PhD Blog Assignment

Week 1 – 11/28/2019

Two Potential Emerging Technologies for Emerging Technology Proposal

The two emerging technologies I am interested in exploring in more detail are learner support systems for students who have learning disabilities and collaborative writing. Learning disabilities are described as specific neurologic disorders that affect how the brain stores, processes and communicates information (O’Hanlon, 2005). Some recognized learning disabilities include dyslexia (language processing), dyscalculia (math skills), dysgraphia (written expression), dyspraxia (motor skills), Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), processing delays, language development delays, and generalized anxiety. The number of students enrolling into college with a diagnosed learning disability continues to increase creating a demand for technology to better meet the needs of these students. Ark (2017) writes that colleges and universities are making strides to better meet the needs of students with learning disabilities. The Fidelis Education platform provides colleges and universities a way to develop and monitor a supportive learning relationship through monitoring, coaching, and tutoring (Ark, 2017). Match Beyond offers AA and BA programs for students to include study space, transportation costs, and personalized coaching (Art, 2017).

The cultural shift of diagnosing children and adults with learning disabilities and meeting their needs in learning environments has come a long way but there is much room for improvement. This topic is of particular interest to me because my 11-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with a language development disability and generalized anxiety. She frequently struggles with school and has begun saying things like, “I am just not that good at school,” or “school just isn’t for me.” Understanding her needs and finding ways to meet her needs in the years ahead so she will embrace a life long interest in learning will help me help her. Match Beyond could be utilized in my professional practice by providing designated online study time for students that is monitored and by providing student centers and resources. The Fidelis platform could be used to assess what needs students with special needs are lacking, increase services as needed, and all with the ability to track who is involved and how the student is progressing.

Collaborative writing in adult learning environments includes collaborative learning and the use of different writing mediums. Collaborative writing includes the use of blogs, wikis, application through service learning, and online writing tools. Warschauer and Liam (2010) argue that the cultural shift to a knowledge economy has increased the need to know and be able to write well in discussion forums, blogs, online sites, in different aspects of employment, civic participation, for life skills, and social connections. Blogs can be used to discuss relevant topics and personal reflection. Wikis are more formal and can be used to help students develop formal writing styles without opinions. Collaborative writing presents an opportunity for students to write and contribute in an environment that extends beyond the classroom. Studies on collaborative writing have shown that students have higher levels of engagement, increased motivation to learn, and increased confidence in writing (Basar & Yusop, 2014). In my professional practice, blogs can be used to stimulate writing on a specific topic. On a professional level, wikis could be used internally to provide information on current projects within the organization.

References

Ark, T. V. (2017). 10 current and emerging trends in adult learning. [Blog Post]. Retrieved  from: https://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/09/10-current-and-emerging-trends-in-adult-learning/

Basar, S. M. M. A., & Yusop, F. D. (2014). Using Wiki to Teach Part-Time Adult Learners in a Blended Learning Environment. Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Technology, 2(2), 53–68.

O’Hanlon, N. (2005). Adapting online instruction for a learning-disabled audience. ACRL Twelfth National Conference. Retrieved from: http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/conferences/pdf/ohanlon05.pdf

Warschauer, M., Liaw, M.-L. (2010). Emerging Technologies in Adult Literacy and Language Education. National Institute for Literacy. National Institute for Literacy.

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