Masters Thesis

Aligning iPad and iPod technology with evidence based practices in inclusive and special education classrooms to support students with autism spectrum disorders

This study examines the value of iPad and iPod technology and their applications as used by special education teachers and their staff, in working with students on the autism spectrum. Questions that are examined: What are the best practices in aligning the iPad or iPod technology with evidence based practices in special education? What types of supports do special education teachers and parents need to effectively use this technology in support of students with autism spectrum disorders? The report includes an extensive literature review that supports the hypothesis that the iPad/iPod technology does improve certain aspects of student learning and communication skills. Surveys were distributed to fifty special education teachers in Northern California, fifty special education teachers attending an autism specific workshop at the California Resource Specialist Convention in Long Beach, CA, surveys emailed to autism centers in the United States, and links to surveys were posted in social media websites specifically targeting special education teachers and speech and language pathologists working with students who have autism. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected and analyzed to establish patterns of current practice and identify key experiences to inform teachers, specialist, and parents.