Maich, K., Van Rhijn, T., Woods, H., & Brochu, K. (2018). Remote assistive technology training in Newfoundland and Labrador’s rural schools: Is there a need? | Perceptions des enseignants quant au besoin de formation en technologie d’assistance dans les écoles rurales de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology / La revue canadienne de l’apprentissage et de la technologie, 43(2). doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.21432/T2J682
This study examined the perceptions of teachers in rural Newfoundland (NL) about their current ability to support the use of assistive technology (AT) in their classrooms, and identified possible training needs that could be accomplished remotely. Thirty-two educators from rural areas of NL completed an online survey with a mix of closed- and open-ended questions. Five dimensions were explored for this needs assessment including: current beliefs, skills, use, comfort level, and perceptions of AT; identification of specific service needs; learning preferences; available technology; and potential barriers. Results reveal that teachers had positive attitudes about the utility and use of AT in their classrooms, yet were not fully implementing AT with their student’s due to a variety of perceived barriers. The study identified a clear need for AT teacher training. Based on the results and the research, literature recommendations are made for teacher training to address the need identified by this study.