This week, I had the pleasure to attend the GestureSEN PLC – (more info here) where discussions were based upon how we use video evidence in purposeful way to aid our reflections of progress made by students operating at the P-levels. My write up from the day will come soon but it was during Andrew Walker’s (@andtomac) excellent presentation that the Gartner Hype Cycle was presented.
The Gartner Hype Cycle provides a graphical representation of the maturity and adoption of new technologies and is presented below:
The graph shows the cycle that all technology goes through from the moment the idea is conceived to mainstream adoption. This was the first time I had seen this graph and as someone who is interested in the use of technology in education, this got me thinking about the education technology we use in the classroom and where different technologies would sit on the graph. Would we say tablet computers are moving towards the Plauteau of Productivity? Virtual reality in education is certainly an area which I believe has reach the Peak of Inflated Expectations and is possibly about to hit the trough. Some technologies will never get pass the Trough of Disillusionment and will disappear into obscurity. .
For SEN, where would Eyegaze technology sit? Leap-motion? KInect? Switches?
Everyone will have their own opinions on where technologies would sit on the graph depending on their experiences. Being presented with this graph has allowed me to reflect on the implementation of technology in the class and the importance to evaluate the technology thoroughly to ensure impact on teaching and learning.
For more information on the Gartner Hype Cycle – click on the link –http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/methodologies/hype-cycle.jsp
Since the Gesture based Technology PLC was created in November last year, our focus has expanded to many devices and this has led to the setup of a central portal page that links to all the hardware that we are currently using with our students.
So if you are interested in using iPads, Eyegaze, Kinect, LeapMotion or any gesture based tech visit the GestureSEN wiki for information about how to use these devices to promote engagement, movement and creativity with students with severe learning difficulties.
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/