Assistive Technology does not always have to be specifically with a need in mind. I think tablets have revolutionised SEN practices in the classroom; they allow students with complex needs to access the curriculum and participate in the classroom.
I also think it has (or should) have changed the role of the TA – preparing electronic texts, having knowledge of what apps do and enabling the student to work independently while keeping a close eye from a distance.
Book Creator is one of the most inclusive apps in my opinion. It won an award at Betts this year and there are fantastic resources on how to use it. (@ictevangelist has written this ictevangelist.com/learn-how-to…
Book Creator has something for everyone. A speak option if a student struggles to write, a type option for poor handwriters and the facility to put photos of work students have done or to include images from the Internet.
Teaching staff could prepare a scaffold of images and then the student can write alongside each image.
The books could become an eportfolio of progress or a project based book within a subject area.
Another positive is the frame. Too much text or a lengthy worksheet can be overwhelming therefore working on one page at a time seems more manageable. Some students – you know the ones who constantly ask how many more? Or how much longer? – might need an explicit framework with a clear ending for each task within the scheme. A bit like me on a bike ride; I can’t look at the top of the hill as I’d give up and tear open my emergency Yorkie bar, I just head for the first tree and then the next – small achievable tasks.
I also use Book Creator for ‘how to’ instruction manuals (See How to Train your Dragon Day 4). For me, this is building capacity within the school so the equipment continues to get used.
The final string in the bow is the potential to write Social Stories – these can be made really easily with Book Creator – those who use Social Stories successfully know that the more personal they are the better – similar to Direct Instruction scripts – the generic needs adapting and making relevant to the people it is trying to support. With Book Creator, photos can be taken, voices can be added and text put in easily.
So, Book Creator – I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say I love you – you are totes amazeballs.