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Using Technology Within Inclusion Education

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Article Review 1

EDU 721 (sec 3)

Using Technology within Inclusion Education

February 6, 2010

Journal Article Review

Korsten, J. (2007). Assistive technology assessment: are our assessment strategies providing the needed information? Closing the Gap Solutions, Retrieved from https://www.closingthegap.com/solutions/articles/1522

Summary

In addition to the article in review, Jane Korsten is a co-author on How Do You Know It? How Can You Show It Making Assistive Technology Decisions (Reed, Bowser and Korsten, 2002). She is also a founding member of Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology (QIAT), where she is currently a member of the leadership. Korsten serves as a consultant on assistive technology selection and operation. In the earlier days of assistive technology assessment, Korsten says that the evaluation methods for choosing technology met the definition of 'assessment', but "it has often fallen short of its intent . . . by replacing 'understanding of the situation' with understanding of the technology." Often the assistive technology assessment would take place in a clinic, away from the settings in which the technology would be used. An expert in the field of available equipment compared the students' standardized test scores and their communication needs, but with a philosophical orientation toward the product more than the student. The resulting prescription may have been adequate for a time when the students' environment was limited to a single classroom, and most likely, the technological device remained at school, but the changes Korsten advocates in this article place an emphasis on collecting data in each of the students' inclusive environments at school, home, work and play.

Reflection

This article provides practical and pragmatic advice on the assessment process in technology selection. My school district lacks an organized procedure for determining the best fit in assistive technology. Initially upon reading this article, I hoped to find a checklist or a form that we could copy and put into place. Our selection of assistive technology depends more on available funds and the "gee whiz" factor more than any reliable method.

In my second year of teaching, I became enamored with the AlphaSmart electronic writing tool. It seemed to be the answer to the problems of students with dysgraphia. I ordered two units at a cost of a few hundred dollars. I invested an enormous amount of time, along with my students, in learning its program and getting the proper connections for printing. The student who most needed the writer

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