Technology @ High Point, vol. 4
Tech for teaching and learning in our new space
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This Week's Tech Feature:
Tapio Switch Interface on an iPad
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.
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?
- 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.
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.
Ideas for Using This Tech in the Classroom
Use switches to take a picture. Setup the iPad with two switch scanning (switch 1= Move to Next Item, switch 2= Select Item), then navigate in the Camera app to the shutter button to take a picture. The user can also navigate to the zoom controls or the Flip camera button so the user can take a selfie. Students can take pictures of an event or for the yearbook or for a scavenger hunt (i.e. find something that represents "more" or find something that shows "read"). If the iPad is mounted on a wheelchair, the user can aim the camera by moving their wheelchair. Here is a video of a user using switch scanning to navigate iOS.
Take pictures of a recipe and put the steps in a Keynote presentation (Apple's version of PowerPoint on the iPad). When you put it in present mode, a switch plugged in to Tapio will advance the presentation even without Switch Control turned on. This will allow switch users to participate in your cooking activities. You could share the presentation to the BenQ board so it is big and the entire class can see it.
Setup a switch to trigger the "Hey Siri" command for the iPad (it's one of the Switch Actions in the settings menu), then use the student's AAC device to ask Siri for information. For example, get the AAC device ready to say, "When was George Washington born?" Press the switch to trigger the "Hey Siri" command and then speak the questions from the AAC device. Hear and see Siri's answer on the iPad.