Chapter

A Step Toward Assistive Technology Evidence-Based Practices: Latent Dimensions of Information and Communication Technology

If you want to read the PDF, try requesting it from the authors.

Abstract

In an attempt to meet the need for validation research that contributes to assistive technology (AT) evidence-based practices, this chapter presents the findings of a study aimed to identify latent dimensions of information and communication technology (ICT) that can serve as the basis for the eventual development of a standardized instrument for ICT assessment and selection in the context of AT. The ICT preferences and practices of 1,258 postsecondary students across seven major universities were examined. A confirmatory factor analysis within the framework of structure equation modeling revealed the five latent dimensions: communicating, socializing, downloading and sharing, gaming, and learning. These dimensions examined in the context of age, gender, and income, further revealed that these demographics, as sole determinants of ICT usage, are not supported. Noteworthy findings were also found with regard to participant’s preferences for ICT, to include a tendency to text over all other technologies surveyed.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Full-text available
The authors provide a basic set of guidelines and recommendations for information that should be included in any manuscript that has confirmatory factor analysis or structural equation modeling as the primary statistical analysis technique. The authors provide an introduction to both techniques, along with sample analyses, recommendations for reporting, evaluation of articles in The Journal of Educational Research using these techniques, and concluding remarks.
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the intersection of age and ICT (information and communication technology) competency and critiques the "digital natives versus digital immigrants" argument proposed by Prensky (2001a, 2001b). Quantitative analysis was applied to a statistical data set collected in the context of a study with over 2,000 pre-service teachers conducted at the University of British Columbia, Canada, between 2001 and 2004. Findings from this study show that there was not a statistically significant difference with respect to ICT competence among different age groups for either pre-program or post-program surveys. Classroom observations since 2003 in different educational settings in Canada and the United States support this finding. This study implies that the digital divide thought to exist between "native" and "immigrant" users may be misleading, distracting education researchers from more careful consideration of the diversity of ICT users and the nuances of their ICT competencies.
Article
Full-text available
The research project, UK Children Go Online (UKCGO), is conducting a rigorous investigation of 9-19 year-olds' use of the Internet, comparing girls and boys of different ages, backgrounds, etc., in order to ask how the Internet may be transforming, or may itself be shaped by, family life, peer networks and school. It combines qualitative interviews and observations with a major national survey of 9-19 year-olds (n = 1511) and their parents (n = 906). This article focuses on two of the key opportunities the Internet affords to children and young people: first, education, informal learning and literacy and, second, communication and participation. While education and learning represent the ‘approved’ uses of the Internet, which is often the reason for which parents and governments invest in domestic Internet access, children and young people themselves are far more excited by the Internet as a communication medium. However, not all the opportunities available to children and young people are being taken up equally. Hence the article concludes by charting the emergence of a new divide, signalling emerging inequalities in the quality of Internet use, with children and young people being divided into those for whom the Internet is an increasingly rich, diverse, engaging and stimulating resource of growing importance in their lives, and those for whom it remains a narrow, unengaging if occasionally useful resource of rather less significance.
Article
Full-text available
Research suggests students’ use of information and communication technology (ICT) may be more a matter of digital literacy and access rather than a generational trait. We sought to identify ICT preferences of post-secondary students (N = 580) through a Digital Propensity Index (DPI), investigating communication methods, Internet practices and the creation of online content. Age, gender and socioeconomic status were examined as factors which might explain why students use ICT. Results suggest age is a factor in ICT use but that it is not the most important consideration; the gender gap and gaps between socioeconomic groups in terms of ICT use may be closing. The findings raise a variety of implications for institutions training pre-service teachers, curriculum developers designing instructional materials and educational leaders developing ICT policy for schools.
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – This article is an edited version of a report commissioned by the British Library and JISC to identify how the specialist researchers of the future (those born after 1993) are likely to access and interact with digital resources in five to ten years' time. The purpose is to investigate the impact of digital transition on the information behaviour of the Google Generation and to guide library and information services to anticipate and react to any new or emerging behaviours in the most effective way. Design/methodology/approach – The study was virtually longitudinal and is based on a number of extensive reviews of related literature, survey data mining and a deep log analysis of a British Library and a JISC web site intended for younger people. Findings – The study shows that much of the impact of ICTs on the young has been overestimated. The study claims that although young people demonstrate an apparent ease and familiarity with computers, they rely heavily on search engines, view rather than read and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to assess the information that they find on the web. Originality/value – The paper reports on a study that overturns the common assumption that the “Google generation” is the most web-literate.
Article
Full-text available
The idea that a new generation of students is entering the education system has excited recent attention among educators and education commentators. Termed 'digital natives' or the 'Net generation', these young people are said to have been immersed in technology all their lives, imbuing them with sophisticated technical skills and learning preferences for which traditional education is unprepared. Grand claims are being made about the nature of this genera-tional change and about the urgent necessity for educational reform in response. A sense of impending crisis pervades this debate. However, the actual situation is far from clear. In this paper, the authors draw on the fields of education and sociology to analyse the digital natives debate. The paper presents and questions the main claims made about digital natives and analyses the nature of the debate itself. We argue that rather than being empirically and theoretically informed, the debate can be likened to an academic form of a 'moral panic'. We propose that a more measured and disinterested approach is now required to investigate 'digital natives' and their implications for education.
Article
Full-text available
This paper raises questions about the sort of knowledge which has come to count as professional development knowledge. The author interrogates the curriculum and pedagogy of academic professional development programs in Australian universities, drawing parallels with Third World development programs. She argues that professional development knowledge is privileged over disciplinary knowledge in setting lifelong learning agendas for academics, and notes some problematic consequences of this for academics engaged in professional development programs.
Chapter
There is a growing interest among educators to use video games in the classroom as part of the curriculum to meet the educational needs of today’s students. This may be justified, in part, by claims in recent years about today’s technology-savvy students and their adept use of information and communication technology (ICT). However, such claims have not been accepted without scrutiny; indeed, the relationship between games and learning has been tempestuous over the years. This chapter sought to identify the gaming propensity of postsecondary students (N = 580) through the use of a questionnaire. Age, gender, and socioeconomic status were examined as factors that might explain why students play games. Results suggest that age, gender, and socioeconomic status are composite factors that contribute to gaming, but not the most important consideration in terms of general ICT usage. The findings raise a number of implications for educators, educational policy-makers, practitioners, researchers, instructional technologists, and game developers across both the education spectrum and the entertainment industry in terms of the use and development of video games.
Chapter
The abundance of opinions about Millennials has made it very difficult to separate reality from conjecture, especially with regard to the suppositions made about their propensity towards technology. Labeled as digital natives, Millennials are thought to posses learning traits never before seen as a result of growing up in the digital information age. In this chapter, we present the findings of a study in which postsecondary students (N = 580) were surveyed to quantitatively investigate the differences between digital natives and digital immigrants. Findings revealed that of the ten traits investigated, only two showed significant difference, and of these two traits, only one favored the digital native notion, shedding doubt on the strong digital propensity claims made about today’s Millennials. Although differences were found, we cannot say with any certainty that there is an unambiguous delineation that merits the digital native and digital immigrant labels. The findings raise a variety of implications for institutions training pre-service teachers; educators interested in using digital media, devices, and social networks in their classroom; curriculum developers designing instructional material; educational leaders developing information and communication technology policy for school; and researchers investigating digital propensity with today’s youth.
Article
The purposes of this study were to identify the factors that underlie assistive technology (AT) and to validate items to be used in an instrument to evaluate AT use. The study consisted of four phases. First, 99 items were developed though a comprehensive literature review. Second, the items were refined through three layers of review. Third, 1,467 respondents rated the results of the reviews. Fourth, exploratory factor analysis, and three confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) were employed to analyze the data. The results of the CFA were statistically significant (root mean square error of approximation [RMSEA] = 0.036, p = 0.00) with a total of 67 items across 8 factors (effectiveness, affordability and dependability, utility, external support, operations, longevity, discomfort, and compatibility).
Article
Assessing an individual for assistive technology (AT) use is an important part of the reauthorization of IDEA (1997) and an essential support in the path to greater independence and integration into society. Unfortunately, AT devices are frequently abandoned for many reasons. Sometimes AT selection is based on a mismatch between the individual's desires and/or needs. Sometimes the individual outgrows the capabilities of the device. To foster optimal AT use, this article presents guidelines that educators can follow to put the individual user of AT at the center of the assessment process.
Article
The article summarizes a set of findings related to themes that Macomb Project staff have repeatedly observed in more than 15 years of research and model demonstration computer application services to young children with disabilities, their families, and service delivery staff. The themes are related to conditions necessary to ensure successful technology outcomes for children, including staff training, administrative support, technology assessments, appropriate early childhood curricula, family invovlement, and transition. Positive outcomes for children are discussed, including social interaction, communication, retention of skills related to technology use, technology tools, and inclusion.
Article
Using a confirmatory factor analytic (CFA) model as a paradigmatic basis for all comparisons, this article reviews and contrasts important features related to 3 of the most widely-used structural equation modeling (SEM) computer programs: AMOS 4.0 (Arbuckle, 1999), EQS 6 (Bentler, 2000), and LISREL 8 (Joreskog & Sorbom, 1996b). Comparisons focus on (a) key aspects of the programs that bear on the specification and testing of CFA models-preliminary analysis of data, and model specification, estimation, assessment, and misspecification; and (b) other important issues that include treatment of incomplete, nonnormally-distributed, or categorically-scaled data. It is expected that this comparative review will provide readers with at least a flavor of the approach taken by each program with respect to both the application of SEM within the framework of a CFA model, and the critically important issues, previously noted, related to data under study.
Article
Assistive technology has the potential to bring about significant changes in the life of a young child with disabilities. However, for assistive technology to be utilized effectively, families must be involved in the assessment and intervention process. This article describes a family-centered assessment and intervention approach that empowers and enables families in the selection and use of assistive technology. Included in the discussion are key characteristics of parent/professional partnerships and effective help-giving practices that facilitate the child and family's level of involvement and interaction in the application of assistive technology in their natural environment.
Article
The purpose of this study was to identify and validate items applicable to evaluating online courses at the postsecondary level. Items were derived from a review of the literature. Four judges rated the similarity of the items by making pair-wise comparisons utilizing multidimensional scaling (MDS). The study consisted of five stages. Stage I involved identifying items. Stage II involved validating items. Stage III involved sampling. Stage IV involved developing an online MDS instrument accommodating the 4,851 ([99 * 98]/2) pair-wise comparisons and rating them. Stage V involved data collection and analysis. The results of the MDS study indicated a three-dimensional solution (Accessibility, Adaptability, and Clarity of Communication) as the appropriate model for analysis. The three-dimensional solution indicated .24222 for the fit values of STRESS and .74 for R-squared. Four clusters were identified as Contextual Accommodation, Instructional Access, Guided Learning, and Organizational Clarity.
Article
This article discusses the factors which stimulate or limit the innovative use of ICT by teacher educators in the Netherlands. Innovative use of ICT is defined as the use of ICT applications that support the educational objectives based on the needs of the current knowledge society. Explorative path analysis and case studies were used to study the potential influencing factors. Results show that several factors on teacher level influence the implementation of innovative ICT-use in education. Especially, teachers who are so-called ‘personal entrepreneurs’ are important for the integration of ICT in teacher education. School level factors turn out to be of limited importance for innovative use of ICT. This indicates a limited involvement of the management of teacher training institutes towards the use of ICT within the curriculum.