Monthly Archives: April 2013

Gesture Based Technology – EyeGaze

Over the last year, those who follow this blog, know that I have started to get involved in the use of gesture-based technology. This has been an exciting journey so far and has been fantastic to meet and work with so many like minded people like Anthony Rhys (@trinityfieldsict), Susan McCarthy (@LittleAngelsSch, @SusancMcCarthy), Andrew Walker (@andtomac), Ceri Williams (@cerirwilliams) and Keith Manville (@open_sen) to name a few.

Today, at our school we had the opportunity to invite Hector Minto (@hminto) from Tobii and Lee Blemings (@sensoryguru) from SensoryGuru to run an EyeGaze Clinic with our students and staff at Oak Grove College. It was great to see our students use the technology in many different ways from eye control, to what I believe is more important, eye tracking. It certainly changes the playing field for assessing students as it allows you to see exactly where students are looking which is great tool for educators. By seeing where students are looking you can instantly talk about exactly what they are looking at and test their comprehension. When looking at EyeGaze, you instantly think about using it with PMLD students, but the system can be used for so much more than that. Below is an example of what can be done just using an Oxford reading tree book and eye tracking:

In addition there is more and more software becoming available starting at a sensory cause and effect level, up to choosing and communicating.

There were so many positive comments from staff with the majority saying ‘that is amazing’ and ‘so when are we getting one?’ Certainly I will be looking to get in our school as soon as possible!!

If you would like to see more information about Eyegaze and how it is being used in Special Schools please take a look at http://eyegazesen.wikispaces.com/

Also for more information on other uses of gesture based technology check out Kinect in SEN PLC and iPads in SEN PLC

Sensory Stories – Kickstarter project by Joanna Grace @jo3grace

For those who work in special needs, you will know that sensory stories are a great way to engage a wide range of students using a range of stimuli. Sensory stories allow students to experience stories using all of their senses (visual, touch, smell, sound etc) However these stories can take time to gather the right resources and sensory stories that come ready prepared are often very pricey.

Joanna Grace (@jo3grace) is looking to change this with her recently launched Kickstarter project. She wants to create quality sensory stories at the cost of a price of a good book. She has considerable experience in creating sensory stories and has been commissioned to work for charities such as Oxfam, Amnesty International and many others.

The reason I am sharing this is that I believe that these are fantastic resources for SEN students so take a look at the Kickstarter page:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sensorystory/sensory-stories?ref=live

Please share this with as many people as possible so that Joanna is able to reach her target and get to work on producing some quality resources to use with our exceptional students.

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