AirBar brings the capabilities of a touchscreen to your laptop. No tools or software are required, just a simple USB plugin provides you with the ability pinch, swipe, zoom, tap and draw using your finger, a stylus or even a paintbrush. Presently AirBar works on computers with Windows 7, 8, or 10 or a Chromebook. Just plug it in and create an interactive screen.
When we think about Apps often the first thing that comes to mind is related to what games a person might have on their tablet or phone. Apps however can be so much more than game based for individuals with disabilities. How often do you create a list before going to run an errand or write a to do list to insure you accomplish everything you need to get done in a day? For individuals with disabilities apps can provide access to technology to create supports to help them move towards being more independent. Plan it, do it, check it off is one such App.
Plan it, do it, check it off is an iPhone and iPad app that allows the user to build step-by-step photo and audio picture prompt sequences.
The individual using this app is provided with real photos to create a customized “To do”. The app contains a 26 page picture bank, with real picture images, that illustrate events but also allows the user to import their own photos and customize the text. As the individual completes an activity or task they tap the picture to place a check mark on the picture or play a prerecorded message to prompt them. Another feature is the ability to create self-talk videos that can provide needed directions without having to be prompted by others. Plan it, do it, check it off is available for $4.99 in the iTunes App store.
Creating and organizing the many visual supports used with students can at times be a daunting task. Tabi Jones-Wohleber however has created an All-in-one-Visual-Support Tool that helps to organize a variety of visuals compactly into a small 5”x8.5” binder. This nifty tool includes a First/Then board, a Personal Picture Schedule, and a Task Analysis Checklist, with a Finished Pocket on the front cover. Each of these is easily available by flipping or opening the folded board, which is adhered to the Finished Pocket. A Token Reward board is on the back cover. The picture symbols and tokens for all these tools are housed inside the binder on plastic tabbed dividers. The directions, complete with visual step by step directions for the All-in-One-Visual-Support-Tool can be found on the PrAACtical AAC website under the PrAACtical Thinking tab.
Fiona Bessey-Bushnell, Occupational Therapist, Chesterfield County Public Schools suggested that we share a link to a recent post in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. This post highlights a Google Drive Checklist for Teachers. This checklist includes sections to help students better understand Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Presentation, Google Forms, Spreadsheets and Drawing. Check it out!
Thanksgiving is the official start of the holiday season which brings many changes to our schedules. Even the most organized adult needs their lists, calendars and visual reminders to help navigate all the special happenings between Thanksgiving and New Years. What do you have in your toolbox to help your students or children navigate the changes in their schedules? Indiana University Bloomington’s Resource Center for Autism has social stories, calendars, schedule icons and choice boards featuring Boardmaker symbols that are ready to click and print, a great resource to any educator or parent’s toolbox.
How do you make the concept of time less abstract? If your student has 5 homework projects to do in 3 hours, how do you help him manage his time and get it all done? Here’s an idea…..LEGOS. Check out this video that describes how LEGOS make time more tangible.
Here’s a great on-line tool for creating free visual supports. This site is funded by a grant from the Ronald McDonald House Charities and uses picture symbols from the Boardmaker library. ConnectABILITY: http://connectability.ca/visuals-engine/
Turn your old CD cases into a great visual support. Add velcro straps on the bottom to hold the case open, insert plain card stock, attach a dry erase marker to the cover and it becomes a dry erase board. Insert picture schedules, to do lists, math charts, word wall cards, etc. Thanks to Judi Schoonover from Loudoun County for a great idea and a wonderful presentation at the Virginia OT School Symposium.
We all love great visual supports! Even better….we love videos on how to make visual supports. Tots ‘n Tech (Tots ‘n Tech Research Institute, Arizona State University) has a great Pinterest site filled with videos on how to create simple AT supports. You will find videos on lots of AT ideas including making grocery lists, Lego word building, shower time fun and nap time routines. If you are not visiting Pinterest these days, you are missing out! http://www.pinterest.com/totsntech/make-it-videos/
We all need to find things that are quick, easy and free, especially when it comes to making visuals for the classroom. Picto4me is a free app for the Chrome browser. Download it through the Chrome app store and it will be added to your browser. Now you can create and save board to your google drive account without having to search for a disk or another program. Here’s a little video showing how easy it is to use.