Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Guest Blogger: Tamika Harris Occupational Therapist Extraordinaire!

Hey Tek-Ninjas! Recently I was in a colleague's office for an Assistive Technology observation, when I was intrigued by some "stuff" on her desk. What, pray tell is this Osmo thing you have here Tamika? 

Well, Tamika told me about it, and I was impressed. I thought you all would be interested. It's a wonderful intersection of technology and Occupational Therapy. I asked Tamika if she'd like to blog about Osmo, and lucky for us, she agreed. So, below is a guest blog by a wonderful therapist. Enjoy!

Welcome to the world of Osmo.  What is Osmo you ask?  It is an attachment and app that you connect to your iPad.  You can connect to a community of educators and download the teacher guide, which contains a list of activities with the appropriate grade level, objective, common core standard and instructions.  Content areas for the start up kit include STEM, Spelling, Handwriting, Reading, and phonics.  Math is sold separately.

With the start up kit you get access to the following apps for free:

In Masterpiece you can draw pictures from the gallery, the iPad’s camera or the Internet and then watch a replay of your drawing with a time-lapse video, which you can even share with parents.  Why not turn this into a writing/tracing activity as well. You can take a picture of your student’s name written and have them trace it.

Newton is a puzzle game where you have to bounce falling balls toward the target using lines that you draw or by placing objects in front of the screen.

Tangram is played by placing the wooden puzzle pieces on the table in front of the camera/screen to match the design seen on the screen. You can pick from a variety of levels. There is a helper at the bottom of the screen to show you what you should do next on the easy level.  This helps builds visual spatial abilities, nonverbal reasoning, fine motor skills, and executive functioning.

Words is played by placing letter tiles in front of the screen to either guess the entire word or certain letters within a word such as the 1st letter sound. You can play using the several levels already there, download list from the teacher guide or you can make your own list of word. You get two sets of letters and can have two students play against each other. Unfortunately, all of the letter tiles are capital letters.  Other than that, I think it’s pretty cool!

I have found ways to use the Osmo with children with all types of needs such as children with visual impairments, Autism, ADHD, Learning Disability, Developmental delay, etc.  All  of my students are loving it.  Join the revolution! 

Thanks Tamika!


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