SHARE-IT: School-Home Autism Research Environment through Intelligent Technologies



Principal Investigators
Dr Karen Guldberg

Dr Lila Kossyvaki

Karen Guldberg and Lila Kossyvaki from the Autism Centre for Education and Research took part in the SHARE-IT research project which was an 18-month project, funded by the EPSRC (Research in the Wild).

Kaska Porayska-Pomsta (Institute of Education) was the Principal Investigator, with Karen Guldberg (University of Birmingham) and Tim Smith (Birkbeck, University of London) as Co-Investigators. Dr Lila Kossyvaki (University of Birmingham) worked as a Research Fellow on this project and the team worked in partnership with industry (Acuity and Tandemis) and with Topcliffe Primary School. The objective of SHARE-IT was to systematically investigate how personal and mobile devices could be used individually and together to create a scalable intelligent learning environment for children with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASCs). 

School-Home Autism Research Environment through Intelligent Technologies

Children engaging with the learning activities (Click on the image to make it larger)

SHARE-IT had two main research questions: 

  1. Can the efficacy of autism interventions be optimised by using technology to integrate a child's existing therapeutic regime across school and home? 
  2. Can such technological infrastructure be sustained over time through a combination of (i) continuous, voluntary input from teachers and parents and (ii) the application of Artificial Intelligence techniques to monitor a child’s behaviour in real-time in naturalistic environments?  

As its starting point SHARE-IT used the hardware and software developed on the ECHOES project, including the learning activities, the agent and the hard-coded user model, responsible for tracking the individual children’s behaviours as they interact with the system. The specific goals of SHARE-IT’s were: 

  • to scale and port the existing ECHOES environment (i.e. developed for a large school-based multitouch screen) to two further platforms: (i) home PC/laptop with gaze-tracking and (ii) Tablet PC/iPad; 
  • to develop a protocol for using the existing ECHOES software across the three platforms to (a) enable software management and further development, including online data sharing, updating and querying the user model, and (b) to facilitate the authoring of future learning activities.

To find out more, please view the project blog