Friday, October 29, 2010

Super Sensitive Switch in Action

Deedee is three years old and, like most children her age, she likes to play.  Deedee has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, an illness that has robbed her of muscle control and the ability to move her arms and legs or hold up her head. But she still likes to play.

Deedee is able to move her eyebrows and her eyes and she can move her fingers and toes a little bit.  And a little bit is all it takes to control some switches.  Deedee started out using the MicroLight very successfully. But after a hospital stay last February, Deedee’s strength was quite diminished.  Now she uses a Sensor switch, which responds to the lightest of touches.  With it, Deedee can activate her Buzz Lightyear Bubblemaker and play computer games.  The Sensor switch allows Deedee to be in control and to play on her own.

Deedee’s family has been able to borrow a wide variety of switches and equipment from Advancing Opportunities’ Technology Lending Center.  They can test and try switches to be sure Deedee will be able to use them.

Deedee’s mom, Vivian, says, “Through the TLC, Deedee has been able to test diverse items and see which are fit for her needs and which are not viable. Right now we cannot afford to actually buy equipment, so we are very grateful for the TLC’s excellent services. Our family sees a very caring staff that goes through great lengths to help our kids. Thanks for all you do, TLC!”

To see a video of Deedee in action, visit her blog here.

TLC Spotlight - Watchminder2

Did I take my medication today?   Need a reminder?

The WatchMinder2 is a programmable vibrating reminder watch that looks like a standard sports wristwatch - the watch vibrates and a reminder message discreetly appears!




The WatchMinder2 uses a vibration system (similar to that of the common pager) that is easy to feel and privately alerts the person to do a particular task. The watch also has a beeping alert.  The watch is easy to program, the screen is large and easy to read by persons of all ages, and all of the 60 messages have been pre-programmed in the memory of the watch. The WatchMinder2 can be programmed with personalized messages.  The WatchMinder2 has two modes, the reminder mode and the training mode. Both modes can be operational at the same time. The watch has 30 daily alarms. Reminders can repeat daily or can be scheduled for the future dates and times.

What do you think? Do you want to TRY IT before you BUY IT? Then join our Technology Lending Center. Click here to join today!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Best note taking app for your smartphone??



Your smartphone is with you all the time, right? Why not take notes directly onto your phone. But which one is best for the iPhone? how about DROID?

Check out this link from Gizmodo. This "APPBATTLE" looks at the top three note taking apps for each smartphone operating system.

Do you use one of these? Do you have a different app you use? Leave a comment below and share.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Web 2.0 Wednesday! List Maker

Do you need a simple way to be reminded of tasks? Try List Maker.


This free web based service will allow you to create lists of reminders and group those under various headings. In addition, you can color code your tasks for visual cues. Check the box when you are done with a task and it moves to the "done" group. The website also provides real time status reports on the number of tasks that need attention.

Try it out and leave us a comment to share your experience.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Podcast: Using Assessment to Guide Intervention: The AAC Profile – A Continuum of Learning


This is one in a series of podcasts recorded live at the Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) Statewide conference this past June. These podcasts feature nationally known speakers talking about a wide range of topics related to assistive technology.

This episode features Tracy Kovach and the title of the podcast is "Using Assessment to Guide Intervention: The AAC Profile – A Continuum of Learning."

Click HERE to listen to the audio podcast.

Click HERE for the interview transcription.

Do YOU have an idea for a future podcast? Leave a comment with your suggestion for either a speaker or a topic. We will work to honor those requests in future podcasts.

Happy Listening!

Friday, October 22, 2010

TLC Spotlight -Tobii S32 Scan

The Tobii32 is an Augmentative Communication (AAC) device that plays pre-recorded messages.

The Tobii S32 is available in two different models, Touch and Scan.   The Tobii S32 Touch is targeted specifically towards individuals who have the use of their hands.  The Tobii S32 Scan is a switch/scan model, made for individuals who have difficulty using their hands, who instead use switches to make their choice in the grids or scenes.  

A recording time of over 60 hours, on 192 levels, in full quality.  It is built for an active lifestyle; the S32 is lightweight and durable, designed to withstand the sometimes rough treatment children can give a device.   Fully integrated with Tobii SymbolMate.
See the Tobii S32 in action.
 


video

What do you think? Do you want to TRY IT before you BUY IT? Then join our Technology Lending Center. Click here to join today!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Web 2.0 Wednesday! Internet Favorites

Do you want a simple solution for saving internet favorites? Do you want to access these stored favorites from any computer? Check out Internet Favorites.

This free service allows you to store favorite websites with just one click. A button is added to your browser that lets you save websites quickly and easily. Your favorites are stored on a website that you can access from any computer. This service also has a built in search engine that will allow you to search through all your stored favorites to find the one you want in seconds.

Try it out and let us know what you think. Post a comment and tell us about your experience.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Podcast: AT and AI: Supporting Speech, Language, and Communication

This is one in a series of podcasts recorded live at the Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) Statewide conference this past June. These podcasts feature nationally known speakers talking about a wide range of topics related to assistive technology.

This episode features Jim Durkel and the title of the podcast is: AT and AI: Supporting Speech, Language, and Communication.

Click HERE to listen to the audio podcast.

Click HERE for the interview transcription.

Do YOU have an idea for a future podcast? Leave a comment with your suggestion for either a speaker or a topic. We will work to honor those requests in future podcasts.

Happy Listening!

Friday, October 15, 2010

TLC Spotlight - Mongo the Gorilla Switch Adapted Toy

He dropped in just in time for some Halloween fun,  Mongo the Gorilla.  


Mongo the gorilla is a switch adapted toy specially adapted to the needs of young children who use switches to play with their toys.  He is so soft and cuddley too. 
Pressing a switch makes Mongo sing "If you're happy and you know it clap your hands". His mouth moves and he claps his hands in time with the music. Any standard (3.5mm) switch can be connected. Pressing the switch in his foot also turns him on and off.  You can have lots of fun with Mongo check out the video. 

video

What do you think? Do you want to TRY IT before you BUY IT? Then join our Technology Lending Center. Click here to join today!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

First Presidential Appointee with Autism


Ari Ne'eman was recently appointed to the President's National Council on Disability. He is the first White House appointee with Autism. His first interview was conducted with Wired magazine.

Click HERE to read the interview.

Ari is part of the President's National Council on Disability (NCD), a panel that advises the President and Congress on ways of reforming health care, schools, support services and employment policy to make society more equitable for people with all forms of disability.

Very inspiring young man. Too bad the article - or the comments after the article - didn't promote "people first" language when speaking about an individual with a disability. For more information about people first language, check out this 4 page PDF file from Kathie Snow at www.disabilityisnatural.com



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Web 2.0 Wednesday! Tagxedo

We all know about Wordle and it's ability to create word clouds out of your text.

Now comes the "next generation" of word clouds. Check out Tagxedo!

According to the website, "Tagxedo turns words -- famous speeches, news articles, slogans and themes, even your love letters -- into a visually stunning tag cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text."
Your text can come from anywhere - your personal writing, web sites, your Delicious links, an RSS feed. This word cloud can then be presented in a picture shape. The website also give choices on how to save the word cloud (jpg) and size (thumbnail size to much larger).

Do you want some more ideas about how to use this in the classroom? Click HERE for a slide presentation on 101 Ways to Use Tagxedo.

Check the picture below for an example of a Tagxedo word cloud (in the shape of an apple!) of the text from this blog post.
Have you used this tool? Leave a comment and share your insight.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Presentation: Reaching the Digital Immigrants

This morning I presented at the NJAET conference (The New Jersey Association for Education Technology)

Great conference - great sessions! Go to this LINK to view a PDF file of all the session descriptions. The helpful thing about this PDF is that each presenter's email address is listed next to the session title. I am sure they would be happy to email you a copy of their information.

I presented a session titled "Reaching the Digital Immigrants" which was an expanded version of a presentation I delivered at ATIA Orlando this past January with Kirk Behnke (from ESC4 in Houston TX). Thanks to everyone in the session for all your great ideas.

Do you want the handout? Check out the WIKI HERE.

I would strongly encourage everyone to attend this conference next year if you are interested in Educational Technology.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Podcast: Web 2.0 in the Classroom - Ways to Excite and Engage Your Students

This is one in a series of podcasts recorded live at the Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) Statewide conference this past June. These podcasts feature nationally known speakers talking about a wide range of topics related to assistive technology.

This episode features Dave Hohulin and the title of the podcast is: Web 2.0 in the Classroom - Ways to Excite and Engage Your Students.

Click HERE to listen to the audio podcast.

Click HERE for the interview transcription.

Do YOU have an idea for a future podcast? Leave a comment with your suggestion for either a speaker or a topic. We will work to honor those requests in future podcasts.

Happy Listening!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Web 2.0 Wednesday! Bender Converter

We have highlighted some other on line video converters before - but here is one more!

Bender Converter - http://benderconverter.com

This site will convert any online video from the following sources: youtube.com, dailymotion.com, megavideo.com, vimeo.com, twitvid.com, veoh.com, video.google.com, blip.tv, break.com, kontraband.com, facebook.com, livevideo.com (liveshows not supported), liveleak.com, stagevu.com.

Output files can be anything from .mp3 to .avi, .mov, .mp4 or a whole host of choices.

The nice feature of this site is that the conversion happens right there on the website. Once the conversion is finished - a download button appears to allow you to save the file immediately to your computer. No email address or registration required. Also, unlike some other sites, there is no mention of a daily limit for downloads (some of the other sites limit you to 100MB per day/per email)

Check it out and start saving some of those videos for off-line viewing. Have you tried this? Do you have another resource? Leave a comment.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

How to project to an external monitor from your iPad

The iPad is a powerful device that is virtually unlimited in its application. There's an APP for that - never has a statement been so true!

But what about the other aspect of this tool for presenters - using this tool for professional development activities. Out of the box, the iPad does not connect to an external monitor and project all APPS. There are some APPS that can be sent through the Dock Connector to VGA Adapter (available separately for $29.00) to project onto an external projector - such as Keynote.

That's fine if you want to show a presentation. But what if you want to display your iPad's screen to show the steps of using an APP. Out of the box - there is not way to do that. The only solution for this is to jailbreak your iPad.

Now I know some of you started to panic at the mention of Jailbreaking your device! Don't panic - it is an easy process that does not negatively impact your iPad. Even better - one of the first steps of the process is to back up all your data to iTunes. That way if it all goes wrong - or you need to restore your device to the factory settings - you can simply connect it to iTunes and select Restore.

Check out this video from C/NET which does a great job of walking you through the steps of this process. The external monitor APP isn't free (it costs $2.99) but very reasonably priced.




Pretty straightforward - right? I followed this process with our iPad and it worked perfectly. Now I am able to incorporate my iPad into my presentations and show my screen to an audience.

Have you Jail-broken your iPad? Do you have another strategy for using your iPad for professional development? Leave a comment and tell us about it.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Podcast: Challenging Behaviors Communicate! Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder to be Functional Communicators Through Technology

This is one in a series of podcasts recorded live at the Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) Statewide conference this past June. These podcasts feature nationally known speakers talking about a wide range of topics related to assistive technology.

This episode features Susan Stokes and the title of the podcast is: Challenging Behaviors Communicate! Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder to be Functional Communicators Through Technology.

Click HERE to listen to the audio podcast.

Click HERE for the interview transcription.

Do YOU have an idea for a future podcast? Leave a comment with your suggestion for either a speaker or a topic. We will work to honor those requests in future podcasts.

Happy Listening!

Friday, October 01, 2010

TLC Spotlight - SAM Joystick

SAM-Joystick
SAM stands for, Switch-Adapted Mouse device.
The SAM joystick is a simple mouse alternative. This joystick allows the user to control a computer cursor.

SAM Switch Adapted Mouse Joystick has a click, double click, and drag switch inputs.  Switch inputs to perform the button actions by switches.  When you push the stick, the cursor does not go flying, no matter what the user does.

What do you think? Do you want to TRY IT before you BUY IT? Then join our Technology Lending Center. Click here to join today!

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