We always assumed that our new Look to Learn: Scenes and Sounds software would be used primarily by eye gaze users. But Macsen and his dad Matthew has other ideas and have been using direct access as well as assisted scanning to control the software.
Here is Matthew’s latest blog about Look to Learn.
Look To Learn – Scenes And Sounds
It’s no secret that Macsen and I love Look to Learn (Look to Learn Macsen’s Review), so when we heard about the Scenes and Sounds update we were excited. The update is great, it continues with the same level of quality and charm of the original while expanding into three new areas: Scenes, Skills and Sounds.
These three categories have 8 or 9 new activities each totalling 26 new things to try. Scenes contains different cause and affect pictures where actions are triggered from a screen dwell, these range from a moonscape with aliens to the Wild West with a dancing cactus and gun touting sheriff.
The Skills section has more advanced games where you can paint, race a car and throw snow balls.
The most exciting area for us was the Sounds section.
Macsen responds really well to music and sounds, so it’s no surprise we spent most of our time here. Interestingly when we first tried the games we had problems getting Macsen to use the eye control due to insufficient lighting and poor screen angle. This led us to trying the activities in different ways, which worked really well!
While I was fiddling with the angle and lighting Macsen was really trying to look. In his frustration he started to reach for the screen. He never reaches out, so I took the opportunity, disconnected the tablet and encouraged him to touch the screen. Together we had great fun with the Xylophone and Drum Kit games. Macsen was able to swipe his arm across the screen and activate the Digital Xylphone. It was lovely to see and we were able to make some great noise! We then went onto the drums where he was able to play different pitched drum noises by reaching and hitting the screen. There are also two special buttons that he hit a few times (lightening) that would play an arrangement, hitting these was a great surprise!
We then tried Assisted Scanning. An approach I’ve only just learnt from a presentation from an amazing lady named Susan Norwell. We used this first with the Rock Band Game. I asked him if he wanted to choose the drums… He looked straight at my face (our que for yes)… So I clicked the drummer for Macsen. This kicked off a drum solo.
I then asked if he wanted the piano… He looked away (our cue for no)… I then asked if he wanted the guitar… He looked straight at me! So the guitarist joined in. I asked about the bassist and he looked at me, then the same with the piano. Once all selected the band played a cool rockish tune. We did this a number of times where I offered the questions in different order. Each time he choose the drummer and guitarist first showing this boy knows what he likes!
I then asked if he wanted the guitar… He looked straight at me!
We then continued with the assisted scanning where we tried the Monkey Business activity. In there a sound is played and you must choose what object is making the noise. Macsen knew the difference between a police car and horse, bell and cow, baby and car; the only one that caught him out was the difference between a doorbell and lightening. I was very please and if I’m honest a little surprised…
Although these other accessible methods were fun and provided variety, but the next day we used the app using our normal Eye Gaze method. It was also fun and as natural as the original.
In summary, if you liked the original Look to Learn you will love this add on. Also next time you play on the eye gaze why don’t you try another Accessability method? You may be surprised with the results!
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