ACCESS AND THE DIGITAL DOORWAY TO LEARNING FOR CHILDREN WITH DOWN SYNDROME
University of Reading (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:The majority of Apps that claim to be educational are described as first wave, an e-version of games and puzzles and worksheets, and for children and young people with learning difficulties these are often taken from the pre-school market. This paper draws on data from a collaborative project between an educational researcher, a creative team and software designers to develop a new ipad game for children with Down syndrome. The game was designed to be fun while also developing early foundational skills of mathematics, namely the ability to discriminate between arrays of different numbers. The game was underpinned by research on the development of early number skills and children’s performance on two iterations of the game is compared to their performance on a parallel card game. Children’s approach to the task is analysed in relation to the science of learning and what we know from research about the challenges children with Down syndrome face in learning. This analysis juxtaposes the role of structure and sequence with that of exploration and creativity. The role of the social, both the character in the game, and that of a supportive adult are considered. The implications for further development of the presentation of the game are discussed together with the requirements of further research.
Keywords: Down syndrome, numeracy, ipad.