If you’re needing to get up to speed quickly in using Google Classroom then this is both an excellent place to start or a good place to return to for help.
The Assistive Technology Support Service has been sifting through various tools that might meet the many and varied needs of teachers and pupils as Chromebooks roll out across Highland schools.
PDF annotation seems to be a significant need.
Many pieces of teachers’ work for pupils already exist as PDF worksheets. The ability to annotate such material opens up many opportunities for pupils to interact directly with these worksheets as we move towards 1:1 device availability.
Kami is a good example of such a well-functioned tool to allow pupils to:
- Digitally answer questions directly into the workspace
- Comment directly on PDF texts
- Draw shapes and diagrams to express knowledge and understanding
- Utilise text-to-speech to support those with reading difficulties
- Kami integrates with Google Classroom and Drive so files can be shared easily in both directions.
Get your Kami Chrome extension here.
If you want a demonstration or an opportunity to use Kami please be in touch.
Vacancy: Two year contract/secondment with Highland’s Assistive Technology Support Service (ATSS) https://t.co/7GJJfofAYr
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.
“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.The package price of just £99 makes this an attractive buy and the easy set-up instructions take away any time-consuming fiddling.
Well done Inclusive Technology.
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:
ChooseIT Maker 3 from Inclusive Technology is now available online as a subscription service via the already well-established HelpKidzLearn website. Not sure that schools really like this type of arrangement but the fact there are no installation costs to be considered might make up for the annual commitment.
The software boasts the ability to quickly and easily prepare activities for pupils online that can then be shared and used across any PC, Mac, iPad, or Android tablet. The activities themselves can be accessed via mouse, touchscreen, switches, and even eye-gaze. This makes CM3 an attractive assessment tool: those of us who work in assistive technology often have difficulty finding age-appropriate, relevant, personalised, motivating activities for pupils so the ability to quickly put something together could be a real boon.
All of these details and more can be found on the ChooseIT Maker 3 flier which you can get here or by clicking on the images below.
I’ve always liked Symbaloo. I think it’s a great way to get pupils to the websites you want them to visit without any need to type in complicated URLs. It’s also a great way to gather related links all in one page (Webmix) for future reference.
I’ve made this mix for teachers to collate links, tutorials, guides, hints and tips, and videos for Clicker 6. CPD in a page!