The SHARE-IT Project Stands for: School Home Autism Research Environment through Intelligent Technologies. The project started on the 1st of February 2013 as a collaboration between three members of the recently completed ECHOES II project (see echoes 2.org): the PI of the ECHOES 1 and 2 projects – Dr Kaska Porayska-Pomsta (London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, University of London), and two co-Is of ECHOES 1 and 2 – Dr Tim Smith (Birkbeck College, University of London) and Dr Karen Guldberg (University of Birmingham). We are still actively collaborating with other former members of the ECHOES team and we see SHARE-IT as one of the many important steps that will emerge as a consequence of the hugely successful ECHOES project.
The main aim of SHARE-IT is to bridge between school and home in order to provide a more concerted and fluid support to the children in different contexts by the different people present in their lives. This is motivated by the frequent reports of observed differences in autistic children’s behaviours at home and school. For example, children who are thought by the teachers to be non-communicative at school may actually communicate at home. The ECHOES project showed that technology can be used to bridge between the different contexts and so we are keen to investigate and put in place the mechanisms by which this bridging can be facilitated to allow a more consistent co-creation of children’s profiles by parents and teachers and consequently co-creation of the learning experiences. In the process of doing so, we are looking very carefully at (1) the engineering solutions needed to increase the robustness of technologies such as ECHOES and their interactive and adaptive abilities in different contexts and on different devices and (2) methods for involving parents, children and teachers in the creation of the learning activities.
We are very lucky in that SHARE-IT includes non-academic partners: Topcliffe Primary School in Birmingham which continues to be involved in cutting edge technology-enhanced learning projects, and industry partners: Acuity ETS Limited, who provides us with high precision mobile eye trackers and related engineering expertise and Tandemis Limited, who are developing a games engine for the new generation of the learning activities that will be used in SHARE-IT.
We are funded by the EPSRC, which is very fitting considering that we are very keen on developing technologies for education that are robust and that are based on a solid approach to software engineering.