CONNECT Project Analysis

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For years educators have struggled with adequately integrating physically disabled children in the classroom. Arvanitis said, “Educational inclusion expresses the commitment to educate each learner to the maximum extent appropriate” (2009). Earlier accommodations of students with disabilities provided only curricular and instructional help to those in need. IDEA 1997 saw the addition of services and technology aiming to bring special education students up to the same standards as their peers (Jackson). In recent years, many schools have begun to provide tablets and other materials to students to enhance their learning. While this provides able bodied students the opportunity to interact with the materials, certain students are left out of …show more content…
Working together with funding provided from the European Union, they developed the CONNECT project. Their goal was to create a way for students to reinforce formal education through informal learning endeavors. They developed the Virtual Science Thematic Park, which has a web based component and physical component. The web component is the CONNECT platform. It provides a method for interested instructors and facilitators at museums and parks to interact with one another and exchange instructional materials. In addition to providing interested teachers and colleagues with the appropriate materials, it also provides instructions for the correct usage of the technology. The CONNECT project includes a mobile Augmented Reality system that is to be worn by the user. The AR system comprises of a backpack to hold the laptop and wires associated, as well as a head mounted display. The HMD provides a three dimensional overlay to real world situations. The theory behind the AR system is to allow the student to experience their world in a tangible way that they would otherwise not be able to …show more content…
It could provide the physically disabled student a way to interact with the exhibits and gain additional understanding of the concepts that they might otherwise miss out on. Given that this research was done in 2009, this concept could potentially be adapted very easily so that the physical burden to the student was lessened. For example, if it were possible to use a tablet or iPad in place of the laptop computer then the weight of the system would be less. Another positive of this system, is the potential self esteem and acceptance gained from its use by the student. The study demonstrated that the students who participated felt increased social acceptance and academic success after using the system- this is because it allowed the students to interact with the material in ways that they previously couldn’t. I think it is important that all students be given the ability to succeed and feel accomplished. This system could provide an interesting avenue for inclusion and acceptance for the physically disabled

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