#2 Using iPads in childcare
Dr Jennifer Stephenson, Macquarie University Special Education Centre and Ms Megan cooper, STaR Association
Using ipads In childcare
This paper will provide an overview of two projects carried out as part of a collaboration between MUSEC and the STaR association on the use of iPads in early intervention.
The first project compared the use of iPad apps with the use of picture books (matched for theme and content) as a way to engage students with high support needs. The second project investigated the use of peers as coaches to teach students with disabilities to take turns while interacting with an iPad app. In both projects, centre staff were involved in implementing the procedures in childcare centres, supported by STAR special educators.
Jennifer Stephenson, PhD, has worked as a class teacher for students with high support needs, a school executive and a university lecturer. She is currently an associate professor in special education at the Macquarie University Special Education Centre. Her research interests include the education of students with disabilities, the use of unproven, disproven and controversial practices in education and the use of iPads with students with severe disabilities. She has over 60 papers published in national and international journals. Most recently her work has included collaborative research projects with educators on the use of iPads in classrooms in special education settings.
Megan Cooper’s extensive experience with children with additional needs has led to her strong belief in inclusion. Her professional background includes program development for young children in Egyptian orphanages and implementation of a pilot MultiLit literacy program in a Cape York primary school. Megan holds a Master of Special Education degree from Macquarie University, where she has worked in the Special Education Centre’s school and tutored in postgraduate special education. For the STaR (Special Teaching and Research) Association Megan mentors childcare staff to include infants and young children with disabilities, collaborates with families and therapists, participates in research and presents training workshops.
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