Fatma Canan Durgungoz, Ahmet Durgungoz


This research explores the use of touchscreen devices with children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) regarding their engagement with schoolwork. The participant children’s attention, interaction and success with tablet computers and traditional materials were evaluated to fulfil the research aims. The study was conducted in a special needs education institution in Turkey. Video recording and observation were used to collect data. Seven students with different special needs participated in this study. Four sessions were held with each child; two sessions were held with traditional materials, and the other two sessions were held with the touchscreen device. Paired Sample T-Test was used to assess children’s attention and interaction time within two different conditions. Wilcoxon Test was used to analyse the success of children. The results show that the participants’ attention time was longer with the touchscreen device. Children’s interaction time and their success with the device were related to the mobile application. Observation data indicated that not all aspects of the applications were suitable for the students, which negatively affected their learning experience. This study concludes that although an increase of interest in introducing a new tool might have a primary role in the participants’ engagement, digital mobile devices could become indispensable for children with SEND. Therefore, more efforts should be canalised into developing mobile software that is carefully tailored for specific disabilities and individual needs.

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touchscreen device, children with SEND, mobile devices in education, digital learning in special needs education

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejse.v7i1.3612

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