- Published on Thursday, 05 December 2013 05:27
We continue to build on the base set of features we introduced in TalkingTILES 2.0 to provide even more options and capabilities in customizing and personalizing content to the meet the needs of both professionals and individuals.
New features in this release include:
- Support for smartphones & iPod Touch – iPhone, iPod Touch and Android phones
- Customizable Menu Bar – create your own custom menus for enhanced personalization
- New Voice Library – expanded voice library providing over 150 different voices in 40 different languages
- Addition of Children’s Voices –5 children’s voices in UK & US English– with many more to come
- Interactive Actions –create interactive pages with pop-up images, links to other app actions and more!
- New Sample Content & Ready-Made Pages – we continue to add new content and sample page packs to get you started with TalkingTILES quickly.
From our Sample Page Pack you can easily tap on a tile see what TalkingTILES offers across our 4 different assistive care areas.
Here’s an overview of the new 2.5 features. :
|New Demo Sample Pages
Our Sample Page Pack that will introduce you to the new features in 2.5 easily and conveniently. Once you install the app click YES to download the sample pages for you to start exploring from AAC, to learning games, visual schedules and social stories.
We now support the iPhone, iPod Touch and Android smart phones with this release. The page views and layouts are in portrait mode and optimized for phone use. Now you can take TalkingTILES anywhere as your personal mobile assistive care app.
|Customizable Menu Bar
Get really creative by creating your own menu bar with the options relevant to your specific Page.. y Change the menu bar size, color, placement and content. ach menu button is edited just like a normal Page Tile.
Interactive actions means the tap of a Tile results in actions such as; linking to external web sites, linking to offline webpages, and linking to other TalkingTILES app actions such as Tile Edit, Page Navigation, etc.
In addition talkingtiles supports; in-app videos, images, and audio files.
Samples of the Learning games are available in the Sample Page Pack.
The Acapela Voice provides over 150 different voices in 40 different languages with full support for non-English characters. Create language learning activities or translated pages easily with the variety of voices available or simply record your own voice.
|Expanded Ready-Made Content
We continue to add new content to our Public Page Library through the contribution of our users and our content team. With over 200 ready-made pages of content there’s a good base of content to get you started quickly.
Contact us to share your feedback and your stories on how TalkingTILES is helping you!
All the best!
- Published on Friday, 29 November 2013 05:35
Successful implementation of using assistive technology with students requires more than just handing over the device. It can be a complex process that takes several years before it is fully adopted. The process is not dependent on the tool alone, but on the process and people who are involved. Successful implementation is collaborative, systematic, recursive, flexible, and based on the student’s learning goals and needs. It is a team effort from the educator, therapist, parent, caregiver, and student. All those involved must understand the tool and the needs of the student.
In order to be effective, the care team must spend time evaluating and training with the selected tool. Following this, planning how the tool will be used in regards to the students learning and therapy plan prior to having the student use the tool will help the student more readily adopt it. Support from other teachers, educators, school administration and staff, therapists, family members and caregivers is vital – each individual or group is vital in the process. School administration and staff approve the use and training of the tool, educators and therapists must all freely exchange information and provide updates, and the families and caregivers must understand how to use the tool to continue its use at home and outside of the school setting.
The student’s individual preferences and learning needs contribute to the success of the assistive technology intervention. Students should be given the opportunity to evaluate AT tools to determine which is the best fit for them – studies show that students who have not participated in an evaluation process are more likely to abandon technology that does not meet their requirements. Once students begin using their selected tool, it is important to monitor their development and learning environment. Doing so will help their care team make any needed adjustments to the learning and therapy plan that is associated with the tool being used.
What exactly is involved in an effective assistive technology implantation plan?
- Gathering information: collect and gather relevant information that will be used to identify specific IEP goals that will be supported by technology
- Establish IEP goals: look at the IEP goals and the strategies for outcome evaluation
- Conduct AT trial: explore different options to determine the correct tool
- Identify AT solution: based on the information gathered through assessments and trials, established IEP goals, select the most appropriate tool
- Develop the implementation plan: work collaboratively with the team to create a plan that includes set up and configuration, team and student training, integration of the technology into the student’s daily program, and assessment tools that will be used to determine effectiveness
- Adapt lessons for AT integration: daily lesson plans are to be adapted to work with the tool to meet learning goals
- Follow up and plan transition: conduct frequent reviews to ensure effectiveness, make plans for further adaptions if needed, and create a transition plan to allow the student to take the tool with them without interruption from one class to another
What have you found to be effective strategies in implementing assistive technology tools with your students and clients?
- Published on Tuesday, 08 October 2013 06:01
AAC Awareness Month is here. But what does it really mean? AAC – Augmentative and Alternative Communication – is relied upon by people all around the world. Those who struggle to verbally communicate must find alternative ways to express themselves. Whether it is through body language, paper and pen, gesturing, paper images placed on boards, people are always creatively coming up with new and effective ways to communicate.
TalkingTILES was first created as an AAC app (though now it’s so much more!). Who is using TalkingTILES? Researchers, therapists, educators, parents of children with special needs, and assistive technology teams. So when we say AAC awareness, we should be giving notice to the people who need AAC and the people who dedicate themselves to helping those who need it.
Our little thanks from us to you: a Twitterverse contest! Complete the following Tweet “I love @TalkingTILES because…” and finish it with the #AACawareness hashtag! All tweeters will be put into our draw for either a 6 month subscription to our cloud service, or if you are already subscribed a $50 gift card to an app store of your choice. Start tweeting!!
- Published on Thursday, 31 October 2013 06:27
We communicate with each other because we want to ask for what we want, reject what we don’t want, comment on what we see, tell stories, complain, ask and answer questions, and more. However, students who are in need of communication supports are often provided with insufficient vocabularies. To help your students gain a meaningful core vocabulary, there are multiple ways that you can implement strategies into the classroom setting:
- Request/choice making
- Visual schedules
- Information transformer
Request or choice making gives the student the opportunity to express what they want or need, and to help them creatively find ways to say things differently. Begin by using objects that are of interest to the student to help increase meaningful communication and be sure to identify your target language with core words. Examples would be playing card games like Go Fish or Uno – how many ways can you think of using beyond “I, you, it, give, have, not”? Another idea is to create/discuss errands. If someone is delivering the mail, they would use “I” and “give” – have your student think of other ways to effectively deliver the mail with their core vocabulary.
Creating visual schedules can aid students in understanding the structure and parameters of the day, can assist with directions for activities, and supports teaching multiple concepts.
You can layout your visual schedules in a variety of ways. A vertical layout is good for lists and schedules, horizontal is good for direction, while a ring is a different way to show one activity at a time. Assistive Care apps like TalkingTILES allows you to customize the layout of each page, giving you the opportunity to create different kinds of visual schedules for different purposes.
When using visual schedules, you can review the items as you go using time order words or phrases to indicate the activity has passed. For example “First math, next spelling, last break time” or “Math is finished, now spelling, next break time.”
Early communicators often talk about people, objects, and events as a way to transfer information. Events can include human interactions, can be talked about using a variety of words, and can allow the AAC user to reflect internally. When the events are meaningful and related to the person, it helps to increase interaction and language use.
Core words helps the communication exchange by allowing them to be used to describe events with a communication partner helping to produce novel, generative language.
An example of how to use information transfer is by creating Experience Pages on TalkingTILES. You can use symbol images from the symbol libraries, or you can use real photos – such as a photo of a movie stub or restaurant napkin, or even a picture of a person who was there – to help show what was involved in the experience. This helps to engage the student into a conversation as you can ask about each item show, prompting them to reply. When using this strategy, be sure to follow along at the student’s level of understanding.
As your student’s ability with Core Vocabulary increases, you will find more ways to directly your student in expressing and using language. What ways have you found to be effective?
Reference: Material for this blog post was extracted from Understanding, Implementing, and Communicating with Core Vocabulary by D. Anderson and K. Bittner, August 2013.
- Published on Thursday, 19 September 2013 05:16
With TalkingTILES 2.0 hot off the presses, it’s a great time to examine how the new features of TalkingTILES work with the Mozzaz Cloud Service. To be clear, TalkingTILES can be downloaded and used for free without a subscription to Mozzaz Cloud services. However, there are a number of added value features and capabilities you receive when you subscribe to one of our Mozzaz Cloud service plans that will save you a lot of time, convenience and expands your programming options. New Mozzaz accounts will have 15 days free access to Mozzaz Cloud services to try out these features and learn more about them.
Why the Mozzaz Cloud?
Through the Mozzaz Cloud service an individual’s care team (therapists, teachers, family members and other care support workers) can create treatment plans, share content and review notes all within TalkingTILES running on their own device or computer for that particular individual. You are truly creating a collaborative care environment across the individual’s care team resulting in effective timely care.
Benefits of Mozzaz Cloud Services:
|Run on More Than One Device||Through one Mozzaz Cloud subscription, you can run your version of TalkingTILES on any number and any type of device, such as computers, tablets and smartphones. Create your content once and share it across any number of devices. [Learn More]|
|Add Members to your Care Team||You can add or remove people from your specific care team. Members of your care team will be able to share content, add content and collaborate with other members of the care team all remotely from their own device or computer. [Learn More]|
|Public Library of Ready-Made Content||Gain access to over 100 ready-made pages (and growing) of TalkingTILES content organized under different categories. This will help you get started with content programming that can be personalized to the individual’s need. [Learn More]|
|Largest Collection of Symbol & Word Catalogue||Currently we have 6 of the most popular and standard symbol picture / word catalogues in Mozzaz Cloud. That’s over 50,000 symbols and words readily available for you to use. Catalogues include: SymbolStix, Widgit, Bliss, Sclera, Mulberry and Pictograms. [Learn More]|
|Largest Collection of Voices & Languages||Through Mozzaz Cloud we offer one of the largest voice output libraries available with over 40 different languages with close to 100 different voices. With support for non-English characters we offer true multi-lingual support including different languages on the same page.[Learn More]|
|Secure Backup & Retrieval||Safely backup your content to your Mozzaz Cloud folder and have it readily available from any device you log in through. This is especially useful for malfunctioning or broken devices where the content will never be lost. [Learn More]|
|Tile and page color coding||Y||Y|
|Access to 30 built-in symbols||Y||Y|
|Record your own audio||Y||Y|
|Device Voice Output (Text-To-Speech)||Y||Y|
|Collaborate with your support team||Y|
|Secure cloud backup & restore||Y|
|Secure cloud backup & restore||Y|
|Publish pages to the public & other cloud folders||Y|
|Access multiple voice engines (40+ voices)||Y|
|Access multiple symbol libraries (SymbolStix, Widgit, Bliss, etc)||Y|
|Share content across multiple devices||Y|
|Remote programming & sync from any device||Y|
|Add/remove support team members||Y|
|Manage multiple client accounts||Y|
|Add notes and comments per page||Y|
|View client account information||Y|
|Flexible subscription pricing||Y|
|Access to technical & product support teams||Y|
Mozzaz Cloud services greatly expands the capabilities and features of TalkingTILES that will help in delivering timely, convenient and effective care for individuals.
Review the different subscription plans available and if you have any questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best – Team Mozzaz!