Technology @ High Point, vol. 4

Tech for teaching and learning in our new space

Fill Your Toolbox!

Well-implemented technology gives classroom staff loads of tools for teaching students with a broad range of learning styles. The time investment in learning new technology will make teaching easier and assist students in advocating for their life-long learning. This newsletter PD is intended to help you learn new technologies at High Point a little bit at a time, slowly filling up your teaching toolbox throughout this chaotic school year.
Big picture

This Week's Tech Feature:

Tapio Switch Interface on an iPad

A switch interface tells the iPad how it should interpret a switch press. Users plug in switches here so they can be used to access the iPad. The switches can be used for games, communication, or school work.


Because Tapio is directly connected to the iPad and not using Bluetooth:


  • You do not have to pair the Bluetooth items
  • There is no Bluetooth connection to get dropped
  • There are no batteries or the changing/charging associated with them
  • There can be no signal interference from other Bluetooth items in the room


The biggest challenge with using the Tapio connected to the iPad is that it plugs in the lightning jack so you can't charge the iPad while using the Tapio. Make sure iPads are charged each day so they are ready for switch control. Charging student iPads at home each night can be written into a student's AT Plan as a responsibility of the family.


Here is a video of a student using 2 switches to scan on their iPad-based AAC device. Here is a video of an AAC user using single switch scanning for communication.


Note: While we are focusing on using Tapio with an iPad this week, Tapio also works on a computer when plugged in to the USB jack.

Who is it for?

The switch interface is for anyone who uses switches. Switches could be used to help students:

  • See or feel a large, brightly-colored button to participate in computer activities
  • Use the computer with their head or knee or any body part that they have better control.
  • Understand which button to press because it is isolated from other buttons.
  • Not be distracted by other controls on a busy keyboard.
  • Be less inclined to throw a switch velcroed to a desk or attached to an arm.

Setup Instructions

Here are the parts that go with the Tapio:


  • Lightning to USB adaptor: This white cable allows the USB end of the Tapio to plug into the lightning jack on the bottom of the iPad.
  • Stereo to Mono jack adapter: You can plug a single switch into the Tapio, but if you'd like to plug in 2 switches, you will need this black cable to allow for 2 switches to be plugged in.
  • Switches: You can plug in any switch with a 3.5mm jack. This can include Jelly Bean buttons, micro switches, Specs switches, Candy Corn switches and others.


Here are written directions for setting up switches in iOS 15 on iPads.


You can velcro the Tapio to the back of the iPad to reduce the pull on the lightning jack and increase the life of the lightning jack.


Here is a video to show you how to setup the Tapio switch interface to work with one switch. Repeat this setup for the second switch.

Tapio One Switch
This video shows how to use all the settings of switch control.
Switch Control Options

Maintenance

No maintenance, charging or additional cleaning is necessary with this device. Just keep dust, dirt, liquids, glitter, Play-Doh, boogers, class pets and cupcakes away from the ports.

Ideas for Using This Tech in the Classroom

Tech Demo

Monday, Nov. 29th, 8am to Friday, Dec. 3rd, 2:30pm

High Point Media Center

Stop by the Media Center this week to check out the technology, see how it's setup, allow students to try it, collect your questions to send to Jamie (jmayo@washtenawisd.org) and improve your confidence in using it in your classroom.