Category: Assistive Technology Hardware

ATSS Highland – Covid-19: Closure of Schools

The Assistive Technology Support Service (ATSS) will be available for online help and support during the school closure period.

ATSS can help with advice and practical support around Highland’s School technology (Google Classroom, etc.) but also more specialised access around reading and writing supports for all the digital material that many pupils have difficulty with – and we’re likely to be seeing a lot more of it than usual over the coming weeks, perhaps months.

We can help with, amongst other things, reading support apps for iPad, PC, and Chrome. We can also help with supportive writing tools for iPad, Chrome, and PC.

Get in touch by contacting me (Alan Stewart) and we can take things from there.

Clicker 8/Clicker Writer is here!

Clicker 8 on the Cricksoft website.

What’s new in Clicker 8/Clicker Writer

This latest iteration of Clicker is a huge step forward in accessibility and interoperability across platforms. So, where teachers still use PCs in class while pupils use Chromebooks in school and possibly iPads at home there are now no barriers between these tools.

The individual apps for Chrome and iPad left many unsure about what specific app they needed at any given time. Clicker 8 overcomes this by including all the apps as well as a range of other features (old and new) all within the umbrella package.

In addition to the writing and associated support tools for pupils, Crick has added a fantastic automated picture attachment tool (Picturize) for most text; resurrected and included an application from a few years ago that allows for the creation of Cloze passages; and there is also a comprehensive analytics system built into the software to help teachers tracking, reporting, and planning. There are loads more pre-prepared materials available too – some packs that used to be out of reach for many school budgets.

The main advance for me of this more universal approach is in the functionality that the software now affords teachers who can select and/or prepare materials for lessons in Clicker 8 with all the multi-sensory and inclusive features at their disposal. These lessons can then be interacted with by pupils to expand or create new writing and learning.

Clicker beyond just writing.

I like this video because it includes and talks about important elements of Clicker that are often overlooked. Issues such as the variety of access methods and snippets of tailored choosing activities that can be seen in the background. One boy is using it for writing (which is great) but it’s by exploiting the power and adaptability within Clicker that’s paying off for these youngsters and their teachers.

ICT & Inclusion Roadshow 2014 – Inverness

callscotland

brite2

The Assistive Technology Support Service is thrilled to announce that one of this session’s ICT & Inclusion Roadshow events is to be held in Inverness.

This well-established touring event returns for the first time since 2009 and brings together expertise from CALL Scotland, BRITE, as well as developers and suppliers of Assistive Technologies that support the inclusion of many of our pupils. It’s a chance to hear up-to-date news and developments (of which there are many) and to speak to the experts, face-to-face.

We hope that many teachers will attend the day (or part) and that we will be joined by our colleagues from Speech & Language and Occupational Therapy. Parents are also very welcome.

We will be sending out additional information sheets/booking forms but Highland Education staff should register via the Highland CPD Calendar.

ICT and Inclusion Roadshow, 2014

ICT and Inclusion is Scotland’s leading annual exhibition with a focus on the use of ICT to support learners with additional support needs.

This year’s roadshows are being held at:

Kingsmill Hotel, Culcabock Road, Inverness, IV2 3LP, 10th June

CALL Scotland, University of Edinburgh, 11th June

CALL Scotland and BRITE, the organisers of the event, have arranged for up to 20 of the UK’s leading suppliers of software and technology to support learners with additional support needs to take part in the exhibition and to give a short presentation on their latest products.

There will also be short presentations by staff from BRITE, CALL and local schools, colleges and services, illustrating the use of technology to support learning.

The days are free to attend and run from 9.00 until 4.00 pm. Lunch is provided for people who book in advance.

Though ICT and Inclusion is aimed mainly at staff from schools and colleges, equipment and software on display may be of interest to adults with disabilities and the people who support them.

The event is supported by Highland Council.

HC

EasySwitch

“Quick and simple switch access”

To support their HelpKidzLearn website and the new generation of online apps and software, signalled by the launch of Choose IT Maker3, Inclusive Technology have put together a neat switch package to get started with the simple switching required of these sites.

The pack is called EasySwitch and comprises two wireless IT Switches (normally £55 each) and a USB dongle to enable connection to the computer.2003-191212114753-846615794The package price of just £99 makes this an attractive buy and the easy set-up instructions take away any time-consuming fiddling.

easyswitch

Well done Inclusive Technology.