Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tablet PC News

I am blogging this on a new Tablet PC purchased through a Donors Choose grant. Unfortunately the Tablet I wrote the grant for was sold out, as was the backup choice I sent to Donors Choose, thus this is a stylus drive touch screen without a CD/DVD drive or a touch pad mouse (only one of those little buttons in the middle of the keyboard) and is quite a bit smaller than what I wanted. Still I am excited. It is my wish that this act as a trial AAC device, a means to input student performance data on the go and a teaching tool replacing some of the laminated paper and velcro items I use now with Classroom Suite, Clicker 5 and Boardmaker Plus interactive activities.

I am busily loading Classroom Suite Player and Boardmaker Player onto the Tablet and beginning to further envision how I will use it in my classroom.

If you use a Tablet PC (specifically a stylus driven one) in your severe special needs classroom I would love to read how you use it in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. We use an HP TX2500 series tablet with touchscreen. Originally bought to trial as a device. Although functionally it performed well as a device running BM SDPro - the ergonomics of the student not being able to easily carry and set up on own (vs. a device)has caused us to choose to go with a traditional device - in our case a Dynavox V Max for communication purposes. (our student changes classes every period)

    HOWEVER - the HP is being kept as 1) a great on hand backup for the students using integrated devices when needed on a moment's notice; 2) a touchscreen computer with academic applications to use across environments. It is very small, so fits easily on a desk with a communication device. Although an integrated device or tablet will run communication software and all other applications - we felt it was important to keep these separate. The student is very motivated by the interactive academic activities - and will surf to them instead of using communication features. What is on the tablet for academic applications? Interactive worksheets, fill in the blank, ppt teaching slide shows etc. Heavy on digital pictures, video clips, sound files to provide rewards and most of all meaning to a student with limited receptive and almost no reading ability. Fill in the blank applications using BM+ can either have answers dragged and dropped into place - or now I'm designing some ppt's and BM+ where the student is prompted to answer with their device. Using small pictures of the buttons on their AAC device as visual cues to help them navigate to the correct page in order to answer the question.

    If your tablet is running Vista - check out stiky notes. You can have the child practice writing their signature with finger or stylus with adapted grip perhaps - even if the student is just working on a crude mark similar to their initials - as in our case.

    You can hook it up to your Smart board or projector, once the drivers are loaded. And if you can connect it to the internet via Wi Fi - I'm guessing this may solve your problem with limited access to the internet via your school's computer?!


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