Happy New Year! I'm now settled back in Banbury and am working full time, having finished my research role at the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. I will of course miss it, but I'm very excited to be able to focus all of my energy on my clinical work again. I still have availability to take on a few more children, so please do spread the word!
So, this Christmas was definitely a gadget-based one. My mum got a drone, my fella got a 3D pen and an egg-on-a-stick machine (I know...don't ask) and I got a brilliant little thing called Osmo (thanks Dave!). At this point I should make clear, I'm not in any way linked with Osmo or being paid to say nice things about it, I just want to let you all know how awesome it is. Osmo is a wonderfully simple system which opens up a new way of using the iPad. It consists of a small stand and a clip on mirror, which sits over the iPad's front-facing camera. This allows the iPad to "see" what is happening on the desk in front of it.
There are a range of apps and accessories. Words is a hangman-style game, in which players race to put the right letter tiles in front of the iPad to complete the words. Numbers involves using number tiles to complete maths challenges. Tangrams uses the classic wooden puzzle pieces and the iPad "watches" you make shapes and tells you when you've got them right. Our favourite app so far though is Masterpiece. It essentially allows you to trace pictures via the iPad. The image you want to work from is displayed on the screen, and your paper, pen and hand are projected on to the iPad screen by the Osmo mirror. As someone who usually can't draw for toffee, I'm really enjoying not having to worry about size, shape or perspective and just focus on style and shading. The best thing about it though is the time-lapse videos it creates, showing your work-of-art come to life.
My mind is racing with ideas for how I can use Osmo in my therapy sessions. I love the way it combines the iPad's technology with tactile, "real-life" objects. I often use drawing and colouring in my sessions, so Masterpiece will really add something. The Word app apparently allows you to add your own words, which will be great for speech sound therapy. I'd love to hear from other SLTs, teachers and families who have tried Osmo.