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Reaching All Learners

Pixie can easily be applied and modified for a variety of learning needs. It includes several features and preferences that allow learners needing additional accommodations to utilize the software effectively.
Students with a range of learning needs like to:
• Express ideas creatively
• Do things in unique, non-traditional ways
• Use the computer
• Demonstrate success and ability
Pixie helps all students produce high-level work, providing a sense of pride in their abilities and encouraging determination and motivation to help them achieve.
“Pixie has allowed our teachers to differentiate within the classroom and the curriculum with very little effort.”
Anne Truger
Special Education Dististrict of Lake County, IL
Pixie: Universal Design
Callie's Story: Helping all students

Helping All Students Learn

Callie is an extremely bright Kindergartner, with what her father terms a “really wild sense of humor” typical for a 6 year-old. But Callie is anything but typical. Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a nerve disorder, limits her motor skills. Weakness near her spine means she can’t roll over on her own, and lack of energy to her sensory motor neurons makes holding a pencil nearly impossible. Since her cognitive ability is unaffected, she will be able to use communication tools like email and blogs, paired with assistive devices like a mini-keyboard, to help her share her thoughts, ideas, and dreams. But what about in Kindergarten, when much of the day is spent drawing and writing with crayons and markers? This is where Callie’s story with Pixie begins.

When students at Emmitsburg School in Frederick County, Maryland began weekly visits to the computer lab, Mike Hakkarinen had them use Pixie to paint pictures of animals in their habitats, illustrate math problems, complete patterning activities, and show their understanding of a story they had read. He hooked up a miniature touch pad for Callie so that she was able to do all of these activities with ease. Her proficiency and performance matched, and often exceeded, the other students.

But when she returned to her classroom, the other students continued to work on projects with crayons and markers, and Callie wasn’t able to create and show all of the wonderful and interesting ideas in her mind. So Mike loaded Pixie in the classroom and hooked up the touch pad. He worked with Callie’s teacher, Carolyn Miller, so that every time the class worked with pencils, markers, and crayons, Callie could do the same work on the computer using Pixie. Ms. Eila Tegethoff, a Special Education Assistant, noticed a change right away. Callie enjoyed not only creating with Pixie, but also editing her work.

Noting Callie’s success, Mrs. Miller began to use Pixie with the entire class, differentiating her instruction so that students could work at whatever level was most appropriate, whether they were at the labeling picture stage or already writing sentences using their own spelling.

With Pixie, all students can show their possibilities!
“Using Pixie made such a change for Callie, allowing her to do all the same things the other students were doing and feel part of the classroom.”
Callie Sample 01
Callie Sample 02
Callie Sample 03
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