By Patti Murphy
Meet the board makers of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
- Parents who created picture communication books that their children used for self-expression. The ongoing process involved photocopying multiple pages of Picture Communication Symbols (PCS) to keep the book, or binder, current with the child’s language needs. Then kids had early augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices with recorded speech and changeable paper overlays. Mom or dad photocopied, then colored, cut and pasted each PCS symbol to the overlay. Some repeated the process for a second overlay for school so their child had the language they needed all day long. With the early 1990s debut of Boardmaker page creation software, this could all be done by computer instead of by hand. Parents thought they died and went to heaven.
- School teams who rally students to success despite limitations. Over time, speech therapists, teachers and aides came to rely on all things Boardmaker to create worksheets and activities in a format compatible with a student’s language, learning and physical abilities. Eventually the software had animation and audio for meaningful multimedia learning materials. The whole class liked it. Boardmaker made learning fun, especially when it came to difficult or boring subject matter.
- The 200,000-plus members of the online Boardmaker sharing community. In recent years, they’ve become each other’s best resource when it comes to sharing tips and ideas for using the software for daily on-the-spot learning solutions.
Parents and professional have made Boardmaker a staple for nurturing better learning experiences for their students, sons and daughters over the past 20 years. Like all good tools, it has become more accessible and adaptable with the passage of time. And through each change, it has remained powerful and beloved.
And now, just in time for another school year, board makers past and present can step into a new era with their old favorite tool. You could always do a lot with it and you can do way more now that Boardmaker Online is here.
“If you only had one tool in your toolkit, it should be Boardmaker Online.” Rhode Island speech-language pathologist Deborah B. told us.
A subscription to Boardmaker Online lets you use the software anytime from anywhere with an Internet connection to create, find, play, assign, print and organize learning materials. While you’re at it, you can use Boardmaker Online to easily track student progress toward IEP goals and educational standards. It is indeed a complete solution with unlimited possibilities.
Boardmaker—and board makers—have come full circle. And it’s only the beginning.