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 (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.
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.
We at ATSS have always loved Book Creator and have suggested its use and trained numerous folks to use it and embed it into all sorts of curricular areas over a number of years. Book Creator has continuously developed over time onto different platforms and to offer additional tools and features.
This most recent development opens up an new world of possibilities for teachers to create interactive resources for their students while providing pupils with a fantastic work space in which they can showcase their work no matter (almost) what format it exists in.
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.
We at ATSS absolutely love, and live by, Clicker 6 and 7. It’s so versatile. Many many teachers use it to support children’s writing but fewer, it seems, use it as a demonstration tool on their interactive whiteboards. The benefits of doing this are many – not least it provides a clear view of what’s being shown that can also be transferred to the pupil’s computer screen to allow them to work in exactly the same manner as the demonstration.
My son was working on Partitioning 2 digit numbers so I made him this to practise on. If I was demonstrating this to a class of pupils I’d certainly use my template – and let them use it to step them through the process.
Download the above Clicker 6 template here.
As more and more of our pupils are supplied with devices on a 1:1 footing it starts to make use of the tools in everyday learning more possible. I think it would be fair to say that most digital mathematical experiences for pupils in primary schools have tended towards games and content-filled puzzle websites rather than tools that help them visualise and manipulate numbers and objects during their problem solving activities.
With more resources at hand, pupils can now be given the chance to use digital numberlines, number frames, manipulatives to help with numbers, fractions, and patterns, and use geoboards – without elastic bands!
This set of tools (available for both Chrome & iPad) from Clarity Innovations would be a great place to start connecting maths teaching & learning with digital resources more directly.
They work brilliantly on your IWBs too for teaching and demonstration.