Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Some of my favorite cause effect computer programs

I received a comment on my Smartboard post asking for recommendations for programs and activities to use on the Smartboard. I'm happy to share some of my favorites (and wish list too). The commentor of mention works with early childhood so most of what I will list here are primarily cause and effect and early learning. Also important to note is the fact that I am freely sharing my opinions with no obligations to the companies mentioned. I have received nothing in return for mentioning these products on my blog.

As I've said before, I've never used the Smart software nor have I had any training in using the Smartboard. The board itself is very straightforward and easy to use as it is essentially a giant touch screen. There are a number of good sources for more ideas on how to use the Smartboard: Talking Smartboards and Much More and Teacher Love Smart Boards are just two of them; check their resource lists for even more.

Some of my favorite programs that my kids love and/or that would work well for early learners include:
Big Bang by Inclusive TLC
The Choose and Tell series from Inclusive TLC (just be aware that the vocabulary is British)
The SwitchIt! series from Inclusive TLC
The cause effect videos and other activities available from Priory Woods School (student favorite and free))
The SimTech single switch collection--especially the Sights and Sounds series
SoftTouch has several titles that are good (Attention Teens, Away We Ride, Teen Tunes, etc.) including these specifically for preschool (which are available as individual titles as the bundle is a bit on the pricey side)
Switch Man from R.J. Cooper
Sensory stories from Pete's Stuff (loads and loads of fun! oh, and free!)
Itunes or Windows Media Player visualizers
And any of the kid-friendly websites out there are great to use as well (Kate at TLWMSN has a great post outlining some switch friendly sites, Power Point collections, and more special needs software )
I also use both Intellitools Classroom Suite and Boardmaker activities extensively
In addition I recently received My Own Bookshelf (SoftTouch) but haven't had a chance to try it (my LCD projector is on the fritz so no Smartboard and haven't had time to install the program yet anyway)
And Power Point books are also great on the Smartboard

As far as access, most of my kids use an AbleNet jellybeamer (or two if they are two switch scanning). I have two who access directly on the board as well.

Kaleidoscope 2
Intro to Cause and Effect
Wheel of Sounds
Cause and Effect Cinema
More of the SwitchIt! series

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