Scenario How to Customise the HANDS phone Scenario 1 Thomas is going to start using HANDS. He has his obsession, the game “World of Warcraft” and he has his difficulties with planning, organisation and self-monitoring. His HANDS mobile can be customised in a “World of Warcraft” style to encourage use and help him with his difficulties. Scenario 2 Thelma is a girl who is obsessed by horses. She dreams of going horse riding. Unfortunately nobody can take her to her favourite interest due to time constraints. Thelma wants to start using HANDS because it enables her to go to horseriding by herself. But Thelma has been using a Sony-Ericsson until now and she has to learn and accept her new HANDS mobile. The phone can be customised to encourage this.
Solutions: Thelma and Thomas are unique pupils and have unique needs for cognitive support. HANDS has a slogan “One for each” and we want to enable teachers and parents to customise or individualise the HANDS mobile phone as much as possible. HANDS is a tool that can support the individual needs if the adult responsible for them takes the opportunities for individualisation available in the software. The individual who knows the children best can consider one or more of ways of individualisation that is most relevant. The tool will work more effectively the more customised it is to the child’s needs. Functionality customisation Visual and audial customisation Pedagogical customisation Motivational customisation Cognitive support customisation The customisation is described in general terms and there are links to relevant tunnels that describe customisation in details.
Functionality customisation Thomas needs support with planning, organising and managing himself in general and Thelma needs support for getting the bus to go horse riding. The software functions and scenarios that are available to the child should reflect this fact. In HANDS the teachers control the available functionality in the toolbox (HANDS internal link) and control which functionality is available when the mobile is started (HANDS internal link) and which applications are prompted at specific moments to the child (HANDS internal link).
Visual & audio customisation The visual and audio customisation can reflect the Child’s primary interests. For example, see the splash screen with monsters from the ”World of Warcraft” game. HANDS software makes it possible to adapt the splash screen, dayplan, menu items and menusystem( toolbox link), and dayplan activities. And you may change the sounds of HANDS too: Thelma might like it if the HANDS mobile neighs when she gets the bus. You will need to make sure you consult with your pupil in making decisions about the visual and audio nature of the software.
Pedagogical customisation HANDS offers a number of functionalities and gives a number of opportunities for individualisation. Both reflect experience of the practioners and the literature within the autism pedagogical field (eg. Theo Peters: Autism: From Theoretical Understanding to Educational Intervention1997) HANDS can be adapted to whichever style of teaching the teacher is using. The teacher must consider how traditional pedagogical activities are integrated with the use of the mobile phone. Advice on how to work with typical pedagogical challenges and with HANDS is given in the tunnel ”How to solve pedagogical challenges with HANDS?” In other words: pedagogical customization is the teachers responsibility.
Motivational customisation The motivational structure of Thomas and Thelma are very different. Thomas is orientated towards being rewarded but Thelma is not. Instead Thelma is rewarded by suprises. You may work with the HANDS reward system by giving explicit reward points (link to reward page) in which you reward specific use of the HANDS phone. You may make the availability of a specific functionality a reward and you may reward the students progress in scenarios by making graphics, video or music available to them. The availability of each of these reward steps increases the child’s awareness of their achievements. Instructions for using different kinds of customisation strategies are given in the tunnel ”How to work with rewards” [Link is missing]
Cognitive support customisation When, what and how cognitive support should be given depends on the single child. HANDS can support poor organisation and planning, a lack of self insight and inappropriate emotional behaviour. And finally HANDS can also support pedagogical work with time management and control. It is portable and available any time and anywhere. The relevant tunnels for investigating the subject is [missing link]. The most prominent and innovative concept in HANDS is the availability of the cognitive support tools when it is appropriate. And that the suggestion to use it may be given by the HANDS mobile itself.
Tips • The teacher are responsible for the customisation of the HANDS Mobile. • See the tunnel ”Getting Started with HANDS”. • See the tunnel ”Mobile loyalty – a core issue in HANDS pedagogic”. • An overview of ”Which challenges can HANDS work with?” tunnels can be relevant. • An overview of ”Why HANDS?” tunnels can be relevant.