SKATE - Skills & Knowledge on Assistive Technology in Early childhood inclusive education

Thematic Area of product / prototype / service: 
Assistive technology in Early Childhood, Inclusion
Company (if applicable): 
Erasmus+ project (Belgium, Cyprus, Italy, Republic of North Macedonia) - 2020-2023
Description of the product/Prototype/service: 
The SKATE project aims to impact on the quantity and quality of inclusive early childhood education by generating knowledge on the appropriate use of digital and mostly innovative technologies in early childhood education. An important starting point is the growing presence of children with disabilities or emerging disabilities in mainstream pre-primary school. The project responds to teachers’ and educators' needs to be supported in gearing innovative technology as resource for inclusive education. Educators and teachers have a key role to play in responding to these challenges, but very often there are barriers preventing the development of meaningful experiences with technology in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) (lack of knowledge & digital skills among teachers, lack of resources, fear for change, consolidated practice vs complexity of innovation) . Therefore, within the Skate project, a Toolkit will be developed. This Toolkit embraces: 1) A competency framework for teachers and educators listing core competences necessary for successfully working with technology in inclusive early childhood education. The framework is composed by core learning outcomes in different areas of knowledge, skills and wider personal outcomes. 2) Guidelines for inclusive classrooms. These Guidelines will provide indications for the role of assistive technology, in specifically empowering children with communication, motor, sensorial or intellectual disabilities. 3) A Learning Programme for ECEC teachers and educators that on the one hand will respond to the needs expressed by the teachers and educators involved in the project, on the other hand serve as examples of the application of the competency framework to guide professional development. In order to underpin the Toolkit with solid evidence, within the Skate project, we will identify and support up to 25 children with special needs with individualized assistive technology assessment and adoption processes.
Level of innovation: 
An important element of innovation is the availability of sets of competencies required for technology enhanced inclusive education and examples of learning programmes that target those competencies. In addition each curriculum will be based on a methodology which will involve the sharing of knowledge, ideas and experience between the participants, as well as hands on and practical experimentation. The programmes will emphasize on the collaboration of the different target groups who will develop skills in organizing and planning learning activities, working collaboratively with others, giving and receiving feedback and evaluating their own learning.
Jo Daems, Tessa Delien, Katerina Mavrou, Lorenzo Desideri,