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Use of educational technology in special education: Perceptions of teachers

2019-01-01
Çağıltay, Kürşat
Cakir, Hasan
Karasu, Necdet
Islim, Omer Faruk
Cicek, Filiz
The purpose of this study is to understand opinions, experiences, and perceptions of special education teachers with educational technologies. This study is a part of a larger project that targets developing instructional materials for students with special needs, their teachers and parents. Needs analysis was conducted to understand the current situation. Participants were 27 teachers in 6 different schools from Ankara, Turkey. The data were collected using semi-structured interviews and analyzed by taking content analysis approach. The results indicated that teachers’ use of technology for instructional purposes was very limited due to lack of infrastructure and appropriate material. Teachers believe that technology use in classroom improves quality of educational outcomes and job satisfaction. In relation to learning new technologies for educational use, teachers do not feel obligation to learn new technologies unless it becomes a necessity. Moreover, there is a large potential to develop materials in special education field with new technologies. Along with developing materials for students using bodily movement detection, touch screen, and smart toys technologies, it is also necessary to train teachers how to use them in classroom and to train parents to continue student’s education at home. Materials could support teachers while teaching self-care skills, social skills, and cognitive concepts. Moreover, they help students to reinforce and transfer these skills and knowledge to new contexts by providing many practice-feedback and variety of real contexts.