Saturday, May 30, 2015

Video Modeling for AAC

Video Modeling is an evidence based practice in special education.  Entire new companies have
popped up claiming their way of doing it is magical even!  However, it doesn't take much to do effective video modeling for any skill, including Augmentative and Alternative Communication.  Essentially all you need is the child's communication system or a duplicate of it and a way to record video - which can be your phone, a tablet or a camera.

The purpose of video modeling is to create a video representation of a skill that can be watched and imitated.  Video modeling doesn't replace instruction, visual supports or interaction.  Instead it reinforces skills taught and, for some learners, can act almost as a video encyclopedia where they can "look up" how to perform a skill.  Video modeling in AAC allows students to have additional aided language stimulation outside of instruction or interactions.  It can also be a way for the student to review vocabulary they have learned.  Video models of AAC can be used instructionally or students can self-select watching them during leisure time. 

There are quite a few resources online to guide the process of selecting what to target for video modeling, creating the video and collecting data on video modeling effectiveness, such as this one from the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders. There is also much to be found on Google Scholar to provide as evidence that video modeling is best practice. 

In general I use a more relaxed approach to video modeling for AAC with the following in mind:
  • When possible involve the student in the making of the video or the selection of the vocabulary or skill to be modeled.  This creates "buy in" and many students like to see themselves on the screen.  Some of my students who have helped to choose topics for video modeling learn ask to have a video when they are having trouble finding certain vocabulary!
  • Be sure the video focuses on the skill/vocabulary you want to teach.  Plan out ahead of time what you will model.
  • Make sure the video is engaging and motivating, especially if the student will be encouraged to self-select watching the video.  Using puppets, music or other motivating topics can be useful. 
    Porkchop the Pig Puppet Modeling AAC
  • Keep the videos short.  Under a minute is usually good, but under 3 minutes for sure! 
  • Create an easy way to select and access the videos for parents, aides or the student him or herself.  This can be using an app like Pictello, Go Talk Now, Niki Play or Word Toob on an iPad or similar apps on other tablets.  It can also simply be uploading the videos to YouTube, creating a playlist and bookmarking or copying a shortcut to the desktop. 
  • Consider creating playlists where the video models are a "commercial break" between preferred other videos.  The Therad app allows for this to be done on the iPad but it can also be done using YouTube or any other means of creating a playlist.  This is especially effective for kids who are "video junkies!
  • If you happen to catch good samples of effective communication by the student or aided language stimulation on video during sessions you can add these to the playlists as well.
Sample Video Models
Video model of how to say stop.

Video Model of Drink with a Puppet

This video shows a model of how to find the word "parade" after the student asked for it. 

Here is a video of a student who got herself into a situation where she needed help.  (She insisted I make the video before I helped her! Just so you think I didn't leave her stranded!)

Video Model Sample from Other People
Asking for More While Shredding

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! I've been having a tough run of luck trying to model with my daughter's Tobii because she is busy activating buttons with eye gaze while I'm trying to show her how to say something. Video modeling would make it possible to show her what she needs to see without her eyes interrupting the teaching process. Can't wait to give it a try!


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