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Examining the effectiveness of educational tablet pc applications to teach daily living skills to students with intellectual disabilities

Kara, Nuri
The purpose of this dissertation is to design, develop and use of a smart toy for preschool children. Smart toys are technologically developed series of physical toy materials in accordance with the constructed and meaningful purposes. Design and development research method is the overall design of the study. In the analysis phase, semi structured interviews were conducted with early childhood teachers to investigate their opinions as to technology and technology use in early educational settings. Additionally, semi structured interviews were conducted with early childhood teachers to understand their opinions as to the smart toy developed as a pilot study. In the design phase, focus group meetings were held with early childhood teachers to determine objectives, story and storyboard of the smart toy. In the development phase, two prototypes were developed and formative evaluations were carried out with several participants, such as preschool children, early childhood teachers and scholars. In the evaluation phase, summative evaluation of the smart toy was done with not only preschool children but also early childhood teachers. The study indicated that teachers had positive views about appropriate technology use in preschool education. Teachers declared that the content, visual design and interaction components of the smart toy need to be improved. Design principles also emerged for content, visual design and interaction of the smart toy. 36 – 48 months old children had slower performance than 48 – 72 months old children in completing cognitive tasks of the smart toy. Early childhood teachers preferred collaborative smart toy play at classrooms.