Enchanting Technologies: Prop Box

Prof Gary Beauchamp, Prof Wendy Keay Bright

This FabCre8 project is pilot study designed to provide evidence for the need for “Enchanting Technologies” to address the marginalisation of learners with profound disabilities. It was identified by the research team the need for innovation to support the delivery of the new digital curriculum due to be implemented in all Welsh schools from September 2019. The idea for a practical toolkit that would enable teaching professionals to create bespoke, responsive technologies was met with a positive response, and many questions about the contribution to knowledge and degree of technological innovation. With FabLab support we have responded to this by conducting a series of iterative, participatory Digital Imagining workshops with teachers of pupils with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD) from special schools across South Wales.

During the project our network of partners has widened to include representatives from a range of specialist education settings, including teachers and IT specialists, occupational and arts therapy from schools, further education and arts charities. Our network of technical specialists has also increased to include new partners from CSAD, Cardiff University and the RCA.

The following papers have been submitted and are under review:

Keay-Bright, W., Eslambolchilar, P. Imagining a Digital Future: how could we design for enchantment within the special education curriculum? International Association of Societies of Design Research Conference 2019 (https://iasdr2019.org/)

Keay-Bright, W. Eslambolchilar, P. The role of enchantment in the design of technologies for children with profound and complex disability. Designing for Children with focus on ‘Play and Learn’2019, IDC School of Design, IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India. http://www.designingforchildren.net/

Keay-Bright, W. Enchanting Technologies: exploring the role of materiality and enchantment in special education. Invited keynote paper, Inaugural Innarbeid 2019 conference on May, 2019. Proceedings to be published at Linköping University Electronic Press.

WKB also delivered a Critical positions lecture entitled ‘Enchanting Technologies: a critical position on designing interaction’, to current Masters students on 8th February 2019.