SENICT News and Resources from Ian Bean, June 2014

Free resources from CALL Scotland

Book and chart resources from CALL Scotland

We’re kicking off this month with two fabulous and FREE resources from CALL Scotland.

Colleagues at CALL have produced a new app wheel this time covering apps for children with complex communication difficulties. As with all of the resources from CALL Scotland, this has been carefully researched by their team of speech therapists and teachers..
Download this free app wheel (PDF)

“iPads for Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning” was first published in 2012. This new version has been revised and greatly expanded to include the accessibility changes brought about by the launch of IOS 7 and the many new apps that have been published in the last two years. This is a very useful resource for anyone using or considering using ipads to support the needs of students with SEN.
Download this free book (PDF)

Best interactive web site: Patatap

Patatap screenshot

Always frustrating when I come across a brilliant interactive web site only to find out that it won’t work on the iPad. Patatap is a colourful, noisy web site that works on both a computer and on an iPad. Press any of the keys on the keyboard or the screen on the iPad to create wonderful colourful patterns and music.
Visit the PATATAP web site

Click to visit Blended Technologies for Blended Learning Vision Impairment Course on 7/8 August 2014 Melbourne Australia

Working with Julie King in NZ

Workshop with Julie King at CLICKspecialEDNZ, 6th September 2014 Auckland, New Zealand

So looking forward to working with Julie King from ClickSpecialED in New Zealand to deliver this very practical course ‘High Tech, Low Tech, No Tech: Planning the Perfect Lesson for Students with Special Educational Needs’ in Auckland on September 6th. Lorraine Peterson OBE ex CEO of NASEN in the UK said of Julie; “Julie is inspirational. I thought I had lots of energy but she is off the scale.” Don’t miss this workshop. More information and details of how to book your place will be on the ClickSpecialED web site very soon.
Visit CLICKspecialED NZ web site

Tried and tested free apps

Free apps' icons June 14

More useful app recommendations this month including the brilliant and free ‘colAR Mix‘ which quite literally brings colouring pages to life. Please note: While all of these apps were free at the time of writing, always check the price of an app before downloading it.
Many apps are offered free by developers but some are only free for a short period of time.

Tynker App

colAR Mix is one of a new generation of augmented reality apps that I have been using with students to support their work with the iPad camera. To use colAR Mix, you need to download and print the colouring pages from their web site. These are available free and you can buy more for £1.99 through an in-app purchase. You don’t need to buy these to enjoy the app however. Students then colour in the pages using paints or coloured pencils and when they are complete, run the app and point the iPad camera at at the page.
Get colAR Mix on the app store

Walking with Dinosaurs from the BBC is another augmented reality app that works in a similar way. This time rather than colour in a picture, the students print out a target image of their dinosaur and point the iPad camera at it to bring the whole scene to life. Walking with Dinosaurs also features a set of photo tools to allow students to add dinosaurs to their photographs. A nice way to move on from simple ‘point the camera’ augmented reality apps such as Dragon Detector.
Get Walking with Dinosaurs on the app store

Ask Ed is a lovely app to help students ‘work through’ every day problems that upset or annoy them. Run the app, type in your name and problem and Ed will help you explore how you feel about the problem and come up with possible solutions. Not for every student and most would need support using it, but Ask Ed can be personalised and remembers the problems students have entered giving you an useful discussion tool. Take a look and see if it might work for your students.
Get Ask Ed on the app store.

ASD Tools screenshot

I usually avoid apps that mention Autism or ASD in the title as I figure if they were any good, they wouldn’t need to use those words. ASD Tools is an exception to that rule. A collection of simple tools like ‘now and next’, a visual timer together with a simple visual sequences that use your own images and a rewards system that could be useful for some of our students. I even use it in the office as you can see.
Get ASD Tools on the app store

Click to visit Blended Technologies for Blended Learning Vision Impairment Course on 7/8 August 2014 Melbourne Australia

Win a copy of this useful book

My Doo-zy, My Friend, Our Journey book cover and sample pages

Written by teacher Julia Barnes and speech therapist Heather Clarke, this 200 page book is packed with lesson plans and teaching ideas for those involved in the education of students who use switches to access communication and the curriculum. Aligned to the P Levels with links to the Routes for Learning PMLD assessment scheme, this book provides a structured approach to teaching switch skills which will help your students make real measurable progress. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Doo-zy in school. All of the activities in the book can be taught with a Big Mack, switches and a toy controller which most schools will already have.
You can read a short review of this book on my SENICT Blog.

The publishers, Switch-ed had kindly given us two copies of the book to give away in a free draw on our Facebook page. Competition winners were drawn at midnight GMT on Friday 6th June 2014.

Visit our Facebook page to see who the winners are

and finally …

Look out for our next newsletter in July, where we’ll be sharing lots of free classroom resources, teaching ideas and even more free apps.

Can’t wait until July for more free resources, free apps and teaching tips?
You can follow Ian on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Colleagues interested in working with me may wish to connect and view my profile on LinkedIn.
If you have any questions or would like to comment, please feel free to drop me an email at

See you all in July.

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About Ian Bean

Ian was the ICT teacher and curriculum coordinator at Priory Woods School in Middlesbrough which is internationally recognised as an example of best practice in the use of ICT to support teaching and learning for students with severe and complex difficulties including Autism. HIs leadership of ICT won for the school many local, national and international awards. The school web site which Ian designed and ran for many years and welcomes millions of visitors each month from across the globe.

Ian left Priory Woods to lead the Information Team at Inclusive Technology where he was responsible for delivering training and consultancy to schools around the world. While at Inclusive, Ian worked closely with the development team to help design much of Inclusive’s software output over the last seven years. This includes titles from the ‘Big Bang’, ‘Switch Skills’, ‘Target and Touch’ and ‘Maker’ series, each design underpinned by best practice research Ian carried out in schools and colleges. Most recently Ian worked on MyZone LP, an innovate switch accessible learning learning platform for children with SEN.

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