TRANSFORMING TEACHING AND LEARNING FOR STUDENTS WITH COMPLEX COMMUNICATION NEEDS USING INNOVATIVE MOBILE TECHNOLOGY: UPS AND DOWN
Two-way interactions in classroom are remarkably challenging, especially when students with complex communication needs are concerned due to their inability to express their needs and wants verbally. One method that could establish effective two-way teacher-student interactions is through augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. A qualitative study exploring special education teachers’ awareness and knowledge regarding high-tech AAC systems was conducted. The barriers and challenges that may hinder teachers from adopting mobile-based AAC systems, and the teachers’ expectations of the AAC applications were explored. The qualitative data obtained from semi-structured interviews revealed that (a) teachers are unaware that AAC systems could improve dyadic classroom interactions, (b) teachers face internal and external barriers in implementing high-tech AAC systems in their classrooms, and (c) teachers want AAC systems which are suitable to be used in classrooms. The findings provided insights for transforming classroom teaching and learning using innovative mobile technology for students with complex communication needs.