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Session Information

11:30 - 12:10pm (room 1, 2 & 3)

Room 1: Talking Mats: improving communication, improving lives

Presenter(s): Mark Dawson & Margo Mackay, Talking Mats

Suitable for: Primary & Secondary, Special Schools, ASN bases

Talking Mats is a communication tool designed for those that have communication difficulties.  Born out of research from the University of Stirling, it is often described as a thinking tool that supports individuals to have conversations that are important to them. The Talking Mats tool is available in both physical and digital formats and promotes inclusion and equality by ensuring that those who are normally excluded from conversations, decision making and research, have opportunities to participate in discussions and have their voices heard.

In this workshop, Margo and Mark will outline the initial research findings and share how the Digital Talking Mat can be used to in the classroom.  It can be used to help children and young people make decisions, to explore and express their feelings and to have meaningful involvement in setting personal outcomes and targets.

Room 2: Assistive Technology and Digital Exams

Presenter(s): Paul Nisbet, CALL Scotland

Suitable for: Secondary, FE & HE

Digital SQA exam papers and assessments are for learners who have difficulty reading ordinary exam papers and/or with writing or recording responses.  They were originally developed for Windows computers but with the move to more schools providing iPads and Chromebooks which require internet access, what plans are in place to adapt the use of digital papers on these devices and where does this leave pupils with Additional Support Needs?

In this workshop, Paul will give an update on where things stand at the moment with the use of iPads and chromebooks for digital exam papers.  He will discuss what tools need to be available to learners with ASN to support them working independently and not relying on human readers and scribes and look at how to assess which tools are most beneficial to a particular learner. 

Is your school providing a digital curriculum for learners who need one?  What is this and how can it be implemented? Paul will bring his 40 years experience and passion for these topics to this workshop - please join him!

Room 3: Technology as an element of Universal Design for Learning

Presenter(s): Heather Aird, Viewforth High School, Kirkcaldy

Suitable for: Primary, Secondary, FE & HE

Universal Design for Learning focuses on 3 principles for designing instruction: Providing multiple means of Engagement, Action and Expression, and Representation. Digital technology can be used to apply these principles of UDL to enable easier and more effective customisation of individual learning experiences.

In this workshop, Heather will show how technology can be used within a Universal Design for Learning approach as a way of supporting a learner-centred approach to help make learning inclusive and transformative for everyone.  She will explore how she has used digital technology in her setting to reduce learning barriers and provide flexibility in the ways information is presented, in the ways pupils respond to or demonstrate knowledge and skills, and in the way pupils are engaged.

She will also show how to integrate digital accessibility tools into your lessons so that appropriate accommodations, supports and challenges can be considered for all pupils and their learning needs.