Positive Implications for IPod as Aid for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Problems

Students can suffer negative consequences as a result of emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). These children often find themselves removed from class due to disruptive behavior, which leads to fewer opportunities for learning. Additionally, many of these children have difficulty making friends because of the labels put on them by other students and staff. Teachers find themselves frustrated and resentful that the student is taking time away from the other children. “Consequently, teachers, as well as students with and without disabilities, would benefit from effective and feasible classroom-based interventions for students engaging in high rates of off-task and disruptive behaviors,” said Erika Blood, Ph.D. and Assistant Professor of Special Education at the Department of Teaching & Learning at Northern Illinois University.

With advances in technology, these students may be able to benefit from a method of teaching known as video modeling. Blood, lead author of a recent study examining the effectiveness of this technique, believes the simplicity of this type of strategy could help the student and the staff. “Typically, these videos are viewed either on a television or computer prior to task engagement and the learner is expected to perform the skill shortly after viewing the video,” said Blood. “One advantage of video-based instruction is that strategies like video modeling rely on having the student watch a video. Once the video is created, only a minimal amount of time and effort is required to implement the strategy.”

In a pilot study on a 10-year-old subject named Andy, Blood and her colleagues found that using an IPod Touch for the delivery of video training rapidly improved his behavior. “After implementation of video modeling plus self-monitoring, Andy consistently displayed very high rates of on-task behavior and low rates of disruptive behavior.” Blood added, “Overall, findings of this study suggest that video modeling used as a single intervention could be an effective classroom intervention for some students; however, additional components might be necessary in order to obtain optimum results.”

Blood, Erika, Jesse W. Johnson, Lindsey Ridenour, Karen Simmons, and Starline Crouch. “Using an IPod Touch to Teach Social and Self-Management Skills to an Elementary Student with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders.” Education & Treatment of Children34.3 (2011): 299-321. Print.

© Copyright 2011 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • Shanna


    November 4th, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    As a classroom teacher I am constantly looking for new things to improve the behavior and overall efficiency of our classroom time and this sounds pretty promising. If the children who hae emotional and behvioral problems have a positive model of behavior so close at hand then many of the are going to wish to emulate that behavior and set a good example rather than a bad one. I realize that this is not going to reach every child, but it is a way to connect today’s technology with the reali life issues faced by students and teachers alike, and I would love to start my very own pilot program for this right in my own classroom! :)

  • Anna Rush

    Anna Rush

    November 5th, 2011 at 5:12 AM

    So how are schools and teachers supposed to come up with the money to fund something like this?
    Parents, donations?
    I mean I too think that this is great but I think that there are a lot of limitations that you have to deal with too.
    There are ways to reach students that does not have to involve spending gobs of money.

  • natasha


    November 6th, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    delivering a video that would help a child is all fine but how does the brand or product matter?wouldn’t any handheld gadget do the same?does iPod have some special therapeutic value?really tired of hearing all this Apple and its unicorns stories!

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