Computer Attitudes and Opinions of Students with and without Learning Disabilities

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Journal of Educational Computing Research


Little research exists regarding the use of computers among students with learning disabilities. This study investigated the attitudes and opinions of students with and without learning disabilities regarding the use of computers for school-related work. Using a quasi-experimental design with three non-equivalent groups, within and between subjects effects were studied using a survey instrument. The students, in grades five through twelve, at three school sites, completed pre- and post-test computer use and attitude surveys at the beginning and end of the school year. One site served as the “treatment” group, while the other two were comparison groups. At the beginning of the school year a campus-wide computer network for use by all students was installed at one of the schools. The survey results indicated that students at the school with new computers did not exhibit better attitudes toward computers than the students at the other schools. Furthermore, there were no differences in computer use or attitudes across students with and without learning disabilities. There were also no differences in the factors predictive of attitudes toward computers (prior computer skills, use of games, frequency of use) across students with and without learning disabilities. The results support the notion that students with disabilities could be successfully included in computer-based instruction in general education classrooms.


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