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Saturday, 8 April 2017

Apple TV in the classroom

Apple TV in class

I recently added an Apple TV box to the interactive whiteboard in my classroom.  Having tried using other software previously to mirror the screen of the iPad unsuccessfully I decided enough was enough and got AppleTV.  
I have not been disappointed.  Using the book creator app with the children I was able to mirror my iPad and scaffold the children's learning.  While children had used book creator before the results this time were far better as the children were able to ask me to show them how to do different things as often as they needed.
As the lesson progressed I was able to switch from my iPad to different children's iPad's.  This meant that we could look at children's writing and praise what was good and help them to improve their writing.

After using Apple TV to mirror the book creator app, I have now used it with the kindle app, highlighting text to develop comprehension, used notability app with photos of pupils work and then circled and highlighted elements to show good work.

I also used Apple TV to mirror the Seesaw app so children could learn how to upload their own work to Seesaw.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

iPad IOS 10 accessibility features

Tips for iPads with IOS 10

The new features of the IOS 10 update made some significant changes to the iPad that allows users with specific difficulties greater access to the technology.  From voice over to guided access there are some significant elements that can be used to support within the classroom.  Some of the features particularly applicable to the primary classroom are the display accommodations that can change the colour filter to the user's preferred colour overlay.  Guided access is another essential for the primary classroom.  It allows the teacher or parent the opportunity to set time limits and keep the user to only one app.  This means that children will not accidentally or intentionally switch to other apps.

To access the range of accessibility settings you need to go to settings on your iPad.  I have not explained all the features but have chosen a few to get started.


Go to settings > General > Accessibility

In this you will find:
Voice over
Support for Braille displays
Set display accommodations
Speak selection
Speak screen
Typing feedback
Large, bold, and high contrast text
Button shapes
Reduce motion
On/off switch labels
Assignable tones
Audio descriptions

Hearing devices
Mono and audio balance
Subtitles and closed captions


Widescreen keyboard
Guided Access
Switch control overview
Assistive touch
Touch accommodations
Software and hardware keyboards


VoiceOver describes aloud what appears onscreen, so that even if you have a visual impairment you can here about each item you select.  The VoiceOver cursor (a black outline) encloses the item and VoiceOver speaks its name amor describes it.
When you go to a new screen, VoiceOver plays a sound, then selects and speaks the first item on the screen.  It lets you know when the display changes to landscape or portrait, when the screen becomes dimmed or locked, and is active on the Lock screen when you wake the iPad.

Important: VoiceOver changes the gesture you use to control iPad. When VoiceOver is on, you must use VoiceOver gestures even to turn VoiceOver off.


Type onscreen braille
This allows you to use your finger to enter 6-dot, 8-dot, or contracted braille directly on the iPad screen.
You must have VoiceOver on first the go to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Rotor > then select Braille Screen Input.

Go to Settings > General > Accessibility, then turn zoom on or off.
With Zoom turned on, double tap the screen with three fingers.

Adjust the magnification
Double tap with three fingers, then drag up or down.  This gesture is similar to a double-tap, except you don’t lift your fingers after the second tap - instead, drag your fingers on the screen.  You can also triple tap with three fingers then drag the zoom level slider in the zoom controls that appear.  To limit the maximum magnification, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Zoom, then drag the maximum zoom level slider all the way to the left.

Pan to see more
Drag the screen with three fingers.  Or hold your finger near the edge of the screen to pan to that side.   Move your finger closer to the edge to pan more quickly.

Turn your iPad into a magnifying glass to zoom in on objects near you.
Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and turn on Magnifier. Then triple-click the Home button to use the camera to zoom in on small details. Tap the Filter button to enhance the image. Tap the shutter to freeze it.  To turn off the magnifier click the home button.

Change colours, filters and reduce white
To invert the screen colours got to Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations, then turn on Invert Colours.
To apply colour filters, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Colour Filters, then turn on colour filters.
To reduce the intensity of bright colours, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations, then turn on reduce white point.

Speak Selection
Even with VoiceOver turned off, you can have the iPad read aloud any text you select.
To turn on speak selection, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech.
Once you have done this you can adjust the speaking rate and choose to have individual words highlighted as they’re read.
To have the text read to you, select the text, then tap speak.
To have the entire screen read to you, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech.
Then to have the iPad speak the screen, swipe down with two fingers.  Use the controls that appear to pause speaking or adjust the rate.
You can also highlight what is being spoken by turning on highlight content.

Typing Feedback
As you type the iPad can provide feedback and speak text corrections and suggestions.  You can choose to have iPad speak each character, entire words, auto-corrections, auto-capitalisations and typing predictions.
To do this go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech > Typing Feedback

Guided Access
Guided access helps keep the user focused on a task.  You can use guided access to restrict the iPad to a particular app, disable areas of the screen that aren’t relevant to a task, or areas where an accidental gesture might cause a distraction, or limit how long someone can use an app, or disable hardware buttons.
To use guided access, with an app open, tell Siri “turn on guided access” or go to settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access the turn it on.
within the guided access screen you can then turn guided access on or off, set a passcode to control the use of guided access and turn on touch ID as a way to end guided access, tap time limits to set a sound or have the remaining guided access time spoken before time ends, set whether accessibility shortcuts are available during a session.

Talk instead of type
Tap the Dictate button on the keyboard and speak your words (including punctuation), then tap done.

Remove webpage clutter
Reader in Safari makes articles easier to read. When you see the Reader button in the search field, tap it to see just the text and photos — without ads.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

App ideas for pupils with SEN

App ideas for pupils with SEN

One useful piece of assistive technology is using SIRI on an iPad or iPhone.  For children who struggle with spelling but can’t use a dictionary of spell checker, SIRI can be used instead.  All the children need to do is ask SIRI how to spell the word they need. 

Madlibs is a fun word game that encourages children to create a funny story without having to write all of it.  The app asks for nouns, verbs ending in ing etc
Once all the words have been put in the app generates a story with the words.  There are also different additions of the app such as Hello Kitty and Diary of a Wimpy kid.
The app can be used to support pupils who struggle to create a story or need support learning the grammatical terms.
Recommended age 7 upwards dependent on which stories you choose.

Hairy letters and hairy phonics apps are produced by Nessy.  For those children who need some extra support with learning phonics.  The apps links the graphemes and phonemes and include handwriting practice and word building.
Great for Key stage one and lower key stage two.

This is great for encouraging children to think about how many letters in words.  Children can use a dictionary to look words up to put in their crossword.  The crosswords can be made using any words that fit.