Splashtop Apple App

December 14, 2010

I work with quite a few children and adults who have cognitive challenges or limb apraxia and have difficulty using a mouse. It’s very helpful for me if I can provide them with direct access using a touch screen , but a touch screen computer is not always available. The touch screen on the iDevices such as the iPad is wonderful, but sometimes I want to be working on software that only can be used on a Windows computer.

The Splashtop Apple app which sells in the iTunes store for $1.99 can turn the iPad ( or iPhone of iPod Touch) into a touchscreen device for programs that run on a Windows based computer. It turns into a remote desktop.
I can then have my clients touch the screen on my iPad while working on software to help with language and cognition.

With the help of the Splashtop Apple app I can also watch Flash based videos and access my entire PC from my iPad or iTouch.



Literactive.com – Free online site for early readers

December 14, 2010

I’d like to share with you information about this free online website I have been using with early readers. It’s a great way for parents to help their young children at home!

Literactive is a comprehensive phonics based reading program for early readers that provides a library of carefully graded interactive storybooks. To use the site it is necessary to register, then log in- but there is no fee. Parents, therapists and teachers can then decide to work online with guided reading or download activities and worksheets. Many of the activities are available in Spanish.

Guided reading activities start with nursery rhymes, proceed with levels 1-5 and then offer a spelling bee, poetry and traditional tales. I love the bright, colorful graphics and children respond favorably to the cartoon characters in the stories. The stories are entertaining as well as repetitive to facilitate learning. I have seen the successful quick learning create incredible enthusiasm for kids who had not before shown an interest in reading. Children can try to read the text on their own or listen to the story first. If the child needs help on a work, they click on it and the computer then highlights the word and says it then breaks it down into the phonemes visually and auditorally.

The worksheets can be downloaded in a PDF format and contain activities for working on ABCs and pre-writing skills. The Activities section includes ideas for engaging in a number of interactive games.