Many students have difficulties mastering the basic tools for communication and problem solving that are most commonly used in classrooms: pencils, pens, paintbrushes, chalk, rulers, and so forth. The difficulties are not limited to the physical use of these tools but to their skillful incorporation into communication and expression. The experimental studies included below examine the utility of providing the more flexible, and more contemporary, options that should be available in 21st century classrooms and workplaces: word processors that include spellcheckers and grammar checkers, calculators, word prediction programs, speech recognition software, etc. This research examines the utility of these options for students who struggle with fluent expression - e.g. language-based learning disabilities, executive function disorders – and for typically achieving students as well. The scholarly reviews and opinion pieces explore many of the same tools for expression as listed in the experimental studies; however, the scholarly reviews and opinion pieces provide more classroom-based perspectives on providing options in the tools available to students.
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Last Updated: 02/01/2011