2000 Conference Proceedings

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IntelliTalk, II - The Next Generation in Word Processing

Suzanne Feit
IntelliTools South
Simi Valley, CA

Scott Schafer
Novato, CA

IntelliTools is proud to present IntelliTalk II, our new, enhanced word processor. By combining speech, graphics, and text, IntelliTalk II has boldly gone where no accessible word processor has gone before. Those attending this hands-on session, will see how IntelliTalk II, used with IntelliKeys,, a mouse or a switch, can lift student's creativity and written expression to a new level of achievement.

Like it's predecessor, IntelliTalk II offers a broad range of text and speech options. However, in addition to traditional word processing functions, IntelliTalk II is also a powerful and flexible authoring tool in its own right.

IntelliTalk II adds a new level of ease and power to curriculum generation. Instead of making an overlay and then using it with a word processor, you can now create an activity in IntelliTalk II and automatically generate overlays for IntelliKeys, along with scanable on-screen keyboards. Working seamlessly with Overlay Maker,, overlays will be automatically attached to documents.

In this hands-on Macintosh computer lab, you'll have the chance to explore the text, speech, and graphics features of IntelliTalk II as you work with a variety of activities. You'll also have the opportunity to create your own activity and overlay.

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Participants will first explore the program's standard text and speech options and become familiar with simple commands that make it easy for students to read back text any place in their document as well as delete letters, words, or sentences with a single key stroke. You'll learn how to change voices, edit pronunciation, modify font size and color, and change background colors.

Participants will have a chance to try out the new Spell Checker as well as the locked text feature that allows the teacher to lock in pieces of text in a document so students can't accidentally erase or write over them. Locked text is ideal for making worksheets, book report forms, or any type of guided instruction. Forms can be saved as templates. Each child opens and saves the template in his or her own name, so that the master file can be used again and again.

Participants will see how features such as locked text increase opportunities for inclusion. For example, during a follow-up lesson on a story, one student can use the standard keyboard to complete comprehension questions, while a second student answers the same questions by touching a word palette or key on IntelliKeys.

One of IntelliTalk's II innovations is its ability to incorporate graphics from the IntelliTools Content Library or from other sources such as clip art, scanned photographs, drawing programs, or pictures from the internet. Graphics can be placed into your document as an illustration or used as a rebus font in which the graphic is read as if it were text.

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Graphics are saved as Picture Items which can also contain text, sounds, and actions. Picture Items are used to create on-screen, scanable palettes which can also be added to the Content Library so they are instantly available for use with future activities. This feature allows you to share Picture Items and palettes with colleagues and to create mini-libraries representing a variety of curriculum themes.

Participants will have the opportunity to both modify and create an activity utilizing palettes. They will learn how to modify the position of palettes in a document as well as add palettes to a document. They will also create an activity utilizing a variety of on-screen palettes. For example, one palette might consist of pictures of animals from different habitats. Another palette might consist of basic vocabulary words such as "The", "lives", "in", and "an". A third palette may consist of habitat words such as "jungle", "desert", or "grasslands". Using these palettes, a student can create sentences by selecting the appropriate words and graphics.

Once your activity is created, IntelliTalk II makes it easy to create overlays and attach them to your document. Every time you open your document, the appropriate overlay is sent. (Overlay Maker is needed to print out or modify the overlay.) Since on-screen palettes are scanable, switch users are able to access activities made with IntelliTalk II.

Participants will experience the creativity that's unleashed when students combine text, speech, graphics, and sound as well as discover how the new features in this enhanced version of IntelliTalk allow teachers to take a more proactive role in creating multi-media materials. Since so many students rely on auditory cues and graphics to help support written language, participants will see how the ability to combine graphics and text in an open-ended way, significantly enhances reading and writing skills.

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