There is an option under Settings > Caption Size that offers a means of smoothly transitioning the user from pictures to text.
You may start with No Caption (only image) setting for beginners, if you don't want to display text in the images. As the child progresses, you can gradually change this setting from Small -> Medium -> Large -> Only Text (no image) options.
As you move from one setting to the next, while the text or caption size is progressively increased, the image size gradually decreases, allowing the child to transition smoothly from pictures to text, until he is able to read Only Text option. This is a good way to introduce the child to sight-word reading, and can be a possible way to introduce him to the keyboard.
In the keyboard mode, when a child becomes fairly familiar with text, you can start using the Keyboard in a guided fashion. Start with the top row of buttons, called ‘Quick response keys’. Then use prediction to type out specific words keyed with only the first 1 or 2 letters.
Rather than exposing the child to only text, we allow the pictures in Prediction and Message box, to still allow the child to choose based on a combination of pictures and text, rather than completely on text alone. Once the child is comfortable with only text, you can remove the image support by turning off the Pictures in Message box option and also the Pictures with Prediction, to move to a complete text mode, without any visual support.
- Show an alphabet and try encouraging him to type.
- Try pictures with words option on Avaz and see if that encourages him to type.
- Eg. As he completes typing c-a-r- the message box shows the word with pic.
- Try using PowerPoint presentation of a single alphabet at a time and let him type on Avaz
Tips from Vandana Gautam (parent, Sunrise Learning, NOIDA)
How we are introducing keyboard :
1) Make sure the child can recognise all upper case , Lowe case letters , numbers etc .
2) Ask the child to randomly point the alphabets (upper and lower ) case. We can do it drawing a dummy keyboard with alphabet puzzles /blocks or flash cards.
3) Make a dummy keyboard and practice random pointing for few days.
4) Give the keyboard only and practice step 3 with real keyboard without connecting it.
5) keyboards have small alphabet key if the child gets confused then stick stickers of alphabets (capital) on the keyboard .
6) now open word and set the font size to biggest 72 and let the child type the alphabets. We used flash card for visual support where the child will type the letter show.
7) Once independence comes with alphabets we can start with sight words or cvc words . Here again we made flash cards of CVC words and child gets the visual support.
8) created templates for typing practice in word that has visual supports to type . So child can see the picture and type the word by himself. Here the spelling is a prerequisite . In case they don't know spelling we give visuals for spellings too.
9) Once the child is comfortable repeat the same flash card and template approach for sentences.
10) Gradually increase the number of sentences.
11) Play games where typing is required and which are fun for the child.
12) This we did for computer typing practice but I think same approach can be followed for ipad keyboard.
13) Last but not the least, Consistency !! It takes time regular practice and consistency is required and a high reinforcer to make it fun.
Article by Vandana Gautam :