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IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THAT THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS PAGE IS ALWAYS CURRENT, IT MAY NOT BE PRINTED FOR DISTRIBUTION WITHOUT OUR WRITTEN PERMISSION. THANK YOU.

This page is designed to always keep our resource guides current and up-to-date. We will post new information regarding equipment software/apps, teaching strategies and educational resource recommendations as they become available to us and we have "test-driven" them with our students to make sure they comply with our BEST PRACTICE standards.


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Guide Updates

  • Another Advanced Math & Science Software Option - 2019-01-29 18:59:22

    MathType 7

    MathType is a powerful interactive equation editor for Windows and Macintosh that lets you create mathematical notation for word processing, web pages, desktop publishing, presentations, elearning, and for TeX, LaTeX, and MathML documents. You can download MathType at www.dessci.com/en/products/mathtype

     

  • CLICKER 7 IS NOW CLICKER 8 - 2020-04-30 15:15:29

    SPECIAL NEEDS SOFTWARE

    Clicker 7 is now Clicker 8! If you have Clicker 7, please visit Cricksoft's website at www.cricksoft.com to find out how to upgrade and for a description of Clicker 8's additional features.

     

  • Co:Writer App for the iPad - 2020-09-07 13:32:25

    iPad Apps

    We are SO impressed with the Co:Writer app for the iPad. It is even MORE amazing than the software for a computer and much more user-friendly! It allows students who have minimally approximately a beginning 3rd grade reading level but who are poor spellers to have almost immediate "spelling relief!" It is also wonderful for kids who have difficulty typing due to a physical disability by minimizing the number of keyboard "hits" they need to make to spell words! Students are often able to create written work that has much more age-appropriate spelling. This greatly can improve the quality and quantity of what they write! It has a wonderful Topic Dictionary function that allows a student to almost instantly create a Topic Dictionary about almost any subject! All the student has to do is type in their Topic, such as "Abraham Lincoln," and Co:Writer will then "scrape" the web for words related to Abraham Lincoln and create a new Abraham Lincoln Topic Dictionary within several seconds. Then, when the student needs to spell words related to Abraham Lincoln such as "Gettysburg," "Emancipation Proclamation" or "assassination" - these words will then be in the Co:Writer word prediction list when they attempt to spell the words. Co:Writer has flexible spelling technology which tries to guess even the most poorly spelled word approximations. For more information about how word prediction works, please read the definition of word prediction that is included in the "Special Needs Software/App Recommendations" section of our resource guide.

     

  • Current iPad Apps for Written Output - 2021-05-23 15:35:55

    iPad Apps for Schoolwork Completion

    These are the latest iPad apps that we are using with our students for written output. Please visit the App Store for more information and current pricing.

    Snap Type Pro (FOR BOTH PHOTOGRAPHING A CLASS WORKSHEET AND TYPING ON IT) - This an easy to use, intuitive app allowing completion of class worksheets using the iPad camera to take a picture of a worksheet and then type on it. The completed worksheet can then be either emailed to teachers or printed out using an iPad compatible printer. Please note that this app only allows you to name and save one worksheet at a time, but folders can be created to hold related worksheets. There is a drawing function for underlining text or circling answers. This app is good for younger elementary school students.

    Tiny Scanner Plus (TO PHOTOGRAPH A CLASS WORKSHEET FOR COMPLETION)- This app is designed to allow you to take a picture of a class worksheet and then open it up in an app such as tinyPDF, Notability or Smart Forms so it can be typed on. There is now a "Batch Mode" that combines multiple scans into a single PDF.

    Notability (FOR CLASS WORKSHEET COMPLETION) - This is a wonderful multifunctional app. It is another way to complete class worksheets on the iPad. Take a picture of a class worksheet using an app such as Tiny Scanner, open it in Notability, and annotate on it! Class worksheets can also be scanned directly to a student's or teacher's email address on a school copier and then downloaded into Dropbox where they can be opened in Notability to be completed by the student. (Dropbox can be downloaded from www.dropbox.com. There are many tutorial videos available to view on its use.) Documents also can be shared via email, Air Drop and Google Drive, or they can be printed out via a wireless printer and turned in by the student. There are also drawing and highlighting functions. Another feature that may be useful for some students is the ability of the app to record and playback. Tap the microphone in the tool bar at the top of the screen and Notability will record. With an iPad placed by the teacher, lectures or instructions could be recorded and then be available for playback by the student. Playback can be controlled to start, stop or replay a recording. One additional feature called "Note Switcher" allows a student to open two notes side by side.

    Smart Forms (FOR CLASS WORKSHEET COMPLETION AS WELL AS HIGHER LEVEL FORM COMPLETION) - This app has the same functionality as their previous app, Type on PDF, to complete class worksheets on the iPad - as well as an incredible amount of other functions for completing other types of forms on the iPad.

    iAnnotate 4 (FOR CLASS WORKSHEET COMPLETION) - iAnnotate is all new and better than ever. This app allows you to read, annotate, and share PDFs, Microsoft Office files, images and web pages. You can use iAnnotate to take notes, sign agreements, highlight documents, insert stamps and more. New in v4: iPhone support, iPad Pro and multitasking support, automatic Apple Pencil detection, shape annotations, improved web markup, enhanced support for OneDrive, iCloud Drive, and iCloud backup. This summer, improvements were made to working offline. Now, when you come back online, the files you annotated will automatically be saved back to the appropriate cloud connection.

    Mod Math (FOR ELEMENTARY MATH, FRACTIONS, DECIMALS, SQUARE ROOTS AND ALGEBRA) - This app allows students to do math problems on the iPad including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, fractions, square roots and algebraic equations just like other students do them with paper and pencil. The basic app is FREE! For a small fee, additional symbols can be purchased such as pi, infinity and sigma.

    Mod Math Pro (FOR ELEMENTARY MATH, ALGEBRA AND SOME TYPES OF HIGHER LEVEL MATH)- Mod Math Pro takes some of the newest and most requested features and bundles them together for one low price. These Pro features are specifically designed for educators and power users who have asked for just a little bit more functionality. Mod Math Pro includes a new Image Import Feature to make teacher’s work sheets easier to implement and a new Note Tool so students can write comments right next to their work. Accessing any of these functions for the first time will bring up the in-app purchase option, and if you upgrade to Mod Math Pro, you'll have access to all features in the application. Mod Math and Mod Math Pro are as comparable to using pencil and paper for computations as we have found.

    The International GeoGebra Institute provides a number of apps specifically created for geometry - from graphing calculators, augmented reality and 3D graphs, scientific calculators and basic graphing. If you have a student who is taking geometry, based on the curriculum, take a look at the various apps. You might also consider taking the iPad in and consulting with the teacher for assistance in choosing the appropriate apps. Below are their geometry apps:

    GeoGebra Geometry - Interactive geometry with lines, circles, polygons angles and more! Easily construct triangles, drag points, draw parallel lines, intersect circles and save and share your results. Measure lengths and areas, transform shapes by mirroring rotating and dilating them, try advanced constructions with conics and locus lines, investigate construction steps to get deeper understanding and search for free learning activities directly from this app. They also have a Calculator Suite that includes the following:

    - Geogebra Classic
    - GeoGebra Graphing Calculator
    - Geogebra CAS Calculator
    - Geogebra Scientific Calculator
    - Geogebra 3D Calculator
    - Geogebra Augmented Reality

    Co:Writer (FOR WORD PREDICTION WITH TOPIC DICTIONARIES FEATURE) - This is our favorite word prediction app! Not only does it do word prediction but it also allows you to create Topic Dictionaries in seconds about any type subject you choose! This app can truly be a life changing app for those kids who are better readers than spellers. A student usually needs to be a late 2nd to beginning 3rd grade reader to successfully use this app. As mentioned above, this app is also wonderful for kids who have difficulty typing due to a physical disability as it minimizes the number of keyboard "hits" they need to make in order to type words! Co:Writer handles the widest range of spelling mistakes through its flexible spelling technology including phonetic spelling and inventive spelling errors. It also offers text to speech and grammar support. Free trial offer is available at learningtools.donjohnston.com as well as the opportunity to purchase an individual student license.

    iWordQ US (FOR WORD PREDICTION) – Another word prediction app without a Topic Dictionary feature. It also exports to Dropbox, email and other services. Please see description of word prediction software in our resource guide. There are 2 modes - Writing and Reading (excellent for proofreading).

    iWordQ Pro US - This version is an easy-to-use writing and reading App featuring specialized word prediction for students in senior high school, colleges and universities as well as working professional.

    Ghotit Buzz Writer (FOR WORD PREDICTION AND MUCH MORE) - assists people with Dyslexia and Dysgraphia in their English writing and text correction. The application corrects badly spelled words, confused words, Homophones, grammar and punctuation and offers advanced word prediction with grammar and phonetics awareness capabilities.

    Ghotit Dyslexia Keyboard - The keyboard for dyslexia and dysgraphia assistance is an integrated writing and reading solution comprising several advanced adaptive technologies tailor-made for people with dyslexia, dysgraphia and other learning disabilities. It helps children and adults with dyslexia and dysgraphia to write, read and correct texts.

    Grammarly - Please see a description of Grammarly in the list of Chromebook apps and extensions below. Grammarly for the iPad allows you to access the Grammarly Editor and use the Grammarly Keyboard on your iPad through one app.
    Before you download and install Grammarly for iPad, you’ll need to make sure that the app is compatible with your tablet. You must have an iPad running iOS 11.2 or newer, except for iPad Mini models.

    Write About This (A GREAT APP FOR STUDENTS, 2ND GRADE AND UP, WHO STRUGGLE WITH DECIDING WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT) - This app answers the question, "What should I write about?" by giving kids 175 images with 375 topics. Kids can search by keyword or category or simply select a randomly generated image and prompt. Each picture has three prompt levels for early to more advanced writers, and prompts encourage critical thinking, creativity, and description. After composing, kids can share their work by email or save it to the iPad. There's also a voice-recording feature, and kids can use their own images to create prompts.

    Google Docs (FOR WORD PROCESSING AND SHARING FILES) - Allows students and teachers to create, edit and collaborate with others on documents from the iPad, iPhone or iPod. With Google Docs, you can create new documents or edit any that were created on the web or on another device, share documents and work together with others in the same document at the same time, open edit and save Microsoft Word documents, get stuff done anytime even without an internet connection, add and respond to comments, never worry about losing your work as everything is automatically saved and protect your work with a 4 digit passcode. You can also copy and paste a document from the Co:Writer app described above in the Google Docs app!

    Microsoft Office – This app is similar to Microsoft Office for the computer. It includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and OneNote optimized for the iPad.

    Notes - This is a very simple pre-installed app that comes on every iPad that students can use to type assignments and then email their assignments to their teachers.

    myHomework Student Planner – A very cool student planner! It is easy to navigate and make entries on. Very organized and, if you create and sign in to your account, any entries that you make will appear in all device platforms (including Windows) on which you have the app!(You must be signed in on that particular device also.) Appropriate for all school ages.

    Kidspiration Maps – an app for the graphic organizations of compositions for those kids, grades K-4, who have difficulty organizing their written assignments.

    Inspiration Maps VPP– an app for the graphic organization of compositions for those kids, grades 5-12, who have difficulty organizing their written assignments.

    Flashcards Deluxe - is an easy to use, yet powerful flashcard app which you can use to study just about anything you want. It is an excellent way to create and print notecards!

    Quizlet - Create your own flashcards or choose from millions created by other students! Create flashcards with text or images. Study for tests or learn a new language! Easy to use creative app.

    Speechy (Free Lite or Purchased version) - Speechy is a stand alone dictation app that allows students to have classroom lectures or instruction transcribed in real time to their iPads. The text can then be reviewed and easily copied and pasted into a word processing app for editing. Speechy automatically saves the files so they can be retrieved and added to, if necessary. Place the iPad on the teacher's desk during a lecture and never miss important information. Great range and accuracy! (Remember to ask the teacher to turn the mic off after the lecture and when class discussion is going to begin.)

    Clicker Writer - Clicker is the complete writing solution for the primary classroom, providing every pupil with just the right level of support and challenge. Clicker Writer allows students to confidently tackle writing tasks with help from Clicker’s realistic speech feedback, talking spell checker, audio note recorder and intelligent word prediction tool.

    Clicker Docs - Clicker Docs transforms the iPad into a portable primary word processor! Watch your students’ skills and confidence grow as they use the writing support tools to create accurate, flowing documents.

    - Review writing with clear speech.

    - Students use the child-friendly lower case keyboard to type into Clicker Docs, and when they punctuate a sentence their work is read back to them. This helps them to find and correct errors for themselves, so that they become more independent writers.

    - Increase writing productivity and accuracy with word prediction.

    - The Clicker Docs predictor suggests age-appropriate vocabulary based on the context of students’ writing. The predictor encourages students to use more adventurous vocabulary, consistently reinforces the correct spellings of the words they wish to write and helps to speed up writing productivity.

    - Provide subject-specific writing support with Word Banks.

    - Word Banks provide speech-supported vocabulary for any subject or topic. Children simply tap a word to add it to their document. It’s so easy for teachers to create a Word Bank in Clicker Docs, organized with either alphabetical or topic tabs.

  • Educational Resources - 2018-02-19 10:13:15

    Co-Teaching Lesson Plan Book

    The Co-Teaching Lesson Plan Book mentioned in our Resource Guides is now titled - The Co-Planner: Two Professionals + One Plan for Co-Teaching. It is still $21.95 and is still available from National Professional Resources, Inc (www.nprinc.com).While this is a lesson plan book that can be used by BOTH the General Education teacher and the Special Education teacher, it can also be used by teachers to add notes to their daily lesson plans as to what/how a student using assistive technology will complete a specific assignment. This way, the teacher will remember that this is needed and there will be no last minute decision making.

     

  • ENABLEMARTS NAME HAS CHANGED TO SCHOOL HEALTH - 2020-08-15 11:43:33

    HIGH-TECH ACCESSORY OPTIONS

    Enablemart.com is now SchoolHealth.com
    Same products, more options, simplified shopping!

     

  • Google Chromebook & Chromebook Apps/Extensions - 2021-05-23 15:34:19

    High-Tech Equipment

    We are always looking for the most cost-effective assistive technology for students who struggle to complete their schoolwork with paper and pencil. It is very important to remember that the selection of a device for a student should be dictated by the student’s abilities and disabilities, curriculum and school setting. For most students, it is no longer necessary to provide them with an expensive laptop computer to use for assignment completion. While we continue to believe that the best practice device for most students with a written output disorder is an iPad, generation 3 or higher, with an external keyboard case, many classrooms in the US are now providing Google Chromebooks to all students for classroom use. Depending on their curriculum, many of our students use the Chromebook and iPad in combination to provide the broadest selection of assistive technology supports, especially when it comes to math. While the Chromebook does have extensions or apps for some types of math, such as EquatIO Premium, the iPad provides almost a “paper/pencil equivalent” for basic calculation and algebra through the use of the ModMath Pro app. This is also much more cost effective than EquatIO Premium. Students who have a need to use best practice assistive technology to create advanced math and science equations must use a laptop computer as the best program for doing this, Efofex, is not available for either an iPad or a Chromebook. Students can do their math and/or science using a laptop or school computer and then do the remainder of their written language assignments on their iPad or Chromebook. Their work can be saved to a flash drive at school and this drive can then be plugged into their home computer so they can do their homework – and vice versa. We have found this use of two different devices to be an excellent solution to meet all the needs of many of our students. For a long time, the functionality of the Chromebook was limited for students with written output disorders that needed to do things such as worksheets and math without the use of paper and pencil. Now, however, extensions and apps for the Chromebook have been developed that allow students to complete these types of assignments. Some Chromebook apps and extensions do require that you pay a low monthly fee or a yearly fee to upgrade to full functionality and also that you are connected to the internet to access all their functions. Another thing to consider in deciding between an iPad and a Chromebook is that worksheets can be completed on both devices – but the iPad allows a student to take a picture of a worksheet and type on it immediately using the SnapType Pro app while the Chromebook requires that a worksheet be scanned or available in another location on the Chromebook before it can be completed using the Kami PDF Document Markup extension. Based on the availability of these new Chromebook extensions and apps, we are now recommending the Google Chromebook as a best practice device for some students with written output disorders. They should, however, have a Chromebook that is dedicated for their use ONLY that they are allowed to take back and forth from school to home so they can complete their homework assignments. Following is a list of Google Chrome extensions and apps available from the Google Chrome Store that can be useful for some kids with written output disorders. Note that some features are available as both an extension or an app but some are only available as one or the other. If you don't see it when you enter it in the search box, check to see which bullet button you have chosen and try the other. We have notated which it is in parenthesis for your convenience. ALL OF THESE EXTENSIONS AND APPS CAN ALSO BE DOWNLOADED ONTO A WINDOWS OR MAC COMPUTER THAT IS USING THE CHROME BROWSER. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THE CHROME BROWSER, IT IS SIMPLE TO ADD. THESE EXTENSIONS/APPS ARE AS FOLLOWS:

    Co:Writer Universal (extension or app) - uses grammar, vocabulary and topic smart word prediction to help students better express their ideas in writing across devices. It also includes the Topic Dictionary function that is similar to this same function in the Co:Writer computer software and iPad app. And now built-in speech recognition adds an entirely new way of getting ideas out! Co:Writer is available as a single personal license by going to https://learningtools.donjohnston.com

    Read & Write (extension or app) - helps students with reading, writing assignments and online research. It offers literacy support within Google Docs and on web pages as well as working with PDF, EPUB and KES files stored in Google Drive. Using this extension allows students to:

    • Hear words, passages, or whole documents read aloud with easy-to-follow dual color highlighting
    • See the meaning of words explained with text and picture dictionaries
    • Hear text translated into other languages
    • Get suggestions for the current or next word as you type
    • Turn words into text as you speak
    • Highlight text in documents or the web and collect for use in other documents
    • Create and listen to voice notes directly inside of Google Docs
    • Simplify and summarize text on web pages

    READ & WRITE IS ALSO AVAILABLE FOR MAC AND WINDOWS COMPUTERS WHEN USING THE GOOGLE CHROME BROWSER.

    Kami for Google Chrome - (extension or app) allows students to import a document (worksheet) from any location on the computer (Google Docs, files, Dropbox, etc.) and even create their Own PDFs. They can then type their answers on these documents. There are a number of ways to manipulate the documents and a large variety of tools for filling in and editing. Very user friendly! Kami can be used on a computer if the Chrome Bowser is installed. The upgraded version of Kami also has an excellent math option. It is well worth the upgrade to have access to this for math worksheets.

    draw.io Importer (extension) & diagrams.net (app) -These two completely free features are excellent for creating diagrams, flowcharts, and graphic organizers.

    MindMup 2.0 (app) - this is an excellent graphic organizer for the creation of mind maps, spider diagrams and much more. Create outlines for writing assignments.

    EquatIO (extension) - is a math extension that enables students to do their math by typing in the problem or even dictating it. There are options for math, chemistry and formulas. Students can create their own worksheet or import a worksheet from the teacher through Google Docs or other locations and fill in their answers. There is a learning curve, of course, as there is with most math programs and apps that we have seen, but this looks very promising. To make the program fully functional, it will be necessary to upgrade to the Premium version.

    MathType - an excellent equation editor for higher level math annotations. MathType is in the Add-ons menu in Google Docs. In the row of options beginning with "File", you will see Add-ons. Click on that and then select "Get add-ons".Choose MathType and install. From now on, MathType will be available to open from the Add-ons menu in your document. Chemical notations are also available within MathType.

    MyHomework App - This is the same student planner that we recommend for our students using iPads. It is available in the Google Chrome Web Store under Apps.

    Ginger (extension)- Grammar and Spelling checker extension is the ultimate tool for writing, offering everything you need to write great English in your favorite websites. It includes a full set of features to ensure that you make the most out of all of your written communications: Equally suited for both native and non-native English speakers, you can use Ginger to enhance your writing in business correspondence, academic documents and for social writing.
    • World's #1 Proofreader – Focus on expressing your ideas while Ginger ensures that your sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation are error-free.
    • Rephrase – Get smart suggestions to rephrase your text that are in line with your intended message. Ginger Page offers you different options that convey your message with more clarity and style.
    • Translation – Quickly translate your text between 40 different languages. Write mixed text or entire messages and then and translate to English or any of the other supported languages.
    • Quick access to definitions and synonyms.
    • Ginger Live Corrections – Working alongside Ginger, Ginger's Chrome extension provides live, as you type corrections.
    • Favorites – Save your text so that you can use it again later -- synced across all your platforms. Use Ginger’s proofreader, which is based on advanced, patent-pending technology to immediately benefit from corrections that are more than 6 times more accurate.

    Grammarly for Chrome (extension) - Grammarly will make sure your messages and documents are clear and mistake free everywhere you type. Register for your free account and create and store all of your documents in your online editor. (For more enhanced features, there is Grammarly Premium.)
    Grammarly features:
    -A contextual spelling checker to detect correctly spelled words used in the wrong context.
    -Grammar checker fixes hundreds of complex grammatical errors, including subject-verb agreement, article use, and modifier placement.
    Simple to use and a real aid for accurate proof reading!

    GeoGebra Classic (app)- This is an app that enables geometry, 3D, CAS, spreadsheets, computer algebra and probability – all in one extension. It allows students to plot functions with sliders and equations, create interactive geometric constructions, graph functions, surfaces and many more 3D objects and solve math problems with their computer algebra system (CAS).

    Geogebra Graphing Calculator (app) - Easily graph functions, solve equations, find special points of functions and save and share your results.

    Google Dictionary (by Google) (extension) - is an extension where you can double-click any word to view its definition in a small pop-up bubble. By clicking on the little speaker next to the definition, you can hear the pronunciation of the word.

    Clicker Writer (app) - this app is the complete writing solution for the primary classroom, providing every pupil with just the right level of support and challenge. Clicker Writer allows students to confidently tackle writing tasks with help from Clicker’s realistic speech feedback, talking spell checker, audio note recorder and intelligent word prediction tool.

    Clicker Docs (app) - Clicker Docs transforms the iPad into a portable primary word processor! Watch your students’ skills and confidence grow as they use the writing support tools to create accurate, flowing documents.

    - Review writing with clear speech

    - Students use the child-friendly lower case keyboard to type into Clicker Docs, and when they punctuate a sentence their work is read back to them. This helps them to find and correct errors for themselves, so that they become more independent writers.

    - Increase writing productivity and accuracy with word prediction.

    - The Clicker Docs predictor suggests age-appropriate vocabulary based on the context of students’ writing. The predictor encourages students to use more adventurous vocabulary, consistently reinforces the correct spellings of the words they wish to write and helps to speed up writing productivity.

    - Provide subject-specific writing support with Word Banks.

    - Word Banks provide speech-supported vocabulary for any subject or topic. Children simply tap a word to add it to their document. It’s so easy for teachers to create a Word Bank in Clicker Docs, organized with either alphabetical or topic tabs.

    WordQ (app) - this app is an easy-to-use text editor for Chromebooks with writing skill improvement and compensation tools. All students benefit, including English Language Learners ESL, Second Language Learners ELL, and struggling writers.
    WordQ runs offline, and you can open and save documents on your Google Drive when online or locally when offline. The intent is not to replicate all the features of Google Docs, but to offer a much simpler supportive writing space for note-taking, initial drafts and editing with minimal formatting. Google Voice Typing is also supported with the added benefits of speaking recognized text and controlling the microphone.
    Students write faster and produce more, and get help with spelling and grammar with as little as one or two keystrokes.

    Voice Recognition (app) - The easiest option to enable Voice-to-Text in any Google Doc is to bring down the “Tools” Menu and select “Voice Typing.” A mic will appear on the screen and you simply click on it to turn on and off. The simplicity of this feature allow a student to easily go between dictation and typing (for proofing and editing purposes).

    Please Note - You can go to You Tube and type in the name of many of these extensions/apps to see how they work!

    PLEASE NOTE - THE LINK FOR THE ARTICLE, "THE BEST CHROMEBOOK IS AN IPAD" THAT IS MENTIONED IN OUR 7TH EDITION IS NO LONGER VALID. YOU CAN FIND A NUMBER OF ARTICLES COMPARING THE TWO DEVICES FOR STUDENT USE BY SEARCHING "WHAT IS BEST FOR SCHOOL USE A CHROMEBOOK OR IPAD?" Make sure to check the date of the article. DECISIONS ABOUT WHAT DEVICE TO USE NEED TO BE DETERMINED ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS. IN OUR OPINION, IPADS ARE STILL THE BEST CHOICE FOR MOST STUDENTS WITH WRITTEN OUTPUT DISORDERS BUT THE RECENT DEVELOPMENT OF BETTER SPECIAL NEEDS APPS/EXTENSIONS FOR THE CHROMEBOOK NOW MAKE THIS DEVICE A GOOD CHOICE FOR SOME STUDENTS.


     

  • IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING CO:WRITER 7, WRITE OUTLOUD 6, DRAFT BUILDER 6 AND FIRST AUTHOR - 2019-07-12 10:57:06

    SPECIAL NEEDS SOFTWARE/APP/EXTENSIONS RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding Co:Writer 7, please refer to the previous note on this Updates page that discusses the fact that Co:Writer 7 is now Co:Writer Universal. You can find Co:Writer at www.cowriter.com. Draft Builder 6 has now been incorporated into Snap&Read Universal at www.snapandread.com. There is a demo of different ways to organize assignments in Study Tools on the website when you first click on Snap and Read. There is also a demo of how Co:Writer works when you go to the website. You can find subscription information for Co:Writer and Snap and Read on each website above or at www.donjohnston.com. Parents can trial any of these programs for a 14 day period and teachers can trial them for 30 days. Trial information is on each website. Unfortunately, the First Author Writing software is no longer available for individual purchase. It is now only available as a classroom curriculum package for $699.00. Please feel free to email us with any questions you may have about this information and we will be happy to answer them. Thanks!

     

  • Latest Mac Operating System Information - 2021-01-24 16:05:25

    High-Tech Equipment

    For those purchasing a new Mac computer, the newest operating system is macOS 11.1, called macOS Big Sur, as of December 14, 2020. If you do not have automatic updates on your current computer, you can update your system by going to the Mac App Store and look for Big Sur. Icons and apps have been given a bit of a makeover, but generally, there isn't anything that is dramatically different.
    Accessibility features have been fine-tuned, with a few new additions. Please refer to apple.com for complete details of the latest accessibility features changes/additions.

     

  • Low-Tech Equipment - 2020-01-08 10:36:37

    NEW AWESOME PENCIL GRIP!

    ERGONOMIC TRAINING PENCIL GRIP - can be found at www.brightautism.org/magic-grip. It is hard to explain in words how this grip works so please go to this website and see it for yourself! While this grip is good for some kids with ASD, it is also great for some other students as well!

     

  • NEW VENDOR FOR FIVE-FINGER TYPIST - 2019-06-25 10:50:34

    ADAPTED KEYBOARDING & SOFTWARE RECOMMENDATIONS

    Five-Finger Typist is now available from www.typeonehand.com.

     

  • NEW VOICE RECOGNITION SOFTWARE RECOMMENDATIONS & CHANGES - 2019-07-28 08:56:28

    Voice Recognition Recommendations

    We continue to believe that, in most cases, voice recognition software no longer needs to be purchased for Windows or Mac as the built in voice recognition capability is usually sufficient to meet most students' needs. If more sophisticated voice recognition software is desired, we now recommend Dragon Home for both Windows and Mac. This software can be found at www.nuance.com and replaces the former Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

     

  • NEW WORKSHEET WIZARD ORDERING INFORMATION - 2019-07-28 10:31:24

    Special Needs Software/Apps/Extensions Recommendations

    A single license of the Worksheet Wizard software, recommended in our Resource Guides, can now be ordered by calling Premier Assistive Technology at 1-888-514-9117. The website can be a bit difficult to navigate. To view the webpage, please go to www.premierathome.com/products/WorksheetWizard-Features.php

     

  • Notetaking in the Classroom - 2019-07-14 11:35:07

    Notetaking

    Notetaking in the classroom can be very difficult for kids with Dysgraphia. Many of these students also have conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADD/ADHD, Physical Impairments and Learning Disabilities. While there are software programs and iPad apps that help with notetaking, many students with these conditions find it difficult to pay attention to instruction and take notes at the same time. in these cases, listening to class instruction should take precedence. Copies of class notes should be provided to these students on the same day that notes are taken. These notes can be copies of other students notes done by having the student use NCR Notetaking Paper or by receiving copies of the teachers notes. This is a very common accommodation for students with Dysgraphia in the United States in either a Section 504 Plan or an IEP. Notetaking software and/or apps can be used by those students who have good attention and focus and who are able to type fast enough to use them while listening to instruction. Many of these software programs and iPad apps also allow students to record audio. For the computer we recommend OneNote or Evernote. For the iPad we recommend OneNote, Evernote, Notability or Speechy.

     

  • Special Needs Software Update - 2018-09-26 13:02:03

    Co:Writer 7 is now Co:Writer Universal

    Co:Writer 7 is now called Co:Writer Universal. It is available for Mac/Win for a $4.99 per month subscription fee. Educators have a FREE 30 day trial and parents have a FREE 14 day trial. The subscription can be cancelled at any time. You can see how this amazing program works and order a subscription by visiting the Don Johnston website at www.donjohnston.com.

     

  • Special Needs Software/Apps/Extensions Recommendations - 2020-09-18 15:14:27

    Inspiration Software, Inc. Has Closed

    Unfortunately, as of November 2019, inspiration, Inc. has decided to close. Here is the statement that they put on their website. - We are no longer providing support in the United States for Inspiration 9, Kidspiration 3, Webspiration Classroom and Webspiration Pro. All Webspiration accounts have been cancelled. We do have some good news for many of our customers - some of our products will continue to be supported and sold by other companies. iPad Apps Inspiration® Maps and Kidspiration® Maps are now a part of Diagramming Apps, LLC. They have extensive knowledge of and experience with these products, having worked with our iPad products since inception. Inspiration Maps VVP, our recommended app for graphic organizing, is available to install directly from the iPad App Store. To learn more, go to DiagrammingApps.com- Inspiration 9 International English (IE) for Windows is now a part of TechEd Marketing. As of December 30, 2019, Inspiration 9 IE for Windows will be fully a part of the TechEd Marketing family and all sales and support will be provided through them. - Since the Inspiration products have been our favorite graphic organizing products, we are currently trialing other graphic organizing products in order to make recommendations to replace the inspiration products that will no longer be available. Please stay tuned to this Guide Updates page as we will be adding this information soon.

     

  • ULTRA KEY ONLINE NO LONGER AVAILABLE - 2020-05-17 17:20:38

    ADAPTED KEYBOARDING INSTRUCTION

    We are sorry to announce that our favorite keyboarding program recommended in our Resource Guides, Ultra-Key Online, will no longer be available as of May 31, 2020. All typing programs are not created equally, and we have been searching for one that has the same simplicity of letter introduction and skills practice as Ultra-Key. We have found one with www.typing.com. Simply go to the website to get started. There is nothing to download. This is a free program (although if you can't stand the ads you can upgrade for a one- time fee of $7.99). Do create a free account though, to keep track of your child's progress. There are very few distracting animations and the basic repeated letter exercises are excellent. As with Ultra-Key Online, you must ignore the touch typing instructions and use the Index Finger Method for Two-Handed Typists adapted keyboarding method included in our guides. Any lessons can be repeated if extra practice is desired. This can be done from the Home Lesson page or by clicking on the Redo button instead of the Continue button at the end of the exercise. There are 3 skill levels for advancement, as well as various typing practice lessons. Errors show up in red, but you can backspace and correct the error if you want. This is a nice feature but it does slow down one's progress. In the beginning, at least, it is better to move on and look for improvement in skills. Accomplishments for each lesson are shown in Words Per Minute (WPM), Average Accuracy and Typing Time. This really allows you to gauge progress as you move through the lessons. Lessons ca be easily completed in 20 minutes or less.

     

  • Use of Google Docs for Written Output - 2018-02-19 10:06:31

    Word Processing

    Google Docs is often a wonderful way to complete written assignments for older students. The advantages of using Google Docs are as follows:

    - It allows a student to access their documents from anywhere, using only a web browser.

    - Students can easily share their work with their teachers.

    - Students can drag-and-drop images into a document.

    - Students have improved revision and editing capabilities. This feature allows the user to see the history of the document and switch between it's revisions. It allows multiple users to edit a document at the same time and all the changes show on the document separated by different colors for each user.

    - Students can use gridless printing in spreadsheets if they so choose or can choose to use grid lines.

    - Students can take advantage of real-time collaborative highlighting. When multiple users are working on a document, each user will be able to see other users highlighting the text in real time as they make changes to the document.

    - Students have more available page sizes to use.

    - Students can use document translation. Google Docs comes with 53 embedded languages. This allows users to easily translate documents into any of these languages.

    IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT YOU MUST HAVE AN INTERNET CONNECTION IN ORDER TO WORK ON A DOCUMENT IN GOOGLE DOCS. YOU MUST ALSO HAVE A GOOGLE ACCOUNT IN ORDER TO USE GOOGLE DOCS.

    GREAT NEWS! A new Voice Typing tool is available in Google Docs for PC and Mac computers (since September 2015) providing speech recognition as a option when using Google Chrome Browser. Easily available, this tool can be turned on in Google Docs from the Tool menu. Selecting the Voice Typing option in the menu activates the tool. It’s as easy as that!

     

  • wordQ4 IS NOW wordQ5 - 2019-06-25 10:53:20

    SPECIAL NEEDS SOFTWARE / APPS / EXTENSIONS RECOMMENDATIONS

    wordQ 4 is now wordQ 5 and can be ordered at www.quillsoft.com.ca/wordq5.