SPEDUTEC is a project supported by the Nordplus Horizontal Programme under the Nordic Council of Ministers. Our aim is to increase understanding on theory and pedagogical and technological practice on learning through assistive technologies (ATs) in multisensory environments. Furthermore, our goal is to build a new Nordic-Baltic network on the topic. Our main working methods is sharing our knowledge and experiences, and mutual learning. The disciplinary focus is in Special Education. This is addressed in parallel with mapping and exploring the possibilities of new technology, especially handheld technology.
The third SPEDUTEC-meeting took place this week in Gothenburg (Göteborg), Sweden. As with the previous two meetings, this one was very interesting and organized with great skill and care. Thank you so much to our Swedish partners Eldorado and Certec /University of Lund!
The first day was a presentation of Eldorado, a care service unit of the City of Gothenburg, with a focus on their use of assistive technology and/in multisensory environments. A bonus was a presentation of the Rhyme-project by the visiting participants from the Institute of Design, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, and Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. Birgitta and Anders-Petter had joined us out of their pure interest and devotion (and on their own expenses) to the SPEDUTEC-thematic in their own work. We are very grateful for that!
The second day, which we spent at the “house of possibilities”, Dalheimers hus”, the focus was more strongly on design and technology. Certec had put together and lead an interesting, informative and inspiring presentation and a technology workshop. Starting point was the brief videos that all partners were instructed to bring along from their countries to this partner meeting. Under a good guidance of Nina, Morten and Hector, then, and with the help of littleBits, we got an introduction to the basics, the “inner life” of design technology. On the one hand we learned how challenging it is to develop and design optimal solutions to different end-users – in particular if communication with the latter is beyond the ordinary. Interdisciplinary cooperation is a must. On the other hand, we learned how “easy” the technology behind all those blinking lights, buzzes, sounds, and what have you, is. Indeed, it is not impossible that the workshop made a positive contribution to coming Christmas-sales at littleBits!
The third day had a dual focus on research and the project itself, and its possible future beyond the final meeting in Estonia in April 2016.
The contents of the meeting were successfully balanced between practice and theory, and in regards different disciplinary perspectives (trans-disciplinary). The reflections from the partners from the different Nordic countries added to the multilayered-ness of the discussions on the SPEDUTEC-thematic, on the meeting overall, and its impact on our (lifelong) learning.
All partners participated in the meeting, some with new persons in addition to their core group. The reflections of the program and experiences (evaluation) during the last day showed that also socially and culturally the meeting had been a success. More of the outcomes of the reflections in the pdf-file under the meeting documents (see Sweden under “Meetings”).
Finally, the choice of dinners – Turkish and Ethiopian – gave us an insight into the modern day Swedish society, which has become highly multicultural. In balance, delicious Swedish tastes were provided by the cantinas at the Eldorado and Dalheimers.
The project kick-off meeting took place in Hämeenlinna, Finland, 29.-31.10.2014 in connection with the ISNA-MSE World Conference (International Snoezeln Association – Multi-Sensory Environment). Both were co-organised by the SPEDUTEC project-partner HAMK, Häme University of Applied Sciences. By combining the two events, the content knowledge on the project thematic was vastly enriched through the conference presentations. The slight downside in this combination was less time particularly to the project’s contents and to the project participants for getting to know each other. Nevertheless, we had some very interesting and inspiring days in Hämeenlinna.
For some of us the technology applications in the area of special education were a completely new experience. For some the applications of wellness technology stood for the new and inspiring. For most of us Hämeenlinna – and even Finland – was a new experience. And definitely, we all made new Nordic and Baltic contacts and friends for further dialogue and cooperation in the project – hopefully even beyond that.
Thank you very much to the local partners for organising such a successful program for us. Everything worked just great and according to the timetable! We look forward to meeting each other again in Denmark in April 2015. We will then be spending more time just among the project participants and the SPEDUTEC-project topics. For more information of the Hämeenlinna-meeting, as well as some photos, please follow the links in the post under Meetings/Hämeenlinna above.
Thanks to Maurits, who has provided us som information about our second meeting site in Denmark. Skanderborg is situated almost in the middle of Jutland, the continental part of Denmark. The meeting will take place from lunch to lunch, i.e. from noon on Monday the 13. to noon on Wednesday the 15. of April. We have been reserved a hotel in Sølund, with reasonable room rates. Rooms have good facilities: bath and tv, internet, coffee and tea, with access to a big fridge with ice in the hallway.
There are two airports you can book your flights to: Aarhus and Billund. Aarhus is nearby, but does not have many departures. Billund is also close and has a lot of departures.
More information and the program will follow. Please, follow the contents under Meetings above.