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Digital Personal Stories: A Case Study of Two African Adolescents, with Severe Learning and Communication Disabilities

Context: This action-research case study used a formative experiment methodological framework to examine how two adolescent boys with learning disabilities engaged with an iPad app to create and share their own digital stories. The boys were African immigrants with English as additional language and severe speech and communication difficulties.

Case Report: Video observations of the key steps of the action research cycle and interviews with the boys’ teacher and teaching assistant were analysed using content analysis. Findings revealed that despite having some difficulties with learning some of the functions of the app, the boys were able to communicate their ideas to others, take ownership of the story by deciding on photographs and storylines and develop some social skills by presenting the stories to others in the class.

Conclusion: Using the Our Story app was helpful in facilitating a sequential arrangement of the pictures and their annotation with sounds and short captions. Study findings are discussed in relation to using iPad apps with children with severe learning disabilities.


Val Critten and Natalia Kucirkova

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