Make learning accessible: workshop on Special Educational Needs


A two-day workshop "Make learning accessible: Special Educational Needs in my classroom" took place at the Future Classroom Lab on 16-17 June 2016, and it brought together over 20 people from ten countries to share experiences in Special Educational Needs (SEN) and explore innovative approaches and technologies to support learners with additional learning needs.

Their backgrounds were varied: five participants were from special schools or centres, two from primary schools, four with expertise in assistive technology, one in communication technology, one speech therapist and one psychologist. Nine considered themselves SEN specialists, nine rated themselves confident with ICT, three were eTwinning ambassadors and seven had not been involved in eTwinning at all.

The workshop, led by Roger Blamire and Katja Engelhardt of European Schoolnet and Ruth Sanders from Ysgol Hendrefelin Special School, Wales, aimed to:

  • Share experiences in SEN
  • Explore innovative approaches and technologies to support learners with special needs
  • Work with other teachers to develop new ideas for their own work

On day one, participants:

  • Shared their background and experiences
  • Discovered the Future Classroom Lab
  • Heard about innovative work using ICT in Ruth's school
  • Learnt how to make an eTwinning project successful
  • Discovered a range of tools and apps that work with students with special needs
  • Discussed autism

Day two involved:

  • Learning about making learning accessible to all
  • An – amazing – Show and Tell session where participants shared their work
  • Planning and sharing plans for future collaborative projects

According to the post-workshop evaluation 16 out of 17 responding found the content of the course relevant, gained valuable knowledge and would recommend the course to colleagues. Some comments from participants:

  • I was at a workshop in another country for the first time. Everything was interesting for me and I am pleased to participate in these workshops. I met many interesting people, I saw a modern class, modern equipment. That to me is inspiring
  • I learnt a lot useful tools for my work with SEN student, I saw other very interesting school presentations, I meet new teachers and made friendships.
  • For me was very interesting practical examples of activities using tools and apps that work with learners with SEN, e.g. Padlet, blogs, Whatsapp, wordsearches, jigsaw Planet, Animoto, Scratch, Pickaface, Wordle, Kidblog, Puzzlemaker, Scratch and Hour of Code
  • Really good course with a wide range of expertise amongst participants - I found it useful:)
  • Let's have another one next year!!