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An investigation into the effects of iPad/tablet device use in special education and in particular in the case of a student with Williams Syndrome: a case study approach

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dc.contributor.advisor Collins, Joe
dc.contributor.author Kelliher, Deirdre
dc.date.accessioned 2014-01-13T11:37:36Z
dc.date.available 2014-01-13T11:37:36Z
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10344/3581
dc.description non-peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract Williams Syndrome is a rare neurodevelopmental genetic disorder that is associated with a particular uneven cognitive profile. The student with Williams Syndrome at the centre of this investigation is six years old and attends senior infants in a primary mainstream school setting in the west of Ireland. In common with other children with Williams Syndrome, the student experiences difficulty with number concepts and gross and fine motor skills, including handwriting. Difficulties in concentration and distractibility posed a major barrier to learning for the student. In 2010, the first commercially successful tablet product known as the Apple iPad was released. It was reported at the time that there was a rapid uptake of the iPad in the area of education. The iPad has been identified as defining a new genre of mobile technological device. Other brands of tablet computers soon followed the release of the iPad. However, the iPad has remained the tablet of choice in many schools. The main aim of this study was to investigate the effects of iPad use on students with special needs and in particular in the case of a student with Williams Syndrome. Initially, a profile of the participants in the study was established to assist in the identification and selection of appropriate iPad applications for the period of study. Over a period of nine weeks, the student was observed using an Apple iPad device on a daily basis. In addition, an online questionnaire was distributed to teachers of students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) using iPads or other tablet computers. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods such as observations, interviews, and both formal and informal tests were used to collect findings from the case study research. The study investigated the effects of iPad use on the special needs student in the areas of academic achievement, behaviour, concentration, motivation and communication. Results reveal an increase in achievement levels in the areas of reading and handwriting as a result of iPad use. The iPad use had little or no effect on the case study student’s numeracy skills, though other SEN teachers surveyed thought that iPad use had an effect on improving numeracy skills. Following use of the Guided Access features of the iPad, the student’s concentration levels increased considerably. Findings also suggest that iPad use leads to increased levels of motivation. However, the impact of iPad use on communication skills is more ambiguous. This study confirms that the iPad is a valuable educational tool to be considered in personalising learning situations, particularly such as those found in special needs education. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject Williams syndrome en_US
dc.subject primary school students en_US
dc.subject iPads en_US
dc.subject educational tool en_US
dc.title An investigation into the effects of iPad/tablet device use in special education and in particular in the case of a student with Williams Syndrome: a case study approach en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/masterThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US


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