The World Congress on Special Needs Education (WCSNE-2014) will be held in Pennsylvania, USA. The WCSNE is dedicated to the advancement of the theory and practices in special needs education.
The WCSNE promotes collaborative excellence between academicians and professionals from Educational and Industrial sectors. The aim of WCSNE is to provide an opportunity for academicians and professionals from various educational and industrial sectors with cross-disciplinary interests to bridge the knowledge gap, promote research esteem and the evolution of special needs in education. The WCSNE-2014 invites speakers to share their knowledge on issues or subject matters in special needs in education that encompass conceptual analysis, case studies, design implementation and performance evaluation.
The full list of confernce topics is available on the event website, along with more detailed information on how to submit a proposal.
SENnet provides information and support for those working to develop the use of technology to improve access for school age learners with special educational needs (SEN). It takes as its starting point that the potential of ICT to address these difficulties is significant and under-exploited.
SENnet has three overall objectives.
Identify, analyse, and disseminate research: Topics include barriers and opportunities to the inclusion of learners with SEN in mainstream schools and effective approaches for special schools that serve as resource centres to others.
Map and analyse, develop scenarios and design new learning environments: The network aims to develop new learning environments that integrate learners with SEN, particularly employing technological solutions for specific needs. Another area of interest is the use of digital resources that can improve access and learning for various special needs.
To develop awareness and competences in teachers: Enable teachers, school leaders, and other support staff to understand and take steps to improve the inclusion of learners with SEN in mainstream classrooms.
By the end of the project, SENnet expects to see the following outcomes and changes:
- Freely accessible documentation on the SENnet website that addresses the inclusion and integration of learners with SEN, including examples of good practice, leading to a more open discussion of these issues
- Scenarios for learning environments that mainstream learners with SEN, including the use of special schools as resource centres, leading to fewer barriers to integrating learners with SEN
- A significant increase in the number of online resources to support learners with SEN, including new ones to enable subtitling, leading to more uptake of these tools and materials on the Learning Resource Exchange
- A series of online learning modules, translated and easily adaptable to national contexts, and a community of practice enabling teachers across Europe better to understand and practise integration of learners with SEN
The report “Report on using information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education for persons with disabilities”, published in 2012, is the outgrowth of a joint initiative by UNESCO and the Trust for the Americas, non-profit organization cooperating with the Organization of American States (OAS).
The joint project consisted of a significant study, country by country in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, elucidating achievements and shortfalls, while demonstrating that democratizing free access to ICTs for persons with disabilities in the field of education is an attainable goal.
As a result, the final report provides a meaningful assessment of the status of access to ICTs for such persons and identifies both the good practices and the problems and pending needs that require the most support. It also evinces the need to enhance access to ICTs and the duty for all societal stakeholders, both governmental and non-governmental, as well as international organisations, to work toward attaining this goal.
The overall goal of the study is to provide recommendations to improve information policies, strategies for using ICTs to educate persons with disabilities and incorporate issues related to disability.
The publication targets especially decision-makers, national and regional educational institutions, organisations and associative movements of and for persons with disabilities.
O Projecto Geometrix, inserido no Grupo Álgebra e Geometria do Centro de Investigação e Desenvolvimento em Matemática e Aplicações (CIDMA), é um projecto interdisciplinar agregando matemáticos, informáticos, educadores e desenhadores gráficos, dirigido aos diversos graus de Ensino com o objectivo de desenvolver novos ambientes de aprendizagem assistidos por computador.
Este projecto abrange duas vertentes, uma ligada à investigação nas áreas de Matemática, Inteligência Artificial e Educação Matemática tendo em vista a concepção de metodologias, arquitectura de sistemas e desenvolvimento de ferramentas computacionais para o ensino e a aprendizagem da Matemática, com ênfase na Geometria, e outra associada à produção de software educativo. Aglutina os seguintes sub-projectos:
- Ecotoons: software educativo de Matemática para o 1.º ciclo do Ensino Básico
- TexMat: livro interactivo de Matemática para o 2º Ciclo do Ensino Básico
- LpMat: software Educativo para Crianças com Necessidades Educativas Especiais decorrentes de surdez, perturbações do espectro do autismo, cegueira ou baixa visão, deficiência motora e mental
- IntBooks: plataforma agregadora de diversos tipos de tecnologia web para criação de documentos digitais
- Jogos: colectânea de jogos lúdico-educativos
- SGC – Sistemas de Gestão de Conteúdos
Um outro objectivo do Geometrix é o desenvolvimento de projectos em parceria com instituições nacionais e internacionais.
A equipa do Geometrix realiza a pedido de instituições, seminários referentes às suas actividades e sessões presenciais e experimentais com grupos de alunos. Os pedidos devem ser enviados por correio electrónico para o endereço firstname.lastname@example.org
Human and material resources were assigned to schools, setting up special units for multiple disabilities, for autism spectrum disorders, and reference schools for blindness/low vision and deafness/hard hearing.
A network of ICT Resources Centres was launched in 2007-2008 in order to evaluate assistive technologies needs for these pupils, that the Ministry of Education has financed in the last two years. These units are located in schools around the country and have district coverage, supporting other schools. This network is monitored by a central department of the Ministry of Education, using Moodle platform to share resources and news and to submit annual activity plans and reports, according to national pre-established guidelines.
Considering the complexity of evaluating the needs of these pupils, the units are oriented to seek partnerships with other institutions with expertise in the field. Private institutions, former backbone that used to host these children and youth, were certified as resources centres to support schools from a technical and therapeutic point of view. Special needs departments at Universities/Polytechnics with research in disabilities issues have also been involved, as well as assistive technology companies.
ICT Resources Centres have raised awareness among the educational community for the inclusion of these children in mainstream schools and for the importance of the use of assistive technologies to help their development and future autonomy. Many public events (workshops, seminars) have taken place, opened to teachers, school staff, students and parents.
ICT Resources Centres have carried out training support to their peers in the use of assistive technology, namely, switches, alternative keyboards, augmentative communication tools, Braille devices, screen readers, speech synthesizers, optical character recognition systems and so on. They also support pupils with severe illnesses that are permanently or temporarily absent from school and need distance learning tools.
Each Centre uses online forms of communication through websites, blogs or school Moodle platforms .
Further work and resources will be required to sustain the inclusion process, but these efforts are producing already some positive results.
Articolul de faţă prezintă concluziile unui sondaj în rândul profesorilor înscrişi la un Master în Educaţie Specială – acestora li s-a cerut să analizeze dobândirea de competenţe TIC generale şi de soluţii TIC concepute special pentru studenţii cu handicapuri de învăţare. Colectarea, compilarea şi procesarea rezultatelor sondajului descriu şi explică percepţiile, competenţele şi nevoile de formare reale ale acestui grup profesional.
Rezultatele par să confirme pe cele ale altor studii care trag concluzia că profesorii de educaţie specială sprijină utilizarea TIC ca instrument util în formarea studenţilor cu handicapuri de învăţare. Cu toate acestea, concluziile noastre arată că înainte de orice formare TIC pentru SEN, profesorii au nevoie să dobândească nişte competenţe TIC de bază. Suportul educaţional oferit de profesionişti formaţi şi specializaţi asistaţi de mijloace şi tehnici TIC constituie un sprijin extraordinar pentru acei studenţi care au nevoie să vadă că handicapul lor poate fi redus sau depăşit.