MyTalkTools has done it yet again. I know the students, their parents, therapists, and teachers will be overjoyed.
The test version of eye gaze that requires no touch and little movement that's totally customizable is just what I needed in my classroom for a Universal Design tool. During the past year we have been doing action research with different styles of responses for students with severe cognitive disabilities. The majority of the students are non verbal and I'm expected to assess learning and to move beyond simple recognition to higher levels of thinking. Without MyTalkTools I don't know what I'd do.
A few of my physically challenged students were not able to dwell, hold their eyes still to get MyTalkTools to work on a Surface with a Tobii eye gaze system. (We went into Workspace and previewed a board. It was totally active on a Surface with the full operating system, not the cheap version.) So I asked Ken, the MyTalkTools programmer to see if he could mimic motion control that I use in another app. He actually came up with two versions to try and another touch variation to trigger cells.
It beats the infrared Tobii system because it doesn't run the risk of triggering seizures and it doesn't require calibration for each user. That means as a teacher the iPad can move from student to student so each can independently participate. I put the iPad on a stand with a crooked part in front of the student answering so it's still and I'm not holding it.
When I hook the iPad up to AppleTV and have my classroom sound system on with its two sub woofers the impact is dynamic. Here students who haven't ever controlled anything are engaged and excited by the multi media responses they can control. What's really neat is when they trigger a video or music.
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