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


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

***** order for this to happen, teachers need to be certain the ***** is being used to (a) hear word **********, (b) decipherer and interpret words, - understand overall expressions, (d) un*****erstand word span, and (e) help ***** become knowledgeable and confident w*****h their reading 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 to the fact that literacy ***** no longer limited to "hard copy" material.

Softw***** ***** 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 ***** teaching strategies as technology is not a substitute, but an aid in their teach*****g.

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

Qualitative research and its appropriateness for this *****

***** quantitative research is historically the principle way in which ***** is done, ***** research is grow*****g in popularity as it addresses issues in the social sciences. Marshall ***** Rossman (2006) state,

***** is a process of trying to gain a *****tter *****ing of the complexities of ***** human experience, and, in some genres of *****, ***** take action based on that understanding." (p.23)

Marshall and Rossman (2006) ***** state that qualitative inquiry should begin with an idea or ***** observation ***** a phenomenon ***** the researcher feels should be investigated and reported to others. Holiday (2002) adds to this by explaining that while qualitative research does ***** fill in the holes of quantitative research, it does *****fer different paradigms ***** conduct ***** by and to gain different information.

These different paradigms are based on ontological (understanding of reality), epistemological (understanding of how one knows what *****y know) and methodological (how answers ***** found) assumptions (Patton, 2002). While ***** theorists categorize and define different *****


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