The use of iPads in the home setting for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Families and educators have turned to digital tablets to support the unique needs of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), due to their ease of use, social acceptance, low cost, and portability. While school-based trial programs are emerging, there is very little research examining collaborative partnerships between families and educators relating to digital tablets. This study employed a qualitative methodology to investigate the use of digital tablets in the home setting to support students with ASD. Underpinned by Moll and Greenberg's funds of knowledge theoretical framework, the study posited that the use of digital tablets for students with ASD can be enhanced if experiences from the home setting are validated by educators. It used semistructured interviews and anecdotal evidence with four families to explore the various ways digital tablets are used. Data from interviews with four teacher participants in a school-based trial were used to examine the collaboration between homes and schools regarding digital tablet use. The results showed that digital tablets were used daily in their homes. Frequent recreational and educational uses were reported as well as uses that supported behavior and communication. Finally, there were some suggestions in relation to the collaboration between home and school.
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