Monday, April 15, 2013

Multimedia Menu

This week my 8th graders and GT students are both starting Multimedia projects.  The students are free to choose how to communicate their work.  However, I did want to offer some choices so they don't all choose the safe or easy route.  Enter the Multimedia Menu.

On the Menu students get a brief description of the tool, the URL, how to sign in and any notes.  Many of these tools require that users by 13 or over.  To protect my students in those instances, I create a class account and give them access to it.  The user names and passwords appear in the sign in column.  If they can create their own account, I give them instructions on how to sign up in the sign in column.

All the tools are free, except Glogster.  For Animoto and Kerpoof, I have a teacher account.  If a student wants to use that tool, I create an account for them.

What are your favorite multimedia tools?

Feel free to use the Menu and fill in your own sign in information.  Click here to get the Menu

Monday, April 1, 2013

Apps & Autism

This is definitely a 'worlds collide' post.  Tuesday, April 2nd is World Autism Awareness day.  I'm a mom of 3 boys and my youngest has Autism Spectrum Disorder.

I'm not a one size fits all kind of gal.  And Autism is certainly not a one size fits all kind of disorder.  So, extensive lists of apps isn't always helpful.  You have to fit the app to the student, autistic or otherwise.  What skill needs to be worked on? What app is best suited to fill that need?  As always, start with WHY? and go from there. Here are some apps that have helped our B-man.

I can tell you from first hand experience that the iPad has been an important tool for B.  He was mostly non-verbal until he started using the iPad.  We used many of the ABA apps to build his vocabulary. There are many ABA apps and many of them are free this month!

But I saw a real change when I purchased The Monster at the End of This Book.  I have a hardback version of this book but the app really caught B's attention.  He really loves interacting with the book and breakout Grover out of barriers.

B loves numbers so the Team UmiZoomi app is a favorite.

But lately, my favorite school app has become B's favorite app.  Educreations.  Quite by accident, I stumbled onto a way to build B's fine motor skills.  I purchased a stylus so I could take notes at TCEA. (I still love to write notes).  B discovered it and started using Educreations to practice his letters.  Through his 'play' on Educreations, I found out he could spell words.

We've also made a couple of videos.  I wrote the letters of the alphabet first then pressed record.  He named all the letters as I advanced the recording slides. He loved replaying that video over and over.

You can also get the app that I used to create B's picture for free. It's called Light It Up Blue 2013