Category: Assitive Technology

Five AT Products We Are Thankful For

In the spirt of Thanksgiving, here are the top five AT products we are thankful for!

  1. Language Based AAC Systems – Of course those made it to the top of the list!  We are so grateful to see our students using devices like the Accent 1000 with Unity 84 Sequenced, Spanish Unity, or CoreScanner; the iPad with the LAMP WFL app; and the Tobii I Series.  Accent1000-20-red
  2. TAP-it – We first saw the TAP-it at Closing the Gap in 2014 and have been thankful ever since!  It’s an adjustable touch accessible learning platform that differentiates between unintentional and intentional touch!  Because it is adjustable (height and angle), has a military grade screen, and is on wheels; it has been an amazing asset at our school.  It allows students with severe physical disabilities to access a touchscreen they would otherwise be unable to reach!

TAPit_slide3

3. Classroom Suite – A great way to make switch accessible activities for your students.  We have had a great time making and using switch accessible books!  We’re also thankful for this alternative pencil for our students with severe motor issues.

classroom suite

4. Loc-Line – We love this budget-friendly way to mount our AAC systems and switches!

 locline

5. Boardmaker with Speaking Dynamically Pro – What SLP isn’t thankful for Boardmaker?!  It’s the go-to for making print based materials with picture supports and with Speaking Dynamically Pro you can make awesome interactive materials!boardmaker

What AT products are you thankful for?

Whimsy Workshop Teaching*Thanks to Whimsy Workshop Teaching for their Thanksgiving ClipArt!*

Converting YouTube Videos for Classroom Activities

Converting YouTube Videos

A YouTube video can be an excellent addition to a lesson. When used at the beginning of a lesson, videos can grab student interest and provide context for what the students will be learning about. Videos can also be used to enhance the meaning of text, maintain lesson momentum, and provide additional opportunities for communication.

Many schools prevent users from accessing video websites. In order to circumvent this problem, you can convert the video to a file format that can be saved and embedded in programs such as PowerPoint, Boardmaker, and Classroom Suite. There are hundreds of websites that have this capability but my personal preference is Online Video Converter.

Continue reading to learn how to convert YouTube videos for classroom activities.

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Story Bots!

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Have you tried Story Bots yet?  You MUST!  This website has a collection of storybooks and videos that you can personalize with pictures of your child!  There is a great collection of “learning videos” featuring the ABCs, numbers, colors, animals, professions, body parts, etc.  But, the best part of this website is having your child’s photo and name in the stories.  Though it lacks audio text (parents, educators, or students must read the story aloud), the children I have used it with have loved it!  They get so excited to see their face in the story.  It’s a great way to engage your child’s interest in reading.  The clever animations and text in the stories lend themselves to making predictions about what will happen next and other higher order questions.

Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 8.23.24 PMYou can sign up for free; however, you will have limited access to the stories and videos. In order to have access to the full library (over 200 books!) and videos, you can sign up for a membership.  The membership cost per year is $36 ($3/month) or you can sign up for a monthly membership for $5/ month.  Once you have a membership, you can add characters by uploading a picture and name.

Free Membership – What’s Included?   vs. Paid Membership

Story Bots also has 10 apps that can be downloaded on your iPad for free. You can also use a limited number of features on the app and upload pictures of your child.  If you have a paid membership with the website, that transfers to the apps and allows you to access the unlimited features of the app (i.e. more books, more videos, more characters).

iPad Apps

I purchased the membership myself last month and have used it countless times already!  I love it, the children I work with love it, and I think you will too!

 

SoundBible.com- Enhancing Lessons with Sound

soundbibleWhen creating interactive activities in programs such as Boardmaker with Speaking Dynamically Pro, PowerPoint, and Classroom Suite, including sounds can:

  • capture student interest
  • provide access to the content for students with visual impairments
  • support the meaning of text
  • embed feedback for correct answers
  • provide opportunities for communication (e.g. commenting and directing actions)

SoundBible.com is an excellent source for free sound files. Continue reading to find out how to use SoundBible.com files in your lessons.

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