Feb 24, 2011

Today I hooked up a Wii to the IWB in the school's therapy room. Next - a Kinect?! (Angels are welcome to help us expand the school's "games" programs for students with special needs)

Today, I hooked up our school's Wii to the newly-installed IWB in the therapy room for the first time, and used it during a session for for a social-skills activity with two students who have autism spectrum disorders.  The students helped each other to create their own "Mii" avatars.  I had them play the bowling game, and was impressed how this activity elicited social conversation between the students, with minimal effort on my part.

Most of students in the program at Wolfe are in grades 6-12. They have cognitive, language, and motor delays.  A good number of the students also have autism spectrum disorders. Some have multiple special needs.

We have found that when our students are provided with interactive activities displayed on the large screen of an IWB, they tend to increase their level of attention to their peers and also communicate more with one-another, as well as with the teachers and staff.

By using an IWB for games at school, we are extending the reach of how this technology can be used with students who have more complex special needs.   By providing a means  for our students to learn to play positive games, we help them develop important physical, social, and leisure skills that they can use outside the school setting with non-disabled peers and siblings.  My hunch is that the games will also help promote cognitive/problem solving skills, too.

The funds to purchase the Wii were donated to our school, but did not cover additional games or accessories. We'd like to purchase Rock Band and Wii Fit. We'd also like to expand our program and purchase an Xbox with a Kinect.   An iPad or two would be OK, too : )

If there are any angels out there who'd like to donate funds for our "games" program at Wolfe, please contact me through my Google profile. I will connect you with the appropriate person.

Game designer/developers/researchers/students:
If you are interested in volunteering your efforts to work on a basic cooperative, pro-social game for the Kinect, SMARTTable, or interactive whiteboard, please contact me.

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