Exploring the Opportunity to Use Virtual Reality for the Education of Children with Disabilities
2. Theoretical Background
2.1. Inclusive Education and VR Technology
2.2. Inclusive Education in Romania
3. Materials and Methods
3.1. The Sample Structure
- Group 1: 8 psychologists with a particular focus on speech therapy;
- Group 2: 8 teachers involved in special education;
- Group 3: 8 specialists in physical therapy, teachers of physical education and sport, special education teachers;
- Group 4: 7 itinerant/support teachers.
3.2. Method and Data Collection
4. Results and Discussion
4.1. (O1) Identifying the Level of Familiarization with the VR Technology among Specialists Who Work with Children with Disabilities
- Participants’ feedback after testing the VR technology
4.2. (O2) Exploring the Opportunities to Use VR Technology in the Education of Children with Disabilities
- Advantages and disadvantages of introducing VR technology into the educational process
- Specialists’ proposals on how VR could be used in educating children with disabilities.
- For example, in mathematics, VR can help to view some geometrical figures in space, draw some inner lines, and build new geometric figures.
- For other sciences, some applications that simulate the genesis of geological structures (e.g., mountains), the water cycle in nature, or help to explore the natural environment have been proposed. It was considered that an application created to learn how animals and plants live would be highly appreciated by pupils and very suitable for developing positive feelings and behaviors among them.
- Other examples concerned some applications that help users learn about the human body and understand how the internal organs work and the importance of hygiene, including the correct use of personal tools.
- A very interesting proposal aims to create an application through which children understand how the seasons and other natural phenomena work. Because some children do not remember enough information about the weather and natural phenomena from one season to another, a VR application that provides the possibility of multi-sensory stimulation could be very useful to help children understand the changes determined by the succession of seasons.
- Another idea is to create an application where pupils can exercise to overcome their fears and phobias, which are common symptoms in children with deficits, especially those with some forms of autism.
4.3. (O3) Identifying Specialists’ Views on Children with Disabilities Who Are Best Suited to Use VR in Learning
- Children with disabilities who can benefit from VR in the learning process
- Children with disabilities for whom VR is not recommended
5. Conclusions and Implications
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|The Respondent’s Position/Specialization||Code Number||Age||Years of Experience in Working with Special Needs Children|
|Professor speech disorder therapy||4||47||11|
|Special Education Teacher||9||45||12|
|Special Education Teacher||10||27||5|
|Special Education Teacher||11||46||20|
|Special Education Teacher||12||39||20|
|Special Education Teacher||13||45||10|
|Special Education Teacher||14||59||40|
|Special Education Teacher||15||31||9|
|Special Education Teacher||16||44||12|
|Professor of Physical Therapy||17||39||5|
|Special Education Teacher/Teacher coordinator educators (coordinator of 47 itinerant/support teachers)||19||34||11|
|Teacher of physical education and sport||21||40||15|
|Special Education Teacher||22||37||10|
|Professor of Physical Therapy||23||28||7|
|Special Education Teacher||24||45||13|
|Special Education Teacher/Itinerant/Support teacher||26||48||8|
|Special Education Teacher/Itinerant/Support teacher||27||38||11|
|Itinerant/Support teacher and parent of a child with Down syndrome||29||44||9|
|Special Education Teacher/Itinerant/Support teacher||31||34||9|
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Chițu, I.B.; Tecău, A.S.; Constantin, C.P.; Tescașiu, B.; Brătucu, T.-O.; Brătucu, G.; Purcaru, I.-M. Exploring the Opportunity to Use Virtual Reality for the Education of Children with Disabilities. Children 2023, 10, 436. https://doi.org/10.3390/children10030436
Chițu IB, Tecău AS, Constantin CP, Tescașiu B, Brătucu T-O, Brătucu G, Purcaru I-M. Exploring the Opportunity to Use Virtual Reality for the Education of Children with Disabilities. Children. 2023; 10(3):436. https://doi.org/10.3390/children10030436Chicago/Turabian Style
Chițu, Ioana Bianca, Alina Simona Tecău, Cristinel Petrișor Constantin, Bianca Tescașiu, Tamara-Oana Brătucu, Gabriel Brătucu, and Ioana-Mădălina Purcaru. 2023. "Exploring the Opportunity to Use Virtual Reality for the Education of Children with Disabilities" Children 10, no. 3: 436. https://doi.org/10.3390/children10030436