Design and evaluation of technological support tools to empower stakeholders in digital education

EMPOWER will focus on education for children with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). Children with NDDs can experience difficulties with language and speech, motor skills, behaviour, memory, learning, or other neurological functions. Technological solutions that can respond to such individual needs have the potential to both improve the quality and inclusiveness of the education of these children and support teachers in carrying out their educational vocation. From a technological perspective, the challenge is not only to deliver the resulting educational program but also to do so accurately and to the benefit of the child. From an ethical perspective, several challenges come together in the trade-off between the potential educational benefits and the necessity to process relevant information regarding the children via measurements and algorithms that shape the educational program. In the proposed AI regulations of the EU (Artificial Intelligence Act, EC/2021), this is a high- risk endeavour. Together, this application domain is therefore a challenging one in that it unites sensitive cases of the obstacles one is likely to encounter in digitizing education. Addressing these challenges is therefore also an opportunity to shed more light on the future of technology and AI in education as the ability to address these challenges in their extreme form will lead to insights that are relevant more generally.


EMPOWER is a multidisciplinary pursuit, at the interface between education, psychology, special education, technology, and software development. The EMPOWER consortium possesses the required multidisciplinary expertise to carry out the project, ranging from software development and wearable devices integration, cognitive systems architectures, assistive technologies for children with NDDs, psychological assessment and intervention, to ethical issues in technology for education.

The core objective of EMPOWER is to develop and deploy a unique learning platform for personalized education for children with NDDs that goes beyond current approaches and paradigms, and empowers teachers to support children with NDDs in reducing their emotional and behavioural problems. By using a game-based approach, children will improve their learning and emotional skills, better integrate into the educational system, and therefore improve their quality of life. All of this can lead to better inclusion in society and the job market. This platform will, through the nature of the requirements of this use case, require the development of new educational tools that can be used in education more widely, thereby allowing the assessment of these tools to inform future endeavours in digitizing education, including identification of limitations and challenges, whether these are technological, ethical, or legal (e.g. concerning the proposed EU AI regulation).


In this project we will combine the expertise of the EMPOWER consortium on systems design, eye tracker and wearable sensor usage, and algorithm design. Moreover, we will consider a methodological approach considering reliability, engagement, and effectiveness as parameters for evidence and testing the evidence-based model of technology developing for educational settings; equipping teachers, educational leaders and learners with the skills necessary for the use of technology by providing the necessary training to be used to their full potential.

Impacto Investigação Académica

An evidence-based model of how technology can be developed and tested in educational settings

The project outcomes inform future educational public policies

Knowledge regarding the importance of executive functions and emotion regulation strategies in the educational process

A non-intrusive support system that enables an increased understanding awareness of cognitive and emotional skills that underlie children’s school performance

Testing the impact of the technological tool in reducing emotional and behavioural problems in children with NDD

Smart training for teachers for sharing good practices regarding the use of emerging technologies

Parceiros Internos
Centro de Investigação Grupo de Investigação Papel no Projeto Data de Início Data de Fim
BRU-Iscte Grupo de Comportamento Organizacional e Recursos Humanos Parceiro 2022-10-01 2025-09-30
Parceiros Externos
Instituição País Papel no Projeto Data de Início Data de Fim
Universitat de València (UVEG) Espanha Líder 2022-10-01 2025-09-30
STICHTING RADBOUD UNIVERSITEIT (RU) Países Baixos (Holanda) Parceiro 2022-10-01 2025-09-30
UNIVERSITATEA BABES BOLYAI (UBB) Roménia Parceiro 2022-10-01 2025-09-30
UNIVERSITATEA TEHNICA CLUJ-NAPOCA (UTC) Roménia Parceiro 2022-10-01 2025-09-30
HOGSKULEN PA VESTLANDET (HVL) Noruega Parceiro 2022-10-01 2025-09-30
AUTISME-EUROPE AISBL (AUTISME-EUROPE AISBL) Bélgica Parceiro 2022-10-01 2025-09-30
Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores:Investigação e Desenvolvimento em Lisboa (INESC-ID) Portugal Parceiro 2022-10-01 2025-09-30
ITDATA TELECOM (ITC) Roménia Parceiro 2022-10-01 2025-09-30
Equipa de Projeto
Nome Afiliação Papel no Projeto Data de Início Data de Fim
Aristides I. Ferreira Professor Associado (com Agregação) (DRHCO); Investigador Integrado (BRU-Iscte); Coordenador Local 2022-10-01 2025-09-30
Sara Lopes Investigadora Integrada (BRU-Iscte); Investigadora 2023-03-01 2025-09-30
Financiamentos do Projeto
Código/Referência Tipo de Financiamento Entidade Financiadora Programa de Financiamento País Valor Financiado (Global) Valor Financiado (Local) Data de Início Data de Fim
101060918 Contrato European Commission Horizon Europe -- 3629496 256024 2022-10-01 2025-09-30
Outputs (Publicações)

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Dados de Investigação Relacionados

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Referências nos Media Relacionadas

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Outputs (Outros)

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Ficheiros do projeto

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Com o objetivo de aumentar a investigação direcionada para o cumprimento dos Objetivos do Desenvolvimento Sustentável para 2030 das Nações Unidas, é disponibilizada no Ciência-IUL a possibilidade de associação, quando aplicável, dos projetos científicos aos Objetivos do Desenvolvimento Sustentável. Estes são os Objetivos do Desenvolvimento Sustentável identificados para este projeto. Para uma informação detalhada dos Objetivos do Desenvolvimento Sustentável, clique aqui.

Design and evaluation of technological support tools to empower stakeholders in digital education