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Assistive Technology: Advantages and Disadvantages - Essay Example

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Title: Assistive Technologies- Advantages and Disadvantage Research Study Assistive Technologies- Advantages and Disadvantage Research Study 1. Introduction Technology has intervened in every walk of life and has introduced revolutionary changes in the lifestyles of humans…
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Assistive Technologies- Advantages and Disadvantage Research Study Assistive Technologies- Advantages andDisadvantage Research Study 1. Introduction Technology has intervened in every walk of life and has introduced revolutionary changes in the lifestyles of humans. The field of education is no different; innovative technologies have made their way into the classrooms and other modes of education that are being followed by the academicians in the prevailing times. Assistive technologies are also counted amongst these inventions of the modern era since they facilitate the acquisition of education by students who have disabilities. This field is an emerging one and is attaining the attention of researchers around the world. It seems to be an interesting topic since it involves human computer interaction at an extensive degree. One can get to study about the different modes in which technology is helping humanity. This paper discusses the research questions and the hypotheses of the research regarding the advantages and disadvantages of usage of assistive technologies by children with disabilities. The research questions and hypothesis will provide a direction for the research study and help in maintaining focus on few important aspects of the respective domain. 2. Process of the Development of Research Questions and Hypothesis There are numerous forms of assistive technologies in the market that are directed towards making the children (with disabilities) experience the same quality of learning processes as the other children. The research study of the respective domain began with the comprehension of the basic concepts and how these technologies are categorized with respect to the special needs of different types of disabilities. Deductive research approach has been adopted for the research study since the general ideas are aimed to be investigated and analyzed to be developed into specific outcomes. During the initial phase of research activities, it has been pointed out in a report by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2010) that much research has been done on the development of assistive technologies for children with visual disabilities. One reason for such degree of focus on the respective category can be that blindness or visual imparity proves to inhibit the learning process more than any other disabilities, such as immobility, speaking or hearing disability. Mulligan (2003) provided various generic benefits of the usage of assistive technology by children; this broad study led to the desire of studying the probable changes in the pace of learning and motivation to learn. Berg (n.d.) stated that attitude of a student is the most powerful tool since a good motivational attitude can overcome any kind of obstacle in the learning process. Alongside the advantages of using assistive technologies, it has been found that there also exist some disadvantages and issues with the adoption of such technologies. A presentation at University of North Carolina pointed out that assistive technologies are developed on the basis of generic needs of people with a specific impairment; such features may not cater to the individualistic needs of different people with disabilities. Another issue raised by this presentation that seemed challenging enough to be studied further was that it inhibits the development process of the skills of the children by making them dependent on (imperfect) technologies. 3. Research Questions and Hypothesis In the light of the above advantages and disadvantages, the following research questions have been framed: How does the usage of assistive technology change the motivation level and attitude of the child towards learning processes? How does the usage of assistive technology change the pace of learning of the child? How does the usage of assistive technology inhibit the development of learning skills of the child? The following hypothesis has been framed for the research study: The usage of assistive technology by children is more likely to improve their pace of learning, increase motivation to acquire education, however may prove to inhibit the development of personal learning skills. 4. Challenges Faced in Writing Research Questions and Hypothesis The availability of an extensive degree of research papers and information regarding the adoption of these technologies made it difficult to choose the specific domain that would be researched further. The formulation of research questions and hypothesis on the general benefits and issues of adoption of technologies did not seem very satisfying since it has already been written about at an extensive degree. Therefore, the research domain was narrowed down to the effects of usage on learning pace, motivation level and development of learning skills. Another challenge was to frame the questions in the most effective manner; this challenge was met by reading available guidelines and literature concerning research methods. It was found out that hypothesis is the statement that directs the research study towards a certain direction. References Berg, D. (n.d.), Towards a Technical Definition of Attitude, Attitutor Services, Retrieved from http://www.teach-kids-attitude-1st.com/definition-of-attitude-technical.html Mulligan, S. A. (2003), Assistive technology- Supporting the participating of children with disabilities, Beyond the Journal, November Issue. University of North Carolina, (n.d.), Ethical issues in assistive technology, Retrieved from www.cs.unc.edu/Research/assist/et/notes/goldberg/ethics.ppt University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, (2010, April 16), New teaching tools aid visually impaired students in learning math, Science Daily. Read More
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