ICT and inclusion.: Teachers’ perceptions on the use of information and communication technology for students with special educational needs in general educational settings


Helena Josjö

Information and communication technology (ICT) is a current issue in schools around the world and this study may be of interest to teachers, special education teachers, school leaders and teacher educators. The aim of this study was to describe and analyze teachers’ experiences of and perceptions on information and communication technology (ICT) use for students with special educational needs (SEN) in general educational settings and to find the relationship between ICT and inclusion. In addition to that, conditions and strategies in order to make ICT use more inclusive were identified. A questionnaire survey was carried out with 92 responding teachers and qualitative interviews were made with four teachers. The results indicated that ICT was used for SEN students in all age groups, most commonly the computer was used for writing and word processing. ICT could be used as a way to bridge the gap to inclusion and compensate for differences and contribute to inclusion of students with special needs but in order to do that teaching should be adapted to students’ needs and pedagogy ought to be integrated with technology. Though, the perceptions of what inclusion is differs and inclusion is mainly seen as didactic, which can lead to social and physical exclusion. Teaching in mainstream classrooms was not always adapted to all students’ needs and assistive technology was often used by students in exclusive settings. In order to make the use of ICT more inclusive, teachers need knowledge, equipment and time. Implications for teachers and teacher educators are that teachers should become more educated about ICT for SEN and that special education teachers should be seen as supervisors for teachers. Suggestions for further research could be more similar studies or studies about the possibilities with one-to-one for students with special educational needs.

Keywords [en]
special needs education, students with special educational needs, ICT, inclusion, general educational settings

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