beANZ2014 Tour Workshops
For ten weeks in the summer, Ian travelled first to Australia, then on to New Zealand and finally to Denmark to deliver his unique iPad and special needs technology workshops to 1000s of teachers, therapists, support workers and parents at schools and conferences. Feedback has been very positive with almost everyone rating the sessions as ‘excellent‘ and ‘highly relevant‘.
We’re already working on our 2015 tour which we hope will include some conference venues in the U.S and Canada. More information of dates and venues will be published on as our Facebook page in the coming months. Want to book Ian for your conference? Email email@example.com
CALL for Excellent AAC Resources
Here’s another wonderful free AAC and communication resource web site from our friends at CALL Scotland. This A3 poster for your classroom wall provides an A to Z of ideas for using single message communicators at school or home. Check out too the brilliant set of ‘ready to go’ communication games and activities.
iOS 8 breaks Guided Access
I’m hearing lots of troubling reports from colleagues who have updated their iPad operating systems to IOS 8 that Guided Access is now broken or bugged. I’ve tried it and it won’t work for me. I’ve heard a couple of work arounds but they almost all involve resetting the iPad, something we don’t want to be doing in the classroom. Best advice right now is don’t upgrade until Apple sort out this bug.
Pirates land in Auckland
You may remember when we shared the brilliant PMLD thematic units of work from Northern Ireland a few weeks ago. If not you can get them from HERE. During the summer I ran a workshop exploring these resources together with Julie King from Click Special Ed NZ and Catherine Brill from DTSL. Our aim was to take one of the units (we chose the pirate theme) and use it as inspiration to help plan inclusive lessons differentiated for a wide range of needs. We adopted a ‘High Tech, Low Tech, No Tech’ approach so everyone could take part. Over 50 colleagues came along dressed as pirates to the workshop held at BLENNZ on a Saturday and they all came up with some wonderful teaching ideas around the topic.
Free switch activities for Halloween
Just a quick reminder that there are lots of free Halloween themed cause and effect activities for switch and touch-screen users on our web site for you to download and use with your students.
We’ve also added some new activities suggested by visitors to our Facebook page. Check out the new ‘Dr. Who‘, ‘Elmo’s Song‘, ‘Top Gear‘ and ‘Minions‘ along with over 100 other free cause and effect activities for switch, touch-screen and now eye gaze control. Get them from here:
Tried and tested free apps
More useful free app recommendations this month including the brilliant ‘Talking Pictures‘ app which lets you add talking ‘hotspots’ to your photographs. Please note: While all of these apps were free at the time of writing, always check the price of an app before downloading it.
Many apps are offered free by developers but some are only free for a short period of time.
Talking Pictures is a wonderful, easy to use tool which lets you add ‘hotspots’ to your photographs or images. Use it to make VSD communication boards, to create simple activities or let the students use it as a motivating and easy way for them to record what they have been doing. The free version of the app lets you create ONE talking picture. Upgrade costs 69p ($1) and allows you to make any number of talking pictures each with up to 10 embedded sounds.
Get TALKING PICTURES APP on the app store
Make learning to use the camera fun with Pirate Cam app. Take a photograph or choose one from your device or the internet and with one touch of the screen, you can turn them into a pirate. More advanced users can choose different pirate features such as beards, eye patches and hats too.
Get PIRATE CAM on the app store
If like many UK schools you’re exploring what the new computing curriculum might offer your students, take a look at the free Scratch Junior app which brings to the iPad a simpler version Scratch, the very popular visual programming language developed at MIT. Scratch Junior introduces new commands slowly and features iPad specific commands to enable some of our students to design and make their own game apps.
Get SCRATCH JUNIOR on the app store.
About My Day is a useful app from the University of Victoria in Australia which enables young people (or adults) with learning difficulties to keep a record and comments on their day. I’ve worked with a number of schools who have been using this app with their older students very successfully. I love the emoticons for sharing feelings about the day.
Win a copy of this great book
It’s time for another Facebook prize give-away, this time it’s a fantastic book brimming with brilliant ideas for using ICT in the Inclusive Classroom. Written by Sal McKeown and Angela McGlashon, this book shares great lesson ideas for using technology effectively with your students. From digital video to dance games, iPads to Clicker there are so many useful ideas in this book that begin and end with great teaching.
To win copy of this brilliant book worth over £20, simply visit (and like) our Facebook page and share one of the ways that YOU use technology in your classroom. One winner will be drawn from the comments on Friday 24th of October 2014. The competition is open to teachers, support staff, parents and carers around the world. Prize will be sent by mail.