“At the recent Special Education Technology Needs (SETN) conference in Sydney, Kieran Nolan, ICT technician at Wooranna Park Primary School in Dandenong North, ran a session on engaging and motivating special needs students with immersive technologies.
“We’ve had great success with students on the autism spectrum with the Titans of Space program using Oculus Rift [a virtual-reality headset]. The students virtually travel around the entire solar system, learning about each planet as they visit them.”
Students also upload their more artistic photos to a virtual art gallery.
“They take turns ‘walking’ through the art gallery to see their work,” Mr Nolan says.
Video is an old technology, but it is being used as a tool to teach special-needs students a behaviour or skill, says Shane Spence, who ran a session on Video Self Modelling. He is the director of meTV Education at Yarra Ranges Special Developmental School in Mount Evelyn, and streaming Australia-wide.
The idea is to show a child a two-minute or less video of themselves performing a skill they cannot currently perform.
“The learning is much more powerful when it’s yourself that you are watching and imitating,” says Anthea Naylor, a special education teacher at Yarra Ranges.”
By Cynthia Karena at The Age