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Independent Research Shows WYNN
is a Must-Have Tool for Students

During the 2000-2001 school year, teachers and students throughout Washington State participated in the Learning Disabilities and Technology project, a Technology Literacy Challenge Fund grant funded through the state's Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. The grant provided each participating classroom with a variety of computer hardware and software. To meet grant requirements, administrators of this project were required to report on the process and outcomes using the given equipment. The grant evaluator chosen was RMC Research Corporation.

As an adjunct to this study, RMC Research conducted additional research on the use of WYNN within these classrooms. The goal was to capture the experiences of known WYNN users to learn more about the use of the software, its strengths, and how it can be improved. Research was gathered by telephone interviews, completed surveys, and classroom observations.

18 Districts Included in Study

The Learning Disabilities and Technology grant involved 22 elementary and middle school classrooms in 19 schools, in 18 districts throughout the state of Washington. Each funded classroom identified approximately 10 learning disabled students receiving training in the use of the technology. As peer-tutoring is recognized as a positive and motivating learning experience, the students with learning disabilities used technology to mentor regular education students.

WYNN was one of ten different software tools utilized during this study. Teachers were able to make the final decision about which software tools to use in their classroom based on factors such as:

  • the needs of the specific students
  • their own interests and comfort levels
  • the amount of time they had to learn and prepare to use each component
  • the technical problems they encountered using the technology.

Throughout the study, WYNN was widely used by participating teachers and students. The following exhibit summarizes the distribution of WYNN users during this research.

Exhibit 1
Did you or your students use WYNN?

Pie chart showing 86% of survey respondents use WYNN

Ease-of-Use is Deciding Factor for Success

The survey asked the respondents to list the software programs they would choose if they could keep only 3 of the provided programs. More respondents listed WYNN than any other software program, making WYNN the software of choice for 91% of the participants.

For those students who found success with WYNN, versatility and ease-of-use proved to be the deciding factor. Individual students used WYNN for different purposes, depending on their preferences, needs, and other tools available. The following exhibit shows the different activities for which students used WYNN.

Exhibit 2
For what activities do your students use WYNN?

Bar chart showing students use WYNN primarily for listening to material while reading along, creating written work, and editing or checking written work

" I think (WYNN is) a perfect piece to go with learning disabled kids . . . (It) gives them the feedback that, 'Yeah, I can be smart in class because now I can hear what this is. I can keep up with you guys'," one participating teacher commented.

Information about the "Learning and Disabilities Technology Project" at the SETC website.

 

This is the first in a series of summary research results. For an electronic copy of this research, please contact Freedom Scientific's Learning Systems Group at wynn at freedomscientific.com

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