"The judges liked the way each colourful zone can be configured specifically for the individual, creating their own simple desktop providing a
wealth of activities. They found it secure and very easily accessible through speech and pictures. It is easy to use for both the learner and the
This was the judges’ verdict of MyZone from Inclusive Technology at the 2011 Education Resources Awards, which saw MyZone win the prestigious award for ‘Best Special Educational Resources or Equipment involving ICT’.
MyZone helps children and adults with learning difficulties to find things on the computer and features large buttons and simple navigation. The program allows teachers to create personal workspaces for their pupils, providing individual ‘zones’ to give each learner easy access to their programs, activities and games.
Ian Bean, SEN teacher and Special Projects Manager for Inclusive Technology, commented: “It’s a great honour to receive this Award. As a teacher of students with special needs, I am all too aware of the need to tailor systems to meet the exact requirements of students. Throughout the development of MyZone, we endeavoured to ensure that it provided students with three key elements – equality of opportunity, personalisation and complete inclusivity – and we were very pleased that the judges recognised this.”
Jamie Munro, Inclusive Technology’s Information Team Manager, added: “We are delighted that this Award has recognised the importance of the MyZone program in providing access to computer-based tools and content for pupils with cognitive and physical disabilities. As the Windows computer interface becomes more sophisticated and complex, it presents more of a barrier for these pupils to access programs, music, videos, photographs and the internet.
“MyZone gives pupils a highly visual and intuitive environment where they can access programs, files, photographs and web pages using a variety of simple input devices such as touch screens or switches. By giving teachers the ability to decide what individual pupils can access on the computer, it also importantly provides a safe environment for them too.”
MyZone was also shortlisted for a prestigious BETT Award earlier in the year. It has also been shortlisted in the 2011 nasen Awards, in the category ‘ICT Resource to Support Teaching and Learning’. The winners will be announced at an informal ceremony to be held at nasen Live 2011 at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton, on Tuesday 24th May 2011.
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