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What is the study about?

The research project is called "Touch Technologies in the Classroom". In this study we are assessing commercially available handheld devices that use touch technology for information input.

Our goal is to assess the effects of using lower cost handheld touch-technologies in the classroom instruction of children with communication disorders.

The project is currently organised into two phases: Phase I (Feb -June 2010) includes using the iPod Touch and a range of applications including Proloquo2Go; and Phase II (Dec 2010-June 2011) which includes iPad devices.

Several other research projects indicate that commercially available touch technologies hold promise for children with speech and language impairments, particularly those with Autism.

This is the first study that gathers quantitative and qualitative data on children in a school-based setting, grades K-8, over an extended period of time.

We are interested not just in examining the extent to which the devices improve the communicative efficacy of children, but we are equally interested in the social concequences of introducing these devices within classroom settings - particularly in understanding the impact to relationships among peers.

We are also examining the manner in which teachers using these devices as assistive technologies are presented with opportunities to augment and adapt their classroom instruction.

Read about our study in the Globe and Mail.

What devices are we using?

We are using the 8GB iPod Touch (2nd Gen).

We are using the 16GB with Wi-Fi iPad.

What accessories are we using?

There are times when the internal speakers on the iPod Touch are not loud enough. We are using our devices in the classrooms and often with in a whole class setting. In order to be heard we chose to purchase the Cyanics Swing Speaker with Protective Case.

We chose the The Icon Essential Book Case for the iPad because of the tri-fold design. It allows for multiple resting profiles and the iPad is secure in the case.

Many of our teachers choose to 'wear' their devices. We have the most success with fanny packs or a sling purse. It allows the device to be on hand and portable while allowing for picture symbols or tactile cues to also be readily available.

What apps are we using and how do we find them?

We are using many apps, most of them found for free in the App Store. Once we found apps that we thought we were appropriate we used the Genius feature to find similar programs as well as the "customers also bought" feature. For more information on the apps we use please contact the school. Click here for a list of our Top Notch iPad, and iPod Touch applications currently being used at Beverley School. This list is updated on an ongoing basis.