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Cooperative Group Management Software to Improve Communication between Students with Disabilities and their Peers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Education
Branch: N/A
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 34490
Amount: $40,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 1996
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
2351 Sweeney Rd.
Lompoc, CA 93436
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Dottie Natal
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution

Learning, which is far more than merely an associational complex of facts, requires a synthesis of ideas into something new. Contemporary cognitive scientists agree that learning is embodied in the fluid medium of language; it is through language that we understand the world. Language development can only occur in a rich social environment, where ideas are transformed, reformed, and dynamically changed by the participants in a conversation. Youth with disabilities face particular difficulties in participating in the exchange of language within regular school settings. Classroom settings which emphasizes individual student work rather than social interaction create few opportunities for students with disabilities to learn through the exchange of language. Hardware and software which enable students to communicate are not, by themselves, an answer to this problem. The culture of the classroom must also foster inclusion, providing disabled students with a role that contributes towards group goals and thus is valued by peers. Cooperative learning activities can provide the structure needed to include these students in learning activities and increase communication between disabled students and their peers. We propose creation of software that greatly increases the likelihood that students and teachers will meet with success in implementing cooperative learning activities.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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