PowerPoint as Assistive Technology, Anyone?

PowerPoint has amazing potential for use as assistive technology. It can support independent practice, provide numerous onscreen choice-making activities, and even be used as an AAC tool! Is this something you care to learn about? If so, please leave me a comment to let me know. I’m happy to share if there is interest.

Next month I’m presenting a workshop on ways to maximize PowerPoint for assistive technology in the classroom. The Northwest Augmentative Communication Society is graciously allowing me to present at their April evening seminar. Of course, my first choice would be for you to be able to come join us in person. But distance is an issue for many. So I’d love to strike up conversation here on the blog about the material being shared-- you can learn some cool tricks with PowerPoint to use with your students and share with me the areas I need to clarify better. It’s a win-win situation.
Any takers?


Illinois Yankee said...

I am interested in learning more about using power point for assistive technology. I have a 3rd grade son with Asperger's who struggles with math (poor attention span and fine motor battles visual confusion of worksheets).I like you am a mom with an education background and I spend my days looking for technology to invest in that will help him get the concepts and practice he needs. We will spend the summer pre-teaching 4th grade math ... how can power point help? Thanks!

Rose-Marie said...

Thank you for such a wondeful question, Jennifer! It gets my brain whirling in all kinds of directions. And it's oh-so-timely, too.

For the next month (or, more likely, two!) on Wednesdays, I'll be going over basic and advanced PowerPoint design skills. The ideas I have for adressing math support at a 4th grade level include some advanced techniques, but if you email me privately (my contact link is in the sidebar), I can send you templates so you can get a shortcut early.

A wonderful thing about PPT is that it can take dull pencil-and-paper tasks and turn them into engaging screen activities. Many kids with Aspergers and attention issues have a much better tolerance for screen work. You can customize the reinforcers so that they are personal and HIGHLY motivating. Also, you can present one problem at a time, helping make the work load feel more manageable.

I picture something along the lines of a problem with answer choices that can be inserted, and as problem length grows, single digits within a longer answer. Another possibility would be a question/answer matching.

Thanks so much for joining us here and for your inspiring question!

Anonymous said...

I am interested in learning more about using power point for assistive technology. I will be teaching a severe profound middle school 6-7 class and I will have to adapt my lessons.


Rose-Marie said...

Ingrid, I think you will find PPT to be a very useful tool. It's a great way to customize visuals so they meet the needs of your students. If you go to the tabs at the top of the page, all the PPT posts are listed there. I hope they provide you with a good starting point. By the final lessons, they tackle some fairly advanced skills. Please feel free to contact me with any specific questions and I'll do my best to help!