Over the years we have seen our software evolving as a classroom tool – everyday we are seeing professionals sharing some amazing educational grids to support maths, phonics, story writing and much more.
Inspired by this, we launched the Grid 3 Education Licence in the UK, which enables schools and colleges to run multiple copies of Grid 3 on their network. (Generally this is not the norm for AAC software – most run as a single user licence and are used very much as an individual support).
For those of you who may not be very familiar with Grid 3, I thought I would use this blog to talk about how Grid 3 can be used for both AAC and learning, and why it is such a great classroom tool.
A shared experience for each class
Firstly, I like the idea that Grid 3 is a shared learning tool and not just a piece of software specific to one student.
Sandra Miller from FAACT (Support for Learners Service in Fife) once told me about a girl who used a symbol communication book to support conversation. In school however, this young girl would not use her symbols to communicate because they were ‘different’ and she was the only one using them. Working with FAACT, her school implemented the use of symbols across the school and they were embedded in all aspects of school life. As a result, the girl began using her communication book and sharing it with her friends and classmates as she was no longer the only one using symbols.
In the same way, having Grid 3 as a tool for all learners means that the software is a shared experience for each class – and students will not feel singled out because they are using different software to their peers.
Tools to support curriculum learning
Grid 3 is a powerful tool in the classroom. Traditionally we tend to have separate software for AAC and learning activities, and students will switch in and out of the different software as required. Grid 3 however has capabilities and features that allow it to do so much more, making it possible to use it as a classroom tool for onscreen activities that additionally support curriculum learning.
This means that students and teachers can do even more within one software environment. There is less need to switch in and out of software, and so workflow and consistency are enhanced significantly. Of course, specialist learning software will always be required but with Grid 3, curriculum-based activities and resources can be created alongside AAC supports and vocabularies.
Potentially this means:
- Less training needed for staff
- Fewer moments when students might lose their voice, when they move out of Grid 3
- Consistency of resources created in a familiar platform
Innovative and forward thinking software
Lastly, our development team are always working hard to make Grid 3 an innovative and forward thinking piece of software. Regular updates and new features are rolled out into the software to continue this developmental process, and allow Grid 3 to lend itself more easily to both communication and learning.
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