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Pros: Calendars and events are simple and easily customized -- with 275 visual and audio representations of daily activities and lots of ways to share.
Cons: The interface might be visually overwhelming for some students.
Bottom Line: Great structure, lots of visual choices, and ease of use make this tool a worthwhile investment.
Teachers can help students plan out their schedule each day to help alleviate questions about daily activities. For older students, they might use homeroom or an advisory time to set up their school day, remembering to schedule time for choice or fun activities as incentives to work toward. Teachers can also help kids identify important test or due dates. Students can set countdowns and study schedules based on their own needs. At the end of the day, students can print out their calendar and discuss how their day went: Did they accomplish all that they intended? Do they need to adjust their schedule the next day? Were there any extra activities they accomplished that weren't originally on the schedule? Before going home, teachers can help students set up their evening schedule to ensure that they're prepared for their next school day (including completing homework assignments, studying, and self-care or hygiene activities).
Choiceworks Calendar is a tool for helping kids develop time-management skills. When opening Choiceworks Calendar, you are prompted to set up a new user. Support and how-to tools open as each screen advances, and they disappear as kids get used to entering activities into their personal calendars. Students can view their calendar in day, week, or month mode, and can press the plus sign on any screen to add a new activity. With a tap on a picture, a voice describes each activity. On the next screen, you can select the appropriate date, time, duration, and repetition. A teacher can also easily help a student share or print a PDF version of their calendar.
Images are relatively simple and are well organized in each view. It's easy to see which tasks are on the to-do list (on the left of the daily calendar), which should be in progress, and which have been completed. Students can start and stop activities as well as rearrange them based on the change of their day. In the monthly view, students can set up a countdown to a new or special event.
Choiceworks Calendar is a great assistive technology tool that may alleviate the anxiety some kids associate with schedule changes. By putting an easy-to-use calendar in the hands of students, it empowers them to make their own choices and take control of their own day. The graphics are simple yet engaging, and the app provides the perfect amount of user support to help kids overcome executive functioning and attention deficits.