Management Issues surrounding the use of microcomputers in adult special education
Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 35, (1), .
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A review of the history of microcomputer use in adult special education reveals four main factyors that appear to influence their potential: resource management and availability; the support available;staff involvement; and the organization of microcomputer sessions. This paper describes a study of the use of microcomputers by adults who have severe learning difficulties. It attempts to assess the influence of the above four factors on the implementation of microcomputer systems for adult special needs users. A method of profiling centres with respect to their microcomputer usage is described; this combines data from interviews, questionnaires and observations and then uses a checklist approach to analyse the information obtained. The checklist scores from nine different centres are reported and more detailed information on microcomputer usage is drawn from two of the centres that were studied. The results indicate the crucial role of centre managers in managing resources, support systems, staff involvement and the organization of the microcomputer sessions. A centre-focused strategy is identified as being influential in the successful management of microcomputers.
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