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
Congratulations to Leah and Cathy for being awarded another two SIP (Strategic Insight Programme) awards. Cathy will work with the company Stillwalks http://stillwalks.wordpress.com/ to create a series of drawings through video. She will also scope some potentials of using some Stillwalk videos to promote wellbeing by ‘bringing the outside in’.
Leah will be working with AnalysisPro http://www.analysispro.net/, Andrew from Exeter House http://www.exeterhouseschool.co.uk/ and Dawn from St Luke’s http://www.stlukes.herts.sch.uk/ special needs school to scope ways of tagging videos of Intensive Interaction sessions. Thank you very much to Cardiff Met and everybody who helped on our bids!
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’s Wendy and Leah and partner from CARIAD Interactive Joel Gethin Lewis had the warmest of welcomes and most productive of workshops at Learning Curve Gadlys, Independent Living Resource Centre in Aberdare this morning. This will be teams’ new home for the coming months working in partnership with the staff at the centre to develop a brand new set of applications, making movement irresistible for people with learning difficulties.
We are always a bit nervous going into a new centre for the first time to meet our new stakeholders. We want to give them the best possible introduction to the projects to create a supportive and dynamic workshop environment so that we can really understand and learn from the people who work closest with our end users, so the pressure was on!
After some slightly perplexed looks when CARIAD Interactive demonstrated the ‘Top Hat Smile Detector’, the group took to the paper-prototyping knowledge exchange workshop with ease, and of course smiles!
It was a true delight to capture some of the prototype ideas from the group, to listen intently to their expertise and to really get a sense of the community, the fantastic work each individual achieves on a daily basis and to be immersed in their world. Within only a few hours our group identified several key areas in designing for users with various levels of mobility.
The most significant outcome of the day was bringing on board such an engaging and involved group who (in the space of a morning) took complete ownership of this project and have integrated Somability firmly into their resource centre and local community. Looking forward to our next visit to feedback some early prototypes!
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 enjoyed the second of its scoping workshops in Swansea today. Dr. Cathy Treadaway ran the second OPAN funded research development workshop for the ‘Making a Difference’ research project which is exploring the development of playful artefacts for people with dementia. The workshop was held in Swansea at the very welcoming Tapestri building. We brought together care providers, managers, occupational therapists and academics and included a presentation by Dr. David Prytherch, from User Lab at Birmingham City University, on haptic perception and dementia. http://www.bcu.ac.uk/biad/research.
Topics arising after the talk included: the difficulties faced in working in care homes; the stretches and pressures on care home workers; community engagement; perception of dementia in society; fiddling and making for makings sake; the relationship between sensory experience and instinct; and the ways the brain processes and understands reactions to sensory stimulus, all very interesting indeed, take a look at a clip here (https://vimeo.com/71807694). We closed the session discussing some of the technological possibilities. Thanks to everybody for making it such an insightful and interesting discussion full of potential! Looking forward to seeing you all at our next session.
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!
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.
CARIAD today enjoyed the final showcase event run by CEWN (Creative Exchange Wales Network) at the Wales Millennium Centre where the i-Magine project disseminated the project’s outcomes thus far (see previous blogs). The entire spectrum of CEWN projects (starting, in progress and complete) were represented and given the opportunity to present their projects via posters, stands, banners and videos. The day was a mix of networking, reflecting and key note speakers from esteemed academics and partners within knowledge exchange and the creative industries. It was wonderful seeing the exciting range of outputs already achieved and to get some useful feedback for the future of i-Magine which includes a new collaboration with the BBC! Well done CEWN we look forward to the next stages of these exciting ventures into knowledge exchange!