Thursday, June 26, 2014

Social Thinking Providers' Conference 2014

This past weekend, I was thrilled to be part of the Social Thinking® Providers' Conference in San Francisco, CA. I always leave this event (this was my third) with renewed energy and a ton of ideas informing my work, which nowadays centers around language therapy and a whole lot of social cognitive work with kids who have learning challenges in this area.

This year's agenda featured updates from Social Thinking founder Michelle Garcia Winner, of course, but also great presentations from prominent thinkers in social cognition such as Dr. Jed Baker, author of The Social Skills Picture Book among other works, and Kari Dunn Buron, creator of one of my favorite tools, The Incredible Five Point Scale.

Breakout sessions featured terrific information from Maryellen Rooney Moreau, creator of Story Grammar Marker, Jenny Sojat presenting a great therapy idea about teaching kids "levels of like" to address black/white thinking, Alana Fitchtelberg on great simple activities addressing the skills in the ILAUGH model, and Nancy Clements and Anna Cotton on Project Based Learning and Social Thinking.

Some specific ideas I walked away with:

Social Thinkng is about providing very accessible language to define super complex ideas at the level of therapy. (Michelle Garcia Winner)

It is very hard to teach kids "rules." Adults think it's awful to put a "Kick Me" sign on someone's back but if doing so with humorous or gentle intent, kids actually are showing each other they are "thinking of each other"- it's validating! Similar example, if a friend gets a good grade on a test an expected response can be: "You suck!" To kids that can handle it, we must teach nuance. (Michelle Garcia Winner)

A new concept in assessing and treating early learners in play contexts is the Social Thinking GPS (Group Play and Problem-Solving Scale): ME-based players are self-focused on their object-oriented play and include adults when adults join their attention "in a tunnel" or follow the child’s lead. WE-based players are emerging or emerged in their ability to socially attend to peers and able to engage in peer based play with varying levels of support. (Kari Palmer, Nancy Tarshis, Ryan Hendrix)

The idea around the 5 Point Scale is that more language is not working, so we systematize (see Simon Baron-Cohen's Empathizing-Systematizing Theory). Similarly, calming sequences are based on training of first responders and automaticity: "when this happens, we do this, this, and this." (Kari Dunn Buron)

Working with students around formulating "Levels" and sequencing items within them can target concrete thinking and build acceptance of shades of gray. Start with "Levels of Like" (e.g. foods, games) and creation of an "OK Line" can help students to compromise when making a group plan regarding an activity/compromise. (Jenny Sojat)

Try to avoid examples of "non-active listening" when working with resistant students (I recalled saying some of these myself, ruefully) :
• “There’s no reason to be so upset.” (Denial of Feelings)
• “Mrs. Peru was just doing her job.” (Defense of the other person)
• “I think you’re missing the point of the assignment, again.” (Blaming)
• “Just do it and get it over with.” (Advice)
• “That’s life. You don’t always get to do it your way (Philosophical response)
• “I feel so sorry for you!” (Pity)
"Sounds as if you (feel/thought)..." is a good way to start an active/empathetic listening statement. (Nancy Cotton)

---Intermission---

And then our Ely Center staff took advantage of flying all the way from Boston to the West Coast to...go to a Red Sox Game!



---End Intermission---

Jed Baker, an amazing speaker, discussed the efficacy of peer training at middle and high school level in changing a school climate to be supportive of students with social learning challenges. He also mentioned that response cost systems (e.g. Class Dojo, taking away points) should be used with students who are disregulated with positive emotion, not negative emotion.

Students can build social cognition and skills through project-based contexts (see Project-Based Learning). These interpersonal effectiveness videos are great resources for expected and unexpected behaviors in contexts of working in a group.  (Nancy Clements)

Finally, I was very happy to be presenting at this conference myself. My session was a new approach for me, presenting 3 different apps (Pic Collage, Keynote, Toontastic) that could be used for Social Thinking along with an analysis of their features and presentation of examples of how I have used them. The participants then had time between each resource to brainstorm at their tables and add ideas to a collaborative digital "wall." This in-depth "zooming in" on resources was a lot of fun and those who attended added many great new thoughts on how the apps could be used for social development.

Here are the 3 walls on Padlet, below (just use your mouse to move around the wall and "hover" on any boxes hidden in order to read them):







I highly recommend getting to a Social Thinking conference soon!

Social Thinking is based on the work of Michelle Garcia Winner. See socialthinking.com for great products and free resources.

Disclosure: Author is employed by The Ely Center, LLC and is a contractor with Mindwing Concepts, Inc. for provision of blog content and professional development.

Friday, June 13, 2014

World's Worst Pet-Vocabulary

I am often asked about apps that build vocabulary and am at a loss for an easy answer. Are you looking for apps for basic or more advanced vocabulary? Do you mean semantics instead? There are many terrific apps that can be used to build semantic networks, categorization and description (take Bag Game, Naming TherAppy and Describe it to Me as a few examples), and though these skills provide the foundation for expanding vocabulary, this is sometimes not what the person was asking for.

What I often try to do is guide people toward context and repeated exposure, two principles of vocabulary development espoused in the terrific Bringing Words To Life by Isabel Beck (more on this in a minute), and again my answers aren't so straightforward:
-Read books and use Kidspiration or Inspiration to map or categorize vocabulary in context
-Keep a vocabulary journal in Evernote
-etc.

While the above approach aligns with my philosophy about apps, i.e. that they are tools to be used as part of a bigger context, process, sequence of pre-/post- activities etc, it was really nice to find an app that can be used to develop vocabulary by providing content and context within an engaging package. I'm speaking of World's Worst Pet-Vocabulary (FREE!) from the folks at Curriculum Associates, which was designed specifically to develop Tier 2 Vocabulary (another concept discussed in Beck's book)- those high-frequency words used by "mature" speakers.

World's Worst Pet contains tons of content that can be worked with across 5 grade levels (grades 4-8 are suggested but with scaffolding, this can be used with younger grades in the same way kindergarteners learn Tier 2 words using Beck's approach). The concept is that Snargg, the world's worst pet, keeps bolting and you need to interact with vocabulary to "chase" him through a particular setting (e.g. a bakery) and retrieve him. You move vocabulary words to complete tasks such as matching words to the main idea of "book" titles, finding synonyms or antonyms, responding to questions/categorizing around the vocab words, or identifying examples/nonexamples. Your choices guide Snargg via steps, catapult, rocket, etc in engaging ways, and the app follows a commonly-enjoyed structure of encouraging accurate completion of each level by earning "pupcakes."



My favorite part of the app is that the sets of 10 vocabulary words are contextual, related, relevant to real life, and supported by student-friendly definitions (more Beck). The sets include topics such as words about performing (audience, popular, melody, public), words about going places (journey, roam, guide, proceed), and words about the mall (merchandise, extravagant, desire, vendor).




The levels and sets give you a place to start for students with weak vocabulary and a structure that might serve you (and them) over several years of instruction. You can challenge the students to complete each set perfectly, and the pace of the game will give you a lot of "air time" to discuss each word and provide additional models. Each level can be a doorway to activities over several weeks, including a suggested writing activity, and can be a topic of consultation with teachers so that there are multiple exposures to the words (as building vocabulary only in the "speech room" can have limited efficacy). EVEN BETTER, you can flip this model and use this app as the context for in-class programming, thereby facilitating vocabulary development in the classroom. Beck's book will give you many more ideas for wordplay activities to provide students with multiple exposure to words!

Let me know what you think of this app-it's one of my favorite finds this year. Thank you to Richard Byrne of iPad Apps for School for pointing it out.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Summer Professional Development



Summer approaches! Here's what I will be up to:

I am happy to be presenting at the Social Thinking® Providers' Conference in San Francisco this month (June 20-22). The topic is Zooming in on App Integration: 3 Apps and Divergent Uses for Social Thinking Instruction.

The Ely Center is hosting two sections of Mindwing Concepts' terrific Story Grammar Marker certification course, followed by a 3rd day focused on technology integration with Mindwing's narrative and expository text comprehension and production tools (I facilitate the 3rd day). The two sections will be held July 21-23 and August 18-20. See Mindwing's website for more information and registration.

For MASSCue

Webinar for Administrators (please let your administrators, even beyond MA, know about this one)- Integrating the iPad for School Administrators, various dates.

Tell Me A Story: iPad Apps for Digital Storytelling and Explanimation (July 24, Waltham).

The iPad as a Social and Organizational Tool: Apps to Promote Social Cognition and Executive Functioning (August 21, Bedford)

Have a great summer!

Disclosure: Author is employed by The Ely Center, LLC and is a contractor with Mindwing Concepts, Inc. for provision of blog content and professional development.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Everything You Need To Know About WWDC 2014

You may be thinking, "I don't even know what WWDC is," which is fine. However, the Worldwide Developer's Conference is one of Apple's (usually 2) opportunities each year to announce what's coming next (in this case, this fall). Yesterday's Keynote featured a number of announcements that are important for SLPs and other language teachers to know about. Here's a brief rundown.



iOS 8 coming this fall: iOS, of course, is the brain of the iPad. New releases of operating systems not only add features to the device or change the look and feel (as iOS 7 did substantially), but also affect the way all your apps work and update. After an iOS update, many developers update their apps and add features--so if you don't or can't update the operating system, you would miss out on app updates. Even more importantly, if you are running an outdated operating system, this makes you vulnerable to security issues when you surf the web (e.g. and buy something with a credit card). Some main points about iOS 8:

iPad 2 users, you're still in! Apple deals in an element of "planned obsolescence"- as their software advances, sometimes the hardware has to drop out for the software to run properly. This has happened with the 1st generation iPad, which though still usable became technically obsolete when iOS 7 came out, as it could not be installed on that device. The rumors ahead of WWDC were that the new operating software would not be able to be installed on the iPad 2 (which is no longer being sold by Apple), but it seems we have a reprieve here, and your iPad 2 will be able to be updated. This is important for all the reasons listed above. Because I help integrate a cart of 30 iPad 2s at a local school, I also breathed a sigh of relief about this one.

QuickType is an advanced word prediction technology that will be available in the Messages app. This feature actually responds to your previous messages with any given contact and suggests words as you are typing that correspond with your communication style with that person. This will be a boon to people with print or other disabilities- I hope it will also be available in word processing tools eventually. You can see how it works here. In Messages you will also be able to record and send short audio messages that expire after playing, SnapChat style, and this is also a nice feature for those with communication issues.

App Store will have a number of enhancements making it easier to get information about apps, including App Previews, videos that developers can upload so you know what you are getting before you buy. This is essential information before purchasing dedicated SLP and other apps and will help you evaluate your potential purchases. Bundles of apps will also be available for the first time at discounted prices.

Passcode protection on everything including third party apps. This was not demonstrated so I am not exactly sure how it will work, but it seems to mean that you can set a passcode to prevent students from opening certain apps.

Family Sharing is a set of features making iOS like a "virtual refrigerator door" for families- the demos of sharing calendar items and reminders between family members look great for those with autism or executive function issues.

Health will be fostered through iOS 8 with a new app that synchs with now popular simple body-monitoring devices to track everything from sleep to blood pressure.

iCloud Drive is a new aspect of iCloud allowing addition of files from compatible apps. This may end up being easier to use than Dropbox or Google Drive, especially if you are using creation apps and "app smashing" a product from one app to another.

Metal is a new technology for creating apps that looks like it has great potential for interactive experiences that foster language. The Apple team demonstrated an amazingly detailed and interactive Zen Garden app (that, incidentally, will be available for free when iOS 8 is released).

Photos as always continue to improve with shooting and editing features, as well as easier sharing between devices, which you will want to turn off because beverages.

iOS 8 will be released for free this fall for iPad 2 and above, iPhone 4S and above, and will be available through your Software Update in Settings at that time.

Mac users: a new version of OS X called Yosemite (these operating systems are now named after California locations) will be released in fall as well. Its features include a new look and feel, translucency ala iOS 7 that brings a sense of context on screen, and many aspects that link your Mac to iOS devices. I am particularly excited to be able to AirDrop rather than email photos to my Mac, as I need to do this a lot when writing email updates to parents about therapy sessions. You can see a rundown of new Yosemite features here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Canva- a great resource for flyers, strategy cards or other therapy visuals!

A number of great webtools have become defunct in recent months (bye, xtranormal, and see ya, Kerpoof, sniff sniff), so it's great to see that useful websites are still being developed. Canva premiered in the past year as a tool to make design accessible to everyone.  Canva is free (some backgrounds or stock photo options available at cost) and a super-easy way to make a snazzy visual: a flyer for your services, event, or practice news, an appealing reminder to use a particular language strategy (concepts from Social Thinking® spring to mind) or a creation tool to make a poster emphasizing "language underpinnings" of a curriculum topic.


Note: Canva is NOT accessible on iPad currently. Messages on the website indicate this is coming in the future.

Canva promotes itself as "Amazingly Simple" and it is! Select a layout or background (or both), add and edit your text, and insert photos (many stock options cost $1, or add your own photos or digital drawings). Your product will be linkable or downloadable as an image or PDF.

Canva contains some specialized options: for your social media peeps, you can make blog images, Pinterest-friendly pics, Twitter or Facebook cover images, and more.


Our bulletin board- filled with Canva-produced announcements!


What visual do you have of using Canva? Let us know in the comments!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Link Updates and One "for the Girls"

Some updates on other writings- so far this year I have had several columns published in ASHA Leader, in case you missed them:

May 1, 2014. Tech-Supported Wellness

April 1, 2014. 'Skitch' Up your Visual Aids

January 1, 2014. Zooming in on One Multitalented App

Recently I also posted for Mindwing Concepts on infusing use of Braidy, The Storybraid with Social Thinking's® terrific Incredible Flexible You program

When Lego's® Friends line of toys came on the market, marketed as "Lego for Girls," it met with some controversy about gendered branding. After all, there already was a Lego for Girls. It was called Lego.

Despite this, it seems girls do respond to the look and feel of Friends, and I appreciate any toy that develops hands-on, narrative and cooperative play. I also applaud Lego for their creation of a number of free, language-useful apps, even if the goal of these apps is to get people to buy more Lego. Minor critique aside, Lego does make a great product.

I recently found Lego Friends Story Maker app very useful in working with a small group of girls- the app is a pretty simple and limited scene creator, but in some cases it can be helpful to present only small arrays of choices. The goal can always be, how do we make a story of what we see here?

The app allows you to select from a variety of backgrounds (beach, school, etc) add characters and setting elements, as well as smaller props. As an added bonus, you can record an audio narration for your created scene, always a good opportunity to practice applicable speech and language targets or strategies.



Scene creators provide a context to develop all sorts of language targets, from concepts to description to sentence formulation. The app is limited in its text features (i.e. I'd really want to make a comic with it), but here's a place you can "app-smash." Just screenshot your scene and then add the photo to Strip Designer and you're good to add word and thought balloons and captions, helpful for scripting and other aspects of social development.

As in other cases, if you have any Friends or other Lego toys on hand, the app can help you practice play scripts and plans to enact with real-world toys.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Re-usable Images!

As SLPs and other educators delve into creative visual tools, it opens up a world of language opportunities for our students. Creating videos, animations, books, comics, and other products is always a language process, and we can scaffold the use of many strategies while using these tools. However, using visual creation apps often requires images, and there is more than privacy at stake in this matter. We also must consider copyright and fair use.

As a general rule, using pictures saved via a Google Image search is going to be fine if what you are creating is staying on your iPad and not being republished or widely disseminated. For some examples, you're OK if you have saved a Google Image for educational purposes and you:
-Mark it up with photo annotation tool Skitch, save it to the Camera Roll and/or print it for use with the student or display in a classroom.
-Add it to a visual made with Custom Boards (which also has a built in Google Image search).
-Use it in a social story of which there are one (or "few" according to the confusing guidelines) copies.
-Add it to an album in the Photos app and only use it there.

We have to consider where trouble with copyright could occur on somewhat of an app-by-app basis, or even via some "if/thens" within a given app. For example:
-Toontastic, a wonderful animation app, allows you to add backgrounds from the Camera Roll, making for unlimited contexts for storytelling. If you have saved a Google Image without attention to copyright and send your completed toon containing that image as a background to Toontube, the app's optional sharing site, this is an issue. However, the app also has the option to just save toons within the app or to the Camera Roll, which is OK.
-Tellagami, a great talking avatar app, has a similar background image capability. Save your creation to the Camera Roll, and you're good. Upload that video to YouTube, and you're not.
-Many e-Book creators such as Scribble Press and My Story allow you to share your books, but only by first uploading them to their websites. This is a problem if you (or students) have saved images indiscriminately. Unless using images licensed for reuse (see below) share the book only to iBooks on your device or use a different app such as Book Creator, which allows you more diverse sharing options.

The purpose of this post is ultimately to offer solutions, not just scary problems. So if you know your work is to be shared (emailed to many parents, tweeted, posted to a website, uploaded to an app's sharing "gallery" of any kind) when it is completed, simply start by obtaining images licensed for reuse, along with citation information. Two easy ways to do this:

Google Images
Wait, didn't we just say use of Google Images is potentially problematic? Not if you customize your search to find images labeled for reuse.

This option was recently added to Google Image Search. Click/Tap on Search Tools, then Usage Rights, and filter by "labeled for reuse"


When saving your image, also note the source so that you can site it in your work with an "Images From" section or some sort of credit.



Flickr Creative Commons
I like Flickr Creative Commons for its wide selection and ease of identifying the source of an image for citation. This resource requires a few extra steps to get to a downloadable/save-able/citable image:

-Click/tap See more on the license level you want to use- I generally use Attribution.
-Search for images, tap or click on one you like to see it in detail
-Tap the 3 Dots, then All sizes
-Tap and hold on (if on iPad) or right-click/ctrl-click image to save. Note creator at the top of the page (e.g. johnsmith on flickr) so you can provide attribution if republishing, and use a link if possible.


image licensed for reuse by scott1346 on flickr
Above, an example of citing an image when republishing!

For some more background on this issue and these strategies for obtaining images, check out Common Craft's great video on Copyright and Creative Commons.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Stick Around: The Spectrum of Repurposing

Much of my efforts in writing and conducting trainings is geared toward helping SLPs and other educators see the potential use of apps and tools they might not have recognized initially as language-based. That has been the focus of this blog since its inception- "looking through a language lens"- even back when we were talking about interactive flash-based websites and webtools, way before apps.

I found great validation of my advocacy for "repurposing" in an article by Jessica Gosnell in the ASHA Leader in 2011, and consistently use this quote in sessions:

“A search focused only on a specific profile of dedicated apps (speech production, targeted language goals, augmentative communication) could miss many well-designed apps that offer motivating and fun learning opportunities. Using creativity, clinicians can reach beyond an app's intended target audience and purpose and adapt it to support interventions.”
-Jessica Gosnell (Children’s Hospital, Boston), “Apps, an Emerging Tool for SLPs,” ASHA Leader Online, October, 2011

I think as we progress in incorporating technology into our work thoughtfully, we are getting better at seeing these connections and potential uses of a wider variety of apps. Recently, I was presenting on apps for pediatric populations at the ASHA Healthcare and Business Institute and included a great recent release called Stick Around. This educational app allows the creation of puzzles featuring "stickers" that can be dragged on top of an image or array in order to develop labeling, sequencing, or describing in just about any context. As I was showing it with other apps that could be repurposed for language therapy, a participant asked, "Is this really even a repurposed app? It seems like language heaven!"

I replied, "Good point!" But the fact is, many in our field might not think to look past the icon and description (or even stumble upon it in the education category of the App Store), and it wasn't designed specifically for speech and language pathologists. So, while on the spectrum of repurposing, it's not such a stretch as using Bobbleshop- Bobble Head Avatar Maker for developing descriptive language, we all could use a push to see what a valuable app Stick Around could be.

Tony Vincent, an amazing resource on technology integration and the author of Stick Around (in partnership with Explain Everything creators Morris Cooke), definitely sees these connections between language and learning, and has presented for our peeps at conferences such as those held by the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities in Florida. He designed Stick Around ($2.99, very Fairly Priced and meeting all other points of the FIVES Criteria) to be a blank slate where educators--and students--could create these self-checking puzzles for learning in all contexts. So let's take a look at it.

Stick Around may first look a bit daunting, but this is just because its interface allows for such a large array of options and customization. I figured the process out in about 10 min, but there are also great video tutorials available should you get stuck. Though it might seem strangely dairy-specific, in the shots below I am showing how to set up a puzzle that could be used for life skills and executive functioning ("feature teaching" ala Sarah Ward). You could think up all sorts of other contexts for puzzles (In Las Vegas, I modeled a puzzle labeling the casinos on the Vegas Strip from a screenshot using Google Earth- you need Stick Around on your iPad to access this file)!


Start with deciding the image you would like to use as a puzzle (the app also has templates such as Venn Diagrams and sequencing frames). In this case, on a community trip to the supermarket, we snapped this image of the dairy section. You can also save an image, but just be aware of copyright should you plan to share your puzzle (see my next post).


Using the Stick Around app (see above the array of sample projects to spur your imagination- try not to be intimidated by how beautiful their graphics look), begin a new project.


I created a blank project so that I could use a photo background. Tap the + to add this from your Photo Library or other source.


Your next step is the stickers. These can take various formats (Text, Image, or Drawing Sticker). Double tap the sticker to write the label, and you can also add a description via text or audio (a great feature for SLPs). Arrows can be added as well.


Create your Answer Key by drawing each of the "regions" where the sticker, if placed or pointed, will result in a correct answer when the puzzle is played. Make sure your regions don't overlap. While creating the Answer Key, you will want to place the sticker or its arrow head in the correct region to link the sticker and its region, as seen above.


Finally, you can tap Play and try out your project in puzzle form. As a great example of continuous improvement in apps, Stick Around recently added the faces indicating correct or incorrect answers when you tap "Check."

When you are done with your project, save it (when navigating back to My Projects, you will be prompted to give it a name and save, or you can give it a name in the Info tab). The Export button (arrow into box) allows you to send the project to the Puzzles section of the app (from Projects) so that it can be played but not edited.

One of the best features of Stick Around is that puzzles you create can be shared with others who have the app. From My Projects I simply exported this one to Dropbox, and if on an iPad with Stick Around installed, you can click this link to add it to your Projects and play it!

So, what are your thoughts? What can you imagine creating with Stick Around?

As always, Happy Repurposing!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Video Demo of Apple TV in Clinical Setting

At last weekend's ASHA Healthcare and Business Institute in Las Vegas, I presented a session entitled "Tech Up," detailing a variety of simple technologies that can be infused for productivity and engagement in the private practice setting (though the ideas, including this one involving Apple TV, are applicable to other settings). Apple TV is a small device that allows you to display content on a TV, and is especially helpful when you need to engage a group. Because this technology is pretty impossible to demonstrate in a conference setting (one never knows what the wifi situation will be), I made a short video at the Ely Center where I work and where we have been using Apple TVs in order to show this to the attendees- and you!




A couple of key points I want to reiterate in case you missed them in my babbling:
-The Apple TV is only $99 and can be attached via HDMI cable to any HDTV (now cheap- the one shown here cost about $400).
-It can then be used to "mirror" an iPad or iPhone so that anything viewable on the small screen will show up on the big screen- apps, videos, webpages.
-This is useful for "dedicated" speech-language apps (such as Tactus' Conversation TherAppy, shown here) as well as creative application of any apps that provide a visual context for speech, language, or social communication, as well as overall client education.
-The Apple TV and your device need to be on the same wifi network in order for the AirPlay button to show up in Control Center, as shown in the video but also here.
-My point about turning on the actual TV after mirroring is just one I have learned from experience, and usually just prevents distraction. However, once, after this poster popped up, I had to explain to a parent that her son had inquired what a "virgin" is (I pretended I didn't hear the question)- luckily, she was totally cool with it. You can also quickly dismiss the iTunes preview by tapping "down" on the remote.

Hopefully the video is helpful to you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ASHA Healthcare and Business Institute 2014

I had the great opportunity to present at and attend the ASHA Healthcare and Business Institute at Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas this past weekend. It was a great learning experience, and as you know, Vegas is no fun at all.

I presented three sessions: Inside and Outside the Box Apps for Pediatrics/Adults (2 sessions) and Tech Up! (a sort of day-to-day incorporation of technology to increase productivity and engagement in private practice settings). All went well, and the audience was terrific!

On the first day, I attended several sessions before mine, and especially enjoyed Audrey Holland's presentation on new directions in aphasia therapy. She discussed the value of contextual, functional group therapy (including narrative, which I am all about) and applications of technology- here was my tweet from her session.



Oops, I said Skype twice. I guess I thought it was important.

Now, my background includes a clinical fellowship year working in adult neurogenic rehab, some work helping with the initial offerings of Boston University's Aphasia Resource Center (specifically, what was then known pre-iPad as the "Aphasia Computer Club), and development of presentations including apps for adults. I work extensively with adolescents in transition from high school and some adults with autism, but I am primarily working in pediatrics and with kid-related topics and interventions, so the "refresher" was certainly welcome.

I especially appreciated Dr. Holland's reference to a VERY recently published issue of Seminars in Speech and Language (February, 2014) dedicated to the use of mobile tech in aphasia treatment. As electronic access to journals is not so easy for those of us not-in-school, I immediately texted my graduate intern from BU and asked if she had time to download and send me the articles (she did- thanks, Lauren!). One in particular, delightfully co-written by Elizabeth Hoover, my graduate placement supervisor back in 1999, and classmate Anne Carney, ended up providing me with the following additional slide for my presentation:


What I loved about this new information was that it provided a powerful context to demonstrate some of these tools, particularly Keynote, Reader (which provides a clean, uncluttered view of many test-based webpages in Safari), and Speak Selection (which is one way to access text-to-speech) as tools for clients to access text.

On the matter of Keynote, it is really one of my go-to apps whenever I need a "blank slate" to work with when creating or displaying visuals, which is exactly how this article framed it. Keynote ($9.99, free on new iPads purchased after fall 2013) is in short Apple's version of PowerPoint, though in many ways I like it more. Look to Keynote as a way to create a slide or two to break down a concept, display pictures, or even create picture stories. How do you use Keynote? It's as simple as this image I created for a recent workshop:


So, the conference went well, and I hope this information is helpful for clinicians and educators working with clients of all ages and populations.

I may have a few more posts related to this trip, but for now, I will leave you with a #selfie of me waiting to see Olivia Newton-John! I did make it to the strip a couple times...


 
. Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...