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The global classroom: advancing cultural awareness in special schools through collaborative work using ICT

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Abbott, Lesley, Austin, R, Mulkeen, A and Metcalfe, N (2004) The global classroom: advancing cultural awareness in special schools through collaborative work using ICT. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 19 (2). pp. 225-240. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1080/08856250410001678504

Abstract

This article reports research on cross-national collaboration through Information and Communications Technology (ICT) within the statutory curricula of special schools in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Working in north-south paired classes, the pupils carried out joint tasks using asynchronous computer conferencing and videoconferencing. The full spectrum of learning difficulty and disability was represented amongst the participating pupils. Interviews were conducted to elicit the views and experiences of teachers in the full population of special schools in the 2002-03 cohort. The main aims were to discover whether cultural awareness developed through joint tasks using the two technologies, if computer conferencing improved literacy and ICT skills, and if videoconferencing enhanced oral communication. The results showed that cultural awareness developed as far as cognition allowed, when pupils became aware of similarities as well as differences. Those with sufficient keyboard ability benefited from computer conferencing and ICT competence improved, but the preferred medium for collaborative, inter-school work was videoconferencing. All but the most dependent could participate and valuable, transferable social and communication skills were acquired.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:special schools ICT
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Education
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences
Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Education
ID Code:12811
Deposited By:Professor Roger Austin
Deposited On:20 Apr 2010 09:57
Last Modified:18 Aug 2010 14:09

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