video

Story app

blogEntryThumbnailYesterday, Disney announced a new iPhone app called Story. Story is a free storytelling app that allows you to add text and a theme to a collection of your photos and/or videos. After you’re done with your story, you can share it via email or Facebook. The recipient of your story is then able to view it on the app’s website.

I like the Story app because it has a clean design and is easy to use. However, I do have a few requests to make the app even better for everyone (including individuals with special needs):
  • iPad version
  • Record audio
  • Select text to speak with highlighting
  • VoiceOver accessibility for the in-app help and images in stories



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Tutorials for built-in iPad apps

blogEntryThumbnailI have found myself doing more iPad workshops with users who consider themselves to be beginners. As a result, I spend time demonstrating basic use of iPad. I also show how to use the built-in iPad apps (e.g., Photos) for images and videos.

When teaching the built-in apps, I noticed that beginning users have difficulty grasping the concepts immediately, and they wish to have tutorials for future reference. So, I created tutorials for important features in the following built-in iPad apps: Safari, Camera, and Photos. See below for the tutorials:

Tutorials for built-in iPad apps



Note that the tutorials are for an iPad running iOS 6.
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Summary of a video modeling tutorial

blogEntryThumbnailWhile preparing for a recent workshop in San Diego, I discovered a video modeling tutorial, “Incorporating Video Modeling Into a School-Based Intervention for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders” by Kaitlyn P. Wilson. The article - in the January 2013 edition of Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools (LSHSS) journal - described the steps for Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) to effectively implement video modeling for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I thought the content was excellent for including in my workshop and a blog post.

For this blog post, I’d like to summarize the five procedural phases presented in the tutorial:

Phase 1: Preparation
  • Choosing an appropriate target skill - Choose a skill that is clearly modeled and easily observed, as well as individualized to the student’s needs. Internal skills such as receptive language (e.g., comprehending vocabulary words) or social understanding (e.g., recognizing others’ emotions) are not appropriate targets for video modeling. However, observable external skills such as greetings, requesting, taking turns in play, or initiating interactions are the most appropriate targets for video modeling.
  • Choosing a model type - Intervention has been proven effective using all types of models, including peers, adults, and self (i.e., the student). Studies have shown that using the student as the self model is most effective when the goal is to reduce problem behaviors or increase compliance.
  • Choosing a setting - The ideal setting for the video model will be the setting in which the student is expected to perform the targeted skill. Using the natural setting has been shown to produce greater intervention effects and higher levels of skill maintenance and generalization.
  • Scripting the video model - The optimal length of the video model is 3-5 minutes, but studies have shown intervention effects with videos ranging from 35 s > 5 min. To determine the optimal length for a given student, consider the student’s attention span or arrange a trial viewing. There are additional considerations for scripting the video model such as whether to add a voiceover narration. For some students, the added narration can pose an auditory processing problem that reduces the intervention’s effectiveness.

Phase 2: Recording of the Video Model
  • Choosing equipment - Choose a video recorder that will provide adequate video and audio quality during playback to the student.

Phase 3: Implementation of the Video Modeling Intervention
  • Determining setting and frequency of viewing - In regard to the setting for video playback, it is best to choose a setting that is quiet and free from distractions. In regard to the frequency of viewing, research suggests repeated viewing (two to four times per session) increases intervention effects for some children with ASD.
  • Determining timing of viewing - The video model can be played immediately prior to the child demonstrating the expected behavior (to target imitation of the behavior). Or, the video model can be played at a time removed from the situation in order to target learning, maintenance and generalization of the skill.
  • Determining who will implement the intervention - With some instruction from the SLP, any of the student’s caregivers or classroom staff can implement the video modeling intervention.

Phase 4: Monitoring of Student’s Response to the Video Modeling Intervention
  • Choosing methods of data collection - Since few standardized tests are sensitive to changes in targeted behaviors, an adequate form of progress monitoring is behavioral observation. A predetermined criterion can be used in the behavioral observation to assess the student’s progress based on their goals. You may also choose to include the student in the data collection via self-monitoring of the targeted skill.
  • Promoting and evaluating generalization and maintenance of skills - Generalization of video modeling intervention in different settings and with different people has been demonstrated for students with ASD. Generalization has been shown following as few as three video modeling sessions; plus, maintenance of acquired skills has been observed for as many as 15 months following video modeling intervention.

Phase 5: Planning of Next Steps
  • Next steps if video modeling is effective - If a student demonstrates progress in the targeted behavior, the SLP may wish to expand on the skill. For example, if a student displays progress on a pointing skill, the SLP may choose to expand the video modeling to pointing and a vocalization.
  • Modification options if video modeling is not initially effective - If the student initially demonstrates little or no progress with the targeted skill, the SLP may choose to modify the intervention based on the individual student’s preferences, strengths, and needs. Modifying the video modeling intervention could include changing the individuals modeling the targeted skill (if the student doesn’t like the individuals), or silencing the sound during video playback (if the auditory information is posing a processing problem).
  • Alternative intervention options if video modeling is not effective - Video modeling will not be effective for all students. If modifications to the video modeling intervention have not resulted in progress of the targeted skill, there are alternative treatment options. Alternative effective interventions include self-monitoring strategies, individual work systems, peer-mediated strategies, social skill groups, and social stories.

In this blog post, I summarized five procedural phases of implementing video modeling in a school based intervention for students with ASD. If you want to learn more, I recommend that you read the journal article in LSHSS: http://lshss.asha.org/cgi/content/full/44/1/105. Note that you must have access to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) online journals in order to view the full article.
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My iTunes podcast

blogEntryThumbnailI created an iTunes podcast for my videos. My podcast channel can be found here in iTunes. So far, I only have a few of my video blogs posted. Stay tuned for more videos to come.
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Webinar for What's new in Proloquo2Go 1.8

blogEntryThumbnailAssistiveWare announced their webinar for What’s New in Proloquo2Go 1.8 is going to be held on February 23 at 8 AM PST. Click here to get more information and to sign up now for free. Spots are available on a first come first serve basis. There will be no repeat webinar of What’s New in Proloquo2Go 1.8. Recordings of the webinar will be available on iTunes as a video podcast a few days after the session.

2.25.12 Update: The video podcast for What's New in Proloquo2Go 1.8 webinar is now available here on iTunes.

Disclosure: I do work for AssistiveWare and I’m the presenter for this Proloquo2Go webinar.
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Sailers video blog: Episode 3


My wife and I started a video blog series on Apple technologies, education, and special needs. Episode 3 includes CNN Student News, the BigGrips frame and stand, and an app demo. Watch the video to learn about the information covered and to see me demonstrate one of my new favorite apps.

To receive the next video blog automatically, please subscribe to my blog at http://ericsailers.com/blog.html.

Note that it's best to view the video in 720p HD and full screen mode. You can do this by changing the controls found in the bottom toolbar of the YouTube video.

Disclosure: The author was provided with a complimentary BigGrips iPad frame and stand.
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Sailers video blog: Episode 2


My wife and I started a video blog series on Apple technologies, education, and special needs. Episode 2 includes BrainPOP, an iPad stand, and an app demo. Watch the video to learn about the information covered and to see us demonstrate one of our new favorite apps.

To receive the next video blog automatically, please subscribe to my blog at http://ericsailers.com/blog.html.

Note that it's best to view the video in 720p HD and full screen mode. You can do this by changing the controls found in the bottom toolbar of the YouTube video.
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Sailers video blog: Episode 1


My wife and I started a video blog series on Apple technologies, education, and special needs. Episode 1 includes Apple Siri, DS Action (a non-profit organization for Down Syndrome), and an app demo. Watch the video to learn about the information covered and to see us demonstrate one of our new favorite apps.

To receive the next video blog automatically, please subscribe to my blog at http://ericsailers.com/blog.html.

Note that it's best to view the video in 720p HD and full screen mode. You can do this by changing the controls found in the bottom toolbar of the YouTube video.
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New AssistiveWare webinar for Proloquo2Go is now available on iTunes

blogEntryThumbnailAssistiveWare announced their webinar for What’s New in Proloquo2Go 1.7 is now available on iTunes as a free video podcast. Click here or go to iTunes and search for “assistiveware webinars.” You will also be able to view the previous webinars from the July-August series.

Please subscribe to the AssistiveWare Webinar Series on iTunes to stay updated and join in the webinar discussions at the Webinar Forum.

Disclosure: I do work for AssistiveWare and I’m the presenter for this Proloquo2Go webinar series.
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New AssistiveWare video for an Introduction to Pictello


I want to share a new AssistiveWare video for Pictello, the storytelling app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. We created an Introduction to Pictello video divided in three chapters: playing a sample story, creating a story, and importing a story. Learn how to utilize all of the story features via demonstrations in the iOS simulator. The video is fully accessible with captions that can be viewed either in the YouTube player below (click CC) or on the Pictello website. You can also view the YouTube videos in HD and full-screen mode.

Disclosure: I do work for AssistiveWare and I am the author of this Introduction to Pictello video.
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AssistiveWare's webinars for Proloquo2Go now available on iTunes

blogEntryThumbnailAssistiveWare recently announced their Proloquo2Go Webinar Series is now available on iTunes as a video podcast. Click here or go to iTunes and search for "assistiveware webinars." Part 1, Introduction to Proloquo2Go, was released first, with subsequent webinars scheduled for weekly release. Please subscribe to the AssistiveWare Webinar Series to stay updated and join in the webinar discussions at the Webinar Forum.

9.1.11 update: Part 6, iTunes and App Store, is now available here on iTunes.
8.31.11 update: Part 5, Advanced features (Word prediction and Grammar), is now available here on iTunes.
8.26.11 update: Part 4, Backups (Professionals) and Part 4, Tips and tricks (Users, Family, Caregivers) are now available here on iTunes.
8.20.11 update: Part 3, Vocabulary customizations, is now available here on iTunes.
8.15.11 update: Part 2, App customizations, is now available here on iTunes.

Disclosure: I do work for AssistiveWare and I'm the presenter for this Proloquo2Go webinar series.
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