Music can be a great motivator, especially for students with visual impairments. Amanda and I have been creating simple music activities in Classroom Suite that provide students with the ability to choose what music they want to listen to while working on switch scanning. For some of these students, this is also an opportunity to find out what their musical preferences are. I have made a few “mixtapes” that include R&B, classical, pop, country, and rock. We quickly discovered each student’s preferences (Pharrell’s “Happy” wins hands down for almost everybody).

After showing one of these “mixtapes” to a parent, she was excited to attach switches to her daughter’s headboard for her to choose the classical music she wanted to listen to before bed.

Here is an example of a Taylor Swift “mixtape” made for one of our older students.

Recently, I made a template for teachers and therapists to make their own “mixtapes”. i thought I would share the template and directions on the blog as well.

Continue reading for the downloadable template and directions.

The template can be downloaded from Classroom Suite Activity Exchange by clicking on the picture below.  TemplateDirections (Select a picture to enlarge):

1) Changing Toolbar Button Properties:

Right click each button on the toolbar. Change the “Button Name” to the title of the song. You can insert a picture to represent the song title under the “Picture” tab.

Changing Toolbar Button Properties

Select the “Sounds” tab and either type the title of the song under “Synthesized Speech” or “Record” the title using a microphone.

Toolbar Button Sounds

Select the “Scanning” tab. Make sure that “Automatic Scan” is not selected and that “Step Scan” is selected. This makes sure that the buttons will scan properly when set with with the Intelliswitch or Intellikeys.

Toolbar Button Scanning Preferences2) Changing Page Properties:

The first page in the template is a start page that asks the user what they want to listen to. Right click anywhere on the page. Select the “Page Sounds” tab in the pop-up. Type a message under “Synthesized Speech” or “Record” one using a microphone.

Start Scanning PageIn order to change the properties on the remaining pages, select each of the buttons in the toolbar. Once a button is selected the page attached to it will appear. Right click anywhere on the page. You can insert a picture to represent the song title under the “Page Background” tab (select “Center” at the bottom of the pop-up if the picture appears stretched).

Changing Page PropertiesSelect the “Page Sounds” tab. Select “Recorded Sound” and “Import” You can then import an audio file you want to play when the corresponding toolbar button is selected.

Page SoundsIn order to go back and forth between pages, select the “Pages” button in the toolbar along the top of the screen and select “Next Page” or “Previous Page”.

3) Creating Overlays:

Create an Intellikeys overlay in order to ensure that switch scanning is a success. Select the “Options” tab from the toolbar across the top of the screen. Place the cursor over  “Intellikeys” and select “Make Overlay”.

Make an OverlayThe “Make Overlay” pop-up will appear. Select all of the pictures from your toolbar and select “Next”.

Make an Overlay 2If you are going to be printing the Intellikeys overlay this next step matters. Select the format you want your overlay to be in (which format will your students who do not switch scan be able to access?). Select “Next”.

Select Overlay LayoutSelect “Step Scanning” and un-select “Automatic Scanning”. Select “OK”.

Overlay Switch OptionsThe overlay will open in Overlay Maker. Select “File” in the toolbar at the top of the screen and select “Send Overlay”. You have to have Intelliswitch or Intellikeys set up for this step.

Send OverlayIf you don’t have them set up, you can simply save the overlay by selecting “File” and “Save As”. Go back to Classroom Suite and select “Options”, “Intellikeys”, and “Attach/Edit Overlay”.

Make an OverlayCongratulations! You have created a switch accessible mixtape in Classroom Suite.

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