Teachers' perceptions on the use of technology in the classroom to teach students identified with dyslexia
For decades, the educational system has been concerned with school readiness and the approaches educational institutions follow to ensure that students enter school with the necessary skills to be successful. However, determining what school readiness entails has been a controversial topic since the establishment of educational goals by the national government (Fantuzzo & McWayne, 2002; Mashburn & Pianta, 2006; Pyle, Bates, Greif, & Furlong, 2005). School readiness is a milestone that concerns both parents and educators, and it affects academic planning in schools. Parents and teachers are concerned with students’ abilities to master key areas such vocabulary, print motivation, print awareness, letter knowledge (LK), phonological awareness (PA), and rapid automatized naming (RAN). The three latter skills will translate into fluency, accuracy, and effective comprehension which are key factors in school readiness (Norton, 2012). As early as five years of age, children at risk for dyslexia begin to exhibit deficiencies in LK, PA and RAN. These students exhibit early signs of dyslexia and correspondingly exhibit poor academic performance regardless of possessing high cognitive ability (Pyle et al., 2005).
The primary purpose of this quantitative research was to study teachers’ perceptions of the role of technology in teaching students who have been diagnosed as having dyslexia. This research also investigated the types of technology teachers currently use in the classroom and the teachers’ perceptions on the use of technology by students diagnosed as having dyslexia. This study explored what type, if any, of technology is currently being used in the classroom and the teachers’ views on this instructional approach. An online survey was used to gather the pertinent data and to document teachers’ perceptions on the role of technology in teaching students with dyslexia once the corresponding professionals have confirmed the diagnosis.
The findings of this study generated new awareness about teachers’ perspective on the use of technology to teach these students. This study also generated understanding about the type of Assistive Technology (AT) available to promote academic advancement for students with dyslexia in the classroom. Additionally, this research provided information regarding the benefits students with dyslexia obtain from the use of AT as a teaching and learning tool. This information may promote the incorporation of technology in the curriculum and lesson planning for these students.