Virtual placements for students with special educational needs during COVID-19

Dr Yota Dimitriadi , Subject Leader for the PGCE Secondary Computer Science, along with the PGCE Secondary Computer Science students recently created an online escape room comprising of a set of six lessons. These lessons with supporting videos, interactive games and classroom activities were specifically designed to help a wide range of students with special educational needs, particularly students from The Addington School whose work placements were disrupted due to COVID-19.

The project was part of the Google Education Professional Development Award on supporting cyber awareness for students from special schools to support their transition into the workplace.

The lessons are designed for both ‘in classroom’ and distance learning approaches with a range of scaffolding options that teachers can use to tailor the lessons to their specific students. All the games are available online on the cospace.io platform and have been tested on iMac, PC and iPad devices.

Whilst designed as an integrated series of lessons and activities, teachers may also consider using lessons individually to meet a specific learning objective. Further, access to the original project documentation and code is available through Yota Dimitriadi. 

The project has been a collaboration between the University of Reading, Institute of Education Secondary Computer Science students and The Addington School, Wokingham, made possible by funding and support from the Berkshire Branch of the British Computer Society and Google Education.

Project team:

University of Reading:

Yota Dimitriadi

Emma Harwood

John Mercer

Paul Palmer

Luke Ryall

Jenny Ellis

with support from Adrian Earle, Head of Dept, Furze Platt School

Addington School:

Danny Blatchford

Kelly Chapman

Abi Storey

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