2006 Conference General Sessions

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Linda Bidabe

Softtouch Inc.

17117 Oak Dr. Suite C

Omaha, NE 68130

Day Phone: 402-334-8477

Fax: 402-334-8478

Email: roxanne@softtouch.com


Learning to use the mouse requires visual-motor skills, motor planning, motor coordination and eye-hand separation. Where do you begin to teach this complex skill? This tutorial session teaches mouse skills step-by-step for students with cognitive, learning and/or physical challenges, including students with autism. Participants will receive a tutorial and matching mouse training CD.

Do you remember your first experience using a computer mouse or track pad? I do I pushed the mouse around on the desk but didn’t know where to put my eyes. When I looked at the screen I had to search to find the little black arrow. But what’s a mouse got to do with the cursor? What’s the mouse got to do with program?
Even though I knew how to use a computer keyboard; that ‘typing’ on the keyboard made letters on the computer screen; that the arrow cursor could be used to point to items on the screen; left to right and right to left; top to bottom and bottom to top and diagonals, I had to step back to square one and learn how to connect what my right hand was doing on the table with what was happening on the screen and what does that button/switch/clicky thing on top of the mouse do? This wasn’t automatic for me and it’s not automatic for many of our students. Yet if students can learn to use the mouse, they can move beyond single switch control.

This hands-on session presents a new kid-tested mouse training program. Learn how to teach mouse skills from a simple movement of the mouse on the table to the most difficult task of click and drag and drop. This SoftTouch Steps to Learning Computer Access Training Module is for students of any age who need to learn how to use the computer mouse. The training module ensures that students are successful at each step. Every step builds a skill. The next step builds on what the student can do. You can use the tutorial to teach students mouse skills step-by-step.

Students learn to:
• move the mouse horizontally
• move the mouse vertically
• move the mouse diagonally
• move an object to one or more targets select and move objects click and drag drag and drop

Students will also learn how to make a choice with the mouse as well as how to use the trashcan. Each training step results in an engaging activity for reinforcement.
Each training step includes:
• a training activity
• games to reinforce the step

Join this session to learn how to use this mouse training module and how to teach mouse skills. The methods and steps are appropriate to teach mouse skills to students of any age however the activities in this training module are age-appropriate to students from pre-school to grades 1/2.
Participants will receive a complementary copy of the tutorial and training module.

Reprinted with author(s) permission. Author(s) retain copyright