Assistive technology in the classroom
Kerry is the Education Specialist for Smartbox. She is a qualified Teacher and previously worked for DynaVox Mayer Johnson and Manchester Local Authority.
Before studying PGCE Secondary English with SEN and PGDip Teaching, Manchester, she was a Communication Development Manager. She worked with an Assistive Technology Team at a Co-education 3-19 Special School developing the use of AAC across the school, supporting individuals with their communication aids (low and high tech) and training staff.
Kerry brings over a decade of experience in AAC and Education to our team at Smartbox and will be sharing some of what she has learned in her blog.
Welcome to Kerry’s first blog post
Hello and welcome to my first blog post! I’m going to be writing about all things education in this series, with a focus on educational activities in Grid 3 and the symbiosis between communication and learning.
I’ll be sharing resources I’ve created and talking about future content development for education – as well as discussing some of the great practice I get to see when I am out and about.
As a Teacher, I am always looking at how we can engage all pupils in the classroom and love having the opportunity to create fun and motivating activities.
Before I get started though I thought I would share a bit more about myself.
When I first joined Smartbox as a Training and Resource Manager, I spent a fair amount of time plugging the idea of making more grids for education – as the potential was very clear. Many people were already creating and adapting grids for use in the classroom in The Grid 2 – and the teacher in me was getting more and more excited about what we could be doing!
At that time, however, Grid 3 was in the making and it would have been the wrong time to undertake this kind of project.
Two and a half years later
Fast forward a couple of years and I have recently returned from maternity leave, and come back to a new role as Education Specialist. Returning from a twelve month break is always a little daunting, but the opportunity to start a new role has so far made it an exciting transition. There’s such a lot to do!
The project I’m currently working on is about creating a series of educational resources (for use in EYFS and KS1) that will be made available as part of Grid 3. We’re just testing the water – looking at the capabilities of the existing features in the software, new and different ways of using them, and their potential in the future.
We’ll also be getting feedback from our users along the way, to help inform what we’re doing. I’m in my element and have already got ideas for the next set of resources – and the next set, and the next…
Existing educational grid sets
For now though, if you want to see some existing education grids have a look at the links below. These resources have come from the Community. You can search the online grids for yourself too – there are plenty on there! Otherwise, watch this space. Hopefully I’ll be sharing a set of sample resources in the not-so-distant future.
This grid set is for telling stories. There are four stories: about a king, an old man, a robot and a burglar. You can tell the stories as they are meant to be told, or you can mix them up to make your own crazy tale.
Shared Reading Books – with extra grids
This is a grid set with vocabulary of a selection of books that will enable the child to take part in reading. Books required.
An educational classroom resource scaffolding poetry writing. Includes a Summer Poem, Haiku and Adjective List Poem. Also includes vocabulary choices, sentence starters and prompts, and photos as visual prompts.
Fast Talker 3 Educational
An adapted version of Fast Talker 3 with an Educational section. A complete solution for literate users.
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