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Assistive technologies in the first cycle

Background and aims

Rapid technological developments and advances in information and communication technologies change people’s habits, also in special education. Through close cooperation between special education schools and regular schools in inclusion settings, assistive technologies will be used more and more frequently at regular schools. Teachers at regular schools and also school-level special education professionals are increasingly being asked to support and encourage children and adolescents in using assistive technologies.

The aim of this research project was to carry out an inventory, to capture systematically the use of assistive technologies for children with disabilities in the schools, and to extend/complement already existing foundations in assistive technologies in the education and continuing education of special education professionals and regular school teachers.

Questions

Promoting children using assistive technologies in kindergarten is an important step in the life of a child that has consequences for the child’s further development. Just as important a step is the transition from kindergarten to primary school. For this reason, this research project focused on examining the benefits of assistive technologies from the first year of kindergarten to the transition to Grade 2—the time period that Lehrplan 21 [curriculum 21] calls the “first cycle”.

Methods

To answer the research questions, we conducted a representative survey of the first cycle in all 13 supporting cantons of the University of Applied Sciences of Special Needs Education (HfH) and in the Principality of Liechtenstein.

Results

The study provides first insights into the use of assistive technologies in primary school. Participants in the online survey from December 2017 to February 2018 were 110 specialists and teachers in the first cycle of pri-mary school in 13 cantons in Switzerland. The study found that high-tech assistive technologies are not used in the first cycle. In addition, many assistive technologies are not known or are rarely or never used, there are no continuing education courses, and teachers often do not feel competent in dealing with assistive technologies.

Facts

Duration
08/2017-07/2018
No.
5_50

Project Management

Prof. Dr. phil.  Wicki

Dozentin

Kontakt

Forschung und Entwicklung
Tel: +41 44 317 11 81

zfe[at]hfh.ch zfe