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

Lesley Abbott, R Austin, A Mulkeen, N Metcalfe

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    19 Citations (Scopus)

    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.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages225-240
    JournalEuropean Journal of Special Needs Education
    Volume19
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2004

    Fingerprint

    joint tasks
    pupil
    communication technology
    Videoconferencing
    information technology
    Communication
    Technology
    Pupil
    classroom
    school
    learning disorder
    communication skills
    Information Literacy
    learning disability
    Joints
    Ireland
    cognition
    republic
    Northern Ireland
    literacy

    Keywords

    • special schools
    • ICT

    Cite this

    Abbott, Lesley ; Austin, R ; Mulkeen, A ; Metcalfe, N. / The global classroom: advancing cultural awareness in special schools through collaborative work using ICT. In: European Journal of Special Needs Education. 2004 ; Vol. 19, No. 2. pp. 225-240.
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    title = "The global classroom: advancing cultural awareness in special schools through collaborative work using ICT",
    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.",
    keywords = "special schools, ICT",
    author = "Lesley Abbott and R Austin and A Mulkeen and N Metcalfe",
    note = "Reference text: ABBOTT, C. & CRIBB, A. (2001). ‘Special schools, inclusion and the world wide web – the emerging research agenda’, British Journal of Educational Technology, 32, 331-342. AUSTIN, R., ABBOTT, L., MULKEEN, A. & METCALFE, N. (2002). Dissolving Boundaries in the North and South of Ireland: cross-national co-operation through ICT in Education. Bangor: Department of Education and Dublin: Department of Education and Science. AUSTIN, R., ABBOTT, L., MULKEEN, A. & METCALFE, N. (2003). ‘Dissolving Boundaries: cross-national co-operation through technology in education’, The Curriculum Journal, 14, 55-84. BERGER, S.L., MOYER, M., BURTON-TADZELY, L., PIERREL, E. & CRAVER, J.M. (1998). A National Perspective on Special Educators’ Use of Technology to promote Literacy. Research Report for the U.S. Department of Education (http://www.abledata.com/literacy) CIFUENTES, L., & MURPHY, K.L. (2000). ‘Promoting multicultural understanding and self-concept through a distance learning community: cultural connections’, Educational Technology Research and Development, 48(1), 69-83. DREVER, E. (1995) Using Semi-structured Interviews in Small-scale Research. Glasgow: The Scottish Council for Research in Education. GALL, M.D., BORG, W.R. & Gall, J.P. (1996) Educational Research – an introduction. 6th Edition. New York: Longman. GOODISON, T. (2002). ‘Enhancing learning with ICT at primary level’, British Journal of Educational Technology, 33, 215-228. GURNEY, P. (1988). Self-esteem in Children with Special Educational Needs. London: Routledge. HEGARTY. J., BOSTOCK, S. & COLLINS, D. (2000). ‘Staff development in information technology for special needs: a new, distance-learning course at Keele University’, British Journal of Educational Technology, 3, 199-212. JELLY, M., FULLER, A. & BYERS, R. (2000). Involving Pupils in Practice: promoting partnerships with pupils with special educational needs. London: David Fulton Publishers. KAYE, A. (1991). Collaborative Learning Through Computer Conferencing. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. LOEDING, B.L. (2002). ‘The utilization of distance learning and technology for teaching children with disabilities’. In: Paul, J.L., Lavely, C.D., Cranston-Gingras, A. and Taylor, E.L. (Eds) Rethinking Professional Issues in Special Education. Westport, Connecticut: Ablex Publishing. MAIER, P., BARNETT, L., WARREN, A. & BRUNNER, D. (1998). Using Technology in Teaching and Learning. London: Kogan Page. MASON, R. & KAYE, A. (1989). Mindweave: Communication, Computers and Distance Education. Oxford: Pergamon Press. MYKYTYN, I. (1998). A Practical Guide to Videoconferencing. Report prepared for the Scottish Council for Educational Technology (http://www.svtc.org.uk). MCKEOWN, S. (2000). Unlocking Potential: How ICT can support children with special needs. Birmingham: The Questions Publishing Company Ltd. MCLOUGHLIN, C. & OLIVER, R. (1998) ‘Maximising the language and learning link in computer learning environments’, British Journal of Educational Technology, 29, 125-136. PATTON, M.Q. (2002) Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods. 3rd Edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. RIEL, M. & COHEN, M. (1989). ‘The effect of distant audiences on students’ writing’, AERA Journal, 132-159. SCRIMSHAW, P. (1997) Computers and the teacher’s role. In Somekh, B. and Davis, N. (Eds) Using Information Technology Effectively in Teaching and Learning. London: Routledge. TIENE, D. & LUFT, P. (2001). ‘Teaching in a technology-rich classroom’, Educational Technology July-August: 23-31. TOMASELLO, M., FRUGER, A. & RATNER, H. (1993). Cultural Learning, Behaviour and Brain Sciences, 16, 495-552.",
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    The global classroom: advancing cultural awareness in special schools through collaborative work using ICT. / Abbott, Lesley; Austin, R; Mulkeen, A; Metcalfe, N.

    In: European Journal of Special Needs Education, Vol. 19, No. 2, 01.06.2004, p. 225-240.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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