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XMA Empowering SEN Students
Leading expert to discuss pioneering new approach at BETT   

XMA, leading provider of information technology solutions, is further developing its existing Special Educational Needs (SEN) capabilities having identified new approaches to improve the use of ICT to facilitate learning.

XMA’s dedicated in-house team of experts has carried out a number of recent pilot programmes in the UK to provide bespoke solutions for the unique requirements of children with special educational needs in mainstream and special settings.

Around 3% of children currently in education across England are registered SEN* and they should be able to reach their full potential through supported learning. XMA have been developing SEN solutions over a number of years and, as technology and Applications advance, have been able to create a new approach which enables SEN students to have more control of their own learning, as well as improving engagement and performance.

Speaking at the BETT Show, XMA’s Curriculum Specialist and Apple Professional Development Specialist, David Ryan, outlined the importance of adaptive technology in the classroom for SEN students, using audio visual examples from real life case studies, and carrying out a live demonstration on stage on how to create electronic Education Plans for individual students.


Individual Education Plans are a critical part of SEN learning, designed to create bespoke learning plans for each student based on their individual needs and requirements. Traditionally, the creation of these plans has been entirely teacher-led, however Mr. Ryan will highlight a new approach which empowers the student to co-author their own plans using Book Creator and iBooks Author. 
  

Mr. Ryan said: “We have been trialling this approach in a handful of schools around the country and the response has been emphatic. Not only does it free up vital time for teachers, it also creates a sense of ownership within each student and, by encouraging the use of photographs, videos and other stimulus, the plans become engaging and interactive thereby facilitating improvements in learning and retention, with students achieving academic targets in half the anticipated time period.

 “It has been proven that children and young adults with learning disabilities are significantly more likely to be unemployed in adulthood. By tackling the shortfalls in areas such as Individual Education Plans, we are addressing this head on and the objective is to reverse this statistic for the next generation.”

Mr. Ryan, formerly a Trustee at Nasen and an adviser to the SEN and Inclusion committee in Northern Ireland, is part of XMA’s team driving this concept forward, providing full, bespoke packages of equipment, devices, ICT support and on-site training, delivered as a tailor-made solution for each customer.

Oscott Manor in Birmingham is a designated Community secondary special school for students with autism. XMA has been working with Oscott Manor to implement a complete ICT solution including the provision of desktop equipment, iPads and an Apple trainer who is on-site one day a week to maintain the ongoing development of the technology including use of the latest Applications and programmes in order to ensure the staff and students are getting the most out of their devices.

Nicola Rodgers, Business Manager at Oscott Manor, said: “The new approach has transformed the way we use ICT in learning, and the students have responded extremely well to the level of interaction and engagement achieved by using the different devices. XMA have been able to put together a package that meets our needs and our ongoing relationship with them means that we can feedback how the equipment is working in the classroom and address any issues quickly and efficiently.”




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