Special education, also known as special-needs education, is the practice of educating students in a way that addresses their individual differences and needs.
The lessons they follow are designed to help achieve a higher level of personal skills and success in school, which may not be available if the student were only given access to a typical education.
Special education includes learning disabilities (such as dyslexia), communication disorders, emotional and behavioural disorders (such as ADHD), physical disabilities, developmental disabilities and many others.
Students with these special needs are likely to benefit from additional educational services such as different approaches to teaching and different resources, the use of technology, a specifically adapted teaching area, a balanced teaching framework and visual guidance for socially oriented exercises.
In this article we would like to share the learnings that we have gathered by collaborating with schools for special needs.
“It is striking how easy it was for my students to get started with both the design of the robot and programming. Students who are experientially reluctant to new things, respond positively to challenges with Fable Robot.” This is what a teacher who works with these wonderful kids expressed.
Fable in Schools for Special Needs
“The kids met Fable with a curious mind. It was quite clear that the robot’s “non-threatening” design is perceived as harmless and something you dare to play and experiment with. The fact that the whole concept at the same time largely invites problems to be divided into small chunks, both practical in hardware and theoretically in software, makes the challenges edible for our kind of children.” – Magnus Pedersen, teacher at Skolen ved Slotsvænget.
With the Fable Robot, Shape Robotics has visited and collaborated with several schools for special needs around Copenhagen, including Tårnbygårdskolen, The School at Slotsvænget and VIKASKU.
It has been a pleasure to see how students and teachers worked with Fable, finding the benefits of learning with robotics and seeing the results of this.
Magnus Pedersen, teacher at School of Slotsvænget, finds that there is a schism in how to make the best teaching for his students. He says the following:
“They usually work best and most safely in familiar settings, with adults they are comfortable with and clearly defined tasks. At the same time, they must be able to be curious and investigative, be able to define a problem themselves and be part of group work and develop their own solutions. ”
Working with robotics technology in teaching provides the teacher with the opportunity to create a good learning environment that supports the students in their learning processes, Magnus mentions.
As Olivia from VIKASKU backs up by sharing her experiences from a professional angle in working with Fable:
“I experience a great deal of interdisciplinarity. Students are both challenged to create a problem, program a robot to solve it and then communicate about processes. Communication, research and modeling all take place in the same work process and from the same perspective.”