I have watched, with interest, the very rapid change in the world of technology that started with the iPad and has continued with products from a multitude of companies. Yesterday I looked at the Black Friday ads in my local newspaper and counted about twelve different brands. As an educator, I have thought a great deal about these new products and their introduction into schools around the country. I've also thought a lot about their use as assistive technology.
I have always believed that the best way to choose an AT solution for a child is to think about the features that the child needs in order to complete a task. For a while, slate computers baffled me because they have different features depending on the app that was chosen. I thought they were like computers and software. And in some ways they are. Each app offers different features and different options for those features. That part is like a computer.
Lately, though I've been trying to develop a different kind of feature list. I think that there are actually some features of iPads and other slates that make them uniquely qualified to meet the needs of some children. I want to share this list with you and see if you can help me add to it. My goal is to develop a list that can be used in feature matching that is specific to the device itself so that when there are questions or disagreements about what a child may need, we can use the list in an organized fashion to make AT decisions. I hope you'll help.
Here's my first try at creating a feature list for slate computers.
- Instant on
- Easy to learn
- Few steps to operate
- Immediate access to the information
- Ability to multi-task.
- Ability to switch between tasks quickly
- Small size
- Easy to start/stop/setup
- Consistent interface for all apps
What would you add to this list?