2006 Conference General Sessions




Bates Roger
Inclusive Technology
Gatehead Business Park
Delph 0L3 5BX United Kingdom
Day Phone: +44 01457819790
Email: roger@inclusive.oo.uk

This presentation will show how well designed software can make the creation of individualized switch controlled learning materials child’s play. There will be lets of ideas for using the SwitchIT range of programs, SwitchIT Maker 2, ChooseIT Maker 2 and Jigsaw Maker to create class room activities using digital pictures, symbols and video. These programs also make it easy to create off—computer materials such as simple books.

The programs can be accessed by one and two switches, mouse and are ideal for use on Interactive White Boards by groups see how students can create their own video records of achievement using SwitchIT Maker 2.

Ready-made software has much to offer, ease of use, high quality graphics and is a great time-saver for busy educators. However there are many children who do not respond to unfamiliar content but can to familiar things, their own pictures, video of family members and known voices. The computer is an ideal way to use such resources especially digital media such as still pictures, sound and video. Standard software can be used in many instances to access these resources but materials produced in this way are not always readily accessible using switches.

The SwichIT range has been designed to make it quick and easy to create resources, ideal for the computer novice. The presentation will show how educators have used them interactively with children, helping them to play a part in making their own learning materials. The introduction of Interactive Whiteboards into most United Kingdom classrooms has provided teachers with the tools to use computers effectively with groups of students. These programs are also an ideal resource to introduce to parents and careers outside the school setting as they are simple to use, specifically designed for the job and inexpensive.

Simple cause and effect activities can be very effective when they include familiar materials, digital pictures of familiar people with their own voices will attract many children who show little or no interest in other materials. SwitchIT Maker 2 can be used to display symbols, still pictures, sound and video clips belong with a text caption at the press of a switch, each press advancing to the next page, a second switch can be used to re—play the chosen page, introducing the concept of two switch use. Of special interest will be the opportunity to see how the program has been designed to be used by students who are able to use the simple interface to make activities for their class mates. This can be used as a really inclusive class or group session with a data projector and, if available, an interactive white board. The print option has been designed to allow you to quickly and easily make a printed book of your activity which can also be saved as a “player” allow the student to take it home to use on their own computer.

ChooselT Maker 2 gives you an easy to use tool for creating choice making activities with familiar pictures and sounds, an idea way to introduce scanning. Activities that you create can be accessed using one or two switches, mouse or touch screen and also offer the option of auditory scanning and a personalized reward as with SwitchIT Maker 2 a “player” option is included so a student can take an activity home. The two—switch option and easy to use program interface make this an ideal tool to introduce single or two switch scanning and the program contains lots of example activities covering the various stages of switching skills. As well as a visual scanning indicator you can include auditory scanning prompts, idea for children with visual difficulties or CVI (Cerebral Visual impairment).

Finally SwitchIT Jigsaw Maker gives the opportunity for some fun as well as learning, you can create simple on screen jig—saws of up to nine pieces for the student to do using mouse or one or two switches. Different levels of interaction allow the program to work from a simple cause and effect level up to choosing and placing the pieces using single or two switch scanning.

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