Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Move the Mouse!

A number of years ago I was working with a student who was using a touchscreen to access the computer. I wanted to se if I could interest her in using a mouse, but her attention seemed focused on the screen, not on this little plastic thing down on the desk in front of her. I wanted an activity where she would be rewarded for any movement she could make using the mouse -- just moving the mouse, not moving it to a specific spot, clicking on something, or dragging something.

So I wrote this simple program, Move the Mouse! It shows a circle on the screen that will follow the cursor around. It will change colors and play music, but only while the mouse is being moved. If you stop moving, the music stops and the colors stop changing.

Although we were not successful in transitioning this student to becoming a mouse user (for motor control reasons), if you are looking for a very early introduction to mouse cause-and-effect, you may want to give this a try.

Also, every adult I have shown this program to finds it oddly hypnotic and relaxing, so you may want to download it for yourself too!

Download Move the Mouse! here

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Boardmaker Calculator

I posted a simple talking arithmetic calculator that I designed in Boardmaker Plus. It can do addition, subtraction, or multiplication, and will work for up to 9-digit numbers. I was planning on posting this a while ago, but I never got around to getting the division working, but I figured I should post it anyway. It should be fully accessible through switch scanning.

It's available on Adapted Learning, at

Curriculum Companion Demo Videos

Much of my past year was spent working on the new Curriculum Companion line of products in Boardmaker Plus.  A number of people have asked me if there was any way for them to get a better idea of what was included in each one.  Well, I'm happy to say that there are now video demos of each of the 12 Curriculum Companions available online, that will give you a better idea of what they are.

I've created a playlist that you can view on Youtube, or you can watch them all below.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Closing the Gap this week!

I'll be off to the Closing the Gap conference this Wednesday, so if anyone is going to be there, please come find me at the Dynavox & Mayer-Johnson booth to say 'hi'! 

I'll be doing a presentation with Dan Herlihy on Thursday from 12:30-1:30 titled "Creating Accessible Interactive Books and Writing Activities with Boardmaker Plus V. 6".  Dan is always fun to watch and has amazing ideas.   We'll have a couple of really cool things to show.

I'll also be joining Patti Bastiani Weismer and Linda Bastiani Wilson for their presentation on "Ebooks for Switch Users at the Accessible Book Collection", on Friday from 9:30-10:30.  I blogged a while ago about the Accessible Book Collection and the Boardmaker Plus books available their, it's a fantastic resource.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Power Templates on Adapted Learning

Over the past year, we've been posting a wide variety of templates on that help you quickly create sophisticated activities without having to program any buttons.  I've mentioned a number of these on my blog in the past.  Previously, it was a little hard to find these on AdaptedLearning, but now they are all tagged with the keyword "powertemplate" (all one word, no space!).  So go to , type in "powertemplate" into the search window, and they will all pop up!

Here is a list of all the PowerTemplates currently available:

Talking Book:
Talking Book with Symbols:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Latest Activities on Adapted Learning!

I haven't been doing a posting on this blog for each time I upload a new activity to Adapted Learning. So here's a quick run-down of the latest activities I've posted:

Interactive Spinners: This is a set of interactive spinners. Click on the spin button, watch the spinner go round and land on one of 4, 6, or 8 choices. Include a blank spinner templates with 4/6/8 choices that you can fill in, as well as number spinners going to 4/6/8.

Shuffle Buttons Macro - Updated: A macro for automatically shuffling the buttons on your board.  I posted this a while ago, this is an update that can handle up to 30 buttons at a time.

WordMaking Activity v2 - Updated: This is another activity I posted a while ago, for doing word-making activities based on Patricia Cunningham's Making Words method.  This update has a bug-fix that kept you from swapping letters in the same location more than once.

Interactive Calendar:  I took the MJ 2009 Calendar and made it interactive, so that you can jump from month to month and hear the days and months read aloud.

Swat!:  This is a targeting game where you have to swat the flies on the screen.  Comes with 3 choices of backgrounds.

 Maze Muncher:  This is a Pac-Man style game where you navigate your character through a maze, munching the apples as you go along.  You can customize the character and the munchables to whatever you want.

Basic Skills Assessment: This is a set of interactive boards designed to assess basic skills.  It tests items similar to those in assessments like in the Brigance, like recognition of community signs, lower case vs uppercase letters, common sight words, and word identification for body parts, colors, and shapes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Twitter Mis-Behavin'

The Twitter bar was freaking out today, displaying a whole bunch of tweets from random people. I've disabled it for now, I'll turn it back on in a few days after it is hopefully fixed!