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Entering Aladdin’s cave: developing an app for children with Down Syndrome

Porter, J. (2018) Entering Aladdin’s cave: developing an app for children with Down Syndrome. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 34 (4). pp. 429-439. ISSN 1365-2729

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/jcal.12246


Tablets have much to offer children with learning difficulties but evidence of their effectiveness to teach academic skills is limited and cannot be easily separated from the quality of the software. This paper analyses data from three iterative cycles of designing an App for children with Down syndrome to support their awareness of quantity through an inclusive game. Research with neurotypical children suggests that representation of quantity (or magnitude) is an area with considerable potential in supporting the foundations for children’s mathematical learning. It has received little attention as an aspect for intervention for children with Down syndrome. Data collected in this study illustrate the need to carefully align the game mechanic to the target skills, strengthen levels of access and introduce gradations of attentional demand. They also signal the interrelationship between children’s cognitive and affective responses to the game, making it essential to find the optimal level of challenge. Children’s strategies in response to mistakes indicate the importance of creating an agile responsive system. The data also suggest that developers routinely extend the number of features that are optional, enabling a greater level of personalization and a more inclusive game.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:75183
Uncontrolled Keywords:App design, tablet, mathematics, magnitude representation, Down syndrome


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