I was kindly given a room for an hour to do a workshop that was more geared towards my final product. Obviously at this stage my product is still undecided, therefore I have mocked up a workshop that simulates the whole idea. The idea is that each child gets a set of cogs/gears to turn, one child controls the light and the other controls the focus of the image. The image is the finished jigsaw piece and the reasoning behind this is based on my first workshop… as in the first workshop I gained an insight that it was extremely hard for the children to make a jigsaw without an image to look at to see what they were making. Hence why we look at the box when making jigsaws. As a result I wanted to embed this in my design without looking at a box with a picture on it. I mocked it up with an overhead projector, which I very quickly ‘jazzed’ up to be less intimidating for the children by wrapping it in different coloured tape. So the projector displays the finished jigsaw puzzle for the children to see what they are making:
Do to legal reasons i was not granted permission to record the workshop but plans are being made for ability to film my video in the school. Back to the reason behind each child controlling a specific part of the projection. The idea is that one without the other and the projection doesn’t work i.e. no light then no image and no focus, no image. Therefore they are encouraged to work as a team to complete the game. As I mentioned the technology is not working yet so for the purpose of this workshop I made wooden cogs and turned the projector switch on and off and said to the children “if you turn the cogs together then the light image will turn on” I Also told them “one of you controls the picture and the other controls the light”:
Results and insights
- As soon is I said that one child controls each part of the projection there was the question of ‘why have I got this part’ etc. This will need to be looked at on further development and see if its possible for them both to control the power of the projector.
- The children were very easily distracted.. one example was the rainbow like lines from the reflection around the edge of the projection were commented on. Consequently I will need to sort that out and also just keep it as simple as possible to avoid distraction.
- Shape of the jigsaw.. the traditional shape of the jigsaw pieces are fine for making jigsaws (as i have previously researched) but its the shape of the outline of the jigsaw puzzle that was a problem. It seemed like I need to take away the corners as each child felt like they had a side and put the jigsaw pieces in their side accordingly.
- One of the children commented that there was no colour in the jigsaw..
- The projection being on the wall seemed to be more of a hinderance to if it was on the table as it does not seem so separate from the interaction.
- The cogs were just an interaction for the workshop but the children seemed to enjoy turning them as they received physical feedback from the cogs as they turned.
- Materials – they seemed to enjoy the wooden cogs but I may try to find a way to incorporate rubber as autistic children respond well to rubberised objects as they they respond well to materials that stimulate their senses.
- They seemed to respond well to the tin tin jigsaw in particular as they have been studying it in class and they are interested in the subject. As autistic children have fascinations I may develop my product to some how incorporate this. Not sure how as of yet but further exploration is needed.
I had received a general report from the teacher that observed the workshop:
“To Whom It May Concern
This is a report on the session with Sylvester Sweeney and 2 pupils on the Autistic Spectrum from Howford Primary School.
The activity with the children was very interesting to watch. 2 children were to assemble a jigsaw puzzle together using an overhead projector and wooden cogs which they had to turn ten times to bring the light on for the projector when it went off. In order for them to turn the light on they had to turn the cogs simultaneously. They also had to work collaboratively to piece the jigsaw together
Overall the activity encouraged the children, who sometimes find it difficult to communicate with peers as a result of their autism, to work together and discuss appropriately what they were doing in order to complete the task.
The children spoke to each other at various times of the activity in a meaningful and productive manner in order to make the projector work. They also spoke to each other and worked together to piece the jigsaw together.”
Overall the workshop was immensely successful as IT WORKED! Of course there is changes that need to be made but the general idea was successful. I can’t wait to develop it now as I have a clear path to what I’m making. I will be in touch will the teacher and the school for my next and final prototypes.