The Mulawa Dreaming Easy package contains a suite of graduated activities designed to introduce novices to the use of a mouse and the wonders of interacting with a Windows computer. They came about as a result of my ongoing volunteer work in diversional therapy at a nearby Aged Care facility.
Exit from any activity is via the Esc key. The H (for Help) key will reveal the Hidden keys (if any).
I would be delighted to hear from anyone using this suite - you can e-mail me via the Home link at the bottom of this display.
|Shapes - Mouse Move
|I found out very early on that it was necessary to separate the activities of mouse moving and mouse clicking. Moving the mouse over a shape will reveal the pattern underneath. (Afficiandos will recognise the work of the Logo turtle.)
|Pictures - Click
|And here all that is required is to click to reveal the next picture. After the first pass a caption is added for interest.
|Kaleidoscope - Move & Click
|Click anywhere to look through the kaleidoscope. Click again to return to the picture. You can use N for a New picture.
|Lights - Move & Click
|Here's where the going gets tough - we have to click in a specific place! Note the Big Buttons that I have created - these are used throughout the suite.
|Of course with my work with seniors I'm trying to add an element of mind exercise. Here you are required to remember one of the fifteen objects and then the computer will proceed to "read your mind".
|A gentle lead in to the later jigsaws - just click on a piece to "uncover" it. One guy really likes "pretty girl" pictures so I searched my whole collection for this activity. There are two keys that you may find useful - N (return to the jigsaw select screen for a New picture) and R (Reset).
|My variation of the old favourite. Note that there is no time pressure here - the last two remain revealed until the next one is clicked. Note too the visual cue that it is the last two clicks that must match. A previous session's Best Score may be entered via the main keyboard number keys and the Enter key.
|Click on the colour swatch to "pick up" a colour then click on the design to use it. There are ten patterns accessed via the 1 through 0 keys and another ten by pressing the T key. A design may be saved by pressing the S key - it will appear in the same directory as the program.
|Click on two pieces to make them swap. Correctly placed pieces can't be selected. Use these keys to vary the experience: F Frame toggle, L Lines toggle, N New picture, R Reshuffle, S Solve, Up and Down arrows - change the number of pieces. Note also that the player gets back to the Pictures by a left click anywhere on a finished puzzle.
|Jigsaws - 12 piece
|Note that there is no traditional "click & drag" here - that is an extra level of difficulty that we don't need. Click to pick up a piece - click to put it down. I'm sure you can work out what the three smilies do. There are some keys that you may find useful - N (return to the jigsaw select screen), P (picture display toggle), R (reshuffle).
|This has proved a boon for communicating with people with severe speech difficulties. Hidden keys here are C and M. You should also check out the On-Screen Keyboard - see start ... All Programs ... Accessories ... Accessibility.
|Took me a while to come up with a satisfactory design but I think you'll agree that this works well.
Hidden keys here are Enter (next picture), F (replay Finale), N (New category) and
Click on the picture to move onto the next one.
|One of my clients did well with the quiz by pointing to the answers (just touching the screen frame only). This inspired me to create other activities that he could do - this was the first.
|I met a guy who loved reciting number facts - this is for him! Initially it only uses numbers 1 to 5 and addition. Hidden keys here are Up arrow (increase the number limit by 1), A (enable All 4 operations), M (enable/disable Minus), T (enable/disable Times), D (enable/disable Divide) and S (Show the Status).
|Two Words Puzzles
|Each pair of pictures combine to make one word.
For example: WATER + FALL = WATERFALL
Click on the pictures to move on to the next pair.
|I have found the pictured trackball to be a great mouse alternative. It is manufactured by Clearly Superior Technologies in the US.
|More advanced activities may be found in the Mulawa Dreaming Plus package.