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Vest Buddy: Elementary Students Invent AAC for a Friend

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Saturday, December 5, 9:30–10:30 am PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Maria Bates  
Shraya Desai  
Sarah Diplock  
Eric Gu  
Kausthubh Veldanda  
Jill Berrner  

My Students would like to share their invention, the Vest Buddy. It is a wearable AAC which was designed to enable their non-speaking friend, Justin, to communicate on the soccer field. It incorporates a Raspberry Pi and a MaKeyMaKey.

Audience: Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Scratch

Prototype vests

Topic: Assistive & adaptive technologies
Grade level: 6-8
Subject area: Special education, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
  • Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.
Additional detail: Student presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

With children as presenters, the purpose is simple:
Educators will be inspired by the enthusiasm and perseverance of these students.
Any educator can inspire any child...
This is a concrete example of pedagogical ideology.

Supporting research

Bottom of Blog has Media. These are not experts, but they acknowledge the social significance of student work.

More [+]


Maria Bates, Student Presenter
Kausthubh Veldanda, Brea Junior High
Jill Berrner, Olinda Elementary

Jill has been teaching in Brea-Olinda Unified School District for the past 30 years. With experience teaching Pre-K to University students over the past 40 years she has contently settled with upper elementary students. She is most comfortable teaching project-based learning in an inclusive environment. She loves using failure as a means to success and is always searching for authentic experiences that draw students beyond school walls. Five of those students will be sharing their journey at ISTE20. What could be more authentic than educators learning from students. Come and be inspired ;-)

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