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Additional key factors mediating the use of a mobile technology tool designed to develop social and life skills in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Evaluation of the 2nd HANDS prototype

Mintz, J; (2013) Additional key factors mediating the use of a mobile technology tool designed to develop social and life skills in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Evaluation of the 2nd HANDS prototype. Computers and Education , 63 pp. 17-24. 10.1016/j.compedu.2012.11.006.

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Abstract

Of late there has been growing interest in the potential of technology to support children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) with social and life skills. There has also been a burgeoning interest in the potential use of mobile technology in the classroom and in the use of such technology to support children with ASD. Building on these developments, the HANDS project has developed a mobile cognitive support application for smartphones, based on the principles of persuasive technology design, which supports children with ASD with social and life skills functioning-areas of ability which tend to be impaired in this population. Based on the evaluation of the implementation of an initial prototype, a second prototype was developed in the summer of 2010 and implemented in the 2010/11 academic year in four special schools for children with ASD. This paper reports on a qualitative interpretivist evaluation of the second prototype, identifying which factors mediate the level of engagement with the technology by both teachers and children. Fifteen teachers and twenty six children used the second prototype. Data was gathered using from teachers (n = 15) using direct classroom observation, individual semi-structured interviews, and questionnaires. Semi-structured interviews were also used to collect data from some parents (n = 6) and children (n = 10). A number of factors identified in the first prototype are also found to be present in the second prototype. However new factors are also identified, including student awareness of difficulties and associated motivation to change, and the preference of some children with ASD to receive persuasive messages from mobile devices. Particular issues related to the cognitive structure of children with ASD are considered. Further design guidelines are proposed for future implementations of similarly purposed technology tools. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Type: Article
Title: Additional key factors mediating the use of a mobile technology tool designed to develop social and life skills in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Evaluation of the 2nd HANDS prototype
DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2012.11.006
UCL classification: UCL > School of Education
UCL > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning & Leadership
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1493843
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