/k12/stats/index.html#1415

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. (2017). Assistive technologies. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/k12/studentsupportservices/assistive_tech.html

Gray, T., & Silver-Pacuilla, H. (2011). Breakthrough teaching and learning. New York, NY: Springer.

Grinnell, R., Gabor, P., & Unrau, Y. A. (2012). Program evaluation for social workers: Foundations of evidence-based programs (5th ed.). Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press.

Gustafson, D. L., & Penton, V. (2014). Access to assistive technology and single entry point programs. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 3(1). Retrieved from http://cjds.uwaterloo.ca/index.php/cjds/article/view/90/253

Gustafson, G. S. (2006). The assistive technology skills, knowledge, and professional development needs of special educators in southwestern Virginia (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://theses.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-04162006-184823/unrestricted/GustafsonETD.pdf

Herman, P., & Wardrip, P. (2012). Reading to learn: Helping students comprehend readings in science class. Science Teacher, 79(1), 48-51. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/43556757

Howard, D., Nieuwenhuijsen, E. R., & Saleeby, P. (2008). Health promotion and education: Application of the ICF in the US and Canada using an ecological perspective. Disability and Rehabilitation, 30(12-13), 942-954. doi:10.1080/09638280701800483

Kantar, L. D. & Massouh, A. (2015). Case-based learning: What traditional curricula fail to teach. Nurse Education Today, 35(8), e8-e14. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2015.03.010

Khek, C., Lim, J., & Zhong, Y. (2006). Facilitating student with special needs in mainstream schools: An exploratory study of assistive learning technologies. International Journal of Web-Based Leaning and Teaching Technologies, 1(3), 56-74. doi:10.4018/jwltt.2006070104

Kolb, A. Y., & Kolb, D. A. (2005). Learning styles and learning spaces: Enhancing experiential learning in higher education. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 4(2), 193-212. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40214287

Kolb, A. Y., & Kolb, D. A. (2008). Experiential learning theory: A dynamic, holistic approach to management learning, education and development. In S. Armstrong & C. Fukami (Eds.), Handbook of management learning, education and development (pp. 1-59). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

doi:10.4135/9780857021038.n3

Kolb, D. (2000). Learning places: Building dwelling thinking online. Journal of Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, 34, 121-133. doi:10.1111/1467-9752.00160

Laarhoven, T. V., Munk, D. D., Chandler, L. K., Zurita, L., & Lynch, K. (2012). Integrating assistive technology into teacher education programs: Trials, tribulations and lessons learned. Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits, 8(1), 32-47. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ998800

Larwood, L. (2005). A promising practice: Low incidence teacher education in rural and remote California. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 24(3), 25-29. doi:10.1177/875687050502400304

Li, T.-Y., Wang, H.-P., & Ho, R.-G. (2002). A survey of the adaptive computer technology literacy for in-service special education teachers in Taiwan. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 25, 337-229.

Maich, K., & Hill, R. (2017). Special Education Case Studies: 20 cases for Ontario classrooms. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.

Mavrou, K. (2011). Assistive technology as an emerging policy and practice: Processes, challenges and future directions. Technology and Disability, 23(1), 41-52. doi:10.3233/TAD-2011-0311

Morrison, K. (2007). Implementation of assistive computer technology: A model for school systems. International Journal of Special Education, 22(1), 83-95. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ814473.pdf

Mulcahy, D. (2017). Distance Education that Works. Education Canada. Retrieved from https://www.edcan.ca/articles/distance-education-works/

Murphy, E., & Rodríguez Manzanares, M. A. (2008). Contradictions between the virtual and physical high school classroom: A third-generation activity theory perspective. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(6), 1061-1072. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2007.00776.x

Nam, C. S., Bahn, S., & Lee, R. (2013). Acceptance of assistive technology by special education teachers: A structural equation model approach. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 29(5), 365-377. doi:10.1080/10447318.2012.711990

NL Ministry of Education & Early Childhood Development. (2017). Assistive technologies. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/k12/studentsupportservices/assistive_tech.html

NL Ministry of Education & Early Childhood Development. (2013). Assistive technology common devices for students with exceptionalities. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/forms/studentsupport/Assistive_Technology_Items.pdf

Nosik, M. R., Williams, W. L., Garrido, N., & Lee, S. (2013). Comparison of computer based instruction to behavior skills training for teaching staff implementation of discrete-trial instruction with an adult with autism. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 34(1), 461-8. doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2012.08.011

Parsons, M., Rollyson, J., & Reid, D. (2012). Evidence-based staff training: A guide for practitioners. Behaviour Analysis in Practice, 5(2), 2-11. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3592486/

Reed, P. R. (2007). A resource guide for teachers and administrators about assistive technology. Wisconsin, WI: Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative.

Ritter, G. W., Holley, M. J., & Jensen, N. C. (2012). Does classroom technology make a difference? A random assignment study in US classrooms. Effective Education, 4(1), 87-110. doi:10.1080/19415532.2013.778590

Roberts, J., O'Sullivan, J., & Howard, J. (2005). The roles of emerging and conventional technologies in serving children and adolescents with special needs in rural and northern communities. Journal of Distance Education, 20(1), 84-103. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ807828

Rossi, P., Lipsey, M. W., & Freeman, H. E. (2004). Evaluation: A systematic approach (7th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Schlager, M. S., Fusco, J., Schank, P., Koch, M., Tatar, D., Godard, R., & Holsinger, K. (2003). Teacher professional development, technology, and communities of practice: Are we putting the cart before the horse? The Information Society, 19, 203-220. doi:10.1080/01972240309464

Schlosser, R. W., McGhie-Richmond, D., Blackstien-Adler, S., Mirenda, P., Antonius, K., & Janzen, P. (2000). Training a school team to integrate technology meaningfully into the curriculum: Effects on student participation. Journal of Special Education Technology, 15(1), 31-44. doi:10.1177/016264340001500103

Sider, S., & Maich, K. (2014). Assistive technology tools: Supporting literacy Ministry of Education learners in the inclusive classroom. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/WW_TechnologyTools.pdf

Smith, S. J., & Smith, S. B. (2004). Technology integration solutions: Preservice student interns as mentors. Assistive Technology: Outcomes and Benefits, 1(1), 42-57. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1002113

Specht, J., McGhie-Richmond, D., Loreman, T., Mirenda, P., Bennett, S., Gallagher, T., … Cloutier, S. (2016). Teaching in inclusive classrooms: Efficacy and beliefs of Canadian preservice teachers. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20(1), 1-15. doi:10.1080/13603116.2015.1059501

Sternberg, R. J. (1998). Abilities are forms of developing expertise. Educational Researcher, 27(3), 11-20. doi:10.3102/0013189X027003011

Thistlethwaite, J. E., Davies, D., Ekeocha, S., Kidd, J. M., MacDougall, C., Matthews, P., Purkis, J. & Clay, D. (2012). The effectiveness of case-based learning in health professional education. A BEME systematic review: BEME guide no. 23. Medical Teacher, 34(6), e421-e444. doi:10.3109/0142159X.2012.680939

White, H. D., & Robertson, L. (2015). Implementing assistive technologies: A study on co-learning in the Canadian elementary school context. Computers in Human Behavior, 51, 1268-1275. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2014.12.003




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21432/T2J682

Copyright (c) 2017 Kimberly Maich, Tricia van Rhijn, Heather Woods, & Kimberly Brochu

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/