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  iShare

Product Overview

iShare is an adapted electronic communication system that allows students with cognitive impairments to email and post to blogs. Students learn to use a motivating mainstream technology to work on social communication and writing skills. The iShare program includes an interface for clinicians or teachers to send email assignments, post class blogs and evaluate and graph performance on spelling, grammar, content or other domains they are targeting.

iShare is safe because it is a closed system only available to chosen partners. It is adaptable for different class and clinic settings. It can be loaded on classroom or clinic computers or each student can have his or her own iShare program on a USB drive so it is available on any computer, including the student’s home computer.
 
iShare staff set up individualized student and teacher accounts and provide ongoing tech support..
iShare

iShare Availability
iShare is currently in Beta. Please fill out our Beta request for more information.

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iShare Features

iShare is safe because it is a closed system only available to chosen partners. It is adaptable for different class and clinic settings and may be loaded on to computers or each student can have his or her own iShare program on a USB drive that when plugged into the available computers it will autolaunch the program.

iShare offers the following features, all of which may be customized for individual students:

  • Procedural prompts for guiding students through the program
  • Composer prompts to help students generate email or remember social conventions
  • Writing aides including spell checker, word prediction and text to speech
  • Structured email templates for students with low literacy

The clinician/teacher interface allows teachers to:
  • Send group or individual email assignments
  • Organize email assignment by auto-generated folders
  • Monitor all class or group communication
  • Provide feedback
  • Select grading parameters and efficiently analyze emails and auto-produce graphs to look at performance over time




  

Watch a quick iShare demo:









  

iShare Requirements

Windows Requirements

  • Microsoft Windows 2000, XP or Vista
  • 1 GHz or faster processor
  • 512MB of Ram (1GB recommended)
  • 1GB of available hard-disk space for installation
  • 800x600 display with 16-bit video card (1024x768 recommended)
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Sound Card, Speakers or headphones required for audio


  

iShare Support

At Personal Technologies, we are dedicated to providing the best customer service and technical support. The iShare HelpDesk staff members are trained to provide personalized phone support to make your iShare experience as simple and as successful as possible. If you want to change a setting (e.g., change print size or background colors), add a new Internet link or email partner, or need help with troubleshooting, just email or call our HelpDesk at 1-800-716-9695.

Phone: 1-800-716-9695 (9am-5pm PST)
Email: support@personaltechnologies.com



  

"Ms. Davies" iShare Classroom

The story of a special education classroom
"Ms Davies" is a special educator who teaches 11 middle school students with developmental disabilities and specific learning disabilities in a resource room setting. Ms Davies’ students had been unsuccessful in their attempts to use email and other social networking tools because of literacy and pragmatic communication challenges.
 
Our solution was to introduce iShare to Ms. Davies' classroom. We gave each of Ms. Davies’ students a USB drive that hung on a lanyard and contained iShare individualized for the students. All of the students learned to use iShare and independently initiated exchanging emails with classroom peers and teachers. The most notable finding was the unanticipated high number of emails that were sent over the 12-week observation period. Students sent 1,323 emails! Ms. Davies reported that email was a highly motivating modality to work on writing and social communication skills. She reported that iShare helped to improve spelling and grammar. The students liked email because it helped them make friends with other students in their class.
 
Ms. Davies’ comments illustrate why iShare was so helpful:
 
  • Writing prompts and quick feedback, along with the ability to review and edit their messages resulted in improved writing performance. Ms Davies noted "Students are better able to recognize spelling, grammar, capitalization and punctuation errors in text than in their own handwriting, so they are more willing to make changes that clarify their ideas. While there are still issues with generating topics and complete sentences for students with language or cognitive challenges, the email and Blog programs provide prompts and supports that increase the likelihood that they will participate, and the goal is to wean them from adult assistance as they demonstrate some level of independence. Also, I could more quickly give them feedback when everything was electronic.
  • The students were motivated to use their best writing because they were communicating with peers.Ms Davies reported,“Students were reinforced by peer replies to their email initiations, and enjoyed the public debriefing of the blog, a validation of their engagement and of their opinions.
  • Ms Davies liked that iShare’s concrete communication record helped when she gave feedback to the students. Ms Davies noted "I especially like the opportunity the program provides for me to counsel students, as finding a time to have a quality conversation in private is rare on most days, and it is an advantage for providing feedback to students who are defensive about addressing behaviors that interfere with our learning environment. The students who have emotional issues can take time to process the feedback, and have demonstrated a reduced probability of becoming angry or acting out."
  • It was efficient to integrate writing activities with social skills instruction. Ms Davies noted, "There are social skills programs available, and I have used parts of them to teach specific skills, and I know that our speech and language therapist works with students on social communications, but email and the blog increase our ability to model, teach and provide feedback on socially-appropriate communication. The immediacy and the authenticity of the email and blog reflect how most communication occurs in our culture.  It is giving them skills for the workplace as well as a vehicle for social networking."


  

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Personal Technologies is a division of Life Technologies, LLC.
Research conducted by Personal Technologies, LLC has been funded through the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) in the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS). The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDRR.