Tuesday, 27 December 2011


We were recently generously donated some iPad Motion Mounts from a company called iCymbal. They are a hard plastic grip style backing that secures to a flexible arm mount that can be attached to any surface. They come in a variety of colours and with 2 sizes of clamping arms.With the shorter arm you can remove the clamp from the arm and use it as a tripod on any flat surface.

We have them in a few of our classrooms and have found that they really can be mounted just about anywhere.  The mount is very secure and when tightened the tablet does not move. It can however be rotated and positioned to however you need it to be.

I have been using one at snack time with a young student. The Motion Mount is clamped with the short arm to the table and the tablet is positioned just right for his reach, off to the side where it isn't not getting in the way of his snack. I have also been able to adjust the angle of the tablet to reduce glare and have the images presented clearly and in his line of sight.We have also used it as you see in this picture while working with some of our other apps. 

I found with the shorter arm length that it was a bit more difficult to position on a stander or wheelchair and have the same range of tilt and positioning options. It worked great for an app that students were watching or listening to. With the longer arm you would be able to have more positioning options  for students with restricted mobility or limited vision.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Top 10 Canadian EdTech Newsmakers

We are so honoured to be named MindShare Learning's #1 pick for Top 10 Canadian EdTech Newsmakers of 2011. The people and organizations who make up the top 10 are an impressive group, each with amazing achievements and contributions to education and technology.

We have been working hard at our school with our students to integrate tablet technology into the curriculum and to use apps for communication.

We have seen some amazing things with our students, hearing some of them communicate their thoughts and feelings for the first time, watching them be able to attend for longer periods of time, seeing them reach out to make music independently.

Thank you for acknowledging the hard we have done and helping us to celebrate our achievements.

Saturday, 17 December 2011


*For sale in the app store for $14.99 (29/12/11)*

A new app has just been released and is currently free (was $19.99). It is called Choiceworks.

The app description on iTunes describes it as offering:

■ Three boards: Schedule, Waiting, and Feelings
■ Three Companion Books supporting each board
■ Image Library preloaded with over 165 images and audio
■ Add your own images and record your own audio for limitless customizability
■ Save an unlimited number of schedules for multiple children or different routines
■ Speaks boards out loud with professionally recorded audio
■ Time saving essentials like search and auto-save

iPhone Screenshot 1 I was easily able to create a visual schedule for each school day, as well as choice boards to offer students who are waiting with pictures of appropriate choices form the classroom. The voice recording feature was simple to use and the display is easy to navigate.

iPhone Screenshot 2
I like that in the schedule boards when an activity is completed the student has to move that picture to the right and it is checked off. It looks a lot like the paper schedules we are using in the classroom and is a copy of the . I also like that there is a timer feature built into the waiting board so that the time periods are clear and finite. 

It is the app version of the Choiceworks Visual Support System sold by Communication Crossroads.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Online Resource

I have a favourite online resource that I use for picture communication symbols. It comes from
SET-BC (Special Education Technology - British Columbia). This is a Ministry of Education Provincial Resource Program designed to support students with developmental disabilities. As part of their site they have a Learning Centre that includes a link to their PictureSET.

"PictureSET is a collection of downloadable visual supports that can be used by students for both receptive and expressive communication in the classroom, at home, and in the community. This searchable database allows you to find a wide range of useful visual supports for different curriculum areas, activities, and events. PictureSET resources are created and updated by dedicated professionals working with students in British Columbia."

There is a wealth of visual supports in both Boardmaker and PDF formats covering a wide range of topics and ages.