Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Intellitools Classroom Suite and a SMART or Promethean Board: A Winning Combination!

Classroom Suite by Intellitools has some great activities and applications that come alive with a SMART Board or Promethean Board. I have been piloting 5 Classroom Suite ver. 4 licenses out in 5 different school resources rooms this year ranging from elementary to middle and high school. My goal has been to train and allow a classroom to learn how to publish activities, set up student folders and start doing remedial support with it.
One school (the one taking off the most with it) has been doing early literacy activities with Classroom Suite on a Promethean board, having students work with an assistant in pairs and use the talking word processor tool, Intellitalk, and a virtual keyboard on the board, to get kids writing, spelling and hearing what they write read back to them. They have also used the board and Classroom Suite activities for a student who is visually impaired and needs to see things enlarged and close up. He is dragging word, picture and symbol cards in the phonemic awareness activites and getting the opportunity to do math manipulatives with it too.
I have 2 schools really training and using it, 2 that are struggling to integrate it at all and 1 that is somewhere in between. I have been available for support and have been working with the schools that request me and place a priority on integration.
I like to support free tools as much as possible, and there are free talking word processors and on-screen keyboards that could be used, but there are also many wonderful pay software supports out there as well. I am trying to find ways to help schools trial them first to make sure they really see the benefit where we think they are appropriate.
I would recommend pairing up the Classroom Suite Version 4 with a SMART or Promethean Board - you will be surprised at what it can do. Intellitools has done all the hard work for you to build easily adapted and personalized remedial activities in reading and math. They have a free trial available for download. I will have to share the free alternatives with you for another post.

All the best to you!

Lon Thornburg is an assistive technology specialist and professional development trainer who lives in Oregon and serves 12 districts in 7 counties. He hosts the No Limits 2 Learning Blog and The No Limits 2 Learning Live Talk Show on Blog Talk Radio. He is sharing as a contributing writer on LD LIVE!


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do you create all your own activities or do you use any from the exchange?