It is good to learn some basic computer skills, but altogether different if the technology gives you the power to tell someone how you feel or where you hurt when you had no words for it before. “Good” doesn’t even begin to describe the outcomes made possible by a recent contribution by the Madalyn Cooke Foundation to allow New Danville to purchase laptops and iPads.
Last year, the foundation awarded a grant to New Danville for the purchase of a few laptops. The success of keyboarding and basic computer skills classes sparked ideas for expansion, and, thanks to the recent contribution that enabled the purchase of four laptops and seven iPads, the original building on the New Danville campus now includes a computer lab. The classroom for the Wrangler IIs is home for the iPads.
A variety of specialized apps are getting “test drives” on the iPads before the team settles on the best combination to meet the needs of the Wrangler IIs, but on a recent visit by Walter Cooke (former board member who set up the Madalyn Cooke Foundation in honor of his late wife) a few examples of their potential were on full display. Apps provide users with spoken words to communicate messages created by the user choosing icons and images. Another app allows a user to use images moved onto a body to indicate their moods (smiling, angry or sad face, for example) where they hurt, and more. Still, others allow for coloring pictures or putting together puzzles. All apps include positive reinforcements like bubbles, stars, or other graphical celebrations for successfully accomplishing the apps’ purposes.