Digital Children: Technology and the Additional Needs

Mark Arnold  & Kay Morgan-Gurr at the Digital Children conference on Technology and the Additional Needs:

Mark’s young son uses his iPad at home, school and church

  • Proloquo2Go (www.assistiveware.com) used by Mark’s 11 year old son.  Not cheap, about £150 for the app, pre-tablet devices it was up to £2,000 for a communication pad.  Enrique (aged 9) and his family showed us how it helped him to communicate.  Never been able to vocalise “please be quiet” until then – so powerful.
  • Grace (www.graceapp.com) is cheaper at £18 but didn’t work for Mark’s son.  He could engage with it, and helped the school to know that he needed proloquo2go.
  • Grid Player (www.sensorysoftware.com) is a free app which can be used as a test to help know if this type of software can be of use.

Other useful apps:

  • Bubbles – helps him relax by popping bubbles
  • Mood light – changing colour of screen at a slow rate is very calming
  • Fluid
  • Flow

Sometimes it is used for communication purposes and sometimes for enabling them to stay within the programme.

Singing songs using pre-programmed voices with children for voices.  The iPad has increased options for the blind, those with cerebral palsy, through speech to text and text to text.  Children will talk and say “open up facebook” and speak their post – enabling them to communicate and socialise where they couldn’t before.

  • Social Media: Some children with autism can’t come to church but through facebook can be an integral part of the youth group.
  • File sharing: send worksheets and song words so that children can set the words and sheet to the right size and colours etc.
  • Reading Bibles: 20 years ago buying special Bibles from the USA but now on their tablet, Youversion is not helpful in terms of size of font and is in a serif font.
  • Skype and Podcasts: life limiting disorders shouldn’t prevent them from interacting and participating in what is happening.

Cristiano Ronaldo v Bugatti Veyron – Nike Ad

Love him or hate him, there’s no doubt that United’s winger, Cristiano Ronaldo, is incredibly quick. Here in another of Nike’s adverts, you know the ‘we doubt that really happened’ ones where he takes on the world’s fastest road car, the Bugatti Veyron, and somehow manages to pip it at the post.

Bono on the challenge for 2008

Bono was asked “What one thing do you think that countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?” This is his answer, which is great.

Following a day thinking about Hope 2008 it certainly encouraged me to think and see how as churches we must keep our promises, we must stay true to what we say. A big challenge for ’08 but a great challenge.