Technologies in the education of children and teenagers with autism: evaluation and classification of apps by work areas
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AuthorGallardo Montes, Carmen del Pilar; Caurcel Cara, María Jesús; Rodríguez Fuentes, Antonio Vicente
Special educationAutismEducational technologyAppropriate technologyAssessmentMobile learning resources
Gallardo-Montes , C.d.P., Caurcel Cara, M.J. & Rodríguez Fuentes, A. Technologies in the education of children and teenagers with autism: evaluation and classification of apps by work areas. Educ Inf Technol (2021). [https://doi.org/10.1007/s10639-021-10773-z]
SponsorshipUniversity of Granada and the Spanish Ministry of Education, Innovation and Universities [FPU19/00026]; University of Granada / CBUA
Mobile apps represent a resource with great potential for encouraging the development of many skills, given the high number of apps available and the quick access to them. Many professionals and families include these resources in the education and therapy of children with autism. For a group with such particular needs, a review of the apps is great importance, since, due to their characteristics, the apps must provide content, design and pedagogical aspects that fit those needs. Through a previously validated system of indicators, 155 free apps on Google Play were evaluated, using “autism” in English and in Spanish. We determined which work area each app developed, as well as which were the most multifaceted. Having evaluated the recorded data, we calculated frequencies, percentages and reliability, as well as parametric contrast and correlation statistics. We found that the focus of most apps was on executive functions, language and entertainment, with a minority devoted to the emotional sphere or time management. However, 98.06% of the apps worked on several areas, which makes them more functional but with the downside of not being specialized. Most apps were placed in the “recommendable” level but with margin for improvement in increasing their functionality.