Sunday, May 22, 2011

Article 5: Technology-Supported Math Instruction for Students with Disabilities: Two Decades of Research and Development

The article describes some of the problems students with disabilities have in comprehension in solving mathematical equations and facts and suggests ways to solve this problem. It describes how math knowledge is built using research and comparison charts of students who are able to solve math and those who are not. Research discussed is for math fact fluency, math fact recall, math problem solving skills, and computer use to learn skills.
The article suggests Fluency and Automaticity through Systematic Teaching with Technology (FASTT), an interference designed to assist students in development of stated fact understanding. The authors suggest FASTT as an effective assistive skill and FASTT features are:
  1. Identification of fluent and non-fluent facts;
  2. Restricted presentation of non-fluent information;
  3. Student generation of problem/answer pairs;
  4. Use of "challenge times;"
  5. Spaced-presentation of non-fluent information;
  6. The appropriate use of drill-and-practice; and
  7. Computer monitoring of student performance.
Other tools to help in mastering math skills include calculators though some myths are that:
  • calculators will promote student laziness
  • students will not be stimulated/challenged if they use calculators
  • using calculators impedes the development of basic mathematical skills, and
  • the use of calculators will create a dependency on technology
But the truth is the use of calculators:
  • promoted achievement,
  • improved problem-solving skills, and
  • increased understanding of mathematical ideas  
The authors have identified programs such as GO Solve Word Problems, TinkerPlots in an attempt to point out important areas needing development and research.
This article was informational and useful for Math problem solving that a student with disabilities might encounter. Some of the information was unknown to me and will be beneficial in teaching not just in special education, but in general education classes.  The resources are priceless and I will use them. The article's negative side was the length, the information could be less wordy for me.

Hasselbring, A. C., & Zydney, J. M. (2006). Technology-Supported Math Instruction for Students with Disabilities: Two Decades of Research and Development. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from LD online:

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