3 Cool Things #5

New ideas and information is at our fingertips like never before and I plan on continuing to share some of the new things I have been learning. So this week, here are my newest, favourite #3coolthings.


After my last, first “3 cool things” post, I heard about another way to collate any web links, video links that you want to read later. Thanks Gail Bennell! I’ll admit, it’s a much better option than screen shots.

Pocket was designed to help people save cool articles, videos and images from the web for looking at later when you have the time. The content that you save is visible on any platform— phone, tablet or computer. So I have Pocket installed on my Android phone, my iPad and as a Chrome extension on my computer. Any time I see something of interest that I want to read or work out what to do with later…. I can! It’s a little bit like that filing tray you used to have on your desk and you piled it with things to “read or file later”. I know it’s been around a while, but you might be like me and slow to uptake some things. Give it a try. I’m loving it and it’s one of the coolest things I use every day to “pocket” cool blogposts, recipes, videos and more. Just make sure you do go back to read them later and do something with them OR you’ll end up with the filing tray that is piled high with stuff.


Tools 2 Talk

This app is hot off the press and great for creating a range of communication aids such as first then boards, aided language displays, calendars, visual schedules, chore charts, shopping lists and much more! It comes with a range of examples and templates and you can use Symbolstix, COMPIC or your photos from your camera roll to create resources for printing. Anything you have made can be shared via email, iTunes File Sharing, Dropbox or saved to your camera roll. Low tech resources are still as important as ever. Sometimes they are the perfect stand alone tool and other times we need them when a speech generating device is away for repair, we’re charging the battery on a device or it’s not convenient to use the technology in a particular environment such as down at the beach or pool.

Check out some of the sample communication aids you can create:

chore chart

first then

shopping list

You can find it in the app store now

[link ids=”tools-2-talk-communication-aid”]


And lastly, one of my favourite discoveries is SnapType. I have often had people ring me up and ask me about a way that the child in the classroom who struggles with handwriting can fill in worksheets on a tablet device. Finally, a clever OT has come up with a very simple app to achieve this. Simply open up the app and then take a photo of the worksheet. Then tap any where on the screen and start typing! You can change the size of the text with a little slider that appears on the screen. It’s great for labelling activities, fill in the blanks and all sorts of classroom worksheets. Once you have finished the worksheet and need to have a record of the work that has been done, you take a screenshot and then you can access the completed worksheet in your camera roll to email or print. It would be great to see some tweaks to the app such as being able to share/save within the app itself to DropBox, email, Google Drive etc but it certainly fills an identified gap and makes it possible for struggling hand writers to complete worksheets.


This app is free in the app store

[link ids=”SnapType”]

So another #3coolthings for you to consider.

Have you been making an effort to share #3coolthings with your colleagues and beyond?


Charlene Cullen

Charlene has worked as a speech pathologist, supporting people with complex communication needs and learning disabilities for the past 15 years. She has worked in a variety of roles within the Disability Services of Western Australia, including Senior Speech Pathologist, Rural and Remote Resource Therapist and Regional Team Manager. Charlene is a trained Key Word Sign (formerly Makaton) presenter, certified Hanen It Takes Two to Talk presenter and a member of the Apple Consultants Network. Charlene is also an official Proloquo2Go / Proloquo4Text trainer, and TBoxApps Trainer for Therapy Box. Charlene has developed strong skills in and a passion for, the area of AAC and assistive technologies. She enjoys presenting workshops and providing consultancy services to support and educate parents, teachers and therapists in the use and application of inclusive technologies. Charlene has been a full time member of the Professional and Consultancy Services Team at Spectronics. AGOSCI State Representative for Victoria (2012-present); Key Word Sign Victoria committee member (2012-present).