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Ph.D. Digital Media in a SEN Classroom: A Study

This thesis presents a series of design-led case studies concerned with the use of digital technology and the practice of interaction design for children within the context of UK special educational needs classrooms. It explores the use and development of accessible digital systems to support groups of students who have a range of special educational needs. Working with groups of mixed ability students has found to be the most typical situation for teaching in the participant schools and is a rich but underexplored area of concern for interaction design research. This thesis presents detailed accounts and grounded analysis of four embedded, design-led, case studies in two UK special needs schools.

It makes three main contributions to the community of researchers, designers and educational practitioners who are concerned with the use of digital technology with children and more specifically working within the field of interaction design for children with special educational needs. These contributions are: A set of design guidelines developed through an analysis of the detailed and thorough accounts of four embedded design-led research projects in two special needs school in the UK. A discussion of the development of the research approach taken in this thesis. A set of design personas of teaching staff interaction designers are likely to encounter when working in a UK special needs school.