Technology and Academic Instruction

Considerations for Students with High Incidence Cognitive Disabilities

Authored by: Cheryl A. Wissick , J. Emmet Gardner

Handbook of Special Education

Print publication date:  April  2011
Online publication date:  May  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415800716
eBook ISBN: 9780203837306
Adobe ISBN: 9781136869624


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Educational use of technology needs to be grounded in research-based instructional practices and directly integrated into the curriculum. For students with high incidence disabilities, technology can be used as a cognitive scaffold or accommodation, just as those with physical or sensory disabilities often rely on using wheelchairs, hearing aids, or glasses to perform more efficiently. However, to integrate technology effectively within the context of learning and academic achievement, there must also be consideration of students’ academic abilities and skills. Technology cannot be used to replace direct instruction and neither can it simply be treated as an add-on to classroom activities. The effective use of technology with students with high incidence disabilities must also be integrated into the curriculum in a manner that corresponds to individualized education plans, state and national standards, and methods that are anchored in evidence-based practice (Gardner, Wissick, & Edyburn, 2008).

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