Paul Lynch CRITE Centre for Research in IT in Education MSc IT in Education Trinity College, Dublin - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Paul Lynch CRITE Centre for Research in IT in Education MSc IT in Education Trinity College, Dublin
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Paul Lynch CRITE Centre for Research in IT in Education MSc IT in Education Trinity College, Dublin

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  1. Paul LynchCRITECentre for Research in IT in EducationMSc IT in EducationTrinity College, Dublin Paul Lynch, CRITE

  2. ThemeAn investigation into how ICT (Information & Communication Technologies) can structure learning and enhance communication for children with autism Paul Lynch, CRITE

  3. Contents • An International view • Suitability and therapeutic benefits • Thinking beyond the “self” • Case Study • Recommendations • Demonstration of software Paul Lynch, CRITE

  4. A Visual Thinker I THINK IN PICTURES. Words are like a second language to me. I translate both spoken and written words into full-colour movies, complete with sound, which run like a VCR tape in my head. When somebody speaks to me, his words are instantly translated into pictures. Temple Grandin Paul Lynch, CRITE

  5. Let’s think visually – “I found that when I surf the Internet it works exactly like my mind….. Each memory that I have comes up like a website. And I sort of click through the websites of my mind and they come up like snapshot pictures.” “One of the most profound mysteries of autism has been the remarkable ability of most autistic people to excel at visual spatial skills while performing so poorly at verbal skills.” Temple Grandin – Animal Science Professor at Colorado State University and leading authority on autism in USA. Paul Lynch, CRITE

  6. Where? – There are no limits Can the mind of an autistic person be compared with the limitless boundaries of communication? http://www.cybergeography.org/atlas/geographic.html Paul Lynch, CRITE

  7. Breaking down the boundaries between people The internet (e.g. e-mails, chat rooms, on-line learning and virtual worlds) does not depend on the physical/mental appearance of the other person. It is the quality of their thought that takes precedence. Paul Lynch, CRITE

  8. The Computer acts as temporary scaffolding Like the support that construction workers use on buildings, scaffolding is intended to be temporary. It is there to aid the completion of a task and it is eventually removed. Paul Lynch, CRITE

  9. Caution “No matter how good the software, children often need direction -“scaffolding” to use it effectively.” Jane Healy 1998 Paul Lynch, CRITE

  10. Why do computers suit people with Autism so well • Contained, very clear –cut boundary conditions • Safe to explore, be creative in a highly controllable environment • Possibilities of non-verbal or verbal communication • Restricted stimuli in all sensory modalities • Accepted medium for non-autistic peers Paul Lynch, CRITE

  11. What are the therapeutic benefits of interacting with computers? • A computer can behave very much like the ideal human companion • The child learns to take turns with the computer • Certain obsessions can be highly creative and recognisably worthwhile • It can be satisfying and generate an easeful environment • It can provide a fruitful basis for mutual communication and the motivation to pursue it. Paul Lynch, CRITE

  12. Moving beyond the “self” • Software can help autistic children deal with their social skills development • E.g. software: Zoombinis Maths Journey (Broderbund) • One boy chose the kinds of toppings of a pizza that he himself preferred, not the “troll” threatening them. • Uncover a deeper social issue the boy was struggling to see beyond himself. • This is a maths program but also presents topics for social skills development. Paul Lynch, CRITE

  13. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Paul Lynch, CRITE

  14. Case Study: Joshua • Aged 6 • Shares class with 5 other boys • Mildly autistic • Problems in fine motor and visual motor skills • Good verbal memory Paul Lynch, CRITE

  15. Joshua’s Learning Program • TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped Children) Paul Lynch, CRITE

  16. When? Daily computer slot Paul Lynch, CRITE

  17. Observations • No keyboard used • Development of fine motor skills • Requests program he wishes to learn • Fidgeting less, but chews the headset wire • Interaction with screen, pointing, counting and singing • Student -centred activity Paul Lynch, CRITE

  18. Teacher’s perspective • PC has added depth to Joshua’s learning- builds imagination • Changes his perspective on the outside world, developing his meta-cognition • Able to cope with the stimulation of maths program • Enabling him to explore and learn Paul Lynch, CRITE

  19. “The computer appears to excite attempts at communication which is then universalised to paper and social structures.”Gino Lerario • Many autistic children have strengths that cannot show through speech and writing. • Children can teach the tutor what they can handle. A two way process. Paul Lynch, CRITE

  20. Damian has significant delay in speech and writing. Able to type out p-a-t and shouted Postman Pat. revealing letter, sound and word awareness and spurring spoken language. Joshua initiates writing on blackboard by taking a sentence from the “Talking Stories”from the Oxford Reading Tree and transfers it one letter at a time – running between the chalkboard and the PC. How language can be developed Paul Lynch, CRITE

  21. Joshua is building a certain amount of receptive skills through a learning program which can be developed later in a one-to-one or small group work. Provides Joshua the unique opportunity to demonstrate an ability or intelligence that may otherwise go unnoticed. Able to perform non-computer based tasks – apply problem-solving techniques. “Start where the child is” Paul Lynch, CRITE

  22. Recommendations Paul Lynch, CRITE

  23. “Appropriate provision of computer hardware and software for both teachers and learners can be a significant factor in meeting the needs of children and young people with special needs”.European Commission 1996 Paul Lynch, CRITE

  24. Greater Access for all • Trackerballs • Joysticks • Touchscreens • Voice recognition software • Buddy-buttons (switches) • Suitable software and videos Paul Lynch, CRITE

  25. Accessible Interfaces Free us from restricted interfaces, allow them to hold, wear and even eat bits. Paul Lynch, CRITE

  26. Training Teachers and parents need time to explore and become more at ease with ICT. A need for greater access to training. Paul Lynch, CRITE

  27. Further Research Formal research on how computers can help support language development. e.g. speech therapists could employ speech synthesis software (Stephen Hawking). Paul Lynch, CRITE

  28. Financial Support We need more funding for units and special schools to purchase up-to-date equipment Paul Lynch, CRITE

  29. Collaborative Environments • Chatrooms • Mail groups • Discussion Boards Allow people to interact on an social basis in a non-threatening way. Paul Lynch, CRITE

  30. Broderbund Gregory and the Hot Air Balloon – Comprehension development and socialisation Kid Pix Studio: Art – General PC skills The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis – Maths and logic Davidson Maths Blaster – Maths and logic Reading Blaster – phonemic awareness, literacy activities Sherston Oxford Reading Tree “Talking Stories” – Literacy, phonics, language enrichment Soft Keys Dr Suess’s ABC – Letter identificaton, comprehension Some software used in classroom Paul Lynch, CRITE

  31. References Publications Rinaldi W. Language Difficulties in an Educational Context, Whurr Publishers, 2000 • C Lee et al. Vygotskian Perspectives on Literacy Research Cambridge University Press 2000 • Healy, J. Failure to connect – How Computers Affect Our Children’s Minds, New York: Simon& Schuster, 1989 • Bruner, J Towards a Theory of Instruction, Cambridge, Mass. University Press, 1996 Sites Visited • Interview with Dr Temple Grandin “My mind is like a computer” http://www.zdnet.com/zdtv/thesite • The National Autistic Society – http://www.oneworld.org/autism_uk Paul Lynch, CRITE

  32. Acknowledgements Special thanks to: Joshua His Parents Gino Lerario, MA Damian Gordon, TCD Dr Bryn Holmes, TCD Paul Lynch, CRITE