Magazine article Technology & Learning

Language Activities of Daily Living Series: My School, My House, My Town

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Language Activities of Daily Living Series: My School, My House, My Town

Article excerpt

Hardware: Apple II family (64K) with external speech synthesizer; Apple IIGS* (1 Mb); MS-DOS computer (640K) with hard drive, VGA graphics, and speech synthesizer. (At press time, a Macintosh version was scheduled to ship in May.)

Emphasis: Special education (functional vocabulary training).

Grade level: K and up.

Publisher: Laureate Learning Systems, 110 E. Spring St., Winooski, VT 05404; (800) 562-6801.

Package includes: Floppy disks (5.25-inch for Apple II family; 3.5-inch for all other computers); teachers' manual.

Price: $175 per series title for the Apple II family, and $200 per title for Apple IIGS and MS-DOS computers; lab packs, network versions available.

My School, My House, and Mv Town, the three separate titles in Laureate's Language Activities of Daily Living series, provide an opportunity for special education teachers and speech clinicians to help students gain basic vocabulary. Appropriate for both children and adults, this series of talking programs is designed to help communicatively low-functioning individuals understand and express the language they are likely to need in their daily routines.

The three programs use speech and graphics to teach functional vocabulary in familiar settings, each using six typical scenes to introduce its vocabulary set. In My School, for example, students explore a classroom, a cafeteria, a library, a music/art room, a playground, and a hallway. In My Town, they visit six neighborhood settings, including a park, a restaurant, and a dentist's office.

Within each program, students can use four activities to identify and define new vocabulary. In the Discover Names activity, they select an object and the computer speaks its name with a cartier phrase (e.g., "This is the traffic light"). In Discover Descriptions, the computer gives a description of the selected object (e.g., "A traffic light tells drivers when to stop and go").

In the third activity, Identify Names, the computer prompts students to find various objects (e.g., "Find the traffic light"). And in the final activity, Identify Descriptions, students find various objects based on their descriptions (e.g., "What tells drivers when to stop and go?"). More than 100 commonly seen objects are labeled and described in each program.

Instructors can tailor the programs to fit the needs of their students by selecting among four interface options: keyboard, mouse, single-switch device, or Edmark TouchWindow touch-input screen. They can also choose the objects to be presented in a single lesson, selecting some and "de-selecting" others. Un-selected objects simply don't appear in the setting. Further controls adjust the amount of cueing (the "hints") and the response time a student is given, and allow teachers to turn on and set the timing of the scanning feature.

The software provides the ceaseless, consistent reinforcement needed by an individual with disabilities. …

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