Tech To Help

We have plans to form a Tech To Help charity. This will unite teams from both Digital Writes and Flickernet  to support the use of Micro:Bits to help those who are experiencing disadvantage.

Whilst providing positive outcomes for three distinct groups of people, there is also an added mission at work which is: education through the close integration of Project Based Learning. 

Tech To Help will seek to help children and adults who are disadvantaged and have underrepresented voices. This can be seen through those that will be supported through our three initial TTH projects:

  • Autistic (ASC)
  • Have Reduced mobility (for example wheelchair users) (RSC)
  • Refugees (GSC)

Example end user: an autistic child who finds it difficult to share how he is feeling. 

Outcome: this child is enabled and encouraged to express himself through the use of a small electronic device which displays on a screen, and transmits to nearby equipment, how he feels about new outdoor sensory experiences.

Example end user: a wheelchair-using child who would like to create artworks that can be easily shared with others in the room. 

Outcome: this child is enabled and encouraged to express herself through the use of a small electronic device which relays her artistic creativity to the screen of a nearby computer.

Example end user: a young refugee who wishes to let his family at home know how he is getting on in a given moment.

Outcome: the family of this child keep on their mantlepiece an interactive football-shaped device which displays the most recent messages from their loved one, and through which they can make simple replies.

Current Activities:

Keith and Phil visit multiple schools in Swindon and the surrounding area to teach through the use of innovative technologies.

Digital Writes is a not-for-profit community arts and educational organisation.

One recent endeavour was the creation of a collaborative, creative digital arts project called Literature Alive, which helped young people from multiple schools and community groups to work collaboratively on a video game. 

Called The Lost Manuscript of Callie Evernight, it encourages reading through the writing and coding of a play-you-own-adventure style computer game and brings together Primary and Secondary aged pupils from mainstream and specialist schools.

As specialists in the delivery of Physical Computing, Phil and Keith are also focused on providing young people and their teachers with everything that they need to learn what is possible using a variety of low-cost, high-connectivity computer equipment including the Raspberry Pi and Micro:Bit microcontrollers. 

This year has seen the creation of the Robot Racing Club

The best of technology is explored with pupils and teachers alike, so that they can gain in confidence and develop an awareness of how coding skills combine with physical application to provide an astounding array of new possibilities in the classroom, and in the wider world.

Project Based Learning:

When learners (of any age) can see the benefit of what they are doing, it is immediately more interesting for them.

We ask pupils to apply themselves with individual resourcefulness.

They are also taught collaborative approaches that encourage small groups to find what it is that they can each bring to a given task.

In this way, learning through doing leads to a virtuous circle of progress: they learn because they want to know, and together they solve real-world problems by building on their shared strengths.

For more information about the PBL approach please see Rob Leeman’s excellent analysis here.