Following the success of our partnership with Special Education providers in schools and post-16 education we have now completed three additional workshops that explored craft materials and digital co-production. The overarching aim of the Making the Future more Crafty workshops was to use everyday materials and low-cost processors to enable teachers and pupils – particularly learners with profound disabilities who do not fit a set of definable user characteristics – to experience new opportunities for digital creativity. The workshops were led by Helen Leigh, a maker, educator and writer who specialises in creative uses of new technologies. Helen’s first book, The Crafty Kids Guide to DIY Electronics provided a lot of inspiration for the activities, which participants agreed were accessible, fun, and easy to adapt for the classroom, adding that learners who would normally only be given technologies to use could be included in design and making. The workshops were funded through the Strategic Insight Placement.
With funding from FabCre8, Members of the Enchanting Technologies network from special schools around South Wales gathered at FabLab Cardiff to create scenarios based on a series of technology probes. The ideas for the probes came from Digital Imagining Lab 1, held at Ysgol yr Deri. The probes were created by our technology/computer science/arts team: Parisa Eslambolchilar, Aiden Taylor, Jon Piggot, Patricia Puertas and MFA student, Sam Kitcher using Teensy, Arduino and Touch Board as low cost platforms for exploring prototyping, digital fabrication and co-production. By the end of the day we amassed a wealth of low-fidelity mock-ups, stories and sketches that demonstrate our shared vision for making enchantment the route to learning and self expression for pupils with profound disabilities.