Theses Doctoral

Sounding Out Science: Incorporating Audio Technology to Assist Students with Learning Differences in Science Education

Gomes, Clement

With the current focus to have all students reach scientific literacy in the U.S, there exists a need to support marginalized students, such as those with Learning Disabilities/Differences (LD), to reach the same educational goals as their mainstream counterparts. This dissertation examines the benefits of using audio assistive technology on the iPad to support LD students to achieve comprehension of science vocabulary and semantics. This dissertation is composed of two papers, both of which include qualitative information supported by quantified data. The first paper, titled Using Technology to Overcome Fundamental Literacy Constraints for Students with Learning Differences to Achieve Scientific Literacy, provides quantified evidence from pretest and posttest analysis that audio technology can be beneficial for seventh grade LD students when learning new and unfamiliar science content. Analysis of observations and student interviews support the findings. The second paper, titled Time, Energy, and Motivation: Utilizing Technology to Ease Science Understanding for Students with Learning Differences, supports the importance of creating technology that is clear, audible, and easy for students to use so they benefit and desire to utilize the learning tool. Multiple correlation of Likert Survey analysis was used to identify four major items and was supported with analysis from observations of and interviews with students, parents, and educators. This study provides useful information to support the rising number of identified LD students and their parents and teachers by presenting the benefits of using audio assistive technology to learn science.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Science Education
Thesis Advisors
Moore Mensah, Felicia
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
July 7, 2014