July 15, 2016

Memes, Posters and Little Laminated Things…..

Posted in AAC, Aided Language Input, Assistive Technology, Augmentative Alternative Communication, Autism, Core Vocabulary, Presuming Competence at 3:28 PM by kellyvansingel


July 15, 2016

Today I wanted to share of some of my favorite posters and memes from social media sites that relate to supporting AAC users and AAC implementation.  A few months ago, Rachael Langley AAC Specialist, created this fabulous subway style poster of inspiration to hang in the classroom (click here or on the poster image for link to high resolution PNG file from dropbox. Thank you for sharing Rachael!):

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I liked this one so much I made an adapted version for my own home (with Rachael’s permission of course!) with PhotoShop and a little kraft paper card stock (click here or on image for link to PDF).

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Another poster I love is this “Getting AAC Users COMMUNICATING” AAC Boot Camp chart of do’s and don’t do’s by Lauren S. Enders, MA, CCC –  SLP.  Lauren is an SLP, AAC, AT specialist guru extraordinaire with one of the largest AT / AAC treasure trove pinterest archives ever as blogged about previously here in my series on our love of core vocabulary. It doesn’t matter whether the AAC system is low tech or high tech, there are valuable reminders about the importance of modeling language, presuming competence and giving adequate wait time when in a communicative exchange with an AAC user.
AAC Boot Camp Poster

Along with the boot camp poster, Lauren also adapted the poster as a 4 x 6 card that can be laminated and placed on the back of an AAC users device to remind communication partners of some of the same important fundamentals on the go and in the moment.  Conference organizers handed out over 150 of these laminated cards to attendees at the first annual Michigan AAC conference, now known as the #TalkingAAC conference.  It was also a popular post on the Assistiveware Facebook page.

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Facebook posting, tweeting and pinterest sharing of memes is another powerful way to get us all thinking about AAC advocacy and best practices to help build powerful communication skills.  Love this one inspired by wise words from Kate Ahern and found on Lauren Ender’s pinterest board of many AAC memes and posters.  See gallery below for some other favorite AAC memes from Pinterest.

~KVS

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11.

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July 6, 2016

HumpDay Hop Back….IEP Advocacy

Posted in Assistive Technology, Autism, IEPs at 12:11 PM by kellyvansingel


July 6, 2016

Yesterday I found myself digging on the computer, looking at old files.  I came across a powerpoint I had made for Magdalyn’s IEP team in 2009 as she was finishing up Kindergarten.   It was the first year she ever had access to general education peers since starting special education services.  It made a huge difference in her ability to be flexibile and relate more to other students.

One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give to other parents is that YOU are EQUAL MEMBERS of the IEP TEAM.  No one knows your child better than you.  Often it can be helpful to write down your thoughts about child’s needs, progress, and concerns. Brag. Revisit. Be Proud. Share your ideas.

The U.S. Department of Education says the following about parents as IEP team members:

Parents are key members of the IEP team. They know their child very well and can talk about their child’s strengths and needs as well as their ideas for enhancing their child’s education. They can offer insight into how their child learns, what his or her interests are, and other aspects of the child that only a parent can know. They can listen to what the other team members think their child needs to work on at school and share their suggestions. They can also report on whether the skills the child is learning at school are being used at home.

iepteam

You don’t have to be a public speaker to create some materials for your child’s IEP team meeting.  Write down everything you would like to be known and be recorded in the document about your child.   It can be copied and pasted into the IEP document and become part of the permanent written record in the legal document.  Bring along a photo of your child and place it on the table so that everyone remembers who the meeting is about:  your child.

Below is the powerpoint I created for Magdalyn’s IEP meeting as she was leaving Kindergarten and entering First Grade.  Included are pictures from babyhood to the current day along with examples of some her academic skills and products of her learning experience.  The final slides include parental input for her needs and also possible IEP goals emphasis.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

~KVS

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11.

June 29, 2016

How They Do It….Technology Integration in Gilly’s Life Skills Classroom

Posted in AAC, Aided Language Input, Assistive Technology, Augmentative Alternative Communication, Autism, Instructional Technology, iOS at 11:08 PM by kellyvansingel


June 29, 2016

This blog post is part of a project sequence for my most recent graduate school class:

When I think about how far instructional technology has come just in the past five years, I am so grateful.  Both of my daughters are living with autism.   My oldest is semi-verbal, but uses a lot of mitigated echolalia to communicate in scripts, while my youngest is functionally non-verbal.  Both of them, as most special education students do, rely on technologies, especially assistive technologies to support their daily learning, functioning and communication needs. Both of my daughters attend Life Skills classrooms in our local district, Saline Area Schools. This interview, reflection and summary will focus on the classroom of my daughter, Gillian, who is a user of Augmentative Alternative Communication, or AAC.

natasha
Natasha Boysal – Gilly’s Life Skills Teacher

What are some of the ways you daily integrate instructional technologies like the SMART Board into your lesson plans? Or group instruction?

apples

I use the SMART board daily during my emergent literacy lessons. I display the story we are reading and highlight words we are focusing on. I also use the SMART board for our weekly News-2-You lesson. The kids love to come up and answer the questions using the interactive technology. 

Describe how you incorporate iOS technologies or ChromeBooks to help work on IEP goals of individual students?

iosBOOK

I use iPad apps for students to practice and maintain skills we have worked on or mastered during direct instruction. I also use the iPad to display worksheets for students to view. Using the iPad allows the students to view the “questions” in a high-tech color format as well as save ink and prep time for me. I also use iPads daily for students to practice their reading and math skills using programs like Raz-Kids, Lexia and Xtra Math.

You also have a blog called “The Resource Teacher.” What inspired you to start your blog and share your resources and create curriculum materials available on Teachers Pay Teachers?

I do have a blog that I wish I could do more with. It is my hope that starting this summer I am able to post more and inspire other teachers and parents. Being a blogger also opens up a whole new networking opportunity. I have been able to meet tons of teachers and bounce ideas off of them. We are a support system for each other and continue to encourage each other.

I started making products for Teachers Pay Teachers when I found myself searching the website for hours trying to find something that would work for my students. Once I started creating materials I was able to tailor them to match my students needs perfectly. Creating resources for my students also makes me more excited about implementing them into my classroom.

You have some AAC users in your classroom.  What are some of the ways you like to integrate the use of the AAC device into accessing the curriculum and participate in the community life of the school building?

PROSLATELife Skills Student and AAC User – Gillian Van Singel

The main focus for my AAC uses is for them to use their device to make requests. Negative or atypical behavior may stem from not being able to communicate. If we focus on expecting our AAC uses to communicate their requests the hope is it will decrease the behaviors.

I also have students use their AAC device to greet peers and staff during normal conversations and while working the Food Cart. Each week I load words onto the AAC device that correspond with our weekly story. The student(s) is able to fully engage in the lesson.

LIN
Lin Nichols – Gilly’s Speech Language Pathologist

What are some of the ways you integrate instructional / assistive technologies into your work with students at Heritage?

We use a variety of apps for instruction and practice, and the speech to text feature is great support for intelligibility practice as well as to outline ideas for writing.  I also have several students who use high tech and low tech AAC.  I also create and use QR codes for scavenger hunts, riddles and Q and A games. 

Describe the impact AAC and iOS technology for communication has had on you in recent years and for your students…

The impact has been huge, primarily because it has become so much more accessible, and students don’t have to carry around cumbersome communication boards or devices.  This technology allows me to meet students where they are and provides more avenues for communicating, learning, and demonstrating knowledge than ever before.  

What are you some of your favorite digital resources and/or curriculums to use with your students?

I love the variety of articulation and language skill apps available and use them nearly daily. TouchChat and Proloquo2Go are great for students with limited verbal skills and I also like to use them to help verbal students formulate complete, correct sentences, even when they don’t require the technology for practical communication.  I also love apps by Erik X. Raj, and the Toca Boca apps for language based play.  I also use Between the Lines and other apps for video modeling of social skills.  

karley
Karley Emeott – Gilly’s Paraprofessional

What are some of the ways you see Assistive Technologies / AAC benefiting students that you work with?

Assistive Technologies / AAC benefits students I work with by allowing them to be able to communicate with their peers and other staff members. In general, I’ve found that it is difficult for others to know what to say or how to go about talking to people who can’t respond on their own. By having this kind of technology, it takes down a barrier between my students and other kids or adults. It also allows my students to be able to request things they may need in a positive, effective way.

If you could choose professional development topics relating to instructional / assistive technologies that would be beneficial in your work with students?  What topics or areas would you like to learn more about?

I would like to learn more about how often we should model how to use this technology for our students. Is using their “talker” every now and then appropriate? If so, when are the appropriate times to model?

Reflection & Summary

We, the Saline Area Schools, will equip all students with the knowledge, technological proficiency, and personal skills necessary to succeed in an increasingly complex society. We expect that our students, staff, and the Saline Community will share in these responsibilities. Our ultimate goal is to instill in our students a desire for life-long learning.  

-Mission Statement, Technology Plan 2014-2017, Saline Area Schools.

The staff who support Gillian are taking great advantage of technology resources to support her and the learning of all students.   The classroom is equipped with a SmartBoard for the multisensory presentation and interaction with daily learning opportunities.  Her teacher, Natasha Boysal, not only uses some of her own created materials but also items such as News-2-You and other curriculum from Unique Learning System,

Unique Learning system is an award-winning, online, standards-based set of interactive tools specifically designed for students with special needs to access the general curriculum. Used daily in school districts and classrooms across the country, Unique Learning System provides preschool through transition students with rigorous, standards-based materials specifically designed to meet their instructional needs (https://www.n2y.com/products/unique/).”

The use of iOS devices in instructional technology in recent years has had a tremendous impact on special education and general education classrooms alike.  Staff members use both district devices and personal devices to interact with and support students with Saline’s innovative  BYOD or Bring Your Own Device initiative.  Those who have a personal device are encouraged to use them in the school setting in accordance with the district acceptable use policy which encourages responsible digital citizenship.  Use of iOS devices and ChromeBooks allow students to access curriculum in a collaborative learning environment.  Not only can paper be saved, but use of technology for accessing materials can help differentiate instruction and instructional materials on the fly.

Technology is also assisting ancillary staff in the therapy supports of students who may need speech, occupational therapy or social work services.  Speech Therapist Lin Nichols utilizes apps and technology to individualize therapy sessions and work on individual goals.  In her work with Gillian, the use of AAC technology allows both student and therapist to work efficiently on activities with speech output without the need to carry around binders full of velcro and laminated pictures.  While use of low to mid-tech learning materials may still be used on conjunction with voice output high-tech aac technology, it’s exciting to integrate them all together in supporting students with complex communication needs like Gillian.  Using the best of both older and newer technologies allows students to be supported with a vast array of possible materials.

Not only are teachers and therapists using technology to support students, but also paraprofessionals, especially if the student is an AAC user. Gillian’s primary support staff person, Karley Emeott, uses an ios-based dedicated AAC device to model language for Gillian and also to prompt Gillian’s use when needed to encourage requesting and commenting. The iOS device is locked into guided access to encourage constant availability and sole use of the AAC app. An AAC device, be it high-tech voice output or a low-tech laminated communication board can serve as a common ground or medium of exchange between the communicator and communication partner / listener.  Often the communication partner may be the support staff member, therapist or teacher, but it also can be the student’s same-age peers, resulting in lots of potential for peer to peer interactions.  Sometimes the communication partner or listener may feel they should not use the device, but current research and best practice in the study and practice of AAC says differently.  Aided Language Stimulation is the implementation and teaching strategy of combining spoken language while inputting symbols on an AAC device or communication board during a communicative exchange with an AAC user.   In simpler terms, this is known as modeling.

Modeling is also known as Aided Language Input or Aided Language Stimulation. It is a research-based strategy to help build a strong foundation for AAC use and language learning. In aided language input, when partners (parents, teachers, and therapists) talk with people who use AAC, the partners also use the same AAC system to communicate. This helps teach AAC by example in real-life interactions (http://www.assistiveware.com/support/faq/page/353).

Chris Bugaj SLP and AT Specialist from Loundon County Public Schools created a two minute PowToon video to help explain modeling / aided language stimulation.

How often should we model language for AAC user on their device or system?  It can be helpful to think of modeling on the device in the same way we would think of emphasizing important spoken words and phrases when trying to teach spoken language to typically developing communicators.  If the sensory processing differences and learning challenges of those with complex communication needs means that aided language input can result in the learning of more symbols, words and meanings over time, then modeling on their language system is a great strategy to implement as often as possible.  I love this graphic created by Rachael Langley AAC Specialist that illustrates the importance of  repeated exposure to aided language stimulation for complex communicators on their AAC system– comparing AAC modeled symbol-based language to the spoken language that is modeled for babies.

It can be helpful to think of modeling language at a language level just slightly above the AAC user’s current level of language use.  The AAC Chicks provide several examples in the following short video:

Overall, I am so impressed with the implementation of available instructional technology and assistive technology in Gillian’s LifeSkills classroom.  Staff are dedicated to fully utilizing available resources for both whole class, small group and individual instruction. They also express interest in receiving continual professional development opportunities to help with ongoing implementation. Special thanks to Natasha Boysal, Lin Nichols, and Karley Emeott for their help and participation in the creation of this instructional technology overview.

~KVS

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11.

June 27, 2016

Hello Blog….may I present my PREZI….

Posted in AAC, Assistive Technology, Augmentative Alternative Communication, Autism, iOS, Presuming Competence at 9:49 PM by kellyvansingel


June 27, 2016

Hello again blog.  Time for an update.

Since my last post, I have taken a few more online graduate level courses.  In summer 2015, I took AAC for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Using Mobile Technology for Augmentative Communication both as electives from the University of Illinios Chicago Assistive Technology Certificate Program.

In summer 2016, I am taking another course online from Bowling Green State University in preparation for either obtaining the Graduate Certificate in Assistive Technology or maybe a full masters degree.

As part of my latest class, I have discovered Prezi.  I am smitten! As someone who thinks visually, this concept has me thinking of all kinds of ways to use this tool for presenting information.  One assignment was to create a technology resource presentation.  I choose to make a Prezi of a “Few of My Favorite AAC Things…

Screenshot 2016-06-27 at 9.46.24 PM

~KVS

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11.

February 8, 2015

For the LOVE of CORE Day 7: Check THIS Pinterest Page

Posted in AAC, Assistive Technology, Augmentative Alternative Communication, Autism, Core Vocabulary, iOS at 6:39 PM by kellyvansingel

COREday7

February 7, 2014

Do you Pinterest?  Do you use those ‘Pin This’ buttons when browsing the internet?  There is a Pinterest that should be of most interest to you if AAC, Assistive Technology, iOS apps and more ring your bell. With more than 150 boards, 17,000 pins and nearly 25,000 followers, the Pinterest page of Lauren S. Enders MA, CCC-SLP is a treasure trove of quick links to all kinds of important and interesting information for working with AAC and Assistive Technology.   Lauren is a SLP, AAC and AT consultant from Pennsylvania.  I was blessed to have heard her speak at ATIA 2014 for ideas on infusing core vocabulary across the curriculum.

LASENDERS

LASENDERS2

Of course with this current blog series “For the LOVE of CORE”,  take a look at the board called AAC: Vocabulary Selection Supports/Core VocabularyWith over 140 pins of core vocabulary resources, some of my favorites are:

The Language Stealers

The Language Stealers is a short video demonstrating the importance of core words for those who use AAC.

LANGstealers

DLM “First 40” words for AAC users

This grid of 40 core vocabulary words from Dynamic Learning Maps is an extension of DLM work in relation to the Common Core Essential Elements and alternative assessment for students with disabilities. The “First 40” is a helpful list to reference and focus on when establishing AAC systems for emergent communicators and when trying to target the modeling and use of more core words in existing AAC systems.  I blogged about “Autism, Special Needs and the Common Core” in a previous post.

DLMmap

SNUG Video

This AssistiveWare training video on Autism and AAC features the work of AAC specialist Joanne Cafiero PhD.   In the video she highlights the SNUG acronym, a ultimate goal for any AAC user:  Spontaneous Novel Utterance Generation.

SNUG

Keep Calm and Say a lot with Core Words

I love this meme and the resources here!  A great post again from PrAACtical AAC with a yearly round-up of many blog posts to help with core word instruction and implementation.

keepCALM

The pins above are just a snippet of the great resources on Lauren Ender’s Pinterest Page.  Thank you so much Lauren for all of your resources and insights! and keep on pinning!

~KVS

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11.

February 1, 2015

Hello Blog….How I have missed you….AAC journeys

Posted in AAC, Assistive Technology, Augmentative Alternative Communication, Autism, iOS, Presuming Competence at 10:18 AM by kellyvansingel


February 1, 2015

Hello blog.  How I have missed you.

Seeing all the Facebook and tweets about ATIA2015 has made me open the wordpress!  It’s a great time to write again.  I am in my 4th semester of graduate school at BGSU.  I am doing an online masters program in Assistive Technology.   I love it so far.

On the AAC front, its once again time to re-evaluate and fine tune the current AT and AAC needs of my Gilly Bean.   When Gilly first began her AAC journey, we utilized the pediatric speech and language pathology department of C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan.  Her first device was a DynaVox Maestro funded by our private medical insurance in 2010.  It is now known as the “Take a Bath” talker.   No we don’t let it get wet, but the most often phrase it now utters is “TAKE A BATH.”  The Maestro is in the perfect and convenient location to say “Take A Bath” on the way upstairs to a beloved sensory escape of bath time for Miss Gillian.

TAKEaBATH

Even with insurance funding most of the cost of the device, we were still responsible for about 20% of the cost which was paid off over 18 months thanks a zero cost zero% loan made available to families by the then singular DynaVox Corporation (DynaVox is now Tobii DynaVox after their merger).   So needless to say, though now not used as a portable dedicated AAC speech device for Gillian, it now sits as a sort of ‘extra windows workstation’ / ‘take a bath requester’ on the desk in our dining room.   It still functions well as a talker when needed, but probably more so now is a spare Facebook browser, Spotify broadcaster (great speakers for that), and email checker.  It maybe could be labeled as the first entry in our living AAC museum of sorts.  Sometimes our first generation iPad is sitting nearby getting charged up, a likely second entry soon to the living AAC museum.

When we moved to a different school district about 18 months ago, Gilly also began a center-based ABA program. Together with our school team and our BCBA/SLP, we made the switch to Proloquo2Go on an iPad mini.  The Maestro was too heavy for her to ever carry around with much ease, so we really wanted to try an AAC app on the iPad mini.  Because she had been using modified Gateway 40 on the Maestro, what I essentially did was ‘reconstruct’ her Maestro vocabulary as closely as possible based off of ‘core’ in Proloquo2Go.  She did very well with the transition and within a month, we were no longer using the Maestro, but still made it available in a dedicated location.  It gradually became the “Take a Bath” talker.

Here is a screenshot of her Maestro homepage based on Gateway 40:

HomePageGATEWAY40

Here is a screenshot of her Proloquo2Go homepage based on her Maestro page set:

PLQ2GO

For Proloquo2Go, I used 6 columns by 6 rows to result in a similar button size when the iPad was used in either portrait or landscape.   This system has been working well for her the past 18 months.   She navigates pages easily and knows the location of vocabulary.  She is brilliant at receptive ID activities, also the tacts, mands and fill-ins of her ABA program. But we are all still noticing something:  She is not reliably building two word phrases and sentences.  Most of her use of the device is still predominantly single object requests and occasionally comments.

I’ve been to several presentations about core vocabulary and language acquisition via motor planning. I’m also inspired by the emergent practice and research supporting aided language input and modeling of language by communication partners with AAC.  We are now on the search for our next and more robust core language based system for Gillian.  We are brainstorming ways to build more core based phrases and language modeling into her school and ABA program.  Stay tuned.

~KVS

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11.

June 8, 2014

Extending UDL into iOS app selection, utilization and implementation….

Posted in Assistive Technology, Autism, Favorite Apps, iOS, UDL at 11:02 PM by kellyvansingel


June 8, 2014

So as we explore the three guiding principles of UDL:

  1. Provide Mulitple Means of Representation
  2. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression
  3. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement

What are some ways we can use these principles for selecting, using and implementing iOS apps? What are some apps that are good examples of these principles?

Some of my favorite apps that exemplify UDL principles for Mags & Gilly are:

Word Wizard

Video Demo

Word Wizard is a movable phonics alphabet.  You can select the type of background you would like to use along with an A to Z or QWERTY style keyboard layout.  Build words, phrases and even sentences.
Shape Builder

Video Demo

Shape Builder is a visual spatial fine motor app.  Mags has always loved this app. It is equally fun on both iPod / iPhone and iPad.  Move the shapes and match to outline sample to reveal animals, objects, musical instruments and more.
Bitsboard

Video Demo

I have blogged about Bitsboard in the past. With unlimited customization of lesson content for any learner, you can have multiple modes of representation of curriculum or objectives.  Flip through vocabulary sets one item at a time, spell items, build sentences and more.
See.Touch.Learn

Video Demo
See.Touch.Learn is a great way to make to custom receptive ID lessons for followup on ABA therapy targets.  A huge library of photos and images is included along with an online community where vocabulary sets and lessons can be shared.  Data tracking allows for monitoring of student progress.
SpeechBox

Video Demo

SpeechBox was created by a dad for his son with apraxia.  It is so clever and visually appealing.  Not only can you work on practicing words, but you can your own ‘boxes’ of content to use as writing prompts or conversation starters.
Abilipad

Video Demo

Abilipad is a writing support app.  You can create your own custom keyboards with letters, words, even photos to support beginning or more advanced writers who can benefit from visual and text supports.  Notebooks and keyboards can be shared in an online community.
Clicker Apps

Video Demo

Clicker from Crick has been known as an outstanding reading and writing support software for Mac and Windows.  Features from Clicker can now be accessed on iOS with their apps:  Clicker Sentences, Clicker Books, Clicker Docs and Clicker Connect.  App comparison chart can be found here.
Co:Writer

Video Demo

Co:Writer software by Don Johnston has been available for Mac and Windows as a writing support for students for years. Co:Writer app for iOS incorporates many of the same features as the software for use on iPad. Users can benefit from audio and visual cues.  Text predication and text to speech help to support writing and communication.
DropBox

Video Demo

Use DropBox to access photos, files, and reference documents on any almost any computer, tablet or device.  More and more apps are starting to feature DropBox integration for easy sharing and archival of customized content. See previous post on DropBox here.
Google Drive

Video Demo

Google Drive aka Google Docs is an online cloud-based software suite with both file storage and apps for producing spreadsheets, word processing documents and presentations.

~KVS

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11.

June 6, 2014

Extending UDL into Assistive Technology….

Posted in Assistive Technology, Autism, Favorite Apps, iOS at 10:22 PM by kellyvansingel


June 6, 2014

Three guiding principles are the foundation of UDL or Universal Design for Learning:

  1. Provide Mulitple Means of Representation
  2. Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression
  3. Provide Multiple Means of Engagement

UDLgraphichttp://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udlguidelines:

This means that thinking about UDL principles within the context of teaching should drive us to continually address and consider the What, How and Why of learning in our efforts to reach and enrich all learners.  When I think of how this can help learners with diverse abilities, things like the importance of multi-sensory approaches, using a variety of learning materials and harnessing the power of instructional and assistive technologies comes to mind.

Assistive Technology is not automatically UDL. Assistive Technology can help create opportunities for students to perform at their best while it implements principles of UDL to improve the overall learning process. “The use of technology provides clear advantages to those who wish to provide flexible, supportive, and adjustable learning and productivity experiences to all learners” (Hitchcock & Stahl, 2003).

“In short, technology is not synonymous with UDL, but it does play a valuable role in its implementation and conceptualization.”
http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudl/udltechnology

~KVS

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11.

June 5, 2014

Let’s dive back back into AT and UDL….

Posted in Assistive Technology, Autism, UDL at 12:11 PM by kellyvansingel


June 5, 2014

This past year has been a busy one!  We moved. The girls started school in a new district.  I started graduate work to pursue a master’s degree in special education with emphasis in assistive technology. I also gave notice at my part-time job to pursue contract work, blogging, grad school, and ASD mama-ness to the fullest.

For some of my first posts back, I plan to share some of the projects I’ve completed so far for my graduate work.

Here is a presentation I put together and uploaded to slideshare entitled “Principles of Universal Design and Universal Design for Learning: An Informational Guide:”

It highlights some of the key concepts in UDL as they related to assistive technology for those who may have disabilities:

3ofUDL

We’ll dive deeper into these principles in my next post.

~KVS

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11.

June 11, 2013

You’ll never be bored with ‘Bitsboard’…..

Posted in Assistive Technology, Autism, Favorite Apps, iOS at 8:35 PM by kellyvansingel


June 11, 2013

Time for an update on a great app from Grasshopperapps.com.  Back in November, I posted about Bitsboard.  There are now even more games and features in this app, and even a low-cost pro version, priced at $2.99.

bitboardOLDentry
Within Bitsboard and Bitsboard Pro you can create custom flashcard sets aka ‘boards’, or download them already created from the vast online catalog.  There are now over ten different learning games you can experience with each board:

  • Flashcards (scroll through images or ‘bits’ one at a time along with an option to record your own voice saying the word)
  • Explore (see many thumbnail images to easily choose one image up close)
  • Photo Touch (identify correct image from a field of 2, 3, 4 and more)
  • True or False (choose true or false based on picture label)
  • Match Up (drag and match picture to printed word)
  • Pop Quiz (multiple choice)
  • Word Builder Part 1 (spell with letter tiles)
  • Word Builder Part 2 (build sentences with word tiles)
  • Spelling Bee (practice spelling and typing with built-in qwerty keyboard)
  • Reader (touch correct picture below printed word)
  • Genius (random play mode of all games)

Within Bitsboard, you can share customized boards and learning lessons so that you can easily access them from multiple devices.  With the Pro version, you can also track data for multiple users.  The app developer also has a comprehensive getting started guide.

bitsboardDATA

See also this recent app review by ClassroomSmart:

Create custom content for any level user. You’ll never be bored with Bitsboard.

~KVS

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~Jeremiah 29:11.

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