CARIAD had our biggest event to date on Thursday, our official launch at the iconic Senedd building in Cardiff bay. We were honoured to have the support of three assembly members. Leanne Wood AM officially launched the centre and offered wonderful words of support and encouragement for the team. Eluned Parrott AM was our official sponsor and made the day possible. She presented some insightful thoughts and offered her congratulations to the successes of CARIAD thus far. We are looking forward to welcoming Eluned Parrott AM at some of our workshops in the near future! Jenny Rathbone AM also attended the day in full support of all of our research projects. We were also thrilled to have the wonderful Glynis from the Hollies School and Anthony from Trinity Fields on the podium to represent our stakeholders and say a few words about their experiences working with CARIAD. John Killick from Dementia Positive closed the session with a touching poem and invited everybody to come and have fun at his workshop later.
In true CARIAD style the day was much much more than a launch, we also hosted two separate workshops and demonstrated some of our capturing and video coding technologies working with AnalysisPro LTD http://www.analysispro.net/ and the Centre for Performance Analysis http://www3.cardiffmet.ac.uk/english/sport/about/staff/academic/pa/pages/home.aspx
Wendy’s Paper Prototyping workshop used paper to rapid prototype interactive and non-verbal communicative devices. The morning invited our PLC (professional learning community) group in Gesture-Based Technologies http://kinectsen.wikispaces.com/ and many new stakeholders to come up with a technology, using only paper, which might facilitate communication. These were presented back to the group and a vote was taken on which technology to develop further. The ‘rhythm detector’ won in the end and our invited coding and technology experts from our partner’s at CARIAD Interactive http://cariadinteractive.com/ created a code and working prototype which we were all playing on by the end of the session, not bad for a day’s work!
Our second workshop was last of Cathy’s OPAN funded sessions, we invited John Killick from Dementia Positive to come and run one of his infamous ‘invitation to have fun’ events, and fun it was. We made human statues, described objects through touch and even had a puppet show! While the sound of laughter was echoing from the building throughout the day the message was poignant: Dementia is not something to be frightened of or to shy away from. We need to find ways to engage with it and adopt a more positive and responsive attitude towards investigating and understanding some of the underlying features of the condition and ‘we must not be afraid to laugh’! You can read more about the day’s events and see more pictures here on Cardiff Met’s main page: http://www3.cardiffmet.ac.uk/English/News/Pages/CardiffMetlaunchesinteractiveandinclusiveartsresearchfacility.aspx
Our latest edition to the team Steve Coleman PhD student (read about him here http://cariadblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/cariad-awarded-ria-research-innovation-award-to-support-new-phd-student-steve-coleman-investigating-the-benefits-of-creative-play-for-people-with-dementia/ ) also made this fantastic video documenting the day’s events, take a look https://vimeo.com/75386114 thanks Steve!
CARIAD really has so many people to thank for the successes of the day and rather than thank a few here publicly we would rather thank EVERYBODY privately. Here’s looking forward to making this an annual event, thanks to all involved
CARIAD are delighted to announce the latest edition to the team, our first fully funded PhD student Steve Coleman. Steve was awarded the prestigious RIA (Research Innovation Award) scholarship from Cardiff Met to research the therapeutic benefits of creative ludic play for people with dementia. This is a part of one of CARIAD’s bigger projects led by Cathy into well-being within the aging population.
Steve completed an outstanding Masters here at Cardiff Met which looked at the healing potentials of being playful. We are thrilled that he has been given the opportunity to develop the project here at CARIAD and to have such a dynamic and committed new academic associate to contribute to the centre. I’m sure everybody will be keen to extend their congratulations in due course. On behalf of CARIAD, well done Steve excited to have you on board and looking forward to working with you!
CARIAD had a wonderful morning at the Hollies School in Cardiff today http://www.theholliesschool.co.uk/welcome.html . Wendy and Leah filmed Glynis Thomas who discussed the ways some of the kids are interacting with Somantics and Reactickles as part of the impact studies for the Shape project in Birmingham http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/education/shape/index.aspx
Glynis was part of CARIAD’s founding project and was the very first school to participate in Wendy’s work so she will always have a special place within CARIAD. It’s so lovely to be able to go back nearly ten years later and to see how things have moved on and to listen to Glynis expertise and understandings of the children’s personalities.
The sessions were carried out in the same way as Anthony’s last week, and it seems the format is working. We are editing the videos together as we speak so watch this space for some amazing digital stories are coming your way!
‘A top Cardiff Met graduate and grandmother of two has secured full funding for further study’
CARIAD are very much looking forward to the opportunity to work with Beverley. Her research is set to contribute to some of CARIAD’s most established research projects into Autism. Beverley has already worked with Wendy and CARIAD is looking forward to continuing the relationship. Beverley is researching ASC couple relationship satisfaction, health and wellbeing, a very interesting and under researched area. Congratulations again Beverley!
CARIAD had a very informative meeting with Anthony and Janet at Trinity fields School today. We met to watch videos of the children interacting with Somantics http://somantics.org/. Anthony is already undertaking pioneering work founding the PLC in Gesture-Based Technology group which is already having a huge impact in Schools in Wales. Take a look! http://kinectsen.wikispaces.com/ http://opensen.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/kinectsen-plc-exploring-gesture-based-technologies/
We showed some edited clips (the videos were also shot by the teachers) of the children exploring Somantics and asked the teachers to comment on what they saw. Key to the sessions was the teachers comfort to interpret the videos in their own time on their own terms without intervention or judgements. In this way the interpretations were able to flow without any pressure to provide ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ responses. The teacher’s perspectives, knowing each child’s personality and engagement profile provided essential contextual information of the ways the interactive apps are improving communication and well-being.
The sessions were also recorded on video (video link when ready) and this proved essential to capture the thick data sets which emerged and appear to be growing. This ranged from the entirely nuanced facial expressions of the teachers, happy to see the children engaging at such a high level, to explaining that a child saying ‘Orange’ in expectation of the next colour on the painting app, was the child’s first ever independent comment on the world. Other key factors were the children’s general behaviour and contentment at the times of filming which impacted upon understandings of their levels of engagement with the apps.
The sessions highlighted the levels and details of information contained in each small clip (which was no more than two minutes each) and the time necessary to spend deconstructing the data from filming the child, to editing and modes of analysis. This indicates that the videoing processes might facilitate some of the methods related to understanding young people with autism by slowing down and taking the time to understand with the children are telling us. CARIAD is looking forward to our next meeting on the 19th September 2013.