* Econ, apps, and eye gaze

Mix Tobii Dynavox, Communicator 5, economics, and the Township app to get… a terrific way to learn while playing!  Playing is indeed one of the best ways for all of us to learn.  Let me explain how a special needs student applies theories of supply and demand, micro and macroeconomics, opportunity cost, and much more while using an eye gaze system and this fun app.

I’ve blogged before about Tobii Dynavox eye gaze technology and the Communicator 5 software that accompanies it.  I also described a cool book, “How to Build Your Own Country, that supports the creative development of nation states, government, and even national anthems.  My student is president, of course, and has named his township after his country.  He uses Communicator 5 to select what actions he wants to perform, from breeding animals to mining for ore.  The image below is the main topic page.  When he looks at each box, the button “reads” the text I’ve added and then takes him to additional pages, where he can make decisions about what crops to plant, which friends to help, and whether to ask the city market dealer for help.  The black box in the upper left links to a rest page for his eyes, while the blue arrows return him systematically to the main menu.

township C5

These images are from the Township Wiki.  

I’ve only encountered a couple of difficulties so far.  For one, my dearest teaching widower does get tired of hearing the Communicator 5 program repeated over and over, as I make sure all the links are correct.  Then there’s the issue of my own addiction to this game!  Finally, my student does love using Mrs. Everson’s bank, but he must first earn the bills and coins (he named them doodads and dubas in his country).  And who supplies Mrs. Everson’s bank?  Shh….  This will be a test of whether my widower still reads my posts!!

* A Week of Silence

I hope you enjoy reading Catlin’s amazing adventure as she spends a week in silence, using assistive technology.  For some folks, losing their voice might come after a lifetime of natural communication.  For others, like one of my students, gaining a voice is both exhilarating and frustrating.   Caitlin experiences exactly what my student does: misunderstandings and awkwards delays.  Uncertainty from those around her.  

My student also struggles with invalidation: He is not TRULY communicating.  Mrs. Everson, you are acting like a Ouija board, manipulating what he says or what you want to hear.  While it’s true that I miss some of his signals, just imagine the heartache of not being heard OR believed.  Thank goodness for low tech eye gaze and the awesome Tobii Dynavox!  And thank you, Caitlin, for sharing your experiences. 



Hey all! Hope you are all well! Thank you for your continued support and kind words! I really couldn’t have done it without all your support! So I guess I will start with how my day started! I decided to have a home day as I had a few odd jobs around the house to […]

via Day 4- The Slip Up… — Week of Silence