Friday, September 21, 2018

FREE Voice-Output For your Core Vocabulary Board

This core vocabulary initiative began as we saw a need for
students to have a language system from the first day they
entered the classroom. This does not take the place of the
several hundred dynamic and static display systems
used by students. 
In 2016, we* began a core vocabulary initiative in my school division. We compiled a core vocabulary board (60 words based on solid research) and distributed it in a variety of sizes. We provided training for SLPs, teachers, teacher assistants, parents, administrators, OTs, PTs, and anyone who asked. We worked and continue to work very hard. 

However, one component was missing . . . voice-output.

Static display devices were too expensive and most not large enough for our 60-word board. As all of our targeted students had access to iPads, we needed to find an app. 

TalkBoard Free by Mark Ashley
Talkboard Free was the best fit for our needs. It was FREE, we could add up to 100 cells, and voice-output was a feature. 

Our board was created with Boardmaker symbols so we contacted Boardmaker to ensure we were not violating any copyrights. 

Once we had the go-ahead from Boardmaker, the first board was made and then transferred to other iPads via Bluetooth. 

The first board took quite some time to create. Each symbol needed to be added as a JPEG. Recording is much like recording on a static display device so timing is important and takes practice. The 9-year-old son of one of our SLPs made the recording of each word and his recordings transfer to each iPad along with the symbols. 

* "We" refers to the fabulous SLPs in our school division's assistive technology department. 

Diana

© 2018

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