BRIDGE Education Research Seminar – Technologies to support inclusion and learning: Working with young autistic people

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The Department of Education and Childhood, Bristol Inter-disciplinary Group for Education Research (BRIDGE) invites you to this seminar on 21st Jan 2019 — 12noon-1pm — Room 2S602. This event is open to everybody.

Ms Dimitra Magkafa, Doctoral Researcher, Department of Arts and Cultural Industries, UWE

In recent years, there has been much research into the potential of technology programs to support and facilitate a variety of skills for children with ASD and, in some cases, access to services. From a museum perspective, digital services are a means of extending the network of visitors and of enhancing visitor experiences with object rich collections. Having these perspectives as a starting point, the aim of the talk is to present briefly the overall process for the design and evaluation of a museum-based app for children with ASD. The purpose of the study was to develop a digital platform that would promote the inclusion and foster the engagement of children with ASD in a museum environment. This  study aimed to understand the impact of a digital museum experience, through collecting and analysing qualitative data. The results obtained from different perspectives revealed the positive influence of the museum-based app by presenting emotions of enjoyment, engagement, and satisfaction among the children. This study provided some important insights into the importance of the use of digital services, in this case, a touchscreen-based app, as a mediating tool to offer opportunities for interactive experiences and create an inclusive environment for diverse user communities in the museum community.

Dr Nigel Newbutt, Senior Lecturer / Researcher Department of Education, UWE

In this talk I will provide some context to using head-mounted display (HMD) technology with autistic groups; the potential benefits and why this technology has/is being applied. In addition, this session will provide insights from research and practice in using technologies in classrooms for autistic children. I will look at virtual reality and examples of how this has been applied with autistic children in their education (and specific support needs more generally) for positive gains and outcomes. This talk will showcase some examples and responses to using virtual reality in schools while also covering some of the key challenges and barriers that have been reported in taking VR into classrooms. With the benefits of VR-HMD technology clear (from a research perspective), I will discuss the ways to best overcome some challenges that lie ahead and how practitioners and researchers can work collaboratively to help ensure technology can be applied in real-world settings.

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