2006 Conference General Sessions



Lisa Petit
Mayer-Johnson, LLC
1237 Devonshire Curve
Bloomington, MN 55431
Day Phone: 952-884-3198
Fax: 952-884-3198
Email: lisa@mayer-johnson.com

Presenter #2
Lori Geist
Mayer-Johnson, LLC
2500 NE Hoyt St Apt 52
Portland, OR 97232

Day Phone: 412-951-8223
Email: lori@mayer-johnson.com

The new version of Boardmaker Mac is in many people’s hands and for the most part foundation skills will translate over to the newer version. Once these beginning skills are acquired it is time to really get to know this newer version. This session will assume foundation skills are in place and will spend the majority of the session exploring the program at a more in depth level. Becoming a more advanced Boardmaker user means learning and using more advanced skills as well as broadening the way you use the program. This session will address each of these components by combining a skills-based approach with creative, end-product creation for each skill taught.

The session will begin with a foundation skills review activity. Attendees will be give an activity to design that includes several different elements. This activity will allow presenters to troubleshoot if any participants are lacking foundation skills and will allow for a quick review of any such skills. Participants will receive a foundation skills checklist that they can work through or use as a guide to teach colleagues or others foundation skills on Boardmaker.

With foundation skills in place, this session will move forward. The next three skills that will be taught include customizing to create new symbols, strategies for adapting text and symbols and importing digital images. These skills have been identified as important skills for the following reasons: allow users to drastically increase the number of symbols they have, provide alternate means to target literacy skills with modifications of text adaptation, and provide access to digital images for those users unable to identify and gain meaning from symbols.  These three skills will be reviewed using clearly defined tutorials and the presenters’ guided instruction. Once the skills have been reviewed, participants will be given a challenge activity to design that will incorporate these three skills into a creative end-product.

To conclude this session, presenters will share a collection of tips and tricks that make creating activities on Boardmaker more time-efficient. Although each of these tricks can save a bit of time individually, when you put them together they can significantly change the way one uses Boardmaker. Tips include: creating one’s own templates for repeated use, using the My Symbols Category, copying and pasting between boards and more.

Once these tips have been shared presenters will share the idea of broadening the use of Boardmaker. Boardmaker has been used for years to create simple communication boards. For the more advanced Boardmaker user, it is time to make new and unique activities of varying formats with Boardmaker. A simple activity will be completed where participants are given a worksheet with several types of activities including: game board, graph, file folder, book, worksheet, and more. Participants will have to complete this worksheet with ideas of activities to create with Boardmaker specific to a theme or unity they are targeting with their students or clients.

To conclude this session, participants will be given a challenge activity that combines the skills and tricks they have learned in this session. The activity will be an interactive book. Participants will create the template for the book, add new symbols, decide the strategy they will use for adapting text with symbols and create the book. Participants will be encouraged to create a book that includes the required skills, targets a specific theme or unit, and shows creativity.

This session is a wonderful opportunity for participants to gain additional skills, learn tips and tricks, and broaden their use of Boardmaker. Through a skills-based and end-product approach, participants will leave this session with a new found confidence in using Boardmaker for Mac and a renewed enthusiasm for the many creative uses Boardmaker has.

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