Virtual Reality Opening Doors…

Photo by Eugene Capon from Pexels

Recently for a combo birthday and retirement gift, I bought an Oculus Quest 2 Virtual Reality (VR) Headset. I purchased it with the intent of staying physically active during a COVID winter. Winters in my area tend to be cold and snowy. During the winter months, it is not unusual to seek out indoor gyms for activities. However, this winter is very different from others due to the COVID challenge.

I’m a person over 60 and with multiple risks. Due to my risks, it only seemed natural to use virtual reality for supporting exercise during a winter of isolation. I’m finding my journey with the Oculus Quest 2 VR Headset is quite beneficial for my health. Within the first few weeks of exploring exercise, dance, and sport demo APPS, healthy changes occurred. I immediately started to see a drop in blood pressure. The biggest surprise was noticing my balance and movement was flowing more freely. As a person with multiple neuro-muscular spine issues, this was exciting!

I’m an advocate for using technology supports for unleashing new possibilities for those who struggle due to physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges. Virtual Reality tools may be the key to open doors for others with disabilities on their journey for a better lifestyle.

Use Voice Typing, It’s Easier & Quicker!!!

Using Voice Typing is a quick method to provide responses and answers. In my busy life, timesaving tips are so so important! I look for tools that allow me to add precious free time back into my schedule without losing quality. Tools such as voice typing come in handy to use for saving loads of time.

Today I discovered how well my iPad voice to text keyboard integrates with the YouTube Studio APP. I decided to use voice typing to quickly answer comments left by viewers of my YouTube Channel. As someone with small motor issues, this is sometimes a daunting task. My fingers don’t always function when trying to type.

During a spine issue flare-up, it isn’t unusual for me to lose some control of my fingers. It can be very frustrating when trying to type. Either my finger brushes over a key or lays heavy upon the keys causing multiple letters to type out. I’m thankful for voice typing! It supports me with typing despite the many challenges presented by my neuro-muscular spine condition.

The best part about typing by voice is the ability to quickly respond and answer a zillion questions in a short period.

Using Emoticons w/Drive Folders & Files

Quite by accident I discovered it is possible to add emoticons as  a visual support for Google Drive Folders and Files. Over the past year I shared a post about adding visuals to Google Calendar Event Titles by copying pasting emoticons from the following Twitter Symbols Website: https://www.piliapp.com/twitter-symbols/. These same emoticons will work as part of a Google Drive Folder or File Name. This may make it easier for a young child or student of exceptionality to independently navigate both folders and files.

Screen Shot 2017-10-22 at 9.30.07 AM

Adding Emoticons to Files or Folders

  1. Go to https://www.piliapp.com/twitter-symbols/
    • Copy Emoticon
  2. Create a New File or Folder
  3. Paste Emoticon in the “Title Section”

 

Creating Drive File Icons

My background is in special education and I’m always looking for ways for supporting  students of exceptionalities. One of the challenges for both young students and those with exceptionalities is navigating files. Today I’m going to share an idea of mine which incorporates using images to assist the student with finding and opening a specific file. This idea could be used for assisting the student with locating directions, specific classroom projects, independent work and etc… It is really a very simple idea which may save a bit of time and frustration for both the student and adults assisting them.

My last post was about color coding backgrounds of files to make it easier for students to find a group of content specific papers. Now if one takes the color coded file and adds one more step locating files may become even easier.  This step involves adding a specific images to the files within a student’s Google Drive Folder. When a folder is first open the student will see the color documents with images. Now all they have to do is click on the image to quickly locate a document.

Screen Shot 2017-08-02 at 8.06.10 AM

NOTE: If you are looking to expediting the lesson even faster. Add a Document with the directions using a large font size. This will save time for the student by letting them avoid opening the document but still read the directions needed to complete the task on hand.

Insert an Image

Google Docs, Drawings, Slides & Sheets:

  • Open a Google Docs, Drawings, Slides, or Sheets
  • Using the Toolbar Locate Insert 
    • Click “Insert” opens dropdown list
    • Select “Image” pop-up window opens
    • Click “Search”
      • Enter Image Name +png
        • (PNG will provide a transparent background)
    • Click “Image”
      • Blue Checkmark & Box appears around image
    • Click Blue Select Button

Icon locator Drive.gif

 

 

Old SmartPhones Used as Student Classroom Support

Recently I upgraded my old iPhone 4 to a Samsung Galaxy 5 Smartphone. Instead of trading in the iPhone I decided to keep it as a digital tool to use with my students. The first time I placed the iPhone on a students desk it worked like a charm with redirecting the student to finding their place with copying notes from the SmartBoard.

This how it is done:

  1. STEP ONE
    • Photograph the Interactive WhiteBoard Screen onto a Google Slide
    • Type directions onto a Google Slide for student to follow
    • Create a slide with visual modifications
  2. STEP TWO
    • Place the iPhone in a corner of the students desk
    • iPhone screen first displays the full Interactive White Board Screen
    • Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 4.28.06 PM
    • Isolate by pinching and expanding area the student has to copy
    • Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 4.28.20 PM
    • Student naturally takes over and moves the screen into position for the next bubble per the teachers direction
  3. Walk Away and let student continue independently 

I find Google Slides to be one of the best GAfE Tools for delivering individualized instruction.

Here are the reasons why:

  1. Visual supports can be easily included
  2. Extra directions can be written into the note area under slides
    • Web links can be provided in note area
      1. Providing students with extra support for comprehension
  3. Directions can be isolated in one of two ways depending upon the activity
    • Each slide can present individualized directions
    • Student or Teaching Assistant can pinch and isolate specific areas on the slide