The increasing popularity of mobile technology among students and educators in the disabilities community has drawn its fair share of criticism and speculation about the long-term effectiveness of using mobile technology as a learning device. The main argument being, there simply isn’t enough research to confirm whether or not mobile technology will have lasting positive effects. Since mobile technology is a relatively new discovery, time is not on our side with respect to the amount of research we have available on the subject. However, there have been several smaller studies conducted that favor the use of mobile technology as an effective learning device among students with disabilities.

What the Research Shows

One such research study looked at three participants with moderate intellectual disabilities to examine the effects of video modeling, delivered via computer, to teach the independent use of an iPod. In the study, video modeling was used to teach participants how to watch a movie, listen to music and look at photos on an iPod. The video clips were created in the point of view of the participants so that participants felt as if they were performing each task. Researchers collected data on accuracy of responding, efficiency and types of errors. Results showed that video modeling was effective in teaching the subjects to independently use the iPod. Students even maintained the ability to perform most of the tasks learned in the study, as proven with follow-up trials.

Making Sense of the Research

So what does this research mean for you as an educator or parent of someone with an intellectual disability?

  1. Video modeling serves as an effective, lasting means of teaching new skills to people with disabilities
  2. People with intellectual disabilities tend to pick up on mobile technology quickly and naturally

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the premise of video modeling, it can best be described as using video to teach a desired behavior. The learner observes a video demonstration of the desired behavior and then imitates or models that targeted behavior. The Conover Company has embraced both mobile technology and video modeling to create a system of educational assessments and programs to help those with significant intellectual disabilities to be successful in the classroom and learn to be independent outside of the classroom.

Applying the Research in the Classroom and Beyond

Conover Online uses mobile technology and video modeling to teach users everyday skills to get through the day, communicate, hold down a job and navigate a grocery store. Our Functional Planning System app prompts users through their day with task reminders and videos to help walk users through the completion of each task. Our Functional Shopping List System helps users to shop, an activity that is highly important on a person’s path to independence. We also offer our Response to Intervention Series, which is an assessment that helps educators determine the best instructional strategy to use for each individual learner. Administer this assessment and find out if video modeling will be an effective teaching method for your student.

Visit Conover Online to find out more ways the Conover Company is changing the way you teach with video modeling and mobile technology.