Essay - Qualitative Proposal for a Study on Improving Reading Skills in...

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Qualitative Proposal for a Study on Improving Reading Skills in Lower-level and Special Needs Students Through the Use of Technology


***** who have the highest risk of fail*****g in school also have low read*****g capabilities. This is especially true for students who have special needs. Goetze ***** Walker (2004) ***** found that using technology may be a soluti***** to th***** issue. They assert that regular and consistent use ***** technology enhances literary capabilities of ***** who have special *****. However, teachers must be properly trained on how to use technology in the classroom (Doering, Huges, & Huffman, 2003). If ***** are trained ***** to use the technology, how to integrate it into their lessons plans, and how to allow students to voice their inputs, students could indeed improve reading scores (May, 2003; Lelop & Ponterio, 2005).

***** order for this to happen, teachers need to ***** certain the technology is being *****d ***** (a) hear word tones, (b) decipherer and interpret words, - understand overall expressions, (d) understand word span, and (e) help students become knowledgeable ***** confident w*****h ***** ***** style (*****, 2003). Overall reading will be improved, as well as students' ability to read on the internet and other digital media. This is pertinent due ***** the fact that literacy ***** no longer limited to "hard copy" material.

********** that aids in teaching reading skills are AlpahSmart and Kidspiration (May, 2003). Others technologies include voice detection software, tele*****cooperations of the *****, Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) and portable processors or devices (Fisher & Molebash, 2003). Teachers may use this software in addition to other teaching strategies as technology is not a substitute, but an aid in their teaching.

This study looks at how various ***** can aid in improving educ*****ion ***** low-level special needs students. To truly understand this phenomenon, a qualitative research design is most suitable. A summative evaluation of techniques that teachers use to inc*****porate technology in***** their lesson plans will be conducted.

Qualitative research and its appropriateness for this study

***** quantitative research is historically the principle way in *****ich research is done, qualitative research is growing in popularity as it addresses *****s in the social sciences. Marshall and Rossman (2006) state,

***** is a process of trying to gain a better *****ing of the complex*****ies of ***** hum*****n experience, *****, in some genres of research, ***** take action based on that understanding." (p.23)

***** and Rossman (*****) also state that qualitative inquiry should begin with an idea or ***** observation of a phenomenon th*****t the researcher feels should be investigated and rep*****ted to others. Holiday (2002) adds to ***** by explaining that while qualitative research does ***** fill in the holes of quantitative research, it ***** *****fer different paradigms to conduct research ***** and to gain different information.

These different paradigms are based on ontological (understanding of reality), epistemological (***** of how one knows what *****y know) and methodological (***** answers ***** *****) assumptions (Patton, *****). While ***** theorists categorize ***** define different *****


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