A Descriptive Study Examining the Impact of Digital Writing Environments on Communication and Mathematical Reasoning for Students with Learning Disabilities
Keywords:learning disability, mathematics, technology, writing, mathematical reasoning
Proficiency in mathematics, including mathematical reasoning skills, requires students to communicate their mathematical thinking. Mathematical reasoning involves making sense of mathematical concepts in a logical way to form conclusions or judgments, and is often underdeveloped in students with learning disabilities. Technology-based environments have become a strategy to enhance students' reasoning in mathematics. Unfortunately, little research investigates the effects of technology on the reasoning skills of students with learning disabilities. This study examines the effects of an intervention intended to promote the communication of mathematical thinking through a digital writing environment for students with learning disabilities. We examined how students used the digital writing environment, the information communicated, and differences in mathematical reasoning for a small group of elementary students with learning disabilities (N = 13). Findings revealed students communicated primarily mathematical knowledge, preferred typing most of the time, and engaged in mathematical conversations with peers. Furthermore, significant differences in mathematical reasoning occurred over time.
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