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  • Dr. Scott Dueker

Why Do I Use Technology In My Research?

I am a big fan of using technology, particularly handheld, in my research and practice. Why? As we all know, technology has become so much a part of our lives during the past 20 years. Phones have shrunk in size and increased our ability to access information. Tablets have appeared that provide computer-like experiences. All of this seemingly has made us dependent on technology like no generation before.


Because I work with children having disabilities, I have seen a shift in how these kiddos spend their free time and function in daily life. More time is spent on tables and cell phones watching videos. Many kiddos use tablets to communicate. They are everywhere. So, it makes sense to use this technology in education as well. Schools have already embraced this idea. iPads or Chromebooks are in so many classrooms.


So, it makes sense to use this technology in my research. Many times, I use either video prompting or video modeling to present interventions. I create short videos, using this handheld technology, that demonstrate someone performing the skill I want to teach and present the videos using the technology. This is an evidence-based practice that has shown the ability to teach a wide variety of skills, including daily living skills, social skills, vocational skills, and play skills.


There is less research on the use of video-based interventions on academic subjects, particularly mathematics. I believe that mathematics is just as important as reading for all learners. So much of our daily life requires basic skills in mathematics. Using this technology can be important for reaching these kiddos that use handheld devices so much. I can provide consistent prompting or modeling through the videos and the kiddos are already familiar with using the technology.


Now, I have a project going that uses handheld technology for applied behavior analysis (ABA) instruction. In many clinics, naming (Tacts) are taught by using pictures or objects. My project is testing whether delivery using an iPad can be effective. If we can demonstrate this, it will affect the amount of materials therapists will need to carry around to sessions. Managing many pictures can be difficult but having them on a tablet would be much easier.


Early results are encouraging. Two of my studies recently have shown kiddos can learn addition and some prenumeracy skills. I'm looking forward to seeing how our newest project will add to the research. However, I won't be happy until I can replicate these results and standardize how we teach using this technology. Technology does not stop evolving and I want to grow with it. If you're interested in my research, take a look at the Publications section of my site. And send me a message. I'm always looking for ways to connect with others and learn more about needs in mathematics.

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