Browsing by Subject "Digitaalinen teknologia"

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  • Melander, Tiia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Aims. This thesis aims to study how digital technology can overcome disabled student’s learning obstacles or restrict their learning opportunities in vocational special education context. In addition, the thesis addresses to what degree digital equality is achieved with the available aiding digital technology. Previous studies have shown that digital technology can support learning and overcome challenges set by physical disabilities. However, it is not yet clear what kinds of challenges and restrictions digitalization and digital technology can set for the disabled in studying and for the realization of their equal opportunities. Deepening our knowledge of the possibilities, limitations and questions of equality regarding digital technology helps us to understand the conditions for achieving educational equality for disabled youth. Methods. I used ethnography as my research method and collected the data in upper secondary vocational education. I observed three business and administration students needing intensive special education at their lessons or practical training environment. I also interviewed the students, their teachers and school specialists. As a basis for my ethnographic analysis was meanings found behind the data and the critical point of view offered by the chosen paradigm. Results and conclusion. According to the results, digital technology helped overcome physical challenges and enabled the student’s participation in their studies, but only to some extent. Individual unsuitability, limited functionality, lack of developmental sophistication and slow of use of aiding digital technology restricted studying and achieving digital equality. The results showed that digital technology enables much but can also create inequality if the aiding digital technology does not support individual challenges. The digitalization of education and the development of aiding digital technology should take account of the individual needs of the disabled to achieve educational equality and advance their employment opportunities.