Worldwide coverage for Festival of Social Sciences Event

Posted on Tuesday 13th November 2012

As part of the annual Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Sciences which ran from 3-10 November 2012, Dr Karen Guldberg and her research team organised an event at Topcliffe Primary school.

Dr Karen Guldberg introduces the event in this short video 

Researchers, teachers and children at the event on 8th November 2012, showcased four different technologies (COSPATIAL, ECHOES, ReacTickles and Somantics). Visitors had the chance to try the technologies, to see the children use them and to be introduced to the use of digital stories, a medium of disseminating research findings and good practice through the use of technology. The event was part of a project led by Dr Karen Guldberg named ʽShaping the future of educational technologies today: from prototypes to practiceʼ. More information on the project can be found on: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/education/shape/index.aspx 

The aim of using these technologies in the classrooms is to encourage social interaction and communication in children with autism and their typically developing peers in real world settings and to promote evidenced-based practice.

The children also showed how they use Max and Ben, two knee-high humanoid robots developed by Aldebaran Robotics. These were introduced to their school in March 2012. The event had great media coverage nationally and internationally, with live Sky News coverage on the hour every hour throughout the day, and with forthcoming coverage on NBC.

Some national links:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20252593 

http://news.sky.com/story/1008566/dancing-robots-to-help-autistic-children 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9664517/Dancing-robots-used-to-teach-autistic-children.html 

Internationally this event was covered by a number of online journals and TV programmes such as Times of India, Newstrack India, Terra Brazil, O Globo Brazil, UOL Brazil and Diario de Noticias in Portugal, TVN Fakty Poland and Newsit.amea (Greece).

Acknowledgements: The team would like to extend a special thanks to Professor Richard Noss, Director of the Technology Enhanced Learning Programme, for his support in making a video about the Shape Project and for his support on the day of the Festival of Social Science itself. We also really appreciate the support given to the project by Richard and by James O'Toole who is the Manager of the TEL programme.