Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Indi, not just a tablet and some apps...

Hey Tek-Ninjas! Full disclosure; as I blogged before, I am a Tobii-Dynavox consultant. So, yes I am going to spotlight Tobii-Dynavox hardware and software periodically. I’m very excited about these products, I believe in them, or I would not have signed on.

One such product that I’m excited about is the Indi. It’s the size of most tablets. But built like a tank, and equipped with serious “hear me in the subway” speakers. The Indi is pre-loaded with Snap + Core First, the easiest symbol-based software for early communicators. Additionally, the Indi has capabilities that even go beyond speech communication like Environmental Control Units, Infrared, access to social media, email, and texting. This is a fully functional Windows 10 os. If you purchase it directly from the website, it retails for $999. 

 Take a look.



Hajimá!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Job posting...

Hey Tek-Ninjas! So my old school district is looking for a half-time Assistive Technologist/half-time Occupational Therapist. Know anyone who might be interested? Send them this link! It’s a great district, with top notch staff!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Poo and I
Hey Tek-Ninjas! I have big news (for me at least) today, November 30th I have completed my last day of employment with my school district. I have been a school employee since 2001, and for the first time,  I will be stepping into the private sector. 
I have loved my work with students, teachers, therapists, and the parents. It has provided me with much joy to be a part of so many people's journey over the years. I will miss many of my colleagues and the communities I have been blessed to be a part of. 
But, I am so excited! On December 4th, I will begin working for Tobii-Dynavox as a regional Sales Consultant.  My territory will include Mid to Eastern NC, and the Hampton Roads area of VA. This adventure will allow me to reach out to a larger population, and to work with adults as well as students. Again, I am so very excited!
Tobii-Dynavox creates communication solutions that users can grow and develop with throughout their life. In short, their products are the bomb!

New chapter, wonderful opportunity!

Friday, November 17, 2017

“Language” Immersion


Hey Tek-Ninjas! I was at a terrific in-service for Augmentative Communication (AAC) today. The presenters were discussing how important it is for AAC to be continuously modeled by educators, therapists, and parents. 

The conversation got me thinking about how we teach students foreign languages. Like many others, our school district has dual language schools, both Spanish and Chinese, Everyone in those buildings are always speaking in those respective languages. This model of language immersion has proven to work.

Now consider how we teach AAC users. Are we modeling a Dual-language classroom in how we communicate? Doing so can feel intimidating, especially as we are sometimes also learning as we go. But showing this process, our own stumbling and successes can be hugely valuable for your students and colleagues, ultimately helping them feel better about their own feelings of AAC inadequacy.
I’d love to hear from any of you as to how immersive you are in your educational settings. Any tips? Pitfalls?
Happy Therapy!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Managing your Apps

Hey Tek-Ninjas! Back in September I wrote a blog article about Apple's removal of the App store from iTunes. For some of us, we really want to be able to see the icon of the App.

Well, at the time, I did not think about Apple Configurator, primarily because I use that tool to manage my Volume Purchases. Apple Configurator will work for individual installations similar to the older iTunes. 

Apple Configurator is a free download from the App store. Once downloaded, click on "Account" on the top bar, and log in to your iTunes account. 

Once logged in, you can click on the green plus, than click  on the "Apps" icon.




You will be provided the choice of choosing from the window box that appears, or choose from your mac in the bottom left corner. 

The only disappointment I'm still faced with, is that (to my knowledge) the user is not able to customize the iPad appearance using Apple Configurator. It appears that to create folders and rearrange apps, the user will need to do so directly on the iPad. 

Still, its a nice tool to have, given that iTunes no longer supports Apps. 

Hajimé

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Infinite Possibilities...

Hey Tek-Ninjas! Recently I had a student introduce me to a really terrific Google Extension. It's called Infinity, and it allows users to create an elegant, customizable, and intuitive home page for desktop or laptop. 

Google Infinity is designed to create a minimalist environment,  providing easy pathways to often used sites. I am using it personally with Google sites such as my mail, docs, and drive.


Chrome Browser
Infinity will require the installation of the Chrome Browser, which really is a topnotch browser anyways. Both the browser and the extension are free. They work on Macs and PCs, as well as Chromebooks. 

Once installed, anytime the user opens Chrome, they will be
Infinity Home Page
presented with the Infinity page. If they use Chrome and log into their Google account on another computer, regardless of the operating system, (Mac, PC, Chromebook) they will encounter the same Infinity page. 


With Google Infinity, walking into any public library, the user can replicate their computer experience. For many of our users, this type of continuity is crucial. 

For fun, anytime the user clicks on the pinwheel in the bottom right, a new background photo comes up. My student indicated some of the photos might be a little "inappropriate, but not too sexy" for younger students. I've yet to encounter any such issue, but I'll keep looking just in case. 

Happy Tuesday!

Hajimé


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

WARNING!!!

Hey Tek-Ninjas! If you are a user of iTunes for managing your iDevice apps, be warned, the new iTunes no longer manages apps. 

As in, there is no app tool anymore. At all. Instead, I guess you download everything wirelessly. You can still "file share" moving data to and from your apps, but no longer manage them that way.

So. Do not update your iTunes if that is a potential issue for you.