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Eye Gaze Eval -- Start with Fun and Keep it Simple

Eye Gaze Eval -- Start with Fun and Keep it Simple 0

In getting a new user started with an eye gaze system, going straight to the end goal -- communication board, computer control, writing etc. is overwhelming. Eye-gaze -- as intuitive as it is -- is still a skill and a skill takes some sort of learning curve. Here are some tips to get success in an evaluation. 

ChooseIt Maker 3 is Coming – Online! 0

[caption id="attachment_1127" align="aligncenter" width="465"]Screen shot 2013-06-11 at 3.41.19 PM ChooseIt Maker 3 screen shot from YouTube video[/caption] ChooseIt Maker has been a perennial favourite of educators and therapists working with early and emerging learners for close to a decade.  A simple focused user interface meant anyone could easily create a wide variety of choice-making activities to develop memory, literacy, numeracy, time telling, categorization and social skills in just about any topic you could think of. Well, we just found out that ChooseIt Maker Version 3 (CM3) is coming soon via www.helpkidzlearn.com; there’s a sneak-peek demo video up on YouTube [check out the video here]. [caption id="attachment_1128" align="aligncenter" width="498"]Screen shot 2013-06-11 at 3.57.27 PM (2) ChooseIt Maker 3 Access options screen shot[/caption]

Looks like the CM3  interface has been updated to make their easy-to-use activity builder even easier. But as always, Inclusive Technology has an eye on the latest access technology --  eye-gaze supports are built right in.

In addition, not only will ChooseIt Maker 3 live online, but you’ll be able to run your activities on iPad and Android tablets.  It's nice to see developers  not limiting themselves to just one tablet platform.

No word on pricing or exact release dates, but I’ve got my password to take CM3 out on a test drive so it’s got to be pretty soon. I’m going to try to squeeze in some time this week and I’ll report back as soon as I can.

--Bogdan Pospielovsky

NEW Look to Learn, Eye Gaze Assessment, Skill Building 2

In the past few weeks I've been out doing supporting eye-gaze system assessments for children.  I was using the C-series from ATI-Tobii and had great success.

 child using look to learn image

But comparing notes with my colleagues we observed the same challenges for the clinicians when running an assessment.  Of course the clinician wants to create the opportunity for success with eye-gaze and wants to engage a potential user with on-screen activities and prompts that are relevant and fun.   But at the end of the day, you need to have an accurate sense of whether eye-gaze is appropriate and functional for that child. And when dealing with children with complex physical, sensory, communication and cognitive challenges you often have a limited window before fatigue sets-in or attention wanders.  So there’s not a lot of time to customize an activity during the actual assessment to make sure it's engaging, relevant and fun. And if you’re part of a clinical team, wouldn't it be nice to be able to capture concretely what you experienced with that client to share at a later date?

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Sensory’s new software package, Look to Learn, has 40 activities  targeting children starting out with eye-gaze technology that are designed for fun. The collection of activities is ideal for both improving access, choice making skills and for assessing potential eye-gaze users on any eye-gaze system eg.Tobii's, the Intelligaze from Alea or others. But neither the Grid nor any other AAC software is required -- Look to Learn works completely on its own. Care givers and family can easily customize some of the activities with their own pictures too. To see a YouTube Video of Look to Learn in Action click here. To download a trial version of Look to Learn click here.  look-2-learn-screen-shots Heat-Map-Analysis-300x220

Assessment: The built in analysis tool shows where somebody has looked on the screen during an activity in the form of a heat map. Heat maps can be saved, printed off and used to measure progress and record successes. Each activity develops a different skill, ranging from early cause and effect through to accurate eye gaze.   5 Areas Designed to teach cause and effect control with engaging animations, graphics and a sense of humour. Look to Learn is split into five key areas of learning and development:

  • Explore - Encourages the user to engage with the whole screenchoose
  • Target - Helps improve accuracy of eye gaze access
  • Choose - Develops choice making skills
  • Control - Fine tunes eye gaze access
Pre-AAC We’ve experiences a lot of success using eye-gaze at a pre-AAC level including girl’s with Rett syndrome.  Sensory’s similar experience in the UK inspired the development of Look to Learn which included extensive user testing.  The verdict is in -- kids love the activities! There are large numbers of children who can use eye gaze effectively but need a step-up to the communication boards in AAC software like the Grid 2 or Tobii communicator.  For these children, Look to Learn is ideal for practicing and improving eye-gaze skills.  And for clinicians its a great addition to their assessment tool kit.

--Bogdan Pospielovsky

HelpKidzLearn Two Weeks FREE Trial Offer! 0

HelpKidzLearn is offering a 14 day FREE trial for HelpKidzLearn site. You can play ALL of the motivational, fun and accessible games and activities on HelpKidzLearn.

HelpKidzLearn from Inclusive Technology is an extensive collection of accessible activities, games and apps that can be accessed using a switch(es), touch screen, mouse, joystick, rollerball, or an eye gaze communication solution.  Designed for individuals with cognitive challenges, engaging activities develop early learning skills.  We’ve been surprised how quickly HelpKidzLearn has been taken-up by schools across the country since its launch in Canada just a month ago.

Check it out while you can -- this Two Week FREE Trial is available for a limited time!