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Monday, November 1, 2010

User-to-User: TapToTalk Album Design Tips

We get a lot of questions about designing TapToTalk albums, but our experience is that our users know more about this than we do. After all, they are designing albums for real kids to meet real life communication needs.

So here are some real users with real tips from the front lines:

Joanne Rusin O'Leary: I have been having so much fun designing my student's TapToTalk. Social interaction is a big part of a child's life. I have one screen of feelings; she loves to go over and tell her friends, "I like you you're my friend" with her TapToTalk. I also have a pic of someone getting pinched and I recorded the words "don't pinch me it hurts.

On the play screen I have a picture of a nurse and if she chooses that it goes to all the things in the dramatic play center we have set up for our doctor's office: shot, band-aid, stethoscope, etc.

Carrie Goodale Dunlap: So far we have two albums, home and school. Under the Home album we have seven categories. Play, eat, drink, go, help, bathroom, and singing (we sing a lot). Under the play category I have puzzle, books, music, animal figures, TV, and his music blocks toy (his fav toy). Under the TV and book categories I add images of specific DVDs and books that are his favorites.

Under the food category I have snacks, fruit, sandwiches, pizza, breakfast, and ice cream. I uploaded images for the specific foods he likes that go with each of those categories for him to choose. Some of those go a few "layers" deep. For example if he wants Cheez-Its he presses food, then snack, then crackers, and then the type of cracker he wants.

Under the sing category I uploaded images of his favorite songs. For songs that have parts for him to participate, I added additional images that go with them. So for Old Mac Donald he presses sing, then Old Mac Donald, then which animal he wants to sing about. I also did wheels on the bus like that so once he selects the bus, images representing the parts of the song come up and he can choose which ones he wants to sing about as we go. I did audio of all of them as well.
I will be adding a family category soon.

For school (my son is in Kindergarten), the main categories are snack, rewards, bathroom, help, therapy, and sing. Under the therapy category I put OT, PT, Speech and under each of those the specific activities that they do. I have the DSi so I went into the school and took a bunch of pictures with it of the items that he actually uses, and then uploaded them to the TapToTalk Designer website and added audio.

There is a lot more that I plan on adding as we incorporate the TapToTalk more and more into his school day. I need to figure out how to use the jumps as well.

We LOVE TapToTalk!

@moiraeve1 (via Twitter): Made pad thai, took picture, now its a food choice in my kid's TapToTalk.

Ah, yes, food is always a big hit, And the picture needs to be right!

Caroline Louise Curran: Emel (daughter) told me she wants me to make her a McDonalds album for her TapToTalk so she can order her own food. That's my job for tomorow. She just loves her TapToTalk.

Self-reliant, self-sufficient! Go for it, Emil!

So now you've heard from the real experts.

If you have a TapToTalk idea or story you'd like us to share with other TapToTalk users, please email us at blog@taptotalk.com.

The TapToTalk Team
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