Category Archives: Assistive Technology Software
CALL Scotland has been awarded funding by The Scottish Government Gaelic and Scots Unit; Scottish Funding Council; Scottish Qualifications Authority and Bòrd na Gàidhlig to develop, along with CereProc, a digital voice in Gaelic.
This is fabulous news and means that Gaelic users will now be able to benefit from a quality voice to support writing and/or reading.
Cereproc is the Edinburgh-based digital voice company that brought us the now familiar, Stuart and Heather that are so widely used across Scottish schools.
Read Paul’s blogpost here for all the details.
The team at CALL Scotland has updated and expanded their iCALL book to take in new developments under IOS 7.1
This (free) book is a must for any school looking to develop support for pupils using iPads. Loads of useful information and pointers to the ‘best so far’ apps as well as tips to avoid the pitfalls.
Click image to download your copy from the CALL Scotland website.
Our friends at CALL Scotland, Sally Millar and Gillian McNeill in particular, have produced another fantastically well-considered and well-designed app wheel: this time for apps that support the development of, or the full-blown use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).
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 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.
“UDL research demonstrates that the challenge of diversity can and must be met by making curriculum flexible and responsive to learner differences.”
I’m asking participants at an upcoming course on using Clicker 6 to watch the video below to enable us to give some thought to how well the software might meet the principles of Multiple Means of Representation, Multiple Means of Action and Expression, and Multiple Means of Engagement that underpin Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
More information on UDL can be found on the National Centre Universal Design for Learning website.
There are now three Apps in the Crick stable and all have a good pedigree. All allow for the generation of personalised materials and all offer access to an ever-growing bank of resources stored at LearningGrids. – there are discrete sections for each of the apps and none appear to be interchangeable. Certain layouts and word banks can be constructed within Clicker 6 and shared with the iPad via Dropbox or email.
Clicker Sentences (£18.99) has been around now for a few months and after a few teething problems has settled down into a useful reading tool and sentence construction tool for even very young users. The main function is to provide sentence models, on the grid, as a pop-up, and as an audio support to support the pupil’s re-building of the sentence from the automatically generated wordbank. The wordbank also provides options for support at differing levels: guided support, alphabetical, and random order to allow teachers to assess how their pupils are managing sentence construction. Activities are very easy to generate, either with saved pictures or those taken live and are easily adapted across the levels of difficulty.
I particularly like making talking books with this app – photos or clipart from a book (remember Clicker clipart is available if you’ve bought any of the Powered by Clicker series) along with text at the relevant level. We’ve even had some parents use it as a home-school diary so that the pupil can relay their news at sentence or word level when they get to class.
See it being used here.
See Clicker Docs in use here.
Write Online (£21.99) is the newest app from Crick, and, as far as I can see, it’s almost identical to Clicker Docs apart from a different default appearance for slightly older users. Despite the two apps being almost identical and performing the same tasks for different age groups, you can’t access the resources from LearningGrids across the two apps – a bit of a cynical move, I feel, to force you into two apps when one might have been sufficient. Oddly, you can show up to 8 predictions in Clicker Docs but only 6 in Write Online despite it being aimed at older users! It’s nice, though, and I can envisage lots of students making use of it.
LearningGrids areas samples: