What is all this VizZle about?

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Twitter has an #AUTISM chat group and I often follow the tweets and read articles that are shared during the chat sessions.  A tool called VizZle was referred to often and received raved reviews.  I was curious to know if this was something we should look into.  I asked a few staff people to look at it and give me their feedback.

Roberta Klix, Teacher, LABBB Memorial Elementary School

I finally found a little time to take a look at “Vizzle.”  It’s a great concept, and certainly has some nice features.  I particularly liked that you can automatically collect data (once files are set up) and the wide range of pre-made activities (including follow up games).  It seems fairly straight forward to construct activities, but you do have to import your own pictures and video (as opposed to something like Boardmaker studio where there are pictures already available).

I tried a few language arts and math activities, as well as some games.  There’s a bit of a lag time between steps in an activity (a little is good for processing, too much and I’m afraid some of my students would close out of the activity).  I also found that if I tried to leave an activity prematurely, I would be asked to type in my password. Rather than moving me out of the activity, I kept getting prompted to re-type the password and would have to end the program entirely.  This may be a glitch in the program, or operator error. On one language arts activity geared to “K-2” learners (Horton Hears a Who Vocabulary), I thought the vocabulary was more a 3rd/4th grade level.  The math activities seemed grade-appropriate.

I’ll continue playing around with it.  I”m also going to try out the new Boardmaker Studio.

Anigone McHugh, LABBB Speech Pathologist (LABBB John Glenn, Bedford High School)

  • Extremely easy to use
  • Short tutorials are available on the website before you start making your lessons if needed.
  • You can also have interactive courses (VizZle U) where you can get professional development contact hours
  • Can access it from any computer
  • Web-based storage with option to send files as PDF to other teachers/ parents.
  • Can make matching boards, game-boards and interactive books.
  • Peer-made activities available for everyone to use.  The lessons are categorized by subject, age, description.   You can share your materials with others and when you share, you can earn credits (not sure at this time what the credits are for)
  • Can be used on a smart board
  • Teachers/therapists can add goals and objectives and track progress.
  • Their pictures are ok.  You can add your own pictures as well as videos and audio.
  • They have a data base of videos and audio that you can add to your lessons
  • The computer “voice” is not that great.  Could not find a place to change speed of voice or gender.
  • Can make token boards that can be customized, timers plus first-then boards.
  • Not sure if it can be used with switches.
  • Does not use much memory on your computer since information is saved on the web (all you download is an icon).
  • Updates are free, they update often.
  • Teachers, therapist, parents can all create and share materials in student folders (it is more of a platform).  You can send your lessons home (printed) or email them.
  • Not sure of price, was not listed on the website

Overall I liked using ViZzle and would use it again.   It was extremely easy to use and I liked that it has a data base of lessons and activities that you can either use or to get ideas for your own activity.  I really like that they continuously update and make changes and that it does not cost money for the updates. It is a platform that all ages and abilities would be able to use.

These are my initial observations.  As I continue to use it, I will keep you posted of any other things I learn!

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