10 SES 07 C, ICT in Teacher Education Research
The aim of this exploratory research was to investigate disabled trainee-teachers’[i] experiences of digital technology uses during their training years. The three objectives of the project were:
- to find out ways in which digital technologies can support trainee-teachers with disabilities in the context of their school experience blocks and university-based training;
- to explore issues around the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as personal support tools and teaching resources;
- to discuss points emerging from the integration of these technologies on institutional structures and cultures of teaching and learning.
Features of digital technologies that can support inclusive practices in HE have been identified in the relevant literature (Riddell et al 2005, Seale 2006a), sometimes after consultation with the disabled students themselves (Tinklin and Hall 1999, Holloway 2001, Fuller et al 2004). References to digital technologies in these projects include the importance of accessible design of resources, flexible use of technology and conceptualisation of disability from a socio-cultural rather than a medical perspective. However, in most of these case studies discussion about ICT uses constitutes only a minor part of the student experience and is not the main focus of the study. In addition, in these discussions ICTs are described solely as tools rather than as dynamic and active entities that influence networks of interactions. The power relationships between the participating actors: teacher training institutions, schools and individual trainees with disabilities materialised by ICTs uses, uses which are dynamic and developmental, are not discussed as an interconnected web of interactions which shape social activities, experiences, policies as well as participation in the community life.
[i] [i] The terms ‘disabled trainee-teachers’ and ‘trainee-teachers with disabilities’ are used interchangeably in the text. They are both intended to acknowledge the power relationships involved in the construction of identities and recognise ‘the understanding that disability is a form of social oppression’ (Kelly 2005: 262).
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