We started the class by pulling together our group presentations. Having this time to regroup and organize our thoughts was great! I had an awesome team with whom to work and I think our presentation went quite well. But, I am glad that as a class we are going to spend more time on Kurzweil. It is an awesome program!
Kurzweil 3000 - I think this is the best program (and NOT because it was the software we presented!). It offers many great features, some of which include text-to-speech (with very realistic voices), translation, writing and study skills tools. My favorite is that it can be very portable (available on a USB for any PC) and that this is the program that is available in all NS schools.
My Study Bar - I really like the portability of this program! I think it is almost as good as Kurzweil and it's FREE! I like the floating tool bars and how easy it is to use!
WYNN - I really liked this program too! It has many of the same features as Kurzweil (but not all!) I also really liked the prepared handouts supplied by this group!
Natural Reader- This is a text to speech program that also offers MP3 creation which is nice. It is very economical and would be good to use if other programs were not available. The voices are not that realistic, but others can be downloaded at a charge.
Texthelp AKA Read&Write Gold- I really liked this program! It is a FREE download! It has many of the same features as the other programs, but the one I like the most is the speech-to-text! This would be awesome for many students, myself included!
Five Unique ways to use Pictello
- Older students can visually represent a story with their younger reading partner that they have created together.
- Share photos of projects created at home with class and teacher.
- Use as a way to communicate during show and tell for those students who prefer not to speak in front of the class.
- Create group stories using IPad on an interactive white board.
- Creating visual schedules for students who need them.
Ipod usage and Apps
Having the opportunity to use the Ipods today was definitely an enlightening experience! Now, I want one - or do I want an IPad 2? Actually, I'd like to have both! (Thanks, Barb!) These little gadgets are fabulous and it seems like the Apps are endless! We only had less than 2 hours to take a look, investigate and play, but we learned exactly how useful and intuitive they are and the implications for our classrooms! C'mon NS School Boards, it's past time to lift the ban on hand held devices! We NEED these in our classrooms.
I was especially interested in the Apps available for students with ASD as I have chosen to work with such a student for my Case Study and I know he's not using his IPod in school. (Now, I just have to convince his teacher....) There's my next challenge~but I think once she sees the uses, she won't hesitate!
Take a look at the apps I discovered!
My Top Five Apps:
Doodle Buddy (Free) - This would be a great app to have for my students who need to doodle or do something instead of just sitting still as a way to focus their attention.
CBC News (Free) - This would be great to use for research particularly about current events.
ROM Guide (Free) - What an awesome way to do virtual travel to a fantastic museum most of my students would never have visited!
Socialcam Video Camera (Free) - This would be a great way for my students to do video for various projects!
Instant Poetry HD (only $1.99) - I LOVE this! For my reluctant writers, especially, but I think everyone will like it!
Now I can't wait to do my case study and go shopping!