This post will be the first of a series of posts on the Festival of Social Sciences- Using Innovative Technologies in the Classroom event that took place in Birmingham on Thursday 8th November. The festival showcased a variety of technology that was being used to enhance learning. The original focus for the technology was aimed at students on the Autistic Spectrum, but the researchers and schools trialling the technology have seen benefits for all students. A big thank you goes out to Anthony Rhys of Trinity Fields School who put us in contact with Dr Wendy Keay-Bright of University of Wales Institute, Cardiff who invited my colleague Keith Manville and myself to the event. Lastly, a thank you needs to go to Dr Karen Guldberg from The Autism Centre for Research and Education, University of Birmingham for organising the event and Ian Lowe head teacher of Topcliffe Primary School for hosting us at his school.
One of the purposes of the event was to showcase the SHAPE project. The SHAPE project is where researchers and practitioners are working closely together to identify ways of using four different technologies in innovative and exploratory ways. Technology enhanced learning (TEL) can offer significant benefits for children on the Autistic Spectrum and the project looks at conducting research in the classroom focusing on social interaction and communication. The technologies involved are
In addition, Aldebaren-Robotics were showcasing their NAO robots and you can read more about these in the BBC report here.
For this first post however, I decided to actually write about something that is not that innovative (first released in the 80s) but has a lot of uses for teaching students some important skills.
Big Trak – Control technology
This is something that I feel students with SEN could easily learn to use and is a useful piece of technology to enhance their learning.
Next Post: COSPATIAL – Collaborative Virtual Environments.
Keith Manville @open_sen has also written up about the event and you can read his excellent post here.