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Coll O'Connor's discussion posts

  • Coll O'Connor 30 Jan 2017 11:27am () in Apps for special needs student

    Could I suggest that you contact me  the Centre for Assistive Technology:

    04 439 53 59  or email Cat.help@education.govt.nz

    I have a range of apps etc. and it would be good to discuss age appropriateness,  the learning needs and outcome goals with you.

    I am available Mondays and Wednesdays  8.00am to 4.00pm

    Look forward to hearing from you.


  • Coll O'Connor 16 Nov 2016 12:46pm () in Jolly Phonics

    Hi Nicky

    See my blog in the Assistive Technology Group: /blog/view/944542/ipad-apps-for-phonics-support

    A long time ago, we used the Jolly Phonics Big book and CD for new entrance students. The CD soundtrack used a British accent.  As with any technology, you need to consider what is the learning outcome/goal for this app.

    Jolly Phonics: $9.99 iTunes Store

    First impression : Using British accent.(Choose American or British) Although instructions are clear and easy to follow, the high pitched voice of the 'Bee' instructor could be rather intruding and annoying in the classroom. head phones reccommended. Students can use their finger or a stylus to write each letter template. There is letter /sound matching, sound/ blend, spelling - letter sound recognition to make words. Graphics are suitable for ages 4 to 6 years.

    The app starts with an empty flower pot, and after watering, the student has seven 'flowers' (stages) to complete. The first flower opens with a selection of letters (a, t, i, p, n, s). Each letter is incorporated into a writing / listening/ matching exercise.

    This is a basic phonics app. Simple to use as a drill/ reinforcer after a direct teach module. There are lots of phonics apps out there and I am happy to investigate these further for you.

    Contact me at  cat.help@education.govt.nz.   Kind regards  Coll

  • Coll O'Connor 27 Jul 2016 9:26am () in Dictation apps to support writers

    Hello, yes Jim is absolutely correct. The iPad has it's own speech recognition capability.  At the bottom of the keyboard you will see a microphone icon. This activates iPad Dictation. You must have wifi turned on. I have tested this recently and the accuracy out of  140 words was 128 correct words/140. 10 wrong words and 2 missing words.  Dragon can be downloaded for free on to iPad. The accuracy was better with 136 correct words out of 140, 4 wrong words ( Maori words) and no missing words.

    Note: if there is no microphone icon on the virtual keyboard , it means that you have an older model iPad, so downloading Dragon would be a good option..

    Chrome connects to a pretty good online speech recognition tool with good accuracy as well.

    The Accessibility , Ease of Access tool on your Microsoft desk top works ok  - you need a headset microphone.

    I will be publishing information on Speech recognition apps, Captioning apps in the next week in the Assistive Technology group.



  • Coll O'Connor 06 Aug 2015 9:42am () in Throw a challenge my way

    Hi Lisa, I have just gone through a similar problem with an iPad set up by an employee quite some time ago and no record of purchase, passwords or answers to security questions etc. This was a lesson in patience. I went through the online service Apple provides, only to be blocked at their second stage security wall ( answers to security questions). I decided I needed to speak to a person to explain my plight and began a four week journey through the system (6 people and three different countries). I was finally put in touch with an Apple tech in Adelaide, Australia, who fixed my issue. It took three days. I synchronized my 4 iPads . They now have the same password, answers to security questions and gmail, iCloud address.( all documented and secure)

    Thomas Smith at Cyclone - Thomas.smith@cyclone.co.nz( Min Ed /govt  purchasing) can do resets for approx. $80. He can advise you on the best solution.  I wish you well.


  • Coll O'Connor 29 Jul 2015 3:49pm () in OCR app for iPad

    Hi Merryl, 

    There are a few apps for OCR on the market. 

    PRIZMO is  a popular one. Also - a few more can be found in the iTunes store, such as OCR Scanner (has an abc icon). $2.99. You can extract text from pictures, compatible with iPad and iPhone.  Turns physical documents into electronic ones.  Google Play has OCR Instantly Free and Mobile OCR both are Free to install.

    You can use OCR in Microsofts OneNote 2007. In the tool bar there is an optical character recognition feature - usually in the top right corner - Copy Text From Picture.

  • Coll O'Connor 05 May 2015 1:24pm () in Wrong notifications for group members

    I found out the other day that when one of our group members writes a blog and inserts an image eg. AT group and icon images of apps to accompany text - all group members receive a notice to say something was posted. This occurs when you are in Private Draft mode. When they try to open the notification with image address attached, nothing happens. We do not want them to see this - just the finished blog. Any ideas?

  • Coll O'Connor 02 Mar 2015 2:07pm () in iPad Apps that predict what you are typing!

    Hi Craig, if you go to the Assitive Technology Group on the VLN you will find a comprehensive comparison chart of the best iPad word prediction apps in our Literacy Support review. iWordQ performs as one of the best. Depending on the needs of the student, there is a range to suit most. I am the Technology Advisor ( Centre for Assistive Technology) at the Ministry of Education, if you need further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me. Best wishes, Coll . Coll.OConnor@minedu.govt.nz.

  • Coll O'Connor 15 Oct 2014 1:10pm () in Clicker Connect issues with iOS8 for iPad

    Catherine Brill from DTSL has given a heads up regarding the Clicker Connect App and updating your iPads to the new iOS8. The Clicker Connect App is having real problems with the iOS8. If you try to delete a cell within a cluster (just the first left hand cluster), and although it looks fine in Edit - as soon as you tap GO, it will have deleted the entire cluster.  Catherine has made Crick Software aware of this bug and they will be correcting it in the next update which should be in 2 to 3 weeks time.

Coll O'Connor

Most of my work involves research into the latest software and equipment available that would benefit students with special needs in their access to and participation in education.