06 SES 10, Opening Up Schools and Bridging Gaps
A growing number of chronically ill children attend primary and secondary schools in the Netherlands (Mokkink, 2004). In the Netherlands, about 350.000 students in primary and secondary education have a long-term illness. About 40% of these students have school problems, due to their illness and absence in school (Te Meerman & Demoulin, 2005), with less success in school and relatively high drop-out rates (De Ridder et al., 2013; Van Heesch et al., 2012); Many chronically ill students experience a lower level of autonomy, competence and relatedness with their school compared to their healthy peers (Kirkpatrick, 2013). This can be explained by their dependence on others because of the illness and school absence. In the Netherlands, an IT-tool has been developed and implemented to connect chronically ill students with their mainstream schools, named KlasseContact. With KlasseContact the chronically ill students can attend class with their own peer group by using video conferencing (VC) and a remote controlled camera (Ziezon, 2015). The objectives of this KlasseContact tool are to connect chronically ill students with their peers and school and to support continuity of education by online synchronous learning.
Empirically supported school re-entry programs ensure a smoother reentry of students (Canter & Roberts, 2012). The limited number of studies evaluating the use of VC with chronically ill students show that students are positive about attending classes via VC (Fels & Weiss, 2001; Bresser, 2010; Zhu & Van Winkel, 2014). In particular the contact with their peers and their participation in the daily classroom activities were reported as the most positive outcomes.
In order to understand, optimise and utilise the full potential of VC in education in general, it is necessary for teachers to adjust their pedagogy (Andersen et al., 2006). What exactly is demanded of teachers using VC to connect chronically ill students, is yet unclear. Because the individual needs of chronically ill students differ from their classmates and the classroom setting influences the involvement of students, special knowledge and skills of teachers is demanded (Schuit, de Vrieze & Sleegers, 2011). With the rising number of chronically ill students connected to their classes, and the limited knowledge how to use VC in an effective way, there is a need for in depth research.
In the current study, we examined what it takes of teachers to use this tool in their teaching and how they support and scaffold their chronically ill students when using the tool. The research questions of this study are:
(1) How do teachers perceive the goals of the use of VC for their chronically ill students?
(2) How do teachers experience teaching chronically ill students with VC ?
(3) What special skills or knowledge do teachers of chronically ill students need to support interaction and collaboration in class?
Andersen, T., Mrazek, R., Friesen, S., & al, e. (2006). Video-conferencing research community of practice research report. Retrieved 10 15, 2013, from http://www.vcalberta.ca/images/stories/pdf/Research_Summary_Report_word_version_final.pdf De Ridder, K., Pape, K., & al, e. (2013). Adolescent health and high school dropout: A prospective cohort sudy of 9000 Norwegian adolescent (the young-hunt). PLoS ONE, 8(9), e74954. Kirkpatrick, K. (2013). Adolescent perceptions of competence, school belonging, and autonomy in healthy students and those with a chronic medical condition: Relations and implications for academic attainment. Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/ Martinez, Y., & Erickan, K. (2009). Chronic illness in Canadian children: What is the effect ofillness on academic achievement, and anciety and emotional disorders? Child Care, Health and Development, 391-401. Mokkink, L. (2004). Omvang en gevolgen van chronische aandoeningen bij kinderen. Amsterdam: Emma Kinderziekenhuis AMC. Muilenburg, L., & Berge, Z. (2001). Barriers to distance education: A factor analytic study. The American journal of distance education, 15(2), 7-22. Te Meerman, W., & Demoulin, L. (2005). Vraag en aanbod van ICT voor kinderen met een beperking, als gevolg van een chronische aandoening of handicap. Utrecht: Capgemini Nederland B.V. Van Heesch, H., Bosma, T., & al, e. (2012). Hospital admissions and school dropout: A retrospective cohort study of the 'selection hypothesis'. European Journal of Public Health, 22(4), 550-555. Ziezon. (2015). KlasseContact. Retrieved from http://www.ziezon.nl/ziezon-caring-about-taking-care-of-pupils-with-chronic-or-long-term-illnesses/klassecontact-off-sick-but-still-in-the-classroom/
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