Saturday, March 3, 2007

Cool Timer and Online Dice

When I think of all the things we use a timer for in my class room (stander use, bathroom reminders, cooking and science activities and behavioral interventions to name a few) and the sheer number of timers I have purchased only to have them break in the past few years I could become quite overwhelmed.

Now it is Cool Timer to the rescue! Cool Timer is a free, downloadable program that runs on a computer (or computer based communication device?) and counts down time. What makes it cool is instead of a standard issue beeping you set it to play any .wav or MP3 on the computer. The minute I get to school on Monday I am downloading it.

Harmony Hollow, the makers of Cool Timer, offer three other teacher tools to check out as well. Outside of Cool Timer, I think The Hat is another useful program for the special needs classroom. The hat is a randomizer designed to make deciding things like who goes first easier. I bet you could load in other things you would like to randomize too, like numbers to make virtual dice (put the mouse cursor over the start or stop button and use a switch to activate to adapt).

Of course there is always the Arcess Online Switch Dice and Number Spinner, if you want easier virtual dice. If you have Opus Presenter you can download some switch dice. For $19 you can download a Powerpoint Dice Shaker or spinner, plus a randomizer code to install to make your own powerpoint dice and things (or download the watermaked demo), which works fine.

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