Logic Blocks: Manual Assistive Technology for Visually Impaired Students

Logic Blocks: Manual Assistive Technology for Visually Impaired Students

Giselle Lemos Lemos Schmidel Kautsky (Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil), Reginaldo Celio Sobrinho (Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil) and Edson Pantaleão (Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8539-8.ch004


This chapter presents perceptions resulting from a piece of a continuing education course developed in conjunction with basic education teachers whose goal was to adapt and analyze the use of the logic blocks as a manual assistive technology, aiming inclusive pedagogical practices in the work performed in regular classes intended for visually impaired people's enrollment. It is about a qualitative research, outlined as research formation. The data were obtained through reports and activities developed by teachers participating in a workshop stimulated during a training course. The analyses are supported by the presuppositions of figurational sociology of Norbert Elias. The results make it clear that the teachers consider organizing the assistive technology application as a tool for inclusive pedagogical practices.
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In this chapter, the results for a part of a research-training carried out in 2015 will be shared, focusing on the demystification of Assistive Technology for a group of teachers of the common class who worked with visually impaired students registered in Basic Education schools. The objective of this phase of the study was to provide teachers with a critical reflection on the need for didactic and pedagogical training to work professionally in the schools of the recent societies that count on the enrollment of students with disabilities.

The researchers reflections and discussions are organized in the dialogue with the literature that deals with the continuous formation for the use of new technologies in the Brazilian schools, the pedagogical possibilities of use and adaptation of the traditional materials for the educational practice, considering the diversity of social-educational context of the country and the social-historical process of the development of technology by the human species, as a necessary knowledge of life in society, as defended by Norbert Elias.

According to Elias (1998), humanity has always lived under the imminence of threats of a non-human nature and human disasters. However, in a long-standing historical-cultural process, men constituted a control over these threats through the development of knowledge, which afforded to them adequate means or technologies that minimized their limitations, enhanced their actions, and facilitated the development of their daily activities.

In this compilation, the convergence provided by the technological advancement or knowledge development during evolutionary process of the human race, promoted and still does, movements which modify the individual and social relational conducts in the civilization dynamics (Elias 2006). Cinema, for instance, is a result of a technological process that has changed the way people see and reproduce the world for over and above paintings or statics photographs, this way, possibly, giving rise to new prisms and a new sensitization on the experienced reality. As a dynamic space where individuals are constantly in interrelation (Elias, 1994a, 1998).

Thus, the researchers highlight that the period between 1983 and 1984 in Brazil indicates the official advent of computers in schools thanks to the creation of Ceie - Special Commission on Informatics for Education. At that time, there was a commitment to implement projects with the aim of making the use of this tool popular among teachers (Tajra, 2012). However, it was through training programs for teachers that informatics obtained a space in school education, through teacher training courses, after promulgation of Law 9.394 / 96 - Guidelines and Bases of National Education. This law defends technology as the domain of technological principles that govern modern production; encourages research and scientific research, determining the professional training associated with different forms of education, work, science and technology. (Brito & Purificação, 2011).

Yet, the authors understand cinematic art symbolic productions are a type of knowledge and synthesis which presents elements that can be set as a research source (apart from the peculiarities of knowledge in esthetic and scientific scope) since it favors the contact with knowledge from different fields (Almeida, 2011). These productions bring us closer to the knowledge about the creation and use of different technologies that have helped to control the calamities imminent to the human being.

Thus, in order to promote cinema as a knowledge source, it is quoted a part of the plot of 2001- A Space Odyssey (1968), from Stanley Kubrick, a sci-fi classic movie. In this film, we are taken to small tribes where the hominids lived and their everyday lives were spent trying to resist natural disasters and wild beasts. Then, without having a group purpose, one of them realizes that a bone can be a weapon as well as a tool to improve feeding-knowledge observed, learned, memorized and passed along for all in that group by the others of the species.

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