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The Role of E-Learning in the Education of the Deaf

Mgr. Tomáš Sklenák et al.
Teiresias Centre, Masaryk University


The Role of E-learning in Education of the Deaf

Mgr. Tomáš Sklenák, Mgr. Lucie Štefková, Mgr.et Bc. Alexandr Zvonek, PhD.

Support Centre for Students with Special Needs, Masaryk University
Šumavská 15, Brno, Česká republika
email: sklenak@teiresias.muni.cz, stefkova@teiresias.muni.cz, zvonek@teiresias.muni.cz

The paper deals with the role of e-learning in education of deaf students and the relationship between ICT and deaf students. It is a well-known fact that the term "e-learning" has been widely used in all its aspects for the last five years. It is an educational process which consists in the use of multimedia and information technologies to facilitate access to study materials and support the learning process (in more general terms). The level of computer usage depends on current technological possibilities as well as access to the technology for intended users.

The introduction of the paper describes the relationship between ICT and deaf students in general as well as in the educational process. It introduces e-learning, defines it and classifies its types. It briefly describes technological aspects necessary for a creation and management of an e-learning course. Further, it presents e-learning in Deaf education in general. It incorporates deaf teachers' findings and experiences with blended e-learning teaching of common subjects at the primary school for the Deaf, high school for the Deaf and university, in particular Masaryk University. The paper refers to several e-learning courses of various high school subjects and university language courses (in Czech and English); it also deals with their specifics regarding needs of deaf students. Based on a research conducted among deaf students at Masaryk University and a similar research at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester Institute of Technology, the paper discusses advantages and disadvantages of the ICT usage in many areas of Deaf education, primarily in the field of language learning, as well as the importance of e-learning for future education of deaf students.

The results of these investigations clearly show that the use of e-learning unquestionably improves the quality of Deaf education. This fact is seen as salient enough to remain in the centre of our focus.

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