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06/01/2009

Assistive Technology User Group Perspectives of Early Childhood Professionals


By: Howard P. Parette, Julia B. Stoner, and Emily H. Watts

Abstract: With the increasing usage of assistive technology (AT) usage in early childhood education settings serving children who are at-risk or who have developmental disabilities, there is a corresponding need for effective professional development experiences such as user groups to develop skills in using AT. Using a collective case study approach, 10 teachers who had participated in AT user groups and who were using an AT toolkit in their classrooms were interviewed and provided responses regarding (a) perspectives of user groups, (b) use of the toolkit, (c) benefits of user groups, (d) concerns regarding user groups, (e) perceived effects of AT on teaching and decision-making, and (f) perceived effects of AT on the classroom. Themes of interviews are presented, supported by statements from teachers.
 
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