1 Infante D. Henrique Elementary School (PORTUGAL)
2 Agrela e Vale do Leça Elementary School (PORTUGAL)
3 School of Education - Polytechnic Institute of Porto (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 4058-4065
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.1988
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
This study aims to contribute to the overall development of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN), particularly in classes on Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and to design a teaching resource supported by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that is suitable for classroom by students with SEN.

It is essential to use ICT as a teaching tool that can overcome barriers to student learning, and that provides an interactive environment, involvement and motivation in the process of teaching and learning by students with SEN (Ribeiro, 2011). Sparrowhawk & Heald (2007) consider that ICT are very important to the process of teaching and learning of students with SEN, to the extent that it promotes motivation, improves performance, increases expectations, provides alternatives, promotes engagement with the real world and facilitates the monitoring by the teacher. Also Correia (2003) sees advantages in using ICT with SEN students, since its use can improve the performance efficiency of these students in tasks, reducing disabilities and disadvantages and increasing their academic and social integration.

Scratch (2007) is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab and it is available online. Scratch allows to program stories, games and interactive animations, and share creations online. Using sound, animations, image and text, among others, allows students to stay more alert and motivated.

This work is based on two case studies carried out by two different teachers in their classroom during the current school year. The participants in each case study were:
(i) three 4th grade students with Dyslexia diagnosis;
(ii) three students (two were in the 6th grade and one in the 9th grade) with Intellectual Incapacity diagnosis.

There were designed and implemented activities using Scratch software, namely about “The importance of water for living beings” and “Pollution and Recycling”. The study was guided by the following research questions (IQ):
QI1: Is Using Scratch suitable and feasible in the daily work of students with SEN?
QI2: To what extent can Scratch contribute to a better involvement of students with SEN in the suggested tasks?

Data was collected through the analysis of the students Individual Educational Programs, an interview with the Special Needs teacher, audio recording, photographs, tasks and notations made by the investigating teacher. The data analysis was mainly qualitative.

Results revealed how students interacted with Scratch and showed that using this programming language can engage students with SEN in the process of learning.

The data collected in this study sustains the idea that it’s possible to work with the educational software Scratch with students with Special Educational Needs. It enabled a higher level of participation and students autonomy when carrying tasks related to Natural Sciences and Mathematics curricular topics.

[1] Correia, L.M. (2013). Inclusão e Necessidades Educativas Especiais – um guia para educadores e professores. Porto: Porto Editora.
[2] Ribeiro, J. (2012). As TIC na Educação de Alunos com Necessidades Educativas Especiais: proposta de um Programa de Formação para o Ensino Básico. Doctoral dissertation. Aveiro: Universidade de Aveiro.
[3] Scratch [Computer software]. (2007). Retrieved from
[4] Sparrowhawk, A., & Heald, Y. (2007). How to use ICT to support children with Special Education Needs. Cambridge: LDA.
Education, Scratch software, Involvement, Special Needs Education.