Facilitating Students with Special Needs in Mainstream Schools: An Exploratory Study of Assistive Learning Technologies (ALT)

Facilitating Students with Special Needs in Mainstream Schools: An Exploratory Study of Assistive Learning Technologies (ALT)

Claire Khek (National University of Singapore, Singapore), John Lim (National University of Singapore, Singapore) and Yingqin Zhong (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
DOI: 10.4018/jwltt.2006070104
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Abstract

Assistive Learning Technologies (ALT) have increasingly become pertinent in developing the technology literacy in education for supporting physically-disadvantaged learners in realizing their potential in the teaching-learning process. This paper reports on a multiple-case study that sought to explore the underlying mechanisms (i.e., the how and why issues) relating to the role of ALT in helping students with special needs to circumvent their disabilities and integrating them into the mainstream schools. It is found that the use of ALT enables the subjects to access the electronic learning environment, as well as improve their time management. The end result is that these students can perform their everyday (learning) tasks on par with their peers in school. The study has also unveiled moderating factors influencing the usage of ALT; examples are the ease of use of ALT, and the subjects’ desire to enhance their academic and social competency.

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