Autism and digital learning environments: Processes of interaction and mediation

Using a socio-historical perspective to explain social interaction and taking advantage of information and communication technologies (ICTs) currently available for creating digital learning environments (DLEs), this paper seeks to redress the absence of empirical data concerning technology-aided social interaction between autistic individuals. In terms of social interaction, autism can be likened to the negative of a photograph and it is currently one of the most disturbing and challenging syndromes. This study puts forward another viewpoint on the processes of interaction and mediation established in digital environments. Based on a 3-year multi-case study, which observed groups of autistic individuals in DLE-aided interaction activities, it identifies relevant technological categories that have an important contribution to make in the areas involved (Psychology, Education and Computer Science) in the development of a digital learning environment that takes the results achieved into account. Assistive Technology.

Passerino, L. M., & Santarosa, L. M. C.
Computers & Education, Vol. 51 (1), 385-402.
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Grade Level: 
intermediate elementary
middle school
IDEA Disability Category: 
Instructional Support: 
multimedia products and projects
opportunities to learn concepts
practice and reinforcement activities
visualizations and models