Month: March 2017

Computing and Additional Needs

 Since the roll-out of the new curriculum, I’ve met many teachers who seemed genuinely worried that they didn’t have the skills or experience to teach this the computing strand and those who quite rightly asked me the more pertinent question, “What will my students get from learning this?” I’ve thought long and hard about that Read More …

Transformational Technology

Remember when interactive whiteboards transformed teaching and learning for students with severe and complex needs? When Pokemon Go had all of our students who were on the spectrum out in the community socialising with others or when eye gaze taught us all we needed to know about our students with profound and complex needs. Me Read More …

It’s a small world after all

Like many of my colleagues, I’d often thought about setting up a link with an overseas school and running a collaboration project. The children I taught all have severe and complex learning difficulties and to be frank, don’t get out much. Only one of the ten children in the class had ever been out of Read More …

What do algorithms taste like?

Some time ago I spoke at a two day conference organised by Flo Longhorn and Les Staves which explored the past, present and future of special education for people with profound and multiple learning difficulties. The stand-out moment of that conference for me was when Les Staves spoke of using the national curriculum to ‘flavour’ Read More …

On Symbols

Symbols have been around for many years and it’s very rare for me to visit a school where they are not using one symbol set or another to support their students. From the earliest days when colleagues used to physically draw pictures over words with pencils, the use of symbols has provided support for early Read More …

‘Doing’ technology.

When I first saw Google Cardboard I wondered how long it would be before someone tried to fasten one to the head of a student with PMLD / Complex needs, Well that time is now. I understand that technology can be cool and that using ‘cutting edge’ technology might say something about a school or Read More …

You’re busted! Switch Skills Timing Skills

When someone is learning to scan using one switch there are two key skills that they need to practice. The first is the ‘timing’ skill. This involves the student pressing the switch in response to some cue often something popping up on the screen. In the Switch Progression Road Map, it’s described as; 20: Student Read More …

Babies and Bathwater

So here’s the thing… I’m sat in a quiet classroom with six students all busy using some of the cause and effect apps I’ve been recommending over the last six months. Everyone is busy doing their own thing. The students are touching the iPad screen and generating wonderful patterns and sound effects with the movement of Read More …

“Press the switch”

You’re probably wondering what these Chinese symbols mean. They are the words ‘press the switch’ written in traditional Chinese. Why am I telling you this? When I worked at Priory Woods School, I used to take pride in just how inclusive my ICT lessons were.  We worked hard to ensure that our use of technology Read More …