2000 Conference Proceedings

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IntelliTools: The Next Generation

Arjan Khalsa
IntelliTools
Novato, CA 94949



As the 21st century rapidly approaches, IntelliTools is also approaching the dawning of a new generation of products.

Our first generation dates back to the Unicorn Keyboard which played a critical role in providing access to computer technology. Our second generation saw the introduction of IntelliKeys, Overlay Maker, IntelliTalk, IntelliPics, and more - which provided educators with the tools needed to customize curriculum. We are now readying for the launch of a third generation of products that will take you to a new dimension in teaching and learning. Participants will have a chance to preview:

IntelliTalk II - featuring an all new on-screen keyboarding system that generates overlays for IntelliKeys and includes an expandable content library that will work with other "next generation" products.

Number Concepts 1 and 2 - offering students with disabilities, fully accessible "edutainment" quality curriculum software.

 MathPad Plus: Fractions and Decimals - providing an advanced problem generation and answer checking tool with on-screen manipulatives and flexible problem handling.


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The products featured in this presentation describe a whole new set of technologies that are being developed by our growing research and development team. We now have over 20 product developers creating language arts, math, and tools products - all with a 21st century look and feel. While our capabilities are new, our dream remains the same: to provide the best possible products that will help students with special needs learn, communicate, and live to their fullest potential.

The first product we will demonstrate is IntelliTalk II which has re-defined the way people use our technology. 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 scan-able on-screen keyboards. Working seamlessly with Overlay Maker, overlays can be automatically attached to documents. IntelliTalk II adds a new level of ease and power to curriculum generation. Participants will experience the program's text and speech options as well as a host of new features that include:

Locked text that allows you to freeze blocks of text on your worksheet so students are unable to erase or alter them Picture handling that allows you to add graphics to a document and store them in the IntelliTools Content Library for later use On-screen palettes (scan-able on-screen keyboards) that can be used with other IntelliTalk II activities or even with future versions of IntelliPics and IntelliPaint,

Currently, IntelliTalk II is available for the Mac. However, it will be truly cross platform so you will be able to run all of your creations on both the Mac or Windows versions.


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Participants will have a chance to see the companion product to the popular Number Concepts 1 which made high quality animation and graphics accessible to students with special needs. Number Concepts 2 with Penn and Gwen, is an upper elementary product with a dynamic new look in accessible software.

In Number Concepts 2, students travel to the land of ice and snow where they are joined by their polar friends, Penn and Gwen. Their goal is to fend off Flame, the fiery menace, who will melt their frozen world if they don't master math concepts. The battle of wits begins with the hundreds chart where children identify number patterns and skip count. Then it's off to the catapult, where Penn and Gwen make ice cubes in the form of ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, and millions to send soaring toward the mischievous Flame. The adventure continues as students discover common factors in numbers up to 100. Penn and Gwen are happy to share learning tips and provide feedback. Navigational tools and icons are similar to those in Number Concepts 1, making it easy for students to progress from one program to the other as their skills increase.

Like its predecessor, Number Concepts 2 reflects NCTM standards, and relates to popular textbooks. It keeps a permanent student portfolio, providing a printout of each session so teachers or parents can see how long the student worked, what problems he/she encountered, and the answers given for each attempt to solve the problem.


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IntelliTools studied the effectiveness of Number Concepts 2 with students in trials sites across the country over a six month period. In pre-test and post-test assessments, we found that students with disabilities showed considerable gains. A dramatic example of this - three different students scored 0, 0, and 4 (out of 20) on their factoring pre-test and ended up scoring 20, 17, and 14 (out of 20) on the post test.

With MathPad Plus: Fractions and Decimals, participants will preview the next generation in the popular MathPad product line. MathPad Plus, with all the computational power of its predecessor, adds on-screen manipulatives, story problems, and a broad range of powerful custom features. Students start with a set of problems involving the four basic operations, fractions, decimals, or story problems. They can view problems in vertical or horizontal formats, hear their problem spoken aloud, and use IntelliKeys, or a switch.

Students explore their solutions using fully accessible on-screen manipulatives: fraction bars, fraction pies, and decimal grids. The ability to represent problems and solutions both numerically and pictorially, provides a high level of math understanding and accomplishment for ALL students. Teachers can create problem sets for the whole class or specific students. Each student's work is saved in a personal portfolio and assignments can easily be individualized.

MathPad Plus: Fractions and Decimals is an ideal tool for both school and home. It's designed for the middle school grade levels with versions for both Mac and Windows.

Participants attending this session will receive a free copy of Number Concepts

1 or 2.


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