Ιστοσελίδα εκμάθησης αλφαβήτας για παιδιά στο φάσμα του αυτισμού
Alphabet learning website for children in the spectrum of autism
KeywordsΕκπαίδευση -- Πληροφορική ; Διαδίκτυο (Internet) στην εκπαίδευση ; Πολυμέσα ; Εργαλείων ηλεκτρονικής μάθησης ; Άτομα με ειδικές ικανότητες ; Μαθητές με ειδικές ανάγκες
New technologies have allowed children with disabilities to successfully attend courses with the support of e-learning tools. Information technology supports students to overcome potential physical, emotional, psychological and cognitive disorders that a student with learning difficulties may present and that prohibits relevant students to attend traditional educational programs. Information technologies not only help students to better understand new concepts and to keep up with their peers, but also support schools for better and easier integration of students with learning difficulties in classes with typical students As part of this research, a literature review is undertaken related to distance learning (e-learning) and usage of e-learning tools to support students with special needs. Moreover, the characteristics of children with learning disabilities, particularly children with autism, are examined. Furthermore, the ways new technologies should be customized are presented, based on the characteristics of students with special needs. Next, the research examines the functional and technical requirements that must be fulfilled by educational applications so that the applications are effective in supporting students with special education needs, particularly autistic students. Next, as part of this research an educational website is developed with intention to support the learning of the alphabet for autistic students. The technical implementation of the application is based on the relevant proposals by W3C related to the development of websites targeting people with disabilities (accessibility). Moreover, responsive design is implemented on the relevant website, to render the educational game accessible to users by means of any portable device (smartphone, tablet). The functional design of the website – educational game is based on the characteristics of effective education for autistic children and relevant recommendations for features that an educational application, targeting at autistic students, should have. The developed website is being evaluated with the use of accessibility testing tools and responsive design testing tools, available on the Web and offered to developers by W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), Google and University of Toronto. At the end of this research, the conclusions of this study are presented, related to the development and usage of educational applications to support the learning of students with learning difficulties. More specifically, the conclusions related to the use of relevant applications for supporting of the education for autistic students. Finally, the limitations of this study are presented and as well as proposals for related future research.