Hear hear hear! Proloquo2Go 4.0 is coming! In the upcoming Road to Proloquo2Go 4.0 blog posts, you will read about the cool new features we have in store for you.
In last week’s Road to Proloquo2Go blog post about Core Words, you read how important it is to have access to core words - a small set of words that makes up most of the words we say.
Keeping words in a consistent location on AAC vocabulary is very important. It enables the user to quickly locate the words he or she wants to use. Keeping frequently used words in a consistent place takes advantage of one of the ways we learn how to do things - motor planning.
A motor plan is a set of instructions the motor part of the brain sends to the muscles when it receives a command to do something. When you think “I want to press the button for ‘I’”, this needs to be translated into a motor plan your fingers will understand.
Any motor plan that is consistent will be learned more easily and executed more quickly. So if we know that the word “I” always appears in the upper left corner of any page in an AAC system, we don’t have to visually or physically search for the button - we just send down the motor plan we have used many times in the past.
Anyone who uses a keyboard to touch type will quickly see the effect of consistent motor plans. We know where the letters are on the keyboard and can easily find them without looking, because they stayed at the same location the entire time we were learning how to type. If letters moved around depending on what we were typing about, it would significantly decrease our typing speed and our learning rate, and would probably make us look like we did not quite understand how to type.
To support motor planning in Proloquo2Go 4, we will change the way we provide access to core words on fringe pages. Right now, in Proloquo2Go 3, you will find some useful core words at the top row of each fringe page. However, these words are not on the same place as they appear on the home page.
In Proloquo2Go 4, if a word or a folder button appears on the home page and a fringe page, it will be in exactly the same place on both pages. For example, in Proloquo2Go 3, the words “I”, “you”, “want”, and “like” appear in different places on the home page and the breakfast page. In Proloquo2Go 4, these words appear in exactly the same place on both pages. In addition, you'll see a lot more important core words in the fringe folders.
Not all the buttons on the home page appear on the fringe page - there isn’t room! We’ve determined which core words are most likely to be used on each fringe page, and which are less useful. Only the home page words that are most useful for the particular fringe category will appear on the fringe page. Places where the less useful home page buttons appear on the home page are used for words from the fringe category, or for more useful core words that don’t appear on the home page.
For example, on the Proloquo2Go 4 breakfast page, “eat” and “drink” appear in the places where “go” and “stop” appear on the home page. “Eat” and “drink” don’t appear on the home page in the 6x6 grid size (although they do appear on the home page for larger grid sizes, so they are still core words.) “Eat” and “drink” are very important on a food-related page, and “go” and “stop” are much less important, so we use their locations for core words more appropriate for this fringe category.
We’ve put a lot of work into these core word-based templates for our fringe folders, and we want you to be able to use them too! When you create a new folder, you will be able to select one of our templates and automatically get all the relevant core words in the right place without needing to be an expert on vocabulary design.
This is not all that’s new in Proloquo2Go 4, so keep an eye out for the next Road to Proloquo2Go blog post!