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.
This celebratory event will showcase Somability, an accessible software application, created by designers from Cardiff Metropolitan University and Cariad Interactive in partnership with Rhondda Cynon Taf Skills for Independence day care service and Artis Community. The project uses game technologies to capture movement and generate beautiful, graphic imagery. A compelling preview of Somability will be performed by adults with profound and multiple disabilities and their support workers on the Glanfa Stage. This will be followed by an explanation of the project, panel discussion and an opportunity for the audience to join in and explore the software. There will opportunity to see other recent work being undertaken at CARIAD, to meet participants, researchers, organisations, charities and businesses improving people’s lives through the arts.
For more information on Somability and other CARIAD projects see:
CELEBRATION SHOWCASING SOMABILITY AND RECENT CARIAD PROJECTS
WALES MILLENNIUM CENTRE – GLANFA STAGE
11th of November 2014, 13:00 – 15:00
Order of event:
- 13:00 Introduction, led by Wendy Keay-Bright, with input Rhondda Cynon Taf Skills for Independence
- 13.20 Short Sharing of Somability with Artis Community
- 13:40 Introduction to CARIAD centre and CARIAD student projects
- 13.50 Panel discussion
- 14:00 Open (mic) free expression with Touch Trust for peers, families, friends and visitors to try Somability
- 14:20 Short Plenary discussion with RCT, Cariad, Artis Community and Touch Trust
- 14:30 Networking and chance to view other CARIAD projects
The event will be open to the public and in a public space.
Please send all enquires and RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
A big thank you to the Anthony Rhys and the Gesture Based PLC (Professional Learning Community) for providing some feedback on the Alpha versions of Somability last week at Trinity Fields School http://www.trinityfieldsschoolandresourcecentre.co.uk/. As always the day was a great success with teachers, carers and professionals coming together to share evidence, discuss new technologies and provide a genuine support networked group for educators working within special needs http://gesturesen.wikispaces.com/. If Anthony’s movements are anything to go by, Somability will provide fantastic exercise for all those using it! 🙂
Looking forward to catching up in the new term! 🙂
We have had an amazing two days with Cath and the team at Gladys Resource centre, Aberdare. We have been developing with the carers and service users, fine tuning the final applications, ready for release soon! It is always such a wonderful experience working with such a committed team. CARIADInteractive http://cariadinteractive.com/ have been working around the clock bringing the original ideas the carers provided at the paper prototyping workshops to life. The first day was a huge success and we got a glimpse of what the final install in the centre will look like.
On day two we visited the local community hall for an interactive performance with a small group. We caught up with Wendy York from Artis Community and Eluned Parrott AM who came along to see some of our projects and the ways they take shape. It was a very special day and we were just thrilled to be a part of the service user’s engagements, they really were making movements irresistible! Thank you again to Eluned for making the trip and giving the project support. Watch this space
Thank you Andrew from Exeter House School http://www.exeterhouseschool.co.uk/ for hosting such an eventful day yesterday: exploring the possibilities of video tagging to capture Intensive Interaction sessions with young people with learning difficulties. Leah from CARIAD and Jon Moore from Analysis Pro http://www.analysispro.net/ had an eventful first meeting at Salisbury yesterday. We looked at some videos of ‘Intensive Interaction’ with the lovely Dawn all the way from St Luke’s Foundation School, Hertfordshire http://www.stlukes.herts.sch.uk/tv_radio/index.html showing us the amazing work they are doing capturing evidence of their intensive Interactions with young people with learning difficulties. Lee from IT and Rachel another teacher from Exeter House completed our group.
We started by discussing some of the problems encountered particularly with evidencing children’s engagement and communication. The focus was on the Intensive Interaction sessions, a widely used model to encourage communication and one that has had incredible results. We also learned about some research into capturing these Intensive Interaction sessions using video, and the strategies and recommendations the teachers have developed. This ranged from the angle of the camera to the size of the frame. We learned that the focus is always on the face in Intensive Interactions and that it has been argued that video can capture nuances and idiosyncratic details within these sessions more effectively than other measurement models.
Then we discussed some of the problems with capturing the sessions. Many many issues were discussed from technical problems (for example not enough room to store HD data on school servers), to aesthetic and communicative features of video (for example a bird’s eye view coupled with a close up, narrative within the clips, and a sense of the environment with less than perfect filming)to much more conceptual and challenging problems (for example subjective interpretations of behaviours, how much detail and history of the child is needed to make a claim for improvement)…and this was just the morning!
Later Jon took the floor and gave a very brief overview of some of the software tools and packages he has been developing in partnerships for his entire career. Originally used for sports analysis we discussed some of the potentials of adapting some of the strategies, tools and software to begin to code and manage some of the video from the Intensive Interactions. To pick out key moments, file information and use it to build up layers of metadata of rich and dynamic visual evidence of the children’s engagement. Looking forward to the next stages!
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 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.