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  • Paper explores personalized learning using technology
    • technology used includes speech to text, text to speech, Chromebook, word prediction software, graphic organizers for writing
  • Explores technology and learning disabilities
    • helps students develop learning suited to their own styles for more success and engagement
  • Discusses implications of technology on teachers
    • Findings that teachers need more training
    • teachers need more training -teachers need more support
  • Classrooms are relying less on memorization and rote learning and more on critical thinking (Smith, 2017)
  • Technology with balanced literacy program improved learning outcomes (Prescott, 2018)
  • Topic is of interest because technology is ‘new’ so teachers are less familiar with its use or its effects on learning
  • Research is limited and since technology is developing at a rapid rate teachers and schools need to stay current, and the cost of technology to the school boards needs to be considered.


Background – where you set the context of your research Literature review – a discussion of literature related to your topic



Review of findings of use of technology:

  • Review of relevant research
  • Local practices
    • Kinnaird elementary School District No. 20 (Kootenay-Columbia)
    • Grade 4 classroom, 26 students, 5 with learning disability (use of suggestions presented in 2 different psychological assessment reports in the Grade 4 class in Kinnaird Elementary
    • 4 teachers at Kinnaird elementary



Technology is one form of support in which education has moved away from the one-size-fits-all model to more personalized learning, where disadvantaged learners may have support developed for their benefit (FitzGerald et al., 2018).Technology has been a great help because it has taken some of the jobs teachers do, such as reading to students and helping them with spelling, and given that ability to students to help them achieve success. However, at Grade 4, students are just learning these skills and it can be overwhelming for the teacher and the students to work through this process. It is also costly to educate teachers in use of the technology as well as to supply and maintain it.

While technology is a great help, it is important to keep in mind that while people created technology it also has shaped humans (Chen et.al., 1999), so there are social and ethical implications to using it.  In teaching 9 and 10 year olds, I often question whether it is too early to let technology shape student’s reading and writing patterns. I question whether students need to utilize their own minds first in order to learn these skills or whether we jump into technology. Kucirkova and Cremin (2018) mention that the digital revolution has changed the way we understand reading, which has become more image based and in turn has made reading more personalized.

Personalized learning is a recurring trend in education and there are a number of different programs to deliver learner-centred education. This can be done by delivering different options, including engaging learners in games and play (FitzGerald et al., 2018). The internet has made information transfer move from static transfer to a more interactive, personable, and social experience (Caruso, 2018). It has also engaged teachers in professional development to utilise these new skills. The need to update teaching skills means that performance has improved, which can engage teachers in the ability to provide self-directed learning opportunities for students (Caruso, 2018). These skills allow teachers to introduce different digital technologies within the classroom experience in the 21st Century of learning.


The purpose of this paper is to research the following questions:

  • How does technology enhance personalised learning with intermediate students?
  • Does technology help students who have a reading or writing learning disability?
  • What are the implications for teachers using digital technologies?



Discussion – where you expand on your topic and describe what you have learned about it

Personalized learning

  • What is personalized learning (FitzGerald)
    • Student centered approach to learning
    • Content
    • Assessment
    • Teaching and learning strategies (group work, individual, peer learning)


  • Who uses personalized learning?
    • Teachers
    • Students
    • Schools
  • Implications of personalized learning (strengths and weaknesses)
    • Research has offered little to support how personalisation could occur strictly with the use of technology (FitzGerald et al, 2018)
    • Students need one to one support to be taught how to use
    • Cost of programs and technology
    • Teacher training
    • Students are actively involved in learning journey, activities are meaningful, higher levels of engagement, understanding rather than memorization, development of individual differences (Marienko et al, 2020)

Technology and students with learning disabilities

  • Implications of the use of technology with students with learning disabilities, weaknesses:
    • The initial set up is time consuming, students need one to one support in learning different computer programs
  • How technology can be implemented to support LD’s, strengths:
    • Ability to find enjoyment in reading when the task is not so challenging (Kucirkova and Cremin, 2018)
    • Creates personalized learning that is adapted to the level of the student to help overcome challenges with reading and writing
    • Choice of technology available depending on student’s need, such as speech to text, text to speech, personal Chromebook, graphic organizers, word prediction programs
    • Use of technology based graphic organizers can help improve writing process (Evmenova and Regan, 2019)

Implications for teachers using technology

  • How technology has changed teaching
    • 21st century learning, less memorization more critical thinking needed
    • Ability to utilize technology has increased flexibility and increased diversity of interest in the classroom (Kearney, Curden, and Rai, 2015)
  • Teacher training
    • Expectations for teachers to keep updating their skills with technology
    • Technology is rapidly changing
    • Cost/time of professional development
    • Variability in teacher comfort level with technology and implementation of that in the classroom (Nikolopoulou et al, 2020)

Conclusions – a wrap-up, with any key items learned restated along with future areas of potential research

  • Has personalized learning been beneficial and what are the problems?
    • Studies find that personalized learning is beneficial to students
    • Studies find that personalized learning allows students to feel more successful
    • Studies find that the set-up of personalized learning can be time consuming
  • Implications on LD students using technology
    • Findings state technology is good when the right one is found.
    • Studies find that a balanced literacy program combined with the use of technology is beneficial to students
    • Reading through programs such as text to speech make reading more engaging for children with learning disabilities
  • What is the outcome of teachers’ learning with 21 century learning?
    • Technology is rapidly changing
    • Teaching is less about memorization and more about critical thinking skills
    • Proper training of teachers needs to happen in order for technology to be used successfully
    • Teachers’ comfort levels indicate how often technology will be embedded in the classroom
  • Limitations of technology
    • Finding the right software can be challenging
    • Setting up the software can be time consuming
    • Technology is expensive
    • Technology is rapidly evolving



Annotated Bibliography

Canter, L., King, L., Williams, J., Metcalf, D., and Rhys Myrick Potts, K. (2017). Evaluating       pedagogy and practice of universal design for learning in public schools. Exceptionality           Education International. 27(1), 1-16


This study asks the question of how education can meet the demands of effectively educating when the population of students is becoming increasingly diverse, while meeting the skills needed in the 21 century. This study used participants from eleven classrooms in six different schools, three elementary classrooms, four middle school classrooms, and four high school classrooms. The study focused on changes in teachers’ understanding of the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and changes to instructional practices, including the use of technology in teaching. It was a mixed methods research design with the use of survey, direct observation, and interviewing. There was a pre- and post-survey that showed the teacher understanding and level of knowledge of technology. Conclusions found that having a teaching partner helped with the integration and building of knowledge of how UDL worked and the integration of technology, and that teachers who were individuals had a higher usage and understanding of working with technology but a lower understanding of the UDL program.


Evmenova, A., and Regan, K. (2019). Supporting the writing process with technology for       students with disabilities. Hammill Institute on Disabilities. 55(2), 78-85.

This article examines the use of technology-based graphic organizers to improve written output of students in k-12 classrooms. The article examines how different pieces of technology can help in the stages of writing. They go through the different planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing stages. The different stages examine different types of technology assistance such as word prediction, speech-to-text, technology based graphic organizers, and Chrome extensions such as Read&Write. The article discusses the fact that using technology is good if the right one is found and closely monitored while students are using them. This study found that the majority of research on how technology supports writing is outdated and they asked further questions regarding how research-based strategies coupled with technology can improve written performance.


FitzGerald, E., Kucirkova, N., Jones, A., Cross, S., Ferguson, R., Herodotou, C., Hillaire, G. & Scanlon, E. (2018). Dimensions of personalisation in technology-enhanced learning: a   framework and implications for design. British Journal of Educational Technology.        49(1), 165-181. Doi:10.1111/bjet.12534

This study focuses on personalisation of learning and the advances of technology-enhanced learning (TEL) design. The paper explains personalised learning coupled with a TEL environment. The first part of this study looks at what is being personalised, the type of learning where personalisation occurs, what personal characteristics of their learner may be addressed, who/what is doing the personalisation, and the impact/beneficiaries of personalisation. This paper reviews six case studies to show how personalisation has been used with TEL, focussing on the literature in intelligent tutoring systems, adaptive assessment, science inquiry learning, gaming and informal learning, learning analytics, and personalised books.  The authors hope that the research can be used with educational developers of software to successfully integrate personalisation into the new solutions.


Kearney, M., Burden, K., and Ria, T. (2015). Investigating teachers’ adoption of signature         mobile pedagogies. Science Direct. 48-57


This study examines the use of contemporary mobile learning pedagogies in education, asking how educators use distinctive pedagogical features of mobile learning in collaboration, personalisation and authenticity. A group of 107 schools participated in a survey which took place in 2013, primarily in Australia and Europe. The research data found that the constructs for authenticity were high, and the constructs for personalisation and collaboration were lower. The data was taken from across school discipline areas and was therefore thought to provide a more accurate snapshot of mobile learning in schools. The study found a number of issues as the definition of mobile learning was quite broad, and therefore there were many different learning pedagogical values and individualistic approaches. This study states the importance of understanding the educational pedagogies before ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ of implementing technology devices.


Kucirkova, N. & Cremin, T. (2018). Personalised reading for pleasure with digital libraries:          towards a pedagogy of practice and design. Cambridge Journal of Education. 48(5), 571-           589. https://doi.org/10.1080/0305764X.2017.1375458

In this study, research is done to understand the nature, form and value of personalisation in children’s reading for pleasure, using a focus on digital libraries and how these structures position teachers. This study explores the fact that the digital revolution has changed the way we read and understand, including many more image based products. It examines the role of personalised text play in 21st century learning, and examines teachers needing to be librarians, curators and monitors of these digital libraries. The study talks about how reading for pleasure can positively influence attitudes on reading through a digital library system. The methodology is drawn from previous papers, and research and review on the key features of the main digital systems used for primary schools, being MLS, RM books and Oxford Owl Books. The study goes on to ask questions of whether children will be able to consider the other five parts of reading engagement.

Marienko, M., Nosenko, Y., Sukhikh, A., Tataurov, V., and Shyshkina, M. (2020).             Personalization of learning through adaptive technologies in the context of sustainable      development of teachers education. E3S Web of Conferences.             http://doi.org/10.1051/e3sconf/202016610015

This article examines the current trends towards cloud-based adaptive learning systems and the implementation for teachers’ training that need to be considered. The study discusses how education is now updating at a very fast speed in the content and context of learning, which requires employers to stay on top of their own personal development. The new field in teaching requires teachers to be critical, dynamic thinkers who are capable of changing and growing constantly in the classroom. The article discusses the fact that with the new rapid speed of learning we need to use technology to include personalized learning, which in turn brings the learning closer to the needs of each student. This article covers the evolution of technology for personalized learning from 1960 until 2010. The study finds that is advisable to include cloud-based learning into teacher training for future teachers to be successful.

Nikolopoulou, K., Gialamas, V., and Lavidas, K. (2020). Teachers’ readiness to adopt mobile             learning in classrooms: a study in Greece. Technology, Knowledge and Learning. 53-  77


This study researches teachers’ readiness in schools to use mobile learning in the K-12 classrooms. A questionnaire was given to 920 teachers in Greece with four ideas: possibilities, benefits, preferences and external influences. This study explores teacher’s gender, age, years of teaching, school grade, and training with technological devices on use of mobile technologies. There was a questionnaire given out in 2018-2019 that went out to 500 random schools with two parts. The first part examined demographics while the second part examined 28 items in a Mobile Learning Readiness Survey, asking teachers’ willingness to introduce and teach with different mobile devices in the classroom. This study found that teachers who participated in technology training and teachers with more years of experience had a more positive response to using technology in the classroom. This study also found that primary school teachers were using more technology in comparison to high school teachers.


Prescott, J., Bundscuh, K., Kazakoff, E., and Macaruso, P. (2018). Elementary school-wide    implementation of a blended learning program for reading intervention. The Journal of       Educational Research. 111(4), 497-506


This study examines the use of a blended learning program for literacy instruction, using a technology program called Core5 integrated with a blended literacy program. Core5 provided a personalisation and systematic approach including phonological awareness, phonics, structural analysis, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The activities in the program were led by videos and students progressed at their own pace. A reading performance test was done before the program started and after the program was used in grades kindergarten to grade 5. Results indicated that in all grades performance showed significant growth. This study found that kindergarten to second grade students showed bigger gains in their reading abilities than did those in grades 3-5, although they too showed growth. The researchers admitted they would have some classes in these schools as control groups and therefore they found the limitation of being able to separate the use of the blended literacy program coupled with Core5.


Smith, C., Lora, L., King, L., Williams, J., Metcalf, D., Rhyse Myrick Potts, K. (2017).            Evaluating pedagogy and practice of universal design for learning in public schools.            Exceptionality Education International. 27(1), 1-16. http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/eei/vol27/iss1/1/

This research study looks at how to meet the demands of an ever increasingly diverse range and population of student abilities. The objective was to research how teachers could bring in and utilize the universal design with the use of technology. This is to be able to meet the needs of 21st century learning, where the learner needs to be able to think critically about knowledge and not depend on memorization and rote learning in the classroom. The research was conducted through survey, direct observation and interviewing. The study found that having technology to support the Universal Learning Design in the classroom was effective and that the addition of another teacher in order to guide the learning process of the technology was even more effective. The study found that when teachers were offered the proper training to implement the program and technology into the classroom the outcome was successful. The study was small and there is need for more research on the topic to be conducted.




Caruso, S. J. (2018). Toward understanding the role of Web 2.0 technology in self-directed           learning and job performanceContemporary Issues in Education Research, 11(3), 89-98.          https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1184612.pdf

FitzGerald, E., Jones, A., Kucirkova, N., & Scanlon, E. (2018). A literature synthesis of         personalised technology-enhanced learning: what works and why. Research in Learning         Technology, 26(2095), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v26.2095

FitzGerald, E., Kucirkova, N., Jones, A., Cross, S., Ferguson, R., Herodotou, C., Hillaire, G. & Scanlon, E. (2018). Dimensions of personalisation in technology-enhanced learning: a   framework and implications for design. British Journal of Educational Technology.        49(1), 165-181. Doi:10.1111/bjet.12534

King-Sears, M. (2009). Universal design for learning: Technology and pedagogy. Learning    Disability Quarterly32(4), 199–201. https://doi.org/10.2307/27740372

Kucirkova, N. & Cremin, T. (2018). Personalised reading for pleasure with digital libraries:          towards a pedagogy of practice and design. Cambridge Journal of Education. 48(5), 571-           589. https://doi.org/10.1080/0305764X.2017.1375458

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