Abstract

Written expression is an essential skill to actively function in today's society. For many learners, especially those with a learning disability (LD), writing can be a source of frustration. Technology in its various forms, holds promise to assist students in this area. The current study examines the role that tablet technology, specifically, iPads, has on the writing skills of students who have an LD. Using a visual analysis approach and paired-sample t-tests, the current study examines how the writing of nine (female = 1, age = 12.5; male = 8; mean age = 11.5) grade six Caucasian students from Northern Ontario with an LD differs when they write by hand versus writing with an iPad. Specifically, the study examines whether there is a difference in (a) writing productivity; (b) spelling accuracy; (c) lexical diversity; (d) syntactical complexity; and, (e) ideas expressed. Results revealed that digital writing using an iPad was effective in significantly improving spelling accuracy, number of T-units and number of ideas expressed. There was also an insignificant improvement in the areas of writing productivity, number of sentences written, and grammatical errors. The results of the current study suggest that the use of iPads has a positive influence on' writing. Therefore, the use of iPads may have long-term effects that cannot be measured sufficiently in a short-term study.

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