Technology @ High Point, vol. 13

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.

This Week's Tech Feature:

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Most classrooms at High Point are equipped with Orby, Specs and Little Candy Corn switches. These 3 switch styles will meet most switch needs in the classroom, particularly when paired with the variety of mounts available in the classroom.

It is important to know that switches alone do not do anything. They simply close a circuit so the thing the switch is plugged into can work. You always need to plug a switch into something for anything to happen.

The Orby switch is very similar to switches from other vendors including the Jelly Bean, Buddy Button and Moon Switch. It is a 2.5 inch diameter button that is triggered by a light press with an auditory and tactile click when pressed. It has a 5 foot long cord.

The Specs switch is a smaller switch at 1 3/8 inch diameter. It works well for users who have good targeting skills and for placing a switch in a small space. It has a 6 foot long cord.

The Little Candy Corn switch is a proximity switch which means the user can activate it without touching the switch. The switch will activate when anything gets within 0.5 inches of the triangular switch surface which is 2 inches wide. It has a 6 inch long cord. It requires a battery operate.

Here is a video to show you how to get started with the Little Candy Corn switch.

Getting Started With The AbleNet LITTLE Candy Corn Proximity Sensor Accessibility Switch
Linda Burkhart has written this paper on the 8 Stepping Stones to switch access. These steps break down the basic steps for students to become proficient switch users.

Who is it for?

Switches are great for students who

  • Have difficulty using small buttons
  • Are confused by many buttons together, like a keyboard
  • have difficulty seeing buttons
  • Need buttons placed in alternative locations, like at their feet or elbow.

Setup Instructions

Setup for these switches is easy. Just plug them in to a switch jack. The Little Candy Corn does require you flip the power switch on the bottom of the switch to turn it on. Also, turn it off when you are finished using it to conserve battery life.

All of these switches can be Velcroed to a Universal Switch Mount arm or the Modular Hose mounts. The Orby switch has a non-slip material that can be used to keep it from sliding on a flat surface. The Specs switch can, alternatively, be anchored to the Universal Switch Mount using screws. If you need the hardware to make this happen, contact Jamie Mayo.

The Specs switch has a flanged base that makes it more stable and offers the screw holes for connecting it to the Universal Switch Mount. There is also a base that removes this flange for a more compact switch and a base that allows a strap to be attached so the Specs switch can be attached to your hand or anywhere. See photos below for ways the strap can help with positioning of the switch. For these extra bases, contact Jamie Mayo.

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Each of these switches can be cleaned with disinfecting wipes.

The Little Candy Corn switch uses a CR2032 button battery that will periodically need to be replaced. Turn the switch off when not being used to conserve battery life.

Ideas for Using This Tech in the Classroom