Sharing Secret Locations Lesson: BlindSquare Lesson Plan

Featured Image: 
3 smiling O&Ms in rain gear learning to use the BlindSquare navigation app around the Perkins School for the Blind campus.

This lesson was originally taught at the Perkins High-Tech O&M Workshop with Ed Summers and Diane Brauner.  The Lesson Plan post is written by Kristin Zottoli.

Goals

  1. Learn how to create and share a Point of Interest (POI) using BlindSquare
  2. Understand that a GPS will take you to general area

Teacher and Student(s) will use BlindSquare to create their own "Secret Location" on their School Grounds using the Point of Interest Feature. They will then share this location with a peer or teacher who then has to find the Secret Location using BlindSquare.

Equipment

Bone conduction headphones or portable wireless speaker with Bluetooth connectivity are helpful but regular headphones will work as well, iphone 4s or later with data plan - it is estimated that on average BlindSquare uses 1 mb of data per hour while active. BlindSquare app, a partner(s)/student(s) that also have an iPhone with same app and equipment

Sequence 

Review this section prior to going outside.

Have students explore BlindSquare basics such as the Tool bar options and home screen in a quiet indoor setting prior to this type of lesson. O&M Hint from Diane Brauner: When using BlindSquare hold the phone flat (parallel to the ground) with the Home button closest to your body.  Point the phone the direction you are traveling.  VoiceOver will announce the direction of the destination using clock face terms; 12:00 is straight ahead.  

Make sure you have exchanged phone numbers with your partner before this lesson as you will be sharing a location with them via a text message.

Understand Two O&Ms setting a POI at Beechwood St and entrance to Perkins parking lot.

GPS typically gets us within 15 feet of a location and this tool can be used to get to a general area but is not meant to pinpoint exact locations or environmental features such as a doorknob.

Adjust settings

Adjust settings first in OTHER Menu.

OTHER Menu Looks like a gear - (this is what we did for this lesson but settings can be changed based on student preference/need) Adjust speech rate to meet student needs, adjust volume.
-Shake Gesture settings: turn all off
-Turn Announce address on and all others off
-Distance unit: Set for yards
-Directions style: Clock Face

Filter My

Filter MY (to right of OTHER Menu) - select streets only which will states parallel/perpendicular streets for this lesson to reduce audio input.

At this point you should be good to go and ready to head outside!

Create POINT OF INTEREST POI

Create POINT OF INTEREST POI (this sequence assumes VoiceOver is On) 

This is a great POI instructional video created by Ed and Diane:
 

SET POINT OF INTEREST (POI) 5 O&Ms in rain gear walking on a Perkins sidewalk searching for their Secret Location.

Set Point of Interest (this sequence assumes VoiceOver is Off)

  • Walk to desired location (your secret spot)
  • Click on 'Add button' (looks a plus symbol)
  • Add place screen opens
  • Delete text in 'Name of the place' field by pressing the x button or delete
  • Type in the label you want to give your location (approximately 83 characters) so less is more!
  • Alert distance when approaching: 10-15 yards is good a good distance to start with but something to have students explore.
  • Save
  • press Back button to return to main screen
  • To find saved POI open MY PLACES

TO SHARE POI

To Share POI (this sequence assumes VoiceOver is Off)

  • Focus should be on main page of BlindSquare App
  • Open MY PLACES
  • Tap location that you want to share and the PLACE SUMMARY SCREEN OPENS
  • Look for the share icon (a rectangle with an arrow breaking out of it)
  • Tap this and the SHARE THIS PLACE screen opens
  • Share with your friend via text message for this lesson (many options to explore!)
  • Tap text message
  • Tap BlindSquare
  • A new message screen opens with your shared location pasted into the message. Enter your friends name or number to enable text message then send!
  • When your friend receives the message click on shared location link and you will be prompted to 'Open in BlindSquare?' tap 'open'
  • link will open in BlindSquare
  • Tap 'Favorite' slider to turn on which will then save location to MY PLACES
  • Set: Alert distance when approaching 10-15 yards when on foot
  • Add to favorites: which pushes POI to MY PLACES

If in vehicle consider changing alert distance when approaching to 500-1,000 yards.
Note: When you are on the Share this Place screen right below Name of This Place text field you will find an Optional Comment text field. This is where you can add in additional cues and clues to assist in locating Point of Interest.

To Share POI (This sequence assumes VoiceOver is On) 

  • The VoiceOver focus should be on My Places.Two O&Ms helping each other as they learn to add a POI using the BlindSquare app.
  • Open My Places (One finger double tap – activates or selects the item that has VoiceOver focus).  My Places screen is now open.
  • Move to desired location by holding and sliding finger around on screen to hear various locations or one finger swipe right – moves forward one item at a time. 
  • When the location you want to share has the VoiceOver focus select it with a one finger double tap. The Place Summary Screen is now open.
  • Move to the Share This Place Button by holding and sliding finger around on screen to hear various locations or one finger swipe right.
  • When the Share This Place Button has the VoiceOver focus select it with a one finger double tap. The Share this Place Screen is now open.
  • Move to the Text Message Button by holding and sliding finger around on screen to hear various locations or one finger swipe right.
  • When Text message button has Voiceover Focus double tap to open. Send location link to Open In opens. 
  • Move to and place VoiceOver focus on BlindSquare button using one finger swipe right. One finger double tap to open. The text field in the To: message box should have the VoiceOver focus when opened.
  • Type in your friends name/contact info to send message. This can be done using the on-screen keyboard located at the bottom of the screen closer to the home button. The dictate feature (microphone icon) can also be used. Dictate feature is found on the on-screen keyboard to the left of the space bar. You will hear a prompt “Double tap to start dictation and double tap to stop”.
  • Once contact is entered into To: text field, move to the Send button using one finger swipe right or again by holding finger on screen surface and moving around to locate send button which is above the letter ‘p’ on the on-screen keyboard.
  • Once send button has VoiceOver focus one finger double tap to activate and send message which shares Point of Interest with your friend!

Note: When you are on the Share this Place screen right below Name of This Place text field you will find an Optional Comment text field. This is where you can add in additional O&M cues and clues to assist in locating Point of Interest.

End Two smiling O&Ms successfully using the BlindSquare navigation app on the Perkins campus.

Make sure you close out of BlindSquare; double click home button when on iPhone home screen and swipe up to end running apps.

Fun Content

When labeling POI’s consider using labels that are creative and fun for the student depending on age: location where student waits to get on bus could be ‘Platform 9 and 3/4’ (Harry Potter), ‘Percy Jackson’s lookout’ could be a playground equipment area, Hunger Games theme based places/names for example.

Backup Strategies

If student/teacher arrives close to Secret location (or POI) but isn’t quite sure if they are there they might: take a photo to verify location when they re-convene with partner, FaceTime peer friend or teacher, message, call, or request assistance.

Repeat Lesson

We found that when running through the lesson the first time informed us through the experience that the GPS was meant to get us to a general location and not to “place our hand on a doorknob”. Repeating the lesson and supplementing the route with orientation landmarks coupled with navigation notes available when you share a location additional layers of information and foundational Orientation and Mobility skills sets that are essential when pairing travel with GPS.

Resource

O&M Page on Paths to Technology website.

Pinterest collage of BlindSquare lesson

Comments

Posted by Diane BraunerMar 24, 2017

I had been meaning to let you know how much I am putting your BlindSquare training to frequent use!  I have been using it with several clients on campus and here in town and have already had success with getting a rehab counselor to purchase it for a college student who will be attending NCCU in August!  We went to the campus and set all her places that she would need to travel to and then set a couple of extras like the ATM and a lunch place!  Using BS has opening up a whole new side of travel for me to include in my curriculum and I am loving it and so are my clients.

Thanks again to you and Ed and Perkins for bringing the High Tech O&M class to our campus. - Carole

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