Assistive Technology and Executive Functioning
Many different technologies can be used to facilitate executive functioning skills
Translate this page
In order to manage tasks and succeed in goal-directed activities, executive function skills are required. Most academic tasks require students to coordinate and integrate many different skills. Weaknesses in executive function skills may have a significant impact on the accuracy and efficiency of students’ performance. Many different technologies can be used to facilitate executive functioning skills. For additional information on executive function and to experience what it may be like for your child with attention and learning difficulties, please visit Through Your Child's Eyes.
Materials Management Resources
Materials management skills include the ability to keep one’s workspace, play areas, and materials orderly. Students must also understand what materials are needed and be able to readily find and utilize what is needed for a task.
Natural Reader - Natural Reader is a text-to-speech program that will read aloud text. Natural Reader is available on FCPS computers via AppV in the user's "My Applications" folder. If Natural Reader is not listed in the user's "My Applications" folder, please contact your school's Technology Support Specialist (TSSpec). The free version of Natural Reader can be downloaded for use at home. The Chrome extension for Natural Reader has also been approved for FCPS student use. Video Tutorial on Natural Reader | Video Tutorial on the Natural Reader Chrome Extension | AT Ambassador Student Video Tutorial on Natural Reader
Adobe Reader Fill and Sign and Comment Tools - Adobe Reader Fill and Sign and Comment Tools can be used to annotate and fill in electronic PDFs. Adobe Reader Fill and Sign Tool | Adobe Reader Fill and Sign Video Tutorial | Adobe Reader Comment Tool | Adobe Reader Comment Tool Video Tutorial | AT Ambassador Student Tutorial on Adobe Reader Fill and Sign Toolbar
Fairfax County Public Schools Library Online Resources, Databases and eBooks - These databases and eBooks are centrally purchased for the use of all Fairfax County Public Schools students and staff. Many schools purchase additional databases. Please see your school's librarian for more information. Home access requires a password. See your librarian for a password list.
Accessible Instructional Materials-VA (AIM-VA) - AIM-VA provides accessible instructional materials to eligible Virginia K-12 students who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and are unable to access traditional print. AIM-VA Eligibility Requirements
Learning Ally - Learning Ally provides members access to audiobooks, including literature selections. Some students may qualify for access to Learning Ally books through AIM-VA or schools may purchase school memberships. Parents may also purchase an individual membership. Users can access their audiobooks by using Learning Ally's audiobook app for computer, smartphone or tablet. Learning Ally's Audiobook App and User Guides | AT Ambassador Student Video Tutorial on Learning Ally
Bookshare - Bookshare provides access to accessible books for students with print deficits. Bookshare is free to students who qualify. To register for an individual or organizational membership, please visit Bookshare's Sign Up page.
Tar Heel Reader - Tar Heel Reader is a collection of free, easy-to-read, and accessible books on a wide range of topics. Each book can be speech enabled and accessed using multiple interfaces, including touch screens and 1 to 3 switches.
Paper Document to Electronic Document - There are two ways that you can turn a paper document into an electronic document by using your phone or tablet's camera or Notes app. The electronic document can then be uploaded to Google Drive, emailed, or exported to other applications on your computer. Video Tutorial on How to Create an Electronic Document Using Your Phone's Camera | Video Tutorial on How to Use the Notes App to Create an Electronic Document
Notes App - The Notes app allows a student to take notes, write down thoughts, and record text on a mobile device. This app is part of the standard set of apps that come on an iOS device. Other mobile devices will have similar apps.
Information Management Resources
Information management skills assess a student’s ability to come up with the steps needed to reach a goal and to decide their order of importance. Students with weak planning and prioritizing skills may not know how to start planning a project, may be easily overwhelmed trying to break tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks, and they may have trouble seeing the main idea.
G Suite for Education - G Suite for Education is an integrated communication and collaboration solution, hosted by Google and managed by FCPS. G Suite for Education was formerly known as Google Apps for Education. G Suite for Education includes the following apps for students: Calendar, Classroom, Contacts, Draw, Drive, Docs, Keep, Forms, Mail, Sheets, Slides, Sites, and Tasks. To access FCPS G Suite for Education, students and staff must login with their fcpsschools.net username and password.
Google Docs Tables-to-Text Graphic Organizer - Use a table as a graphic organizer for students to easily organize brainstormed ideas. A simple copy and paste strategy will then allow paragraph and sentence construction. Video Tutorial on Google Docs Tables-to-Text Graphic Organizer
Google Draw Graphic Organizer - Google Draw is an online tool within FCPS G Suite for Education. Use Google Draw to create a graphic organizer as a pre-writing strategy to help organize thoughts and ideas. Once you have created a Google Drawing as a graphic organizer, it will insert into a Google Doc and can be edited as needed. Students can then create a written draft from their ideas in the graphic organizer. Video Tutorial on How to Create a Graphic Organizer in Google Draw
Immersive Reader - Immersive reader is a free tool from Microsoft that uses proven techniques to help improve reading. The program reads text aloud, spaces words, breaks down syllables and parts of speech. It also translates, provides, definitions and pictures and visually simplifies the page. It can be used in many programs such as Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Word, One Note and Excel. AT Ambassador Student Using Immersive Reader in the Classroom | Video Tutorial on Immersive Reader in Microsoft Edge Browser | Video Tutorial on Immersive Reader in Microsoft Office | Immersive Reader in Microsoft Word Tutorial | Immersive Reader in Microsoft OneNote Tutorial
Mozilla Firefox Reader View - Mozilla Firefox Reader View is a Mozilla Firefox web browser feature that removes distractions, ads, and background images for better readability of web page content. Mozilla Firefox Reader View allows user to customize settings to fit their reading preferences.
Flipgrid - Provides an online platform where students can collaborate and build projects with online video. The site requires parent permission for anyone under 13 years of age to use. Students and staff should login with their FCPS Google account. Flipgrid and Accessibility | Immersive Reader in Flipgrid | Video Tutorial on Immersive Reader in Flipgrid
Kahoot! - A game based learning platform to create, play and share learning games with students. Staff should login with their FCPS Google account.
Padlet - An easy to use online tool to construct boards that can be used to collaborate and communicate with students. This site requires parent permission for anyone under the 13 years of age to use. Students and staff should login with their FCPS Google account.
Quizlet - Quizlet makes simple learning tools that let you study anything, including flashcards, games and other learning tools. Students and staff should login with their FCPS Google account.
Wizer.me - Use Wizer.me on any device to create interactive worksheets with choices to embed video, text, and images. There are many options to sort, reflect, comment, discuss, and make choices on the worksheets you create. Choose from the "community" for worksheets on various topics. The site requires parent permission for anyone under 13 years of age to use. Students and staff should login with their FCPS Google account.
Pear Deck - Pear Deck is a resource for creating interactive presentations with formative assessment elements. Pear Deck is integrated with G Suite. Teachers and students log into Pear Deck with their fcpsschools.net username and password. Immersive Reader in Pear Deck | Video Tutorial on Immersive Reader in Pear Deck
ReWordify - ReWordify is an online tool that simplifies difficult text.
Text Compactor - Text Compactor is a free online text summarizer. After pasting text into the provided box, the user can select the percentage of summarization. The program will then provide a summary of the text which includes the chosen percentage of the original text. The summarized text could then be read aloud by a separate screen reader.
Self-management skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, set priorities and resist impulsive actions or responses. A student needs to sort through a constant stream of sensory information and needs to employ self-regulation strategies to monitor and regulate one’s thinking, attention, behavior, emotions, and social interactions.
Self-Check Behavior Checklist - Self-Check Behavior Checklist Maker is a free application that allows teachers to quickly create checklists that students can use to monitor their behavior in the classroom.
Low-Tech Strategy Cards - Create cards that illustrate strategies that can be used when a student feels that they are losing control. These cards can be used as a visual reminder to help students make better self-management decisions. Printable Picture Cards
Social Stories - Social stories are used to teach students coping strategies and social skills using simple language and visuals. Social stories can be personalized to the student by using photos of themselves or their classroom/home to aid in comprehension. Video Tutorial on How to Create a Social Story
Social Stories Library - This website provides a variety of social stories, such as school routines, emotions and friendships. These social stories are downloaded to Microsoft Word and can be adapted to meet your child's needs.
Book Creator - This app can be used to create books with pictures, sound, text, and video. This app can be used to create social stories to support students who struggle with responding appropriately to social situations. Available for iOS, Android, and Windows.
Video Modeling - Video modeling is a teaching strategy where a student watches a video of someone doing an appropriate behavior/skill and then imitates the behavior/skilled that they watched. Video modeling encourages independence and consistency in teaching an appropriate behavior or skill. Video Tutorial on Visual Supports at Home: Video Modeling
IRIS Center - A national center dedicated to improving education outcomes for all children, especially those with disabilities birth through age twenty-one, through the use of effective evidence-based practices and interventions. Helping Students Become Independent Learners
GoNoodle - This is a website that helps teachers and parents get kids moving with short interactive activities. Desk-side movement helps kids achieve more by keeping them engaged and motivated throughout the day. There is a range of activities to help calm behaviors, relieve anxiety, release excess energy, etc.
Breathe, Think, Do - This is a resource app for you to share with your child to help teach skills such as problem solving, self-control, planning, and task persistence. Models deep breathing and calming activities using a friendly monster. Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame for iOS | Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame for Android
Time Management Resources
Time management skills are essential for a child’s success at school. It allows a child to complete tasks in a timely manner. To have strong time management skills, a student should estimate the time necessary to finish tasks and make and follow a schedule. Time management involves a child monitoring their own effort and actions, having an appropriate sense of urgency to complete assignments, and having the ability to follow step-by-step procedures.
Google Calendar - Google Calendar is a tool in a student's FCPS G Suite for Education account which can assist with reminders, schedules and general organization.
Google Keep - Google Keep is an online collaborative note taking tool within FCPS G Suite for Education. You can use Google Keep to create notes, checklists and schedule reminders. You can also use Google Keep for structured writing within Google Docs.
- How to Use Google Keep for Structured Writing - video tutorial
- How to Create a Note in Google Keep - video tutorial
- How to Create Checklists in Google Keep - video tutorial
- How to Set Reminders on Notes in Google Keep - video tutorial
- How to Insert Images and Use the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Feature in Google Keep - video tutorial
- How to Share a Note in Google Keep - video tutorial
- How to Open Google Keep in Google Docs and Google Slides - video tutorial
- How to Use Google Keep Checklists as a Graphic Organizer - video tutorial
Checklists - Students can plan and self-monitor tasks by using a checklist. Checklists can be created in a word processing program. There are also online checklist creators, such as Project Based Learning Checklist.
Schedules - Schedules can be used to help a student with transitions between activities. Schedules can be created in many different ways. Visual schedules can support students who are visual learners by pairing pictures with activities. Schedules can be maintained in a notebook, in an app on a mobile device, or on a computer. Schedules allow students to be more independent with their movement from activity to activity throughout the day. Video Tutorial on Visual Supports at Home: Schedules | Video Tutorial on Visual Supports at Home: Work Task Schedules
First/Then Boards - First then boards are simple visual schedule tools that communicate to students what they need to do now (First) and what comes next (Then). These boards can be used as behavior supports to help a student complete an undesired task. The demand (First) would be paired with a reinforcer (Then). Video Tutorial on Visual Supports at Home: First/Then Boards | Video Tutorial on How to Create a Low Tech First/Then Board | Video Tutorial on How to Create a First/Then Board in Microsoft Word
Timers - A timer is a type of clock used for measuring specific time intervals. Timers keep track of how much time has passed and how much time is left. Timers help students to focus, stay on task, and may reduce stress. Video Tutorial on Visual Supports at Home: Timers | Timer - Online Timer | TimeMe | Online Timer with Alarm
Windows 10 Timer - Windows 10 has a built-in timer that can be used to help manage time. The timer gives a visual and musical notification when they go off. Multiple timers can be saved in the app as well. Video Tutorial on How to Setup and Use Windows 10 Timer App
Time-Timer - The Time-Timer is a visual timer that helps students see the amount of time left for an activity. The Time-Timer is available as a large, clock-like timer and as an app. The app is available for both iOS and Android.
Clock App - This is a standard app on mobile devices which allows students to set a stopwatch, alarm, and timer options. Most mobile devices will have a clock app.
Reminders App - The Reminders app is part of the standard set of apps that comes with an iOS device. This app allows you to create reminders with subtasks and attachments, and set alerts based on time and location. AT Ambassador Video Tutorial on the Reminders App | How to Use Reminders on iOS Devices
Remind - A safe classroom communication tool that helps teachers communicate instantly with students and parents by sending quick messages to entire class, small groups, or individuals on any device.