ICT training for educators of Granada for working with people with autism

Heliyon. 2023 Feb 21;9(3):e13924. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e13924. eCollection 2023 Mar.


Background: Innovative methodologies based on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are a tested and motivating option for working with people with autism. Their use, however, should not be indiscriminatory and arbitrary, but didactic and appropriate.

Objective: We aimed to discover the training in ICT they had, its frequency of use, and the types of digital resources that they used.

Methods: We administered the questionnaire, "Demands and Potentials of ICT and Apps for Assisting People with Autism" to 310 educators in the city of Granada (Spain). The participants belonged to schools and associations that worked with people with autism. Adopting a quantitative-type study, we carried out descriptive analyses (frequencies, mean, mode, and standard deviation). Having confirmed that the data did not follow a normal distribution (Kolmogorov-Smirnov test for samples of >50 participants), we carried out non-parametric inferential and intrafactorial correlation analyses. We also calculated the effect size.

Results: The educators revealed that they had ICT training for working with people with autism, but not enough. This suggests that there is still a need to improve the digital competence of these professionals. Strong, direct and significant correlations were found between ICT training and the frequency with which they were used. There were also statistically significant differences according to sex, gender, age, type of institution, and type of educator. The educators who worked as Therapeutic Pedagogy teachers and those who worked in Special Education schools were shown to be more competent than the rest in educational technology applied to people with autism.

Conclusions: The results, which were not wholly positive since ICT training should be better and have achieved higher scores, revealed that there is a foundation in ICT education but it needs to be heightened and improved with greater knowledge and more practical experience.

Keywords: Autism; Education; Information and Communication Technology (ICT); Training in ICT; Use of ICT.