DELFI2020 Workshop

Digitally supported inclusive practices in
education and training

Workshop Description

In the course of increasing digitalization of all aspects of life, it is more important than ever not to exclude anyone. The vision of both quality and reduced inequality (SDGs 4 and 10) in education is set out in the 2030 Agenda. Specific and if ratified legally binding requirements are defined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The objective to accomplish inclusive education in the future underlines the importance to analyze and discuss the opportunities as well as challenges of applying digital technologies and AI-based systems in educational contexts.

Digital technologies and AI applications have the potential to improve equal access to all levels of education and training. Solutions can be tailored to the needs of marginalized groups, including persons with disabilities. For instance, AI applications can adapt automatically to specific user needs according to the situation at hand. Such systems allow for highly personalized on-the-job training and can advance the participation of persons with disabilities in vocational training. In addition, it is necessary to explore ways to better inform prospective employers about the immense opportunities that lie in the use of digital technologies and find good means to raise awareness of the strengths and competences of persons with disabilities.

However, educational realities often differ from the vision outlined above. Just now, digitalization is pushed fast forward as a result of the pandemic situation and it becomes even more apparent that one of the many challenges in digital education is in fact inclusion. Persons with disabilities may once more experience learning barriers because educators and trainers are left with technologies at their disposal that are not at all or only insufficiently accessible. Additionally, highlighting the social and cultural dimension of inclusion in digital education, it can be observed that learning barriers are affecting a far bigger percentage of the population. Development and design of today’s educational technologies, be it AI-driven or not, is rarely done with a diverse user group in mind. Thus, for instance cultural and gender biases can often lead to technology that segregates specific user groups. Also, AI-based systems may even aggravate existing social injustice.

This workshop invites researchers to explore the potential and practical challenges of digitally supported inclusive education and training. The workshop aims to present and discuss scientific contributions, best practices, and case studies from various projects that aim to remove barriers in diverse educational contexts and foster capacity building at an individual level. We are currently working on a variety of projects that focus on inclusion and accessibility related questions in schools, universities, vocational training, and vocational rehabilitation. We want to bring together researchers to present related work and discuss the potential of EdTech applications. The workshop also provides a good opportunity to exchange experiences with regards to practical challenges and identify potential cross-project synergies.

Workshop topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Cooperative learning in an individualized educational reality
  • Conditions of successful EdTech application in inclusive education
  • Learning methods for physically or mentally impaired persons
  • Adaptivity of educational technologies to support inclusive education
  • Novel mechanisms for adaptation of teaching /learning content (learning target and group-oriented)
  • Participation of marginalized groups in EdTech Design and Development
  • Ethical issues related to the use of AI applications for persons with disabilities
  • Supporting marginalized groups beyond disabilities (i.e. social and cultural implications of EdTech)
  • Meaning of educational cultures for inclusive or exclusive practices in adopting educational media technologies