Technology @ High Point, vol. 1

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:

photo of Hitch 2 switch interface

Hitch 2.0 Switch Interface on a Computer

A switch interface tells the computer how it should interpret a switch press. For example, the interface can tell the computer to treat a switch press the same as the 'Enter' key... or the space bar... or a mouse click. Users plug in switches here so they can be used by students to access the computer. The switches can be used for games, communication, school work... what else can you think of?

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.
  • Avoid distraction from other controls on a busy keyboard.
  • Be less inclined to throw a switch velcroed to a desk or attached to an arm.

Setup Instructions

Check out this video for instructions on how to connect a switch interface to a computer and set it to emulate a certain key press or mouse button.
Getting Started With The AbleNet Hitch 2 Computer Switch Interface
For a deeper dive, this video will show you how to use the customizable blue row of commands on the Hitch 2.0. You can make a switch type any 4 keyboard keys with one switch press. For example, students could use this as a way to "sign" their name each day on a sign in sheet... but if they have more than 4 letters in their name, they will need multiple switches. The programming is stored in the Hitch 2.0 and will work even if it's been unplugged or moved to another computer.
Ablenet Hitch 2.0 Programming

Maintenance

No maintenance, charging or additional cleaning is necessary with this device. You can keep it plugged in to a USB jack on your computer at all times so it is ready to go when you need it.

Ideas for Using This Tech in the Classroom

Tech Demo

Monday, Nov. 8th, 8am to Friday, Nov. 12th, 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.