Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Substituting Symbols

n2y  is constantly adding new SymbolStix to their symbol library. They are definitely a company that is very responsive to the evolving/unique needs of their consumers.

I have been creating Animated Step-by-Steps (ASbySs) for three years, so it’s not surprising that new or better symbols have appeared on the scene during that time. As I search the library, I am constantly ‘tripping across’ symbols that I think … Oh that symbol’s new … it would have been great for the  _______ resource.

In addition, there appears to be a siesmic shift in the field toward a Core + Fringe approach to designing communication displays and clinicians and teachers are scrambling to devise creative and functional ways to train core words within their classrooms. As you will recall, Animated Step-by-Steps  are designed to serve as a forum for addressing literacy, language and AAC within classroom routines. They expose students to many high frequency core words, but have the advantage of doing so in a consistent manner.  They also incorporate lots of repetition, also great for learning. 

As you are well aware, some core words have multiple exemplars, so it is highly likely that you may wish to change some of the symbols in your ASbySs to better conform with the  core word exemplars that you are targeting.

Fortunately, it is relatively easy to substitute symbols.

The process for changing symbols is identical to the procedure previously discussed for personalizing page graphics with photo faces of your students.

Here are the simple steps:

1. Make alternate versions of the symbols you wish to replace.
Save symbols as 1.04 inch square symbols (with a 1.5 pt stroke or boundary line).

2.  Open the PowerPoint application.

3. Under File on the menu bar, select Open

4. Navigate to the location of your PowerPoint Show file. When it opens, it will be
    an editable file, i.e., you can substitute your new symbols for the existing symbols in
    the file.

5. Click on the grouped symbols on the page (you will see a box around the group). 
    Now click on a target symbol within the group of symbols.

6. Right click (control-click on the Mac) on the selected symbol and select Change
    Picture from the dropdown menu.

7. Navigate to where the replacement symbol resides.

8. It will import in a slightly larger size. Hold down the shift key and size the symbol to
    conform with the other symbols on the page.

…’til the next post …  (new posts every Monday)

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©2017 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator