As we start to gear up for the roll-out of Chromebooks across our secondary and upper primary schools, beginning next session, we might be excited at the new possibilities that are potentially available to us but we also need to consider continuity or transition for users who rely more heavily on Assistive Technology supports to help them with their school work and in their wider lives.
This blog has lain dormant for quite some time due to various pressures but it is my intention to restart it with regular (we hope) additions to available tools for Chrome. Any items posted on here will have been looked at through our Assistive Technology ‘filters’ and will have been tried with users and tested to ensure they are robust, perform consistently and without additional fuss or difficulty once installed.
Obviously, there’s a great deal of web content that will work in Chrome – we will include comment or reference to these if they meet our AT criteria.
Both Apps and Extensions will be looked at and functionality against cost will be an important feature.
If an App or Extension makes it on to these pages it means that we might consider using it in a scenario that we have encountered with a user or group of users- it is not and should never be read as a ‘catch-all’ recommendation or a ‘must have’.
The ATS Service has been using and promoting Padlet since it first appeared under its original name, Wallwisher. It’s a fantastic classroom (or bedroom for homework) tool for collaborative working.
Usually we use it as part of our CPD sessions with staff and just make passing reference to its possibilities. We mention where to find Padlet and most teachers just pick it up and run with it.
Over the years Padlet has had many new features added to it: more ways of recording ideas – text, photos, video, voice recording. It’s had new layout and distribution options added … and more.
I came across a fantastic blog post by Vicki Davis TheCoolCatTeacher that explains Padlet in detail and provides a great guided tour through all its functions.
So, if you’re new to Padlet, or have only used its basic functionality you really should have a read through Vicki’s guide which can be found here.
It’s worth having a look at Padlet’s gallery of examples which is here.
Microsoft OneNote could receive an accessibility boost if a group of programers’ work at a Hackathon comes to fruition. They set out during their week at the Hackathon event to try to solve an existing problem and they decided to work on literacy supports for reading and writing within OneNote.
Read about it here: Blog Post.
The add in will create a new tab for ‘Literacy Tools’.
Let’s hope this piece of work gets finished and that we can have easy access to these tools.
I always enjoy reading Jane’s blog but this post is especially concise and asks the simple but important questions we need to be asking of ourselves as supporters of young people’s writing development.
Summary information is available on the blog but jus in case you missed it – here’s a link!
Vacancy: Two year contract/secondment with Highland’s Assistive Technology Support Service (ATSS) https://t.co/7GJJfofAYr
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.
This is excellent news and provides an answer to one important missing link.