Using Technology to Improve Learning

When we were given the assignment to research a technology we might use in our classrooms, I decided to focus on technology that could enhance reading.  In my own experience, I tend to get a lot of anxiety when I am faced with  the task of “preforming,”/reading in front of my peers.  Whether the task is to read aloud or silently, I find my self unable to concentrate or comprehend what i am reading when it is performance driven. I did research on the effects devices have on student learning.  Students are very aware of their performance compared to their peers. This negativity effects learning comprehension unless those  students find success and improvements in learning even when it is below their peers (Biggs 198)(Higgins, 366). When students with reading struggles find the task of read before them, they can quickly  lose focus or engagement when they are expected to take notes or read material ). I have this expectation in my classroom and I am reconsidering ways to make this a better transition in the learning process. Allowing students options of taking notes is one area I am reconsidering. Allowing options and working/taking notes  and reading processes could be done more easily with technology. Cooperative socialization shows to improve learning strategies and these could benefit with the use of technology (Scharter, 133).  Devices  that would allow speak to text is one possible mode. Students would still be expected to interact with the lesson as it is being introduced but then could go back and get the writing part done with a devise that best fits their needs. Having some control on how they preform these tasks improves motivation (Biggs, 197) Writing, decoding, and being allowed to make corrections is all part of learning (Higgins, 338). Because of this, I would not want to just hand pre-written notes to a student or copy someone else’s notes for them to use. The research showed significant improvement on comprehension, reading speed, and increased engagement students in a follow-up done six weeks after the post-test was done while the control group remained unchanged (Biggs, 208-209).

Biggs, 208This study was specifically designed to improve student’s reading/and comprehension. Also when material has to be read, It is very helpful to have speaking helps on the devises so students can plug in, listen, and read along with the text.  I will offer the use of these extra devise helps to all students.  I believe it proves helpful  for any students who want to use the device. It encourages students to become more familiar with the material because they are re-visiting it multiple ways. They are hearing the information and also getting to use technology as part of the learning process.

CLICK HERE to listen to a tutorial showing how to listen to a PDF file when the copy feature doesn’t give a speaking  option on the MacBook Air.

Possible devices student can use on the iPad are:

Annotated bibliography #1

Annotated bibliography #2

Annotated bibliography #3


Boyd, B. F. (2008). Assistive technology for every child. Montessori Life: A Publication of the American Montessori Society, 20(1), 30-35. Retrieved from

Biggs, M. C., Homan, S. P., Dedrick, R., Minick, V., & Rasinski, T. (2008). Using an interactive singing software program: A comparative study of struggling middle school readers. Reading Psychology, 29(3), 195-213. doi:10.1080/02702710802073438

Chiang, H., & Liu, C. (2011). Evaluation of the benefits of assistive reading software: Perceptions of high school students with learning disabilities. Assistive Technology, 23(4), 199-204. Retrieved from

Hecker, L., Burns, L., Elkind, J., Elkind, K., & Katz, L. (2002). Benefits of assistive reading software for students with attention disorders. Annals of Dyslexia, 52, 243-272. Retrieved from

Higgins, E. L., & Raskind, M. H. (2004). Speech recognition-based and automaticity programs to help students with severe reading and spelling problems. Annals of Dyslexia, 54(2), 365-92. Retrieved from

Reddy, D. M., Fleming, R., Pedrick, L. E., Ports, K. A., Barnack-Tavlaris, J., Helion, A. M., & Swain, R. A. (2011). U-pace: Facilitating academic success for all students. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 34(4), 0. Retrieved from

Schacter, J., & Fagnano, C. (1999). Does computer technology improve student learning and achievement? How, when, and under what conditions?. Journal of Educational Computing Research,  20(4), 329-343. Retrieved from


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