Category Archives: Assistive Technology

New Website & Conference Presentations

Check out my new website which chronicles all my projects and endeavors.

QR Code to www.ChrisBugaj.com

www.ChrisBugaj.com

Also, I’ll be presenting at both FETC 2019 and ATIA 2019. See you there!

FETC 2019

25 Ways To Improve Your Inclusive Practices

with Mike Marotta

Learning need not be a chore for everyone, including those students with IEPs or 504 plans. Join the fun as we explore 25 methods that engage and empower ALL students to take charge of their own learning. Infuse your classroom or school with these inclusive practices to design educational experiences that meet the unique needs of every learner. From apps to browser extensions to web tools — let’s find supports to promote active learning for every student in this BYOD workshop.

Escape The Room With Inclusive Strategies

Work individually or divide up into teams to see if you can Escape the Room! Collect the clues, decipher the riddles, and solve the puzzles to claim your prize! Along the way you’ll experience a variety of instructional strategies useful for designing inclusive and accessible educational experiences. Leave with a list of practical tools, resources, and ideas to help teach every learner. Even if you fail, you win! Will you ESCAPE THE ROOM? Note: This is not a Breakout EDU Session. This is a customized experience to showcase functional and practical tools to enhance inclusive and universal design.

Meet The Author

FETC is hosting a “Meet the Authors” Booth in the Expo hall at the Orange County Convention Center. Come meet authors of best-selling education technology books, take selfies, ask questions, get your books signed, purchase books and discuss hot topics.

ATIA 2019

Pre-Conference: The Write Assistive Technology for Note Taking

with Beth Poss & Mystie Rail

January 30, 2019

Today’s technology, including everyday tools designed for the mainstream market and specially designed assistive technology tools can support individuals who struggle with note-taking and organization of resources or text based information. This full-day session will examine a variety of note-taking and organizational tools accessible on a range of platforms, including Chrome, iOS, and Android, as well as tools that help students move back and forth between paper and digital notes. We will approach the issue of note-taking from multiple perspectives and offer solutions to meet the diverse needs of all learners. Explore a range of AT tools designed for notetaking along with everyday technology tools to support all learners, including apps, websites, specialized notebooks, and audio recording pens.

ATIA 2019 One Day Pre-Conference The Write Assistive Technology for Note Taking 
Beth Poss, Mystie Rail, and Chris Bugaj January 30th http://bit.ly/atia2019precon

25 Ways To Improve Your Inclusive Practices

with Mike Marotta

Learning need not be a chore for everyone, including those students with IEPs or 504 plans. Join the fun as we explore 25 methods that engage and empower ALL students to take charge of their own learning. Infuse your classroom or school with these inclusive practices to design educational experiences that meet the unique needs of every learner. From apps to browser extensions to web tools — let’s find supports to promote active learning for every student in this BYOD workshop.

Make Learning Awesome By Designing Personalized Experiences For All!

with Beth Poss

The very nature of education is changing to become more personalized and learner-centered. In this interactive presentation, participants will discuss how to design accessible learning experiences using technology in the era of Personalized Learning, Universal Design for Learning, The Growth Mindset, Project Based Learning, The Maker Movement, Bring Your Own Technology initiatives, and open educational resources. Together we’ll discuss a process for assessing student abilities and knowledge, strategies for targeting areas for instruction, integrating accessible digital content in a way that engages the individual by utilizing student choice, enticing students to reflect on their own learning, and using the data collected from these lessons to design future experiences. With guidance from the instructors, participants will generate a list of strategies to be used in different areas of instruction including Environmental Design, Digital Content Integration, Student Agency, and Evidence Based Decision-making. Bring your devices to participate in this learning event.

AAC Agreements: Establishing Evidence-based Universal Truths For Consideration and Implementation

with Shaun Pearson & Chris CichoskiKelly

What are universal truths that every practitioner should know when working with a person using an AAC device? In this interactive session, participants will learn existing universal truths known as AAC Agreements which exist in draft format created during collaborative discussions from sessions at previous ATIA conferences. Participants will then engage in their choice of an activity to either find evidence that supports (or refutes) an existing agreement, or to develop a new, potential, evidence-based agreement. Participants will collaborate online to create a robust and valuable resource for the AAC community. Participants will discuss how to develop a process for continued contributions and how to develop a system for content review. Participants will leave aware of existing agreements, knowledgeable about research-based methodology to support (or refute) a claim, and part of a larger community of those interested in evidence based practices for AAC selection and implementation.

Listen to the Talk With Tech podcast episode about the AAC Agreements.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Spotlight: Addressing Challenges to AAC Implementation

with Carole Zangari, Gail Van Tatenhove, Vicki Clarke, Caroline Musslewhite

How can we best address some of the most impactful challenges to strong AAC implementation? The AAC Strand Spotlight will be a moderated panel with presenters from private practice/consultancy, school, and clinical settings. The session will begin with some remarks regarding issues and trends in the AAC field. Each panelist will then discuss their current thinking on best practices in implementing AAC tools and strategies. Panelists will identify two challenges to AAC implementation and discuss approaches to addressing each one.

App Smackdown

with Beth Poss, Mike Marotta, Karen Janowski

Sharing is everything right? Wouldn’t it be nice if a group of people could just sit down and share different apps that can be used on iOS, Android or Chrome? If you answered ‘yes,’ then this session is for you! Join us for this year’s edition of the App Smackdown. In this session, participants will share with each other different apps that can be used with and/or by individuals with disabilities. Come join us for a fast-paced and exciting experience for sharing your knowledge and learning with others. Bring your devices with you to share because this session is all about YOU!! The hour flies by so come ready to learn. The facilitators will compile list of shared tools for future reference.

PD Smackdown

with Beth Poss, Mike Marotta, Diana Carl

Want to learn about innovative ideas for professional development? Join us for this interactive, newly formatted Smackdown! We will provide 4 interactive discussion groups to brainstorm and discuss the ideas in the various stages of PD (Prepare, Present, Practice & Performance). All participants will have an opportunity to give input in these stages. Then there will be a 20 minute report to share with the entire audience. This session is only as good as the participants who bring the ideas, programs and share their experiences! Through our facilitators, we will share the outcomes from each group. All session ideas will be collected via shared online resource which will be available after the session.

#ATchat Book Study for July 2018 is on The New Assistive Tech: Make Learning Awesome For All

Cover of the New Assistive Tech: Make Learning Awesome For All!

Starting the week of July 9th, educators around the world will be discussing questions related to The New Assistive Tech: Make Learning Awesome For All using the hashtag #atchat on Twitter. Each week a new question will be posed inviting readers around the world to participate in the discussion. Questions will also be posed on Flipgrid. The password to enter is atchat18. Participants are invited to respond using the modality of their choice!

Join the conversation, engage with others, and help others transform into Educational Experience Designers!

And, just in case you’re like, “What the heck is this book about?” Here’s more info about The New Assistive Tech!

LRO QuoteThis book:

  • Provides a methodology for transforming educators into experience designers by adopting a mindset of inclusive practices.
  • Details how an educational team can effectively request assistance to determine technology needs.
  • Explains how to provide assistance by coaching an educational team through a process to make informed decisions about technology needs.
  • Describes a proactive approach to professional development for individuals and for those who train others on the use of technology.
  • Assists individuals or teams in creating an action plan for developing a culture of inclusion.
  • Interweaves stories, songs, games, activities and other exciting features to make the experience of reading the book fun!

EXPEAT_Social-Graphics_Author-Quotes_TW_2_02-2018_v1The New Assistive Tech is a catalyst for breaking down walls between special education and general education, and will help all educators realize they have tech knowledge (and can build upon that knowledge) that can be used to support all students, including those with disabilities.

EXPEAT_Social-Graphics_Author-Quotes_TW_1_02-2018_v1 (1)

 

 

 

 

The New Assistive Tech: Make Learning Awesome For All is Now Available!

Available Now!Cover of the New Assistive Tech: Make Learning Awesome For All!

The NEW Assistive Technology: Make Learning AWESOME For All!

School districts often struggle to develop consistent practices for meeting the assistive needs of students receiving special education services. This fun yet professional book will help PK-12 educators learn a process to improve how they consider, select, and implement technology to help all students!

LRO QuoteThis book:

  • Provides a methodology for transforming educators into experience designers by adopting a mindset of inclusive practices.
  • Details how an educational team can effectively request assistance to determine technology needs.
  • Explains how to provide assistance by coaching an educational team through a process to make informed decisions about technology needs.
  • Describes a proactive approach to professional development for individuals and for those who train others on the use of technology.
  • Assists individuals or teams in creating an action plan for developing a culture of inclusion.
  • Interweaves stories, songs, games, activities and other exciting features to make the experience of reading the book fun!

EXPEAT_Social-Graphics_Author-Quotes_TW_2_02-2018_v1The New Assistive Tech is a catalyst for breaking down walls between special education and general education, and will help all educators realize they have tech knowledge (and can build upon that knowledge) that can be used to support all students, including those with disabilities.

EXPEAT_Social-Graphics_Author-Quotes_TW_1_02-2018_v1 (1)

 

 

 

 

Date Announced! The NEW Assistive Tech: Make Learning AWESOME For All

Available on May 4th, 2018!Cover of the New Assistive Tech: Make Learning Awesome For All!

The NEW Assistive Technology: Make Learning AWESOME For All!

Available for pre-order now!

School districts often struggle to develop consistent practices for meeting the assistive needs of students receiving special education services. This fun yet professional book will help PK-12 educators learn a process to improve how they consider, select, and implement technology to help all students!

LRO QuoteThis book:

  • Provides a methodology for transforming educators into experience designers by adopting a mindset of inclusive practices.
  • Details how an educational team can effectively request assistance to determine technology needs.
  • Explains how to provide assistance by coaching an educational team through a process to make informed decisions about technology needs.
  • Describes a proactive approach to professional development for individuals and for those who train others on the use of technology.
  • Assists individuals or teams in creating an action plan for developing a culture of inclusion.
  • Interweaves stories, songs, games, activities and other exciting features to make the experience of reading the book fun!

EXPEAT_Social-Graphics_Author-Quotes_TW_2_02-2018_v1The New Assistive Tech is a catalyst for breaking down walls between special education and general education, and will help all educators realize they have tech knowledge (and can build upon that knowledge) that can be used to support all students, including those with disabilities.

EXPEAT_Social-Graphics_Author-Quotes_TW_1_02-2018_v1 (1)

 

 

 

 

ISTE ’18 People’s Choice Session

This year the International Society for Technology in Education is hosting its first ever People’s Choice Award style contest for presentation proposals to the annual conference. Mike Marotta (@mmatp) and I have teamed up to put together a proposal for a session called 25 Ways To Improve Your Inclusive Practices. We need your help to get accepted!

Please vote!

Vote button

We made a introduction video to help you better understand for what you’re voting. Have a look!

Thanks for voting!

NEW BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT! The NEW Assistive Tech: Make Learning AWESOME For All

Cover of the New Assistive Tech: Make Learning Awesome For All!

Here it is!

The cover and title for the new book!

Pre-orders now available!

The NEW Assistive Technology: Make Learning AWESOME For All!

 

 

 

 

AT Maker Day Coming to ATIA 2018

ATIA Maker Day Saturday, February 2, 2018 Banner Heading. Four images of people smiling and making things with soldering guns.

Are you going to the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida in February of 2018? If so, join AT Makers for AT Maker Day! There will be activities where AT Maker groups share their projects, sessions where you learn new maker skills, and opportunities to brainstorm problems and project ideas. AT Maker Day is a free event! Don’t just make stuff! Make stuff to HELP others!

Sadly, I won’t be at ATIA 2018, so you need to go for me! I need to hear all about it!

New Book Update!

The book has gone to the copy editor! The title and cover design will the announced soon! I’m super excited to bring it to you!

Updates & Announcements

The A.T.TIPSCAST has been going through some updates lately.

New Hosting Site!

I’ve moved the audio files associated with the A.T.TIPScast from Cyberears to Podbean. If you experience any interruptions to how you access the A.T.TIPSCAST using your podcast application, re-subscribe! You can access every episode from http://attipscast.podbean.com/. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

YouTube Project Finished!

Every episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST has been converted into a video and uploaded to YouTube. You can access a video version of every episode from the YouTube Channel.

New Show! Talking With Tech

New content for the A.T.TIPSCAST continues to be on hold, but that doesn’t mean new content isn’t being produced! I’ve partnered with Lucas Steuber from SpeechScience and Rachel Madel to create a new podcast called Talking with Tech! The new podcast features discussions about technology related to communication and beyond!

New Book Update!

The book has gone through the first round of peer reviews! It is time to use their feedback to tighten some things up and move some things around to make it the best it can be before its ready to be released into the wild.

Thanks for bearing with all these changes!

5 Necessary Components of Effective AAC Implementation YappGuru University Webinar

Woman and girl looking at a tablet. ASHA CEU logo in top right corner. Title which reads Five Necessary Components of Effective AAC Implementation is imposed in the lower right.This week I was invited to present an hour long webinar for YappGuru University’s AAC After Work series. The series featured a number of internationally known presenters who work in the field of Augmentative/Alternative Communication and Assistive Technology. I presented Five Necessary Components of Effective AAC Implementation. You can find the slide deck by going to http://bit.ly/ygu5aac.

The webinar was recorded and can be purchased through YappGuru University by going to http://bit.ly/ygu5aaccourse. YappGuru University offers .10 ASHA CEUs for successful completion.

Below are some of the comments from some live participants:

“OMG I love the house/door thing!!! I need to use this with current parents!”

“These memes!!! I love it!”

“This was one of the best, most effective presentations I have seen!”

“Most excellent presentation! Loved it!”

“Thank you for all the information that was great!”

“This was fantastic!! Thank you!!”

 

 

 

 

The Least Dangerous Assumption -Cerebral Palsy Foundation Video

Back at ATIA 2017, I was invited to record a video for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation as part of their ongoing video series. I chose to talk about a concept called the Least Dangerous Assumption authored by Anne Donnellan and expounded upon on Cheryl Jorgensen in a follow-up article. The Foundation then took my raw footage and turned into something watchable (and, I hope if you like it, also shareable). Here’s the final cut! I hope I did the concept justice.

Here’s a big thank you to the Foundation for inviting me to record the video and to Karen Janowski for connecting us! Thank you Karen!

The AT Mannequin Challenge at ATIA 2017

 

three mannequins

By now, you’ve probably heard of the Mannequin Challenge. The concept is simple. For no good reason, create a scene where everyone holds completely still as another person walks through the scene filming it. Then, post your video to entertain or inspire others. Here’s a link to some of the more popular ones which have already been created – http://time.com/4565174/mannequin-challenge-ranking/

How does this relate assistive technology?

Let’s gather together to participate in a Mannequin Challenge to raise awareness for the use of technology to support people with disabilities. Let’s do an Assistive Technology Mannequin Challenge.

When: Friday, January 20th at 6:30pm ET

Where: At the launch of EdcampAccess at the 2017 Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida

REGISTER for ATIA 2017

REGISTER for EdcampAccess International

Who: You and every one of your colleagues!

What to do: Creatively show off a concept, principle, practice, or piece of technology used to support a person with a disability by holding a pose for approximately 1 – 2 minutes. Someone, likely me, will slowly move through the crowd filming it.

Once recorded, I’ll edit it together with some music and post it to YouTube. Then we can all share it with everyone we know!

If you have any questions, let me know! 

Hope to see you there!

UPDATE! The Mannequin Challenge Happened! Here is the video we made together!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #155: ALgS or Model, Model, Model

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by the ebook version of
The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology

Cover for The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools

Episode Overview –

Episode #155 features a recording of a conversation between Chris and his wife Melissa which takes place during a baby sitting session. The episode explores early language development and describes the strategy of Aided Language Stimulation (ALgS) necessary for teaching language to a user of augmentative/alternative communication.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #488: Model on the AAC device.

Also, here’s a video that explains Aided Language Stimulation:

Upcoming Live Presentations

Contact Information

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #154: Planning for Motor Memory

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This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Episode Overview –

Episode #154 features a discussion on the concept of using motor plans and motor memory to become automatic at using an AAC device.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #486: Plan for motor memory right from the onset of device implementation.

A.T.TIP #487: Don’t mess with the motor plan once established.

Attribution Notification – Portions of the following musical tracks were used in this episode:

Upcoming Live Presentations

ISAAC Conference in Toronto, Canada – August 2016

AAC Practitioners in the 21st Century: Leveraging Our Efforts through Social Media and Digital Technologies (with Carole Zangari)

4 panel comic with a genie and a lamp. Panel 1 - Genie says "You rubbed the magic lamp! Make a wish!". Panel 2 - Genie says, "What? No! I won't let you waste your wish on that!" Panel 3 - Genie says, "If you wish to learn about digital tech you don't need me!" Panel 4 - Genie says, "Go to Carole's and Chris's Precon at ISAAC on August 6th instead!" In the bottom there is text that reads "sign up today! http://bit.ly/isaacprecons

Liberator AAC Summit – Melbourne, Australia – July 2016

Contact Information

attipscast@gmail.com
Register as a fan of the show to receive
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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #152: Breaking Down and Building Up Language

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This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Episode Overview –

Episode #152 is a discussion on how to teach language by breaking it down into component parts and structuring lessons around language concepts.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #481: Developing a plan to target one or two words per week (or so) building up to more complex/grouped language concepts.

Sample Planning Sheet

Targetted Word – Put

Numbers in Language Opportunities column are minimum opportunities

to use the targetted word

TIME ACTIVITY

LANGUAGE OPPORTUNITIES

8:00 – 8:30

Morning Circle

Attendance – Where to put others (5)

Calendar – Where to put # day (5)

Weather – Where to put clothes on character (5)

8:30 – 9:00

Science

Plants – Soil in cup (3), seeds in soil (5), water in soil (2), plant near window (1)

9:00 – 9:30

Storytime

Story w/ “put” – Grocery shopping. Put in basket (3), put on belt (3), put in bag (1) put in car (1), put in house (1), put away (3)

9:30 – 10:00

Snack

Plate on table (1), cup on table (1), Put on plate (5), put in cup (5), put in hand (5), put top on (1), put in mouth (5), put away (1)

10:00 – 10:30

Art

Paper on table (1), paint on table (3), brush on table (1), water in cup (1), water on table (1), smock on (1), paint on brush (5), brush on paper (5), brush in water (5), paper away (1), paint away (3), brush away (1), water away (1), smock off (1)

10:30 – 11:00

Maths

Addition – Squares on board (10), Group squares (10), Numbers to match squares (10)

A.T.TIP #482: Plan for at least 100 structured experiences to expose and use the targeted word or language concept.

A.T.TIP #483: Teaching language is more like building a house than unlocking a door.

Picture of a lock with a red arrow that reads not this and a picture of a house under construction with a green arrow that reads this

Upcoming Live Presentations

ISAAC Conference in Toronto, Canada – August 2016

AAC Practitioners in the 21st Century: Leveraging Our Efforts through Social Media and Digital Technologies (with Carole Zangari)

4 panel comic with a genie and a lamp. Panel 1 - Genie says "You rubbed the magic lamp! Make a wish!". Panel 2 - Genie says, "What? No! I won't let you waste your wish on that!" Panel 3 - Genie says, "If you wish to learn about digital tech you don't need me!" Panel 4 - Genie says, "Go to Carole's and Chris's Precon at ISAAC on August 6th instead!" In the bottom there is text that reads "sign up today! http://bit.ly/isaacprecons

Liberator AAC Summit – Melbourne, Australia – July 2016

Contact Information

attipscast@gmail.com
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e-mail alerts for new episodes

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The Origin of a NERD – National (Open) Educational Resource Database

This is a blog only post.

There is not an A.T.TIPSCAST Episode associated with this post.

 

BACKGROUND INFO

Before I begin, I want to make it clear that what you are about to read is not meant to be a criticism but rather a call to help me, and likely others, understand more about what is apparently a confusing topic.

Recently, the Open Educational Resources movement has picked up a head of steam with the announcement of the Open eBooks initiative championed by Michelle Obama and The White House. At the forefront of this initiative was the launch of a new Open eBooks app. Like so many, I was initially excited. Open sourced materials have the potential for providing greater and more varied learning opportunities to everyone including people with disabilities, so what was not to be excited about?

Many of the people in my extended network of educators (Marvin Williams, Mike Marotta, Jamie Martin, etc.) working for and with people with disabilities began exploring the app for its accessibility features, including myself. The results were concerning as many discovered that the registration process to utilize the app was cumbersome and a barrier in itself, requiring educators to input demographic data that isn’t necessarily readily accessible to them. Once past the registration process, some necessary features were not universally available on every book within the app. Features such as text to speech, text to speech with dual highlighting, and image descriptions were simply not present ubiquitously.

These findings spurred an outcry (encapsulated in this blog post by June Behrmann), which, I think, led to the accessibility features of the Open eBooks app to be a topic of #ATchat on March 2nd. Andrew Marcinek, the Open Education Advisor to the Office of Educational Technology was an active participant in the chat and addressed the concerns.

ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

But, here are the questions that have been plaguing me. Why does another app need to exist in the first place? Could open educational resources be created, organized, and shared in such a way that are device agnostic? Or, to put it simply, could open educational resources be made available in such a way that the user chooses which application he or she wants to use to experience the content? Could the government, rather than backing an additional app with a limited library of materials, support a structure where a user could search the entirety of open educational resources and then, select and open a file using whatever tool they want?

Currently, a person might need to maintain multiple apps to get to a specific piece of content. Each app has its own UI experience and accessibility features. Users need to maintain all of these apps, navigate the differing UI experiences, and mitigate varied features of the different apps, which makes for a giant ball of confusion.

A typical user experience might be as follows:

“Hmmm…where can I find this title? Let me check this app. Nope, that title is not there. Now let me check this other app. Nope, that title is not here either. Now, let me check yet another app! Huzzah, the title is here but this app isn’t an app that has the accessibility feature I need (or even prefer).”

If I’m a user who already has trouble reading and possibly has executive functioning difficulties, adding yet another library for me to check likely adds a barrier rather than knocks one down.

Instead of asking users to search multiple libraries individually could the government help provide one central place where all users go to get the content in the format they choose? Instead of backing yet another new app, could the money be spent building a tool which ties all the existing open educational resources together to make them searchable?

TRANSPORTATION AS A MODEL

Consider how the government works to facilitate transportation in the US. As part of the nation’s infrastructure, the government contracts out the companies to build roads. The government doesn’t contract out to companies to build cars that go on these roads. The government provides regulations for the construction of the cars but doesn’t manufacture them.

Could the same model be applied to open educational resources? Like the building of roads, the government could contract out to a company to build a searchable structure tying all open education resources together. When a user is looking for a resource, they could just go to this one place. The user could search the database and results could come back with all the file formats available. The user could then select the file format to open in the app of her or his choice (Open in…). To ensure accessibility and compatibility, the government could provide regulations about the criteria necessary for that file to be found in the search, just like what currently exists for the creation of automobiles regarding safety and environmental regulations. “If you’re going to sell a car in the US, it needs to meet these safety and environmental parameters. If you’re going to share a resource in the National (Open) Educational Resource Database (NERD, for short! Yes! How great is that?!?!) it needs to meet these accessibility standards.”

I fear the time, effort, and money spent creating the Open eBooks app was like building a car when what was really needed was a road. As a driver, I want to be able to choose my car knowing no matter which I choose, I’m ensured some base level of safety. As a reader, I want to be able to choose my reading application, knowing no matter which I choose, I’m ensured some base level of accessibility. I shouldn’t need to have multiple cars in order to get to where I want to go just like I shouldn’t need to have multiple eBook applications in order to read the materials from which I want to learn.  

All that written, I could be completely backward on this. I’m open to the idea that I’m completely and utterly wrong, which is why I started this post asking for a call to further my understanding. Please comment below to further the conversation!

 

UPDATE 5/12/16 – This might be just the NERD we’re looking for- http://learningregistry.org

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #151: SNUG & Presuming Competence with AAC

Chris standing in front of a whiteboard with the words Spontaneous Novel Utterance Generation written on it.

 

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This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Episode Overview –

Episode #151 is a discussion of the philosophy of Spontaneous Novel Utterance Generation (SNUG) and what the term “Presuming Competence” means in relation to teaching language to users of augmentative/alternative communication.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #478: Spontaneous Novel Utterance Generation (SNUG) – http://bit.ly/ashasnug

A.T.TIP #479: The Least Dangerous Assumption – http://bit.ly/leastdangerousassumptionpdf 

A.T.TIP #480: http://bit.ly/aacagreements – A list generated at Edcamp at ATIA 2016 by professionals working in the field of AAC outlining 12 agreed upon principles.

Upcoming Live Presentations

ISAAC Conference in Toronto, Canada – August 2016

AAC Practitioners in the 21st Century: Leveraging Our Efforts through Social Media and Digital Technologies (with Carole Zangari)

Contact Information

attipscast@gmail.com
Register as a fan of the show to receive
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A.T.TIPScast Episode #150: A.T. Movie Review – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

 

Chris as a Jedi with young Yoda in the background

Texthelp advertisement

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Episode Overview –

Episode #150 is a review of the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens from an educational perspective.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #477: The National Education Plan of 2016

Upcoming Live Presentations

ISAAC Conference in Toronto, Canada – August 2016

AAC Practitioners in the 21st Century: Leveraging Our Efforts through Social Media and Digital Technologies (with Carole Zangari)

Contact Information

attipscast@gmail.com
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Top Ten Reasons to Avoid ATIA 2016

This is a blog only post. There is not an A.T.TIPSCAST Episode associated with this post.

ATIA 2016 logo with a null sign over it

If you haven’t heard about it before, there is this event coming up in a few weeks called The Assistive Technology Industry Association conference. It happens every year. I’ve been before and, unfortunately, I have to be there again. For me, it is too late. I must go. You, however, might still have a chance to avoid it, which I HIGHLY recommend you do based on the following top ten reasons…

10. You’re sick of learning new stuff. Learning new things is so 2015. Why would you want to learn about the latest innovative approaches to using technology to help people with disabilities? It’s better to stay home and binge watch some show on Netflix.

9. It’s in Florida in January. The weather is horrible. The glare from the sun can be blinding. That much sun can have a drying effect on your skin let alone the risk of sunburn. Better stay home, especially if where you live is cold. If you really need a place to go in January, consider Buffalo. I hear they need your help shoveling. You could do way more good to the world there than by learning how to be better at your job of educating others (not to mention build some muscles).

8. Pre-conference overload. If your supervisor is forcing you to go to ATIA, whatever you do, DO NOT GO to the pre-conference sessions.  Why spend even more time in Florida? What a waste! Especially avoid any pre-conference provided by Beth Poss and that guy she presents with sometimes (I forget his name, handsome though). They are doing something on UDL and 21st Century Learning. No one who has ever gone to one of their sessions before has come out happy, enthusiastic, or inspired to try the new tools and approaches they experienced. Who wants to learn best practices for engaging contemporary students? Pish posh. Long live worksheets! Afterall, that’s how I done learned all the things I done learned. Do not click on this link to sign up for their session – http://bit.ly/atia16precons Avoid it like you avoided spoilers for The Force Awakens.

7. MEGA pre-conference overload. Just who do these organizers of ATIA think they are? Offering the choice between two-one day pre-conference sessions and one two-day pre-conference sessions is ridiculous. I can’t decide what I want to eat in the morning let alone choose from all these different types of sessions. Don’t they know people want less choice, not more? Just tell me what to go to already! But whatever you do, don’t sign up to learn about how to establish, maintain, and grow your team from actual people who have established, maintained, and grown a team. Members of the Loudoun County Public Schools AT Team are the last listed pre-conference session on this page – http://bit.ly/atia16precons. Your team is already strong enough, large enough, and operates with practices streamlined enough that you don’t need to work with them to learn innovative service delivery design methodologies. If you’re like me, you’re too busy working harder to work smarter. Skip it like hopscotch.

6. It’s boring. Sessions are just borzzzzz. Sorry, fell asleep just thinking about all the face-to-face conversations I’ll be forced to have with professionals from all around the world who do what I do. Why, it’s absolutely mind numbing to think of the conversations where we’ll be talking about strategies and techniques that actually work for people. Choose to do something more interesting with your time, like watching paint dry.

5. Camping is not my idea of a vacation. Last year there was this free event AFTER the conference (like I wasn’t already completely drained from the experience of the actual conference) called Edcamp. It’s done in an informal “unconference” format where people just show up, throw ideas on a board, and then go to designated rooms to talk together about those ideas. What a nightmare! Who wants to sit around in large circles discussing the most important issues impacting people with disabilities…for free? This year, the organizers have the gall of doing it again and, get this, they are informally calling it “EdCamp After Dark” because it is in the evening. No. I’m sorry. I’d rather go clubbing than sit around talking with some of the “names” in the field about the issues that matter most. Avoid clicking here to register – http://bit.ly/edcampatia16 Call me an Uber and dial up the Taylor Swift. This guy is off to get his dance on.

4. Obnoxious vendors and their wares. Why do I need to float through the vendor hall touching hundreds of actual products, pushing the buttons, and interacting with the people who develop those products? I CAN GOOGLE IT! Vendors stand over their booths like trap door spiders waiting for prey to walk by so they can leap out and snatch them. Then, once they have you ensnared, they show you all the stuff their product can do to help all the people you’re supposed to be serving. Who would want to learn about the latest innovations and updates? They don’t want to hear about our practical consumer needs. They just want to further develop their products based on guesswork, not actual feedback from real people like you and me. If you have to be at ATIA, do yourself a favor and avoid the vendor hall altogether. Learning about products, new and old, from the people who actually make them is about as fruitful as punching yourself in the face. Instead, spend your time scrolling through your Facebook feed to see what your old high school buddies think about Donald Trump.

3. The facilities are disgustingly horrid. The constant sound of the waterfall pouring into the pool is irritating. The pool is surrounded by palm trees which provide way too much shade. There is even this tropical bird outside sometimes that makes this abnormal screeching sound reminding you that you’re not in Kansas anymore. What are you, a pirate? ARRRRGGHHHH!!! Don’t be fooled into thinking this is enjoyable, fun, or relaxing. It is just so stressful to have to decide how and where to position the lounge chairs. Avoid the hassle and stay inside, or better yet, home.

2. There’s a hashtag! It’s 2016 people! Haven’t you heard that conferences are passe’ and that you can learn everything online? Why BE at the conference when so many nerds will be posting their experiences using the #atia16 hashtag? You don’t need to actually be there interacting in person with people! Instead, you can just follow along online. People who have done that in the past have never ever stated a feeling of FOMO. They all say that it is just like being there. If it is just like being there, then why go? Prove the administrators right who said that you don’t need to travel to learn new things. They need the ego boost.

1. The selfish people. If you’ve been to ATIA before then you know the absolute worst part of the entire experience is how selfish the people are who attend. Presenters talking the entire time in their sessions telling you how great their ideas are is just one example of how conceited and stuck up people there can be. Without any respect for YOUR time, people interact with you to bring about real change in the lives of others. Some might think they do this out of a genuine concern and compassion for others; a desire to make the world a better place. But really, they just want to get their names out there. When you’re sitting is sessions, chatting in the hall, networking by the pool, and sharing meals with anyone at ATIA, just remember that they probably have some sort of secret agenda. They’re most likely looking out for number one, trying to manipulate you in some way, and have no genuine interest in actually helping you or people with disabilities.

I hope you heed my warnings. I hope I’ve convinced you to stay far away from Central Florida in early February. I have to be there but it might not be too late for you! You don’t have to click this link to register – http://bit.ly/atia16registration. You don’t have to sign up for the “awesome” pre-conference sessions. You don’t have to meet and hobnob with others in the field. You don’t have to succumb to the pressures of the pool. You don’t have to go at all, do you?

Unfortunately yours,
Chris

Some Upcoming Live Presentations

The Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida – February 2016

One-day Pre-conference – Universal Design for 21st-Century Learning (with Beth Poss) REGISTER NOW!

One-day Pre-conference –Evolution of an AT Team: Real World Experiences Shaping Practices (with Sally Norton-Darr, Stacy McBain and Mark Nichols) REGISTER NOW!

ISAAC Conference in Toronto, Canada – August 2016

AAC Practitioners in the 21st Century: Leveraging Our Efforts through Social Media and Digital Technologies (with Carole Zangari)

Contact Information

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #148: Step Into The Light

Parody poster from the movie Poltergeist with a little girl sitting in front of an iPad screen with static on it

Episode Overview –

“Technology’s heeerrrrreeee!”

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #468: Tweentribune.com

A.T.TIP #469: WolframAlpha.com

A.T.TIP #470: Word Prediction (QuickType) on iOS – http://bit.ly/quicktypetutorial

A.T.TIP #471: AnswerGarden.ch

A.T.TIP #472: Pearltrees.com

A.T.TIP #473: Voxer.com

A.T.TIP #474: Airdrop on iOS for transferring files – http://bit.ly/airdroptutorial

A.T.TIP #475: Speak Screen for iOS – http://www.apple.com/accessibility/ios/ 

Upcoming Live Presentations

Indianapolis, Indiana – November 2015

Universal Design for 21st Century Learning (with Beth Poss)

Multiple Means of Professional Development (with Beth Poss)

Getting to the Core of Language Acquisition

The Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida – February 2016

One-day Pre-conference – Universal Design for 21st-Century Learning (with Beth Poss) REGISTER NOW!

One-day Pre-conference –Evolution of an AT Team: Real World Experiences Shaping Practices (with Sally Norton-Darr and Mark Nichols) REGISTER NOW!

ISAAC Conference in Toronto, Canada – August 2016

AAC Practitioners in the 21st Century: Leveraging Our Efforts through Social Media and Digital Technologies (with Carole Zangari)

Contact Information

attipscast@gmail.com
Register as a fan of the show to receive
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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #146: Listener Q & A 14-15, Pt. 2

Texthelp advertisement

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Advertisement for Easy Grade app

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Easy Grade, the EZ Grader that does half points! Replace your cardboard EZ-Grader with the Easy Grade app available for FREE on both iOS and Android.

Episode Overview –

Episode #146 features more answers to questions from listeners who have written e-mails over the past few years. There are a few more movie quotes thrown in for fun. Can you name the movies?

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #466: INDATA Podcasts

Also mentioned in this Episode –

Open Source Strategy-A-Day Calendar – http://bit.ly/opensourcesadcal

How to Share in Google – http://bit.ly/sharegoogletutorial

Movies Quoted in This Episode – 

Apollo 13

Inception

The Help

Crocodile Dundee

Guest Blog Post for Texthelp

Making Time for Voice Recording – http://bit.ly/makingtimeforvoicerecording

Upcoming Live Presentations

SWAAAC Conference – Denver, Colorado – June, 2015

Strengthening and Streamlining Your AT Practice

Multiple Means of Professional Development

More Than One Way To Skin A Cat – Practical (And Fun) UDL

 

Baton Rouge, Louisiana – June 2015 – TBD

Brisbane, Australia – June 29th, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

With Bruce Baker

Sydney, Australia – July 1st, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

With Bruce Baker

Melbourne, Australia – July 3rd, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

With Bruce Baker

Perth, Australia – July 7th, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

Auckland, New Zealand – July 13th, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

With Bruce Baker

Christchurch, New Zealand – July 14th, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

Phoenix, Arizona – September 2015 – TBD

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – September 2015 – All Day Keynote

More Than One Way To Skin A Cat – Practical (And Fun) UDL

Strengthening and Streamlining Your AT Practice

Common Recommendations Using (Mostly) Free Resources

Getting to the Core of Language

Grand Rapids, Michigan – October 2015 – TBD

Contact Information

attipscast@gmail.com
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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #144: Three Tools to Support Reading

ATTips-Summer-2014-concept

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Advertisement for Easy Grade app

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Easy Grade, the EZ Grader that does half points! Replace your cardboard EZ-Grader with the Easy Grade app available for FREE on both iOS and Android.

Episode Overview –

Episode #144 features a description of three tools useful for supporting reading by minimizing distractions, providing statistics, and helping to decrease the complexity of difficult vocabulary within bodies of text.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #462: http://readability.com – Minimize onscreen distractions

A.T.TIP #463: Clearly Chrome App – Minimize onscreen distractions

A.T.TIP #464: http://rewordify.com – Reword difficult text plus much more!

Also mentioned in this Episode –

Tucker (Age 9) used the Minecraft Pocket Edition App to create a replica of the U.S.S. Arizona for one of the book projects mentioned in the previous episode.

USS Arizona built in Minecraft

Signs made in Minecraft listing all six ships that were sunk at Pearl Harbor

 

PAST Center for Technology and Disability Events

Free Tools to Support Reading and Writing Recorded Webinar

 

Multiple Means of Professional Development Recorded Webinar

 

Upcoming Center for Technology and Disability Events

FREE Tweetchat –

March 30th – 8pm – 9pm ET 

#CTDTechTalk

Upcoming ATIA Webinars

Social Media for Beginners: Twitter 101  

with Beth Poss – April 22, 2015  3:30pm – 5:00pm ET

Upcoming Live Presentations

SWAAAC Conference – Denver, Colorado – June, 2015

Strengthening and Streamlining Your AT Practice

Multiple Means of Professional Development

More Than One Way To Skin A Cat – Practical (And Fun) UDL

 

Baton Rouge, Louisiana – June 2015 – TBD

Brisbane, Australia – June 29th, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

With Bruce Baker

Sydney, Australia – July 1st, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

With Bruce Baker

Melbourne, Australia – July 3rd, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

With Bruce Baker

Perth, Australia – July 7th, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

Auckland, New Zealand – July 13th, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

With Bruce Baker

Christchurch, New Zealand – July 14th, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

Phoenix, Arizona – September 2015 – TBD

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – September 2015 – All Day Keynote

More Than One Way To Skin A Cat – Practical (And Fun) UDL

Strengthening and Streamlining Your AT Practice

Common Recommendations Using (Mostly) Free Resources

Getting to the Core of Language

Grand Rapids, Michigan – October 2015 – TBD

Contact Information

attipscast@gmail.com
Register as a fan of the show to receive
e-mail alerts for new episodes

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #143: Contemporary Book Study Projects

ATTips-Summer-2014-concept

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Episode Overview –

Episode #143 features a description of different engaging tools and strategies used by a 9 year old in fourth grade to complete monthly book study projects. Each month the student was assigned a genre of book to read. After reading the book the student was asked to complete a worksheet of questions, some form of graphic organizer, and then create his own artifact demonstrating that they understood the book.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #460: http://dipity.com – Timeline Generator

A.T.TIP #461: http://storyboardthat.com – Comic Strip Generator

Also mentioned in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #330 – http://recordmp3.org – Online sound recorder

A.T.TIP #194 – http://vocaroo.com – Online sound recorder

A.T.TIP #273 – http://toondoo.com – Comic Strip Generator

A.T.TIP #70 – http://blabberize.com – Upload a picture, cut out a mouth, and record a video

Book Study Final Projects

Month – October

Genre – Realistic Fiction

Tool – http://toondoo.com

Live Resource – http://bit.ly/frindletoondoo 

Book – Frindle by Andrew Clements

4 cell comic describing the story Frindle.

Month – November

Genre – Mystery

Tool – http://Glogster.com

Link to Resource – http://bit.ly/pleasingtheghostglog

Book – Pleasing The Ghost by Sharon Creech

Glogster of Pleasing The Ghost

Month – December

Genre – Historical Fiction

Tool – http://dipity.com

Link to Resource – http://bit.ly/pearlharbortimeline

Book – I Survived The Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941 by Lauren Tarshis

Timeline example using Dipity.com

Month – January

Genre – Fantasy

Tool – http://storyboardthat.com

Link to Resource – http://bit.ly/sa3btstoryboard

Book – Spirit Animals, Book 3: Blood Ties by Garth Nix and Sean Williams

StoryBoardThat example

Month – February

Genre – Biography

Tool – http://Blabberize.com

Link to Resource – http://bit.ly/woodrowblabber 

Book – Woodrow Wilson by Robert Green

Blabberize example with Woodrow Wilson pic

Heritage Dolls

Tool – http://vocaroo.com

Heritage Dolls with QR Codes

Upcoming CTD Events

Free and Low-cost Strategies to Improve Reading and Writing

REVISED DATES* FREE Discussion Forums – February 23rd – March 4th, 2015 – Register Now!

FREE Tweetchat – March 10th – 8pm ET #CTDTechTalk

Multiple Means of Professional Development

FREE Webinar – March 16th, 2015 –  6pm – 7:30pm ET – Register Now!

FREE Discussion Forums – March 17nd – March 24th, 2015

FREE Tweetchat – March 31th – 8pm ET

Upcoming ATIA Webinars

Social Media for Beginners: Twitter 101  

with Beth Poss – April 22, 2015  3:30pm – 5:00pm ET

Upcoming Live Presentations

SWAAAC Conference – Denver, Colorado – June 8th & 9th

June 8th

Strengthening and Streamlining Your AT Practice – 8:30am – 12pm

Multiple Means of Professional Development – 1:45pm – 3:15pm

June 9th

More Than One Way To Skin A Cat – Practical (And Fun) UDL – 8:30am – 10am & 10:15am –  11:45am

Contact Information

attipscast@gmail.com
Register as a fan of the show to receive
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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #142: Authentic Writing

ATTips-Summer-2014-concept

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Episode Overview –

Episode #142 features a discussion of different ways educators can support the writing abilities of students by crafting authentic writing opportunities.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #458: Authentic Writing

A.T.TIP #459: http://atprogramnews.com Contact Eliza Anderson on Twitter or via atprogramnews@gmail.com if you have a student in mind to write a Generation Tech article for the AT Program News.

Also mentioned in this Episode –

Tucker Bugaj’s Blog – http://coolboygenius.blogspot.com

List of Classrooms with Blogs – http://bit.ly/2014edublogbestclassnoms

Slidedeck for ATIA session on Authentic Writing – http://bit.ly/gentechatia15

Upcoming CTD Events

Free and Low-cost Strategies to Improve Reading and Writing

FREE Webinar – February 23rd, 2015 –  6pm – 7:30pm ET – Register Now!

FREE Discussion Forums – February 24th – March 3rd, 2015

FREE Tweetchat – March 10th – 8pm ET

Multiple Means of Professional Development

FREE Webinar – March 16th, 2015 –  6pm – 7:30pm ET – Register Now!

FREE Discussion Forums – March 17nd – March 24th, 2015

FREE Tweetchat – March 31th – 8pm ET

Upcoming ATIA Webinars

Social Media for Beginners: Twitter 101  

with Beth Poss – April 22, 2015  3:30pm – 5:00pm ET

 

Upcoming Live Presentations

SWAAAC Conference – Denver, Colorado – June 8th & 9th

June 8th

Strengthening and Streamlining Your AT Practice – 8:30am – 12pm

Multiple Means of Professional Development – 1:45pm – 3:15pm

June 9th

More Than One Way To Skin A Cat – Practical (And Fun) UDL – 8:30am – 10am & 10:15am –  11:45am

Contact Information

attipscast@gmail.com
Register as a fan of the show to receive
e-mail alerts for new episodes

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #141: Data Collection Using Google Forms

survey results that say that you should use Google Forms to collect and analyze data

ATTips-Summer-2014-concept

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Episode Overview –

Episode #141 features a discussion of how collection and analysis of student data can be simplified and streamlined using Google Forms.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #457: Data Collection Using Google Forms

 

Sample of Google Form for Collecting Data on Progress Toward Student Goals
Form http://bit.ly/gfgoalssample
Responses http://bit.ly/gfsamplestudent14responses

Select Show Summary of Responses for great visualizations of data

Video Tutorial: http://bit.ly/gfquizzesandresultsvideo

Go to Form tab and select Show Summary of Responses

Also mentioned in this Episode –

A Superhero Name Database – http://www.superherodb.com/characters

Upcoming ATIA Webinars

Social Media for Beginners: Twitter 101  with Beth Poss – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on April 22, 2015. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Upcoming Live Presentations

Technology Driven Data Collection: Using Digital Tools to Document Progress
One-Day Pre-conference – January 28th,  2015.
Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

Register Now!

Data Collection Cartoon

Schedule of Presentations at the 2015

Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

Date Time Title Co-Presenters Additional Information
1/28/2015 8am – 4pm Technology Driven Data Collection: One-Day Pre-Conference Beth Poss http://bit.ly/dataatia15
1/29/2015 8am – 9am Generation Tech! Empower students with an authentic writing/publishing opportunity Eliza Anderson, Melissa Bugaj
1/29/2015 12pm – 1pm Professional Development Smackdown Diana Carl, Mike Marotta, Kirk Behnke, Beth Poss
1/29/2015 2:20pm – 3:20pm PD2015 – Using a Strategy-A-Day Calendar to Elicit Change Sally Norton-Darr, Mark Nichols, Judith Schoonover
1/30/2015 8am – 9am Indiana Jones meets the Internet: Becoming an Assistive Technology Archaeologist Beth Poss
1/30/2015 9:20am – 10:20am Twitter 101–Building Your AT Professional Learning Network Beth Poss
1/30/2015 2:20pm – 3:20pm Innovative Practices in PD 2015: It’s Not Business as Usual Diana Carl, Mike Marotta, Kirk Behnke, Linda Wilson,

EdCampAccess International

1/31/15 in Orlando, Florida!

I’ll Be There! Will you?

Register Now! Its’ Free!

Utah Center for Assistive Technology

Strengthening and Streamlining Your Assistive Technology Practice –  February 3th, 2015

KEYNOTE: More Than One Way To Skin A Cat (Practical & Fun AT) – February 4th, 2015

Common Recommendations Using (Mostly) Free Resources – February 4th, 2015

Contact Information

attipscast@gmail.com
Register as a fan of the show to receive
e-mail alerts for new episodes

subscribe in itunes button

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #140: Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

In one of the best surprises in holiday gift giving history, Melissa Bugaj, a team teacher in a high school Chemistry, Conceptual Physics, and English class shocked her husband, Chris Bugaj by recording a podcast for him. Chris hosts the popular A.T.TIPSCAST podcast but has been finding in increasingly difficult to carve out time to generate new episodes. Melissa revealed the surprise in the form of a Christmas present. In the episode, she describes one of the tools she uses with the different students she supports, especially in her reading class. That resource, NEWSELA, is described in detail by Melissa in Episode #140 of the A.T.TIPSCAST.

ATTips-Summer-2014-concept

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Episode Overview –

Episode #140 is a Christmas present from Chris’s wife, Melissa Bugaj, not only to Chris, but to all of you! Melissa surprised Chris with a recording of her describing a tool she uses in her high school reading class.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #454: NEWSELA.com

A.T.TIP #455: Dogonews.com

A.T.TIP #456: http://bit.ly/newspapergenerator

Upcoming ATIA Webinars

Social Media for Beginners: Twitter 101  with Beth Poss – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on April 22, 2015. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Upcoming Live Presentations

Technology Driven Data Collection: Using Digital Tools to Document Progress
One-Day Pre-conference – January 28th,  2015.
Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

Register Now!

Data Collection Cartoon

Schedule of Presentations at the 2015

Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

Date Time Title Co-Presenters Additional Information
1/28/2015 8am – 4pm Technology Driven Data Collection: One-Day Pre-Conference Beth Poss http://bit.ly/dataatia15
1/29/2015 8am – 9am Generation Tech! Empower students with an authentic writing/publishing opportunity Eliza Anderson, Melissa Bugaj
1/29/2015 12pm – 1pm Professional Development Smackdown Diana Carl, Mike Marotta, Kirk Behnke, Beth Poss
1/29/2015 2:20pm – 3:20pm PD2015 – Using a Strategy-A-Day Calendar to Elicit Change Sally Norton-Darr, Mark Nichols, Judith Schoonover
1/30/2015 8am – 9am Indiana Jones meets the Internet: Becoming an Assistive Technology Archaeologist Beth Poss
1/30/2015 9:20am – 10:20am Twitter 101–Building Your AT Professional Learning Network Beth Poss
1/30/2015 2:20pm – 3:20pm Innovative Practices in PD 2015: It’s Not Business as Usual Diana Carl, Mike Marotta, Kirk Behnke, Linda Wilson,

EdCampAccess International

1/31/15 in Orlando, Florida!

I’ll Be There! Will you?

Register Now! Its’ Free!

Utah Center for Assistive Technology

Strengthening and Streamlining Your Assistive Technology Practice –  February 3th, 2015

KEYNOTE: More Than One Way To Skin A Cat (Practical & Fun AT) – February 4th, 2015

Common Recommendations Using (Mostly) Free Resources – February 4th, 2015

Contact Information

attipscast@gmail.com
Register as a fan of the show to receive
e-mail alerts for new episodes

subscribe in itunes button

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #138: UDL Explained Google Hangout

UDLonthebrain

ATTips-Summer-2014-concept

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Episode Overview –

Episode #138 features a recording of a Google Hangout on the concept of Universal Design for Learning. Derek Kaufman, a Google certified educator in Northern Virginia invited me to say a few words describing Universal Design for Learning. To our surprise, two leaders in the field of assistive technology and Universal Design for Learning showed up to participate in the discussion! Luis Perez and Marvin Williams added their own insights and experiences to help explain why developing curriculum and lesson plans using a Universal Design for Learning approach is necessary in contemporary education.  The entire presentation was recorded and can be found below.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #451: Bart Simpson Blackboard Generator – http://bit.ly/bartblackboard

bart-simpson-generator

A.T.TIP #452: Meme Generator

 

Upcoming ATIA Webinars

Social Media for Beginners: Twitter 101  with Beth Poss – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on April 22, 2015. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Upcoming Live Presentations

Technology Driven Data Collection: Using Digital Tools to Document Progress
One-Day Pre-conference – January 28th,  2015.
Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

Register Now!

Data Collection Cartoon

Schedule of Presentations at the 2015

Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

Date Time Title Co-Presenters Additional Information
1/28/2015 8am – 4pm Technology Driven Data Collection: One-Day Pre-Conference Beth Poss http://bit.ly/dataatia15
1/29/2015 8am – 9am Generation Tech! Empower students with an authentic writing/publishing opportunity Eliza Anderson, Melissa Bugaj
1/29/2015 12pm – 1pm Professional Development Smackdown Diana Carl, Mike Marotta, Kirk Behnke, Beth Poss
1/29/2015 2:20pm – 3:20pm PD2015 – Using a Strategy-A-Day Calendar to Elicit Change Sally Norton-Darr, Mark Nichols, Judith Schoonover
1/30/2015 8am – 9am Indiana Jones meets the Internet: Becoming an Assistive Technology Archaeologist Beth Poss
1/30/2015 9:20am – 10:20am Twitter 101–Building Your AT Professional Learning Network Beth Poss
1/30/2015 2:20pm – 3:20pm Innovative Practices in PD 2015: It’s Not Business as Usual Diana Carl, Mike Marotta, Kirk Behnke, Linda Wilson,

EdCampAccess International

I’ll Be There! Will you?

Register Now! Its’ Free!

Utah Center for Assistive Technology

Strengthening and Streamlining Your Assistive Technology Practice –  February 3th, 2015

KEYNOTE: More Than One Way To Skin A Cat (Practical & Fun AT) – February 4th, 2015

Common Recommendations Using (Mostly) Free Resources – February 4th, 2015

Contact Information

attipscast@gmail.com
Register as a fan of the show to receive
e-mail alerts for new episodes

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #137: Product Spotlight – Read&Write (for Everything)

ATTips-Summer-2014-concept

Episode Overview –

Episode #137  is sponsored by Texthelp. This episode features a recording of a Google Hangout interview with Jason Carroll, the Global Product Manager at Texthelp.com. We discuss the features of the popular Read&Write literacy support software for students who are struggling with reading and writing including an analysis of how to implement some of the most popular and well-utilized features. Features like text-to-speech, word prediction, highlighting, highlight collection, voice notes, picture dictionary, and vocabulary list maker are all discussed.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #449: Read&Write

A.T.TIP #450: Fluency Tutor

Upcoming ATIA Webinars

Getting Your AT Party Started: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Program Building with Sally Norton-Darr – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on December 11th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association
Social Media for Beginners: Twitter 101  with Beth Poss – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on April 22, 2015. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Upcoming Live Presentations

Technology Driven Data Collection: Using Digital Tools to Document Progress
One-Day Pre-conference – January 28th,  2015.
Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

Register Now!

Data Collection Cartoon

Schedule of Presentations at the 2015

Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

Date Time Title Co-Presenters Additional Information
1/28/2015 8am – 4pm Technology Driven Data Collection: One-Day Pre-Conference Beth Poss http://bit.ly/dataatia15
1/29/2015 8am – 9am Generation Tech! Empower students with an authentic writing/publishing opportunity Eliza Anderson, Melissa Bugaj
1/29/2015 12pm – 1pm Professional Development Smackdown Diana Carl, Mike Marotta, Kirk Behnke, Beth Poss
1/29/2015 2:20pm – 3:20pm PD2015 – Using a Strategy-A-Day Calendar to Elicit Change Sally Norton-Darr, Mark Nichols, Judith Schoonover
1/30/2015 8am – 9am Indiana Jones meets the Internet: Becoming an Assistive Technology Archaeologist Beth Poss
1/30/2015 9:20am – 10:20am Twitter 101–Building Your AT Professional Learning Network Beth Poss
1/30/2015 2:20pm – 3:20pm Innovative Practices in PD 2015: It’s Not Business as Usual Diana Carl, Mike Marotta, Kirk Behnke, Linda Wilson,

EdCampAccess International

I’ll Be There! Will you?

Register Now! Its’ Free!

Utah Center for Assistive Technology

Strengthening and Streamlining Your Assistive Technology Practice –  February 3th, 2015

KEYNOTE: More Than One Way To Skin A Cat (Practical & Fun AT) – February 4th, 2015

Common Recommendations Using (Mostly) Free Resources – February 4th, 2015

Contact Information

attipscast@gmail.com
Register as a fan of the show to receive
e-mail alerts for new episodes

subscribe in itunes button

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #136: Spirit Animals

screenshot of character creation screen of spirit animals

ATTips-Summer-2014-concept

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner above to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Episode Overview –

Episode #136 features a description and tutorial for the free game Spirit Animals by Scholastic.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #448: Spirit Animals

Upcoming ATIA Webinars

Getting Your AT Party Started: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Program Building with Sally Norton-Darr – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on December 11th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association
Social Media for Beginners: Twitter 101  with Beth Poss – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on April 22, 2015. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Upcoming Live Presentations

Technology Driven Data Collection: Using Digital Tools to Document Progress
One-Day Pre-conference – January 28th,  2015.
Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

Register Now!

Data Collection Cartoon

Schedule of Presentations at the 2015

Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

Date Time Title Co-Presenters Additional Information
1/28/2015 8am – 4pm Technology Driven Data Collection: One-Day Pre-Conference Beth Poss http://bit.ly/dataatia15
1/29/2015 8am – 9am Generation Tech! Empower students with an authentic writing/publishing opportunity Eliza Anderson, Melissa Bugaj
1/29/2015 12pm – 1pm Professional Development Smackdown Diana Carl, Mike Marotta, Kirk Behnke, Beth Poss
1/29/2015 2:20pm – 3:20pm PD2015 – Using a Strategy-A-Day Calendar to Elicit Change Sally Norton-Darr, Mark Nichols, Judith Schoonover
1/30/2015 8am – 9am Indiana Jones meets the Internet: Becoming an Assistive Technology Archaeologist Beth Poss
1/30/2015 9:20am – 10:20am Twitter 101–Building Your AT Professional Learning Network Beth Poss
1/30/2015 2:20pm – 3:20pm Innovative Practices in PD 2015: It’s Not Business as Usual Diana Carl, Mike Marotta, Kirk Behnke, Linda Wilson,

EdCampAccess International

I’ll Be There! Will you?

Register Now! Its’ Free!

Utah Center for Assistive Technology

Strengthening and Streamlining Your Assistive Technology Practice –  February 3th, 2015

KEYNOTE: More Than One Way To Skin A Cat (Practical & Fun AT) – February 4th, 2015

Common Recommendations Using (Mostly) Free Resources – February 4th, 2015

Contact Information

attipscast@gmail.com
Register as a fan of the show to receive
e-mail alerts for new episodes

subscribe in itunes button

Bonus Content – Learn By Listening Podcast Tutorial

Bonus Content Overview-

Carole Zangari from the PrAACtical AAC blog wrote to ask me if I could create a brief tutorial on how to access audio content via podcasts so she could better direct readers to some of the A.T.TIPSCAST episodes featuring communication strategies.

This is a step-by-step guide for anyone interested in learning how to search, listen, and subscribe to podcasts.

Micrphone surrounded by text for title slide for the Learn By Listening Podcast Tutorial slidedeck

WhentoListen

Sponsor Information –

This bonus content of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner below to learn about the amazing Read&Write products. Texthelp will continue to sponsor the A.T.TIPSCAST with new episodes starting in the Fall!

Banner ad for http://texthelp.com

 

 

New Content Coming Soon –

As mentioned in previous episodes, I was forced to cut back on the number of episodes produced during the 13-14 school year. Kids getting older, selling our house, moving, and all the rest of life’s adventures forced a truncated Season 7 with 12 new episodes rather than the typical 20.  The A.T.TIPSCAST will return in the Fall with at least 12 new episodes spanning the 14-15 school year. See you then!

Upcoming ATIA Webinars

Low Cost Ways to Provide More Options To Help Students with Reading and Writing – 3:30pm – 4:30pm ET on November 12th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Getting Your AT Party Started: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Program Building with Sally Norton-Darr – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on December 11th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

About.me

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #131: Providing Accessible Instructional Materials, Story 2

cartoon of teacher pointing at a laptop saying how impressed she is at the number of free ebook resources there are.

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner below to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Banner ad to get 20% an online order of Read & Write Gold from Texthelp.com

 Use promotion code ATTIPS14SAVE20 to get

20% off online orders of Read&Write!

Cannot be combined with other offers. Offer expires June 30, 2014.

Episode Overview-

Episode #131 features the second in a series of episodes which share stories of how educators supported the needs and preferences of students by selecting instructional materials that were provided in a digital format. This episode references materials based on a question from an educator working at the secondary level. You are encouraged to share your own stories in the comments below!

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #420 – Search the LCPS AT Diigo Group for E-books  http://bit.ly/lcpsatdiigoebooks

A.T.TIP #421 – Providing Notes Prior to Lessons

A.T.TIP #422 – Let’s Get Down to Earth…Science Podcast

A.T.TIP #423 – Students recording audio versions of text for other students

A.T.TIP #424 – Zorba Publishing E-book Guide

A.T.TIP #425 – http://manybooks.net/

A.T.TIP #426 – http://openlibrary.org

A.T.TIP #427 – http://booksshouldbefree.com

A.T.TIP #428 – http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu

A.T.TIP #429 – http://online-literature.com

A.T.TIP #430 – http://gutenberg.org

A.T.TIP #431 – http://bit.ly/literacyzone

A.T.TIP #432 – http://bit.ly/lit2go

A.T.TIP #433 – http://dailylit.com

Upcoming Presentations –

VA Training and Technical Assistance Center Region 5 –

REGISTER NOW! AT, UDL, and Me, Oh My! with Sally Norton-Darr

Tuesday, April 8th  – 8:15am – 3:30pm

Texas Assistive Technology Network – 

Tuesday, June 10th

UDL 2.0 – with Beth Poss (3 Hour Session)

Indiana Jones meets the Internet: Becoming an Assistive Technology Archaeologist – with Beth Poss (3 Hour Session)

ATIA Webinars

Low Cost Ways to Provide More Options To Help Students with Reading and Writing – 3:30pm – 4:30pm ET on November 12th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Getting Your AT Party Started: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Program Building with Sally Norton-Darr – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on December 11th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

About.me

subscribe in itunes button

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #130: Providing Accessible Instructional Materials, Story 1

Comic of different students stating that they like to learn using different materials and a teacher stating that if she provides digital materials all the students benefit.

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner below to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Banner ad to get 20% an online order of Read & Write Gold from Texthelp.com

 Use promotion code ATTIPS14SAVE20 to get

20% off online orders of Read&Write!

Cannot be combined with other offers. Offer expires June 30, 2014.

Episode Overview-

Episode #130 features the first in a series of episodes which share stories of how educators supported the needs and preferences of students by selecting instructional materials that were accessible. You are encouraged to share your own stories in the comments below!

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #418 – Planning to use text-based materials that are already available in a digital format.

A.T.TIP #419 – Check your local public library for digital versions of text

Upcoming Presentations –

ISTE SIGML Second Life and TweetChat –

Mobilize your Productivity with iOS7 Accessibility Options – Tips and Tricks for All! – Monday, March 24th 8:00pm – 9:00pm ET Second Life Presentation with Mark Nichols (SLURL to VSTE Island: http://bit.ly/17zxhaZ) & 9:00pm – 10pm ET Tweetchat (Follow the hashtag #sigml)

VA Training and Technical Assistance Center Region 5 –

REGISTER NOW! AT, UDL, and Me, Oh My! with Sally Norton-Darr

Tuesday, April 8th  – 8:15am – 3:30pm

Texas Assistive Technology Network – 

Tuesday, June 10th

UDL 2.0 – with Beth Poss (3 Hour Session)

Indiana Jones meets the Internet: Becoming an Assistive Technology Archaeologist – with Beth Poss (3 Hour Session)

ATIA Webinars

Low Cost Ways to Provide More Options To Help Students with Reading and Writing – 3:30pm – 4:30pm ET on November 12th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Getting Your AT Party Started: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Program Building with Sally Norton-Darr – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on December 11th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

About.me

subscribe in itunes button

Disability-led Innovations For The Masses: My TEDx Talk

WATCH THE VIDEO directly – 

Thanks to all the people who helped put together TEDxAshburn!

Upcoming Presentations –

ISTE SIGML Second Life and TweetChat –

Mobilize your Productivity with iOS7 Accessibility Options – Tips and Tricks for All! -March 24th with Mark Nichols

8:00pm – 9:00pm ET Second Life Presentation

(SLURL to VSTE Island: http://bit.ly/17zxhaZ)

9:00pm – 10pm ET Tweetchat (Follow the hashtag #sigml)

VA Training and Technical Assistance Center Region 5 –

Tuesday, April 8th  – 8:15am – 3:30pm

AT, UDL, and Me, Oh My! – with Sally Norton-Darr

Texas Assistive Technology Network – 

Tuesday, June 10th

UDL 2.0 – with Beth Poss (3 Hour Session)

Indiana Jones meets the Internet: Becoming an Assistive Technology Archaeologist – with Beth Poss (3 Hour Session)

ATIA Webinars

Low Cost Ways to Provide More Options To Help Students with Reading and Writing – 3:30pm – 4:30pm ET on November 12th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Getting Your AT Party Started: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Program Building with Sally Norton-Darr – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on December 11th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

About.me

subscribe in itunes button

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #129: Redefining “Assistive Technology Device”

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner below to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Texthelp ad that links to http://www.texthelp.com/north-america/campaigns/attips

 Use promotion code ATTIPS14SAVE10 to get

10% off online orders of Read&Write!

Cannot be combined with other offers. Offer expires March 31, 2014.

Episode Overview-

Episode #129 features a reading of the blog post below which outlines challenges with the current definition of an assistive technology device and proposes a new way to define the term. I didn’t want to wait to record the audio to get these ideas across so the text below came out one day before the audio was posted.

Redefining “Assistive Technology Device”

by Christopher Bugaj

There is a problem with the definition of an assistive technology device. I am, someone who hosts a podcast, has co-written a book, authored an app, has a job title, and works in a profession which all use the common term “assistive technology” in the title, and yet I wonder if we either need to eliminate the term or, at least, redefine it.

Let’s start by quoting the definition of an “assistive technology device” as it stands with regards to education.

An “assistive technology device” is defined by education law as “any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.”

Let’s focus on the verb. I believe the verb is the crux of the problem with the definition. The verb in question is “used”.

Let’s put that into play with a made up example juxtaposing two students; one with a disability and one without. For the purposes of the example, I’m going to use a made up piece of technology and a generic task, because the tools and task don’t matter. It doesn’t matter whether the tool is high tech or low tech in relation to the definition.

Here’s the example:

“A student without a disability uses a flibbertyjibbet to learn math”. – We call the flibbertyjibbet “technology”.

“A student with a disability uses a flibbertyjibbet to learn math”. – We call the flibbertyjibbet “assistive technology”.

Both students are using the flibbertyjibbet to increase, maintain, or improve his or her functional math capabilities. The only difference between the two is that one has a disability and the other does not.

When used in this way, the term “assistive technology” spotlights the disability and is ultimately discriminatory.

Now, how about a real example, with a real piece of technology (just in case I lost you with the flibberyjibbet)?

“A student without a disability uses a keyboard to author his essay.” – We call the keyboard “technology”.

“A student with a disability uses a keyboard to author his essay.” – We call the keyboard “assistive technology”.

The only difference between the two students using the device, whatever that device might be, is that the student with the disability might require the device to complete the task where the student without the disability might not require it.

That is, a student with a disability might NEED the keyboard to author the essay where the student without the disability might only prefer to use the keyboard to author the essay despite having the ability to complete the task in other ways.

The need to use a tool is the difference.

So, what do we do to fix this problem with the definition?

I think there are two potential solutions.

Option 1 – Abandon the use of the term “assistive technology” and just call it “technology”. I tweeted a similiar message on Super Bowl Sunday of 2014 immediately after the Microsoft #empowering video aired.

Screenshot of tweet by Chris Bugaj on February 2nd that reads "It's time to lose the adjective "Assistive" before the word "Technology". It's just technology. #empowering Thank You Microsoft!"

You can watch the ad at http://bit.ly/msempoweringvideo. The point of the ad, besides selling Microsoft products, was to demonstrate how technology can be used to empower individuals, whether you have a disability or not.

The option to eliminate the term “assistive technology” would be hard pressed and wrought with pitfalls. I’m not saying it would be impossible, especially if everyone agreed this was the correct thing to do in the long run, but entire organizations, institutions, careers, professions, and college programs have been built around the term. It is an established “thing” and “things” are hard (not impossible) to change. Myriad questions about funding sources arise as well, as pointed out by some colleagues with whom I correspond via social media. If the term is too well established to be abolished, what else can be done?

That brings us to Option 2.

Option 2 – Redefine “assistive technology device” to use the verb “requires” or “needs”. What if the definition of an assistive technology device read “Any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is required to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.”?

Wouldn’t that be a better definition?

Using this definition, any item used by a student, whether they have a disability or not, would just be considered “technology”. Any item necessary to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of the student would be considered “assistive technology”.

Are there repercussions I’m not thinking of when proposing the change in the verb in the definition from “used” to “requires” or “needs”?

At the very least the definition should be changed because the nouns “technology” and “device” are synonyms, making the term “Assistive Technology Device” redundant, right? 🙂

What are your thoughts? I’d love to read them publicly in the comments below or you can e-mail me privately at attipscast@gmail.com.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #417 – Redefining “Assistive Technology Device” swapping the verb “used” for the verb “required”.

Upcoming Presentations –

ISTE SIGML Second Life and TweetChat –

Mobilize your Productivity with iOS7 Accessibility Options – Tips and Tricks for All! -March 24th with Mark Nichols

8:00pm – 9:00pm ET Second Life Presentation, 9:00pm – 10pm ET Tweetchat

ATIA Webinars

Low Cost Ways to Provide More Options To Help Students with Reading and Writing – 3:30pm – 4:30pm ET on November 12th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Getting Your AT Party Started: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Program Building with Sally Norton-Darr – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on December 11th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

About.me

subscribe in itunes button

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #128: App Review and Multisyllablic Word Reading Strategies

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner below to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Texthelp ad that links to http://www.texthelp.com/north-america/campaigns/attips

 Use promotion code ATTIPS14SAVE10 to get

10% off online orders of Read&Write!

Cannot be combined with other offers. Offer expires March 31, 2014.

Episode Overview-

Episode #128 features a reading of Chris’ automatic email reply message while he is away at the Assistive Technology Industry Association conference which features app review resources and strategies for teaching reading of multisyllabic words.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #409 – Teacherswithapps.com – App Review Site

A.T.TIP #410 – Georgia Tech Tools for Life App Review site – http://bit.ly/gatfl

A.T.TIP #411 –  AppoLearning is an app by Appolicious that showcases the five best educational apps for school-aged students as selected by teachers and app experts across 150 different subjects – http://bit.ly/appolearning

A.T.TIP #412 – Using a mirror to count syllables

A.T.TIP #413 – Highlight vowel sounds in words to count syllables

A.T.TIP #414 – Put syllables on index cards or cells on a graphic organizer to make them easier to manipulate. Drag them around to make words.

A.T.TIP #415 – Place syllables on full pieces of paper and hop to them to make full words.

A.T.TIP #416 – http://arflashcards.com – Winner of the 2013 Edublog Award for Best Mobile App

Also Mentioned In this Episode –

The votes have been tabulated for the  2013 Edublog Awards!

The A.T.TIPSCAST came in third place in the category of “Best Podcasts or Google Hangouts“!

ATEval2Go came in second in the category of “Best Mobile App“!

Thank you all for your votes!

Upcoming Presentations –

Assistive Technology Industry Association

Orlando, Florida

REGISTER NOW! —> Digital Make N’ Take: Digging Deeper           with Beth Poss – Two-Day Preconference on January 28th and 29th, 2014

Comic Strip Advertisement for Digging Deeper Presconference. It is a three panel comic.

Professional Development Smackdown with Beth PossKirk BehnkeMike Marotta, and Diana Carl – 12pm, January 30th, 2014 in Caribbean VII

Twitter 101 with Beth Poss – 4:30pm, January 31st, 2014 in Caribbean II

Creating Core Vocabulary Culture: A Little Help From Our Friends with Sally Norton-Darr and Judith Schoonover – 8am, February 1st, 2014 in Bonaire 2

ATIA Webinars

Low Cost Ways to Provide More Options To Help Students with Reading and Writing – 3:30pm – 4:30pm ET on November 12th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Getting Your AT Party Started: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Program Building with Sally Norton-Darr – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on December 11th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

About.me

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Time to Vote! The A.T.TIPSCAST & ATEval2Go were nominated for 2013 Edublog Awards!

The 2013 Edublog Award nominations are out! The A.T.TIPSCAST has been nominated in the category of “Best Podcasts or Google Hangouts“. Also, ATEval2Go has been nominated in the category of “Best Mobile App“! Please vote to bump them up the rankings and share with your colleagues, friends, and family!

ATTIPScast Logo 1 big

Click the logos to vote!

ATEval2Go logo

Click on the little arrow below the A.T.TIPSCAST or ATEval2Go logos to vote! You should see the number go up by one. See the image below.

howtovote2013Voting ends on December 18th, 2013

While you’re there, vote for these deserving resources as well!

Best Individual Blog – Teaching All Students by Patrick Black

Best Individual Blog & Best Ed Tech BlogPrAACtical AAC

Best Group Blog – ASHAsphere by the American Speech Hearing Language Association

Best Group BlogPartners in Learning – Hot Topics – Accessibility by my teammates Dr. Cynthia Feist and Dr. Tara Jeffs

Best Ed Tech Blog & Best Teacher Blog – SpeechTechie by Sean Sweeney

Best Hashtag – #atchat

Best Educational Use of a Wiki – UDLTechToolkit

Best Open PD/Webinar/UnconferenceVSTELive! Webinars

One last thing…

Even if you don’t vote, take some time to explore all the fantastic nominees. The reason they are nominated is because these resources have earned the respect of their peers. These resources have made a lasting impact on people resulting in authentic invigoration, innovation, and inspiration. One or more of these resources might have the same impact on you! You can view them all here.

A.T.TIPSCAST #126: Proto-Chapter for Technology Tools for Students with Autism, Part 2

Cover of the book Technology Tools or Students with Autism

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner below to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Texthelp ad that links to http://www.texthelp.com/north-america/campaigns/attips

 Use promotion code ATTIPS14SAVE10 to get

10% off online orders of Read&Write!

Cannot be combined with other offers. Offer expires March 31, 2014.

Episode Overview-

Episode #126 features a recording of the first draft of the “Classroom-based Technology Tools” chapter for the book Technology Tools for Students with Autism published by Brooke’s publishing. The chapter was authored by Christopher Bugaj, Melissa Hartman, and Mark Nichols. When the chapter was first drafted, it was written as a story following a fictional student with Autism named Mike through his day describing the tools he and his classmates used to accomplish different tasks. Unfortunately, when the chapter was pieced together with the other chapters in the book it just didn’t seem to flow properly. The chapter was re-written to follow a more traditional, essay-like approach. This episode features a reading of the original chapter, which the authors believe still has its merits as a useful way to help people learn about different ways to implement technology in the contemporary classroom for students with Autism. In this episode we hear about Mike’s afternoon following lunch which starts with a sensory break followed by math, recess, science, and concluding with packing up for the day.

This episode is once again hosted by two of the co-authors of the chapter, Melissa Hartman and Mark Nichols.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #397 – Chill-out station

A.T.TIP #398 – Talking avatar app, like Talking Tom Cat

A.T.TIP #399 – Geocaching (http://geocaching.com/live/)

A.T.TIP #400 – Dry erase boards to display answers

A.T.TIP #401 – Digital “Turn In” folder on a school’s network

A.T.TIP #402 – Colored tape as a visual border to teach boundaries

A.T.TIP #403 – Reviewing a virtual tour of new environments prior to attendance

Upcoming Presentations –

Virginia Society for Technology in Education

Roanoke, Virginia

A Room Full of Brain Power: Designing Options for Every Learner with Mark Nichols – 1:30pm on December 9th, 2013

MEGA EnGAMESment: Making Educational Gaming Accessible – 8:45am on December 10th, 2013

Assistive Technology Industry Association

Orlando, Florida

REGISTER NOW! —> Digital Make N’ Take: Digging Deeper           with Beth Poss – Two-Day Preconference on January 28th and 29th, 2014

Professional Development Smackdown with Beth PossKirk BehnkeMike Marotta, and Diana Carl – 12pm, January 30st, 2014 in Caribbean VII

Twitter 101 with Beth Poss – 4:30pm, January 31st,2014 in Caribbean II

Creating Core Vocabulary Culture: A Little Help From Our Friends with Sally Norton-Darr and Judith Schoonover – 8am, February 1st,2014 in Bonaire 2

ATIA Webinars

Low Cost Ways to Provide More Options To Help Students with Reading and Writing – 3:30pm – 4:30pm ET on November 12th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Getting Your AT Party Started: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Program Building with Sally Norton-Darr – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on December 11th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

About.me

subscribe in itunes button

Edublog Award Nominations 2013

Hello there everyone,

This is a blog-only post. There isn’t any new audio, or official A.T.TIPSCAST episode, associated with this post. This post outlines my nominations for the 2013 Edublog Awards. In my experience, most educational bloggers, podcasters, and Tweeters do so on their own time, after work hours because it is their passion. They aren’t asked to do it. They aren’t paid to do it. Yet, we all benefit from the many hours they put into their craft.

The Edublog Awards provide a way to recognize these enormous efforts. Here are my nominations for the 2013 Edublog Awards:

Best Individual Blog –

Teaching All Students by Patrick Black – (www.teachingall.blogspot.com) – Yeah, I nominate this blog every year and will continue to until 1. A better blog of its type surfaces or 2. It wins (and even then I might re-nominate it). Fresh ideas, multiple resources, and practical solutions for making instruction accessible to EVERY student. Recent blog posts include apps people should be checking out and how/why to use them. When it comes to implementing technology for every student, this blog is a MUST read.

Best Teacher Blog –

Speech Techie by Sean Sweeney – (www.speechtechie.com– The winner of the 2010 Best New Blog Edublog award has maintained its status as the premiere blog focusing on the topic of using technology in the practice of speech-language pathology. The beauty of the blog is that the strategies shared are for every educator, not just for those working as speech-language pathologists.

Best Group Blog –

Microsoft Partners-in-Learning Network Hot Topic Accessibility Blog by Dr. Cindy Feist and Dr. Tara Jeffs (http://www.pil-network.com/HotTopics/accessibility) – It’s sort of a simple concept. If you make your product accessible to everyone, anyone can use it. Likewise, if you make your lessons accessible to everyone, in benefits every learner. Weekly blog posts every Sunday from respected guest bloggers in the field of education present useful and practical perspectives on how to become more inclusive and to propagate learner variability.

Best New Blog –

Heck Awesome by Carrie Baughcum (http://carriebaughcum.com) – Although Heck Awesome wasn’t Carrie Baughcum’s first foray in to the world of blogging, it may be her best. Recently, Carrie, a middle school special education teacher, combined all of her various projects into on central hub called “Heck Awesome” where she blogs about the tools she is using, her “tech ninjas”, how she is growing professionally, and much, much more. It’s technology implementation with a “this is good for everyone” flavor, which of course, is awesome!

Best Ed Tech / Resource Sharing Blog –

Design Make Teach by Josh Ajima (http://designmaketeach.com) – Inspiring students to use their innate creativity to generate useful solutions is the future of education. The Design Make Teach blog provides a philosophy, process, strategies and examples to spark the creator in any student. Josh shares practical, easy-to-replicate, activities spanning creations using low-tech, household items to fabricating materials using 3D printers. Make something!

Best Educational Use of Audio/Video/Visual/Podcast –

The Edceptional Podcast by Deb TruskeyTricia Lazarro, and Patrick Black (Edceptional on iTunes– The Edceptional podcast hit the ground running as part of the EdReach Network and hasn’t looked back! The podcast features reviews and discussions of the latest news, blogs, and resources associated with students who have special needs in school. The varying fields of the hosts and guests makes for well-rounded discussions and well-explained resources that examine all the angles of a topic. If audio is your preferred modality for receiving content and you’re interested in topics related to educating ALL students, then this is the podcast for you! People can listen to the podcast, watch the recorded video on YouTube, or participate LIVE! during the actual recording!

Best Educational Wiki –

The UDLTechToolKit by Karen Janowski & Joyce Kazman Valenza (http://udltechtoolkit.wikispaces.com/– Simply the best collection of tools on the web for differentiating instruction and infusing options into every lesson plan. The days of handing every student a worksheets and expecting every student to do every task the same way are coming to an end. The UDLTechToolKit provides educators with tools which they can immediately implement in their classrooms to provide students with engaging options for how best they can receive information and express what they know.

Best Open PD, Unconference, or Webinar Series –

VSTELive! Webinar Series (http://www.vste.org/index/learn/webinar) – VSTELive! webinars (Virginia Society for Technology in Education) are always engaging, informative, and cutting edge which gather insights from experts on contemporary topics in the world of educational technology. When you participate in a live VSTE webinar you are certain to have an enjoyable experience while learning new ways of thinking, learning, and doing. Keep ’em coming VSTE!

Best Twitter Hashtag –

#atchat– For years I’ve lurked, following along on different educational Twitter chats but it is only recently that I’ve actually started to participate. It was #atchat on Wednesday nights led by Karen Janowski that got me to switch from passive reviewer to (occasional) active participant. Engaging, timely, and relevant topics are discussed almost every week leading to the sharing of practical tools and strategies that work to help every educator provide more options to students.

Best Free Web Tool –

Read&Write for Google by Texthelp (http://www.texthelp.com/north-america/readwriteforgoogle) – Yes, Texthelp is a long time sponsor the A.T.TIPSCAST (Full Disclosure!) but that isn’t why I’m nominating this tool. Access to text-to-speech is crucial for students growing up using digital tools. Although the toolbar has lots of great features if you purchase it, the text-to-speech feature remains functional even after the 30 free trial runs out. If your students are using Google Docs, there’s no reason (or excuse) not to have it. If you’re not convinced yet, I did an entire A.T.TIPSCAST episode on how to use the tool that you can listen to for more information.

I hope you check out these fantastic resources and, if you agree with my choices, consider voting for these creations, projects, and initiatives to recognize the dedication of these individuals.

My nomination alone does not guarantee that these fine folks will be officially nominated. If you agree with my nominations, consider writing a blog post of your own featuring these terrific educational resources. They deserve your time! Find out more information about how to participate over at The Edublog Awards

Enjoy!

Chris

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #125: Proto-Chapter for Technology Tools for Students with Autism, Part 1

Cover of the book Technology Tools or Students with Autism


This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner below to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Image that reads "Start the new school year off right! Give your students Read&Write for the Desktop, Google, or iPad. Award-winning software solutions for individuals with learning disabilities such as Dyslexia, or reading and writing difficulties. Free trials and special IEP Pricing are available now! Texthelp

Episode Overview-

Episode #125 features a recording of the first draft of the “Classroom-based Technology Tools” chapter for the book Technology Tools for Students with Autism published by Brooke’s publishing. The chapter was authored by Christopher Bugaj, Melissa Hartman, and Mark Nichols. When the chapter was first drafted, it was written as a story following a fictional student with Autism named Mike through his day describing the tools he and his classmates used to accomplish different tasks. Unfortunately, when the chapter was pieced together with the other chapters in the book it just didn’t seem to flow properly. The chapter was re-written to follow a more traditional, essay-like approach. This episode features a reading of the original chapter, which the authors believe still has its merits as a useful way to help people learn about different ways to implement technology in the contemporary classroom for students with Autism. In this episode we hear about Mike starting his day on the bus to school, completing his morning work, participating at the writing station, going to art, and then transitioning to lunch.

This episode is hosted by two of the co-authors of the chapter, Melissa Hartman and Mark Nichols.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #390 – Social situation stories

A.T.TIP #391 – Calming music for self regulation

A.T.TIP #392 – Mini-offices

A.T.TIP #393 – Thicker pencils

A.T.TIP #394 – Graph paper for lining up math columns

A.T.TIP #395 – Visual timer on Interactive White Board

A.T.TIP #396 – Water bottle for self regulation

Upcoming Presentations –

Virginia Society for Technology

in Education Conference

A Room Full of Brain Power: Designing Options for Every Learner with Mark Nichols – 1:30pm on December 8th, 2013 at the Virginia Society for Technology in Education Conference in Roanoke, Virginia.

MEGA EnGAMESment: Making Educational Gaming Accessible – 8:45am on December 10th, 2013 at the Virginia Society for Technology in Education Conference in Roanoke, Virginia.

Assistive Technology

Industry Association Conference

REGISTER NOW! —> Digital Make N’ Take: Digging Deeper           with Beth Poss – Two-Day Preconference on January 28th and 29th at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Professional Development Smackdown with Beth PossKirk BehnkeMike Marotta, and Diana Carl – 12pm on January 31st at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida. Room – Caribbean VII

Twitter 101 with Beth Poss – 2:20pm on January 31st at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Creating Core Vocabulary Culture: A Little Help From Our Friends with Sally Norton-Darr and Judith Schoonover at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida. Date/Time- TBD

ATIA Webinars

Low Cost Ways to Provide More Options To Help Students with Reading and Writing – 3:30pm – 4:30pm ET on November 12th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

Getting Your AT Party Started: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Program Building with Sally Norton-Darr – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on December 11th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

About.me

subscribe in itunes button

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #124: The Evil iPad

A photoshopped image containing Chris's head over Bruce Campbell's in an Evil Dead parody. Melissa is screaming behind him.

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner below to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Image that reads "Start the new school year off right! Give your students Read&Write for the Desktop, Google, or iPad. Award-winning software solutions for individuals with learning disabilities such as Dyslexia, or reading and writing difficulties. Free trials and special IEP Pricing are available now! Texthelp

Episode Overview-

Episode #124 features a recording of the events that transpired when Chris and his wife, Melissa, went on a romantic, rustic retreat only to discover an iPad in an abandoned cabin in the woods.

Cartoon Image of the iPad with a monster looking cover

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #384 – Find My iPhone/iPad

A.T.TIP #385 – Using different smells to regulate behavior

A.T.TIP #386 – When deciding which device to implement, choosing the one that is least restrictive to try first

A.T.TIP #387 – When evaluating e-readers, choosing the reader that provides the most amount of options first

A.T.TIP #388 – Speak Selection for iOS devices

A.T.TIP #389 – Keyboard Shortcuts (text expansion) for iOS devices

Upcoming Presentations –

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of UDL with Beth Poss  – 8am on November 4th, 2013 at the Promoting Achievement through Technology and INstruction for all Students Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Write On! with Beth Poss  – 10:15am on November 5th, 2013 at the Promoting Achievement through Technology and INstruction for all Students Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

DigitALL Storytelling with Beth Poss  – 12:45pm on November 5th, 2013 at the Promoting Achievement through Technology and INstruction for all Students Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

A Room Full of Brain Power: Designing Options for Every Learner with Mark Nichols – 1:30pm on December 8th, 2013 at the Virginia Society for Technology in Education Conference in Roanoke, Virginia.

MEGA EnGAMESment: Making Educational Gaming Accessible – 8:45am on December 10th, 2013 at the Virginia Society for Technology in Education Conference in Roanoke, Virginia.

REGISTER NOW! —> Digital Make N’ Take: Digging Deeper           with Beth Poss – Two-Day Preconference on January 28th and 29th at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Professional Development Smackdown with Beth PossKirk BehnkeMike Marotta, and Diana Carl – 12pm on January 31st at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida. Room – Caribbean VII

Twitter 101 with Beth Poss – 2:20pm on January 31st at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

About.me

subscribe in itunes button

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #123: Spreading The Virus – Professional Development So Easy, A Zombie Could Do It

Infected Cartoon Zombie wearing an A.T.TIPSCAST shirt

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner below to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Image that reads "Start the new school year off right! Give your students Read&Write for the Desktop, Google, or iPad. Award-winning software solutions for individuals with learning disabilities such as Dyslexia, or reading and writing difficulties. Free trials and special IEP Pricing are available now! Texthelp

Episode Overview-

Episode #123 features a recording of a statement by the spokesman for N.O.T.S.I.C.K., the faux National Organization for Training and School Improvement in Classrooms for Kids, pertaining to the outbreak of the PD2.0 virus. A text version of this statement including additional visuals can be read at the Microsoft Partners in Learning Hot Topics Accessibility blog.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #376 – Automatic reply e-mails to share professional development resources (See a sample at http://bit.ly/emailreply)

A.T.TIP #377 – E-mail signatures to share professional development resources

A.T.TIP #378 – The Inclusive Class Podcast

A.T.TIP #379 – Moving at the Speed of Creativity Podcast

A.T.TIP #380 – #VineATTIPS hashtag for Twitter & Vine App

A.T.TIP #381 – #ATChat on Twitter

A.T.TIP #382 – QIAT Listserv

A.T.TIP #383 – Assistive Technnology on Facebook (This is not a typo. That is how it is spelled)

Upcoming Presentations –

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of UDL with Beth Poss  – 8am on November 4th, 2013 at the Promoting Achievement through Technology and INstruction for all Students Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Write On! with Beth Poss  – 10:15am on November 5th, 2013 at the Promoting Achievement through Technology and INstruction for all Students Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

DigitALL Storytelling with Beth Poss  – 12:45pm on November 5th, 2013 at the Promoting Achievement through Technology and INstruction for all Students Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

REGISTER NOW! —> Digital Make N’ Take: Digging Deeper           with Beth Poss – Two-Day Preconference on January 28th and 29th at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Professional Development Smackdown with Beth PossKirk BehnkeMike Marotta, and Diana Carl – 12pm on January 31st at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida. Room – Caribbean VII

Twitter 101 with Beth Poss – 2:20pm on January 31st at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

About.me

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #122: The Cure For The Evaluation Report Writing Blues

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner below to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Image that reads "Start the new school year off right! Give your students Read&Write for the Desktop, Google, or iPad. Award-winning software solutions for individuals with learning disabilities such as Dyslexia, or reading and writing difficulties. Free trials and special IEP Pricing are available now! Texthelp

Episode Overview-

Episode #122 features an original short story written for the Closing The Gap Solutions publication about a frustrated assistive technology specialist who is ready to throw in the towel and look for a new career due to the number of reports she is writing. During a serendipitous meeting she finds two colleagues who offer suggestions as to how she might solve her problem. A big thanks to Melissa Bugaj for narrating the story. If you prefer to read the text version of the article complete with illustrated comics you can subscribe to Closing The Gap Solutions.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #375 – A Consultation First Model of Service Delivery

Also Mentioned in This Episode –

Logo from TEDxAshburn

Cover the book Technology Tools for Students with Autism

I co-authored two chapters in the book, Technology Tools For Students With Autism.

One was on professional development and the other was on daily classroom tools.

The book is now available for pre-sale.

Upcoming Presentations –

Chew the P.H.A.T – Policies & How-to’s in Assistive Technology with Sally Norton-Darr – 8am on October 9th, 2013 at Closing the Gap in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Get Your Body Moving – Adventures in Gesture-Based Learning with Karen Dietrich & Dr. Tara Jeffs – 8am on October 10th, 2013 at Closing the Gap in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Multi-modal Professional Development with Sally Norton-Darr  – 8am on October 11th, 2013 at Closing the Gap in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of UDL with Beth Poss  – 8am on November 4th, 2013 at the Promoting Achievement through Technology and INstruction for all Students Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

REGISTER NOW! —> Digital Make N’ Take: Digging Deeper           with Beth Poss – Two-Day Preconference on January 28th and 29th at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Professional Development Smackdown with Beth PossKirk BehnkeMike Marotta, and Diana Carl – 12pm on January 31st at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida. Room – Caribbean VII

Twitter 101 with Beth Poss – 2:20pm on January 31st at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

About.me

ATIA Pre-Conference Announcement – Digital Make & Take

Digital Make and Take: Digging Deeper

Advertisement for Digging Deeper Presconference

Two Day Pre-Conference, January 28th and 29th

 2014 Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

 with Christopher Bugaj and Beth Poss

LEARN MORE & REGISTER 

How often do you go to workshops, learn about new tools but upon returning home, never have time to develop your skills with the tools in order to use them successfully?

Don’t Sit N’ Get!

Do More. Learn More. Create More. Accomplish More.

We created a two day session which provides you with the opportunity to dig deep, learning how to use various digital applications with guidance and support. Come with an idea for an initiative, program, lesson, or activity that you’d like to start in your educational institution to propagate a change. Brainstorm, cultivate, and formulate that idea into something tangible and actionable using digital tools. Create a resource with the tools to take back home to use with students, clients, colleagues, or other staff. Use the time in this session to see your idea all the way through to fruition with guided practice from the facilitators. This session will minimize talking at you and maximize hands on doing!

NEED IDEAS? CONSIDER CREATING ANY OF THESE:

Strategy-A-Day Calendar

Multimedia Professional Development Workshop

Blog

Social Media Presence (using tools like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Pheed, LinkedIn, SnapGuide, etc.)

Podcast

Video Channel

App Review Resource

Online Professional Development Workshop

Multimedia Slideshow Series

Wiki

eBook

Comic Strip Series centered around a particular topic

(ex. 5 Comics to Teach Core Vocabulary, 5 Comics to Teach UDL, etc.)

Social Bookmarking Group

LEARN MORE & REGISTER 

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #121: EnGAMESment – Let’s Play!

A.T.TIPSCAST spelled out in blue blocks on sandy peninsula in Minecraft

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions. Click on the banner below to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Image that reads "Start the new school year off right! Give your students Read&Write for the Desktop, Google, or iPad. Award-winning software solutions for individuals with learning disabilities such as Dyslexia, or reading and writing difficulties. Free trials and special IEP Pricing are available now! Texthelp

Episode Overview-

Episode #121, the first episode of Season 7,  features an article written for the Assistive Technology Industry Association’s (ATIA) newsletter about the implementation of digital games to target educational goals. A big thanks to my wife, Melissa Bugaj, for narrating the article. If you prefer to read the text version of the article please enjoy the ATIA newsletter. Some paid games were mentioned in the article. Free-to-play games are listed below as A.T.TIPS.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #368  – Minecraft PE Lite app

Students demonstrate their knowledge of Native American culture by constructing a longhouse in Minecraft.

Students demonstrate their knowledge of Native American culture by constructing a longhouse in Minecraft.

A.T.TIP #369 – The Myth of Average Ted Talk by Dr. Todd Rose

A.T.TIP #370 – BlocksWorld HD app

A pixelated man sitting next to a pixelated evergreen tree with a yellow flower nearby. A tools palette can be seen onscreen to the right as well. A.T.TIP #371 – Lunacraft app

Spaceman hovering over a tools palette

A.T.TIP #372 – Kodable app

A digital green field with a blue path being cut through it. Control arrows are pictured in the top right.

A.T.TIP #373 – DIY app

Image of three badges: Gamer, Gardener, and Geologist Image of three badges: Ornthologist, Painter, and Papercrafter

A.T.TIP #374 – Using the plot of a story-based video game to teach narrative concepts

Also Mentioned in This Episode –

AutisMate’s Hero of the Week Interview

Minspeak Newsletter featuring A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 116

Upcoming Presentations –

Speaker at TEDxAshburn – September 28th, 2013

Logo from TEDxAshburn

Chew the P.H.A.T – Policies & How-to’s in Assistive Technology with Sally Norton-Darr – 8am on October 9th, 2013 at Closing the Gap in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Get Your Body Moving – Adventures in Gesture-Based Learning with Karen Dietrich & Dr. Tara Jeffs – 8am on October 10th, 2013 at Closing the Gap in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Multi-modal Professional Development with Sally Norton-Darr  – 8am on October 11th, 2013 at Closing the Gap in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of UDL with Beth Poss  – 8am on November 4th, 2013 at the Promoting Achievement through Technology and INstruction for all Students Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.

REGISTER NOW! —> Digital Make N’ Take: Digging Deeper           with Beth Poss – Two-Day Preconference on January 28th and 29th at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Professional Development Smackdown with Beth Poss, Kirk Behnke, Mike Marotta, and Diana Carl – 12pm on January 31st at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida. Room – Caribbean VII

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

About.me

Texthelp’s Continued Sponsorship

The A.T.TIPSCAST is happy to announce that Texthelp, provider of the award-winning Read&Write software solutions, will continue sponsorship into Season 7! New episodes of the podcast are currently in development.

Click on the banner below to learn about the amazing Read&Write products.

Image that reads "Start the new school year off right! Give your students Read&Write for the Desktop, Google, or iPad. Award-winning software solutions for individuals with learning disabilities such as Dyslexia, or reading and writing difficulties. Free trials and special IEP Pricing are available now! TexthelpThank you Texthelp for helping to keep this podcast alive and free to the public!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #119: Assistive Technology Movie Review – Man of Steel

A picture for Chris wearing black-framed glasses pulling open a white shirt to reveal a super hero logo resembling the A.T.TIPSCAST log on it

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning literacy solution Read&Write GOLD. To learn about Read&Write Gold and Texthelp’s suite of web apps click on the banner below!

Texthelp Advertisement

Use promotion code ATTIPS13SAVE10 to get 10% off online orders of Read&Write GOLD!

Cannot be combined with other offers. Offer expires July 31, 2013.

Episode #119 features a review, including spoilers (you have been warned), of the new Superman movie, Man of Steel, and how it relates to contemporary assistive technology and educational practices.

Special thanks to Carrie Baughcum from the blog, Hold On To Your Chair, for creating the super picture at the top of the blog post!

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #360 – http://bit.ly/lcpsatdiigolearningstyles – List of resources pertaining to student Learning Style Inventories/Profiles/Assessments.

A.T.TIP #361 – http://bit.ly/studentprofilesurveyingoogledocs – One example of a student learning style inventory/profile/assessment.

A.T.TIP #362 – Tools Checklist

A.T.TIP #363 – Use gestures or symbols and limit auditory input when calming a student.

Upcoming Presentations –

300lbs of Brain Power (Keynote) with Mark Nichols & Chris Bugaj. July 19th, 2013 at Bridging The Gap.

Can You Hear Me Now? Integrating Audio in the Classroom with Melissa Bugaj & Chris Bugaj. July 19th, 2013 at Bridging The Gap.

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

Check out my bio at About.me

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #118: Implementing Edmodo

edmodo logo

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning literacy solution Read&Write GOLD. To learn about Read&Write Gold and Texthelp’s suite of web apps click on the banner below!

Texthelp Advertisement

Picture of Michael MillimanEpisode #118 features an interview with Michael Milliman, a 2012 Teacher of Merit from Amherst, New York at Smallwood Drive Elementary, who describes his implementation of  Edmodo.com with his fifth grade classroom.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #358 – Social Media Practice with Edmodo.com

*Edmodo.com also previously appeared in Episode #86: Strategy Smackdown @ VSTE 2011 as A.T.TIP #236

Upcoming Presentations –

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of Universal Design for Learning with Beth Poss & Chris Bugaj. June 11, 2013 at the Texas Assistive Technology Network Regional Conference in Houston, Texas.

300lbs of Brain Power (Keynote) with Mark Nichols & Chris Bugaj. July 19th, 2013 at Bridging The Gap.

Can You Hear Me Now? Integrating Audio in the Classroom with Melissa Bugaj & Chris Bugaj. July 19th, 2013 at Bridging The Gap.

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #117: Coding With Scratch

The Scratch

The Scratch “logo” and mascot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning literacy solution Read&Write GOLD. To learn about Read&Write Gold and Texthelp’s suite of web apps click on the banner below!

Texthelp Advertisement

Episode #117 features an interview with Keith Hicks, technology resource teacher at Woodgrove High School in Purcellville, Virginia who describes Scratch; a free website created by MIT where you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #358 – Scratch

Upcoming Presentations –

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of Universal Design for Learning with Beth Poss & Chris Bugaj. June 11, 2013 at the Texas Assistive Technology Network Regional Conference in Houston, Texas.

300lbs of Brain Power (Keynote) with Mark Nichols & Chris Bugaj. July 19th, 2013 at Bridging The Gap.

Can You Hear Me Now? Integrating Audio in the Classroom with Melissa Bugaj & Chris Bugaj. July 19th, 2013 at Bridging The Gap.

Credits – 

This episode features less than 30 second clips of music from the song “From Scratch” by Justin Roberts.

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #116: How To Help Say Things

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning literacy solution Read&Write GOLD. To learn about Read&Write Gold and Texthelp’s suite of web apps click on the banner below!

Texthelp Advertisement

Use promotion code ATTIPS13SAVE10 to get 10% off online orders of Read&Write GOLD!

Cannot be combined with other offers. Offer expires May 31, 2013.

Episode #116 features a description of how and why to use core vocabulary (high frequency words) as the basis for an augmentative/alternative communication system.

The entire episode was generated using only “Frequently Occurring Home and School Words” from the list generated in the article “Vocabulary-Use Patterns in Preschool Children: Effects of Context and Time Sampling” by Christine A. Marvin, David R. Beukelman, and Denise Bilyeu published in Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Volume 10 in December, 1994.

The episode demonstrates that using only high frequency words users can still elicit complex, generative language.

You might find it beneficial to listen to the episode twice or to read along as you listen to the episode. TRANSCRIPT: http://bit.ly/howtohelpsaythingstranscript

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #355 – When using core vocabulary, give students the opportunity to make requests by labeling descriptors (adjectives) or qualities rather than naming an object.

A.T.TIP #356 – Give students the opportunity to direct others to allow them to realize they have an impact on how others perform or behave.

A.T.TIP #357 – When it comes to functional augmentative alternative communication (or any communication for that matter) meaning trumps form (syntax). The meaning of a message is more important than how it is said.

Also Mentioned in This Episode-

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month!
Learn more and get involved by going to

http://asha.org/bhsm

Listen to past A.T.TIPSCAST episodes
created for Better Hearing and Speech Month:

http://www.diigo.com/list/attipscast/bhsm

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #115: Vocabulary Review, Part 1

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning literacy solution Read&Write GOLD. To learn about Read&Write Gold and their suite of web apps click on the banner below!

Texthelp Advertisement

Use promotion code ATTIPS13SAVE10 to get 10% off online orders of Read&Write GOLD!

Cannot be combined with other offers. Offer expires May 31, 2013.

Episode #115 features a review of a few resources and strategies useful for learning, practicing, and reinforcing vocabulary.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #351 – Paint Chips to Practice Vocabulary

http://bit.ly/paintchipsideas

A.T.TIP #352 – http://www.vocabulary.co.il

A.T.TIP #353 – http://freerice.com

A.T.TIP #354 – http://wordnik.com

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #114: Achieving Change Through Professional Development

An image of people in the center labeled educators surrounded by images of social bookmarking, online discussion groups, video, webinars, strategy calendar, face to face, and audio. Arrow point out from the educators indicating they get to choose the avenue that works best for them.

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning literacy solution Read&Write GOLD. To learn about Read&Write Gold and their suite of web apps click on the banner below!

Texthelp Advertisement

Use promotion code ATTIPS13SAVE10 to get 10% off online orders of Read&Write GOLD!

Cannot be combined with other offers. Offer expires May 31, 2013.

Episode #114 features a reading of the extended version of an article written by Beth Poss and Chris Bugaj for the Assistive Technology Industry Association’s April Newsletter. The article describes effective professional development practices useful for any institution.

Read a transcript of the extended version of the article

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #342 – Maryland Assistive Technology Network Webinars

A.T.TIP #343 – Screencastomatic.com

A.T.TIP #344 – Skitch

A.T.TIP #345 – ScreenChomp (App for iOS)

A.T.TIP #346 – Educreations

A.T.TIP #347 – Sliderocket.com

A.T.TIP #348 – Pinterest.com for Professional Development

A.T.TIP #349 – Zite (app)

A.T.TIP #350 – Scoop.it

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #113: Quantum Screen Leap

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning literacy solution Read&Write GOLD. To learn about Read&Write Gold and their suite of web apps click on the banner below!

Texthelp Advertisement

Use promotion code ATTIPS13SAVE10 to get 10% off online orders of Read&Write GOLD!

Cannot be combined with other offers. Offer expires May 31, 2013.

Episode #113 features a description of the implementation of the free screen mirroring tool Screenleap.com

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #340 – Windows 7 Magnifier

Text & Video Tutorial – http://bit.ly/win7magnifier

A.T.TIP #341 – Screenleap.com

Upcoming Presentations 

FREE Webinar: Can You Hear Me Now? Integrating Audio in the Classroom with Melissa Bugaj for the Virginia Society for Technology in Education. Wednesday – April 10th, 2013 from 4:00pm to 5:00pm ET. On the day of the webinar you can access the event by going to http://bit.ly/vstewebinarroom.

Also Mentioned In This Episode – 

Quantum Leap

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #112: Taking the “Ill” Out of Literacy at VSTE ’12, Part 2

Title Slide from the Taking the "Ill" out of Literacy presentation from VSTE 2012

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning literacy solution Read&Write GOLD. To learn about Read&Write Gold and their suite of web apps click on the banner below!

Texthelp Advertisement

Use promotion code ATTIPS13SAVE10 to get 10% off online orders of Read&Write GOLD!

Cannot be combined with other offers. Offer expires May 31, 2013.

Episode #112 features the second half of the recording of a live presentation by Christopher and Melissa Bugaj at the 2012 Virginia Society for Technology in Education Conference about commonly recommended,  evidence-based reading solutions. Access the entire presentation from http://bit.ly/vste12literacy.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #330 – Recordmp3.org (to record and save audio files)

A.T.TIP #331 – Biblionasium.com (for Reading Logs)

A.T.TIP #332 – The philosophy of using least restrictive tools first to solve a problem

A.T.TIP #333 – Prescribe television programs based on targeted goals

A.T.TIP #334 – Wordgirl (Television Show) Image of WordGirl flying and Captain HuggyFace jumping

A.T.TIP #335 – WordWorld (Television Show)

Image of the characters of Sheep, Duck, Pig, Dog, and Ant surrounding the Word World logo

A.T.TIP #336 – Sesame Street (Television Show)

Image of many characters from Sesame Street surrounding the Sesame Street logo

A.T.TIP #337 – Closed Captioning feature of YouTube.com

Tutorials – http://bit.ly/turnoncconyt

A.T.TIP #338 – Use “Frill-less” e-books

A.T.TIP #339 – Guided Access accessibility feature of iOS (iPad)

Tutorial – http://bit.ly/guidedaccessonios

Upcoming Presentations 

FREE Webinar: Can You Hear Me Now? Integrating Audio in the Classroom with Melissa Bugaj for the Virginia Society for Technology in Education. Wednesday – April 10th, 2013 from 4:00pm to 5:00pm ET

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #111: Taking the “Ill” Out of Literacy at VSTE ’12, Part 1


Title Slide from the Taking the "Ill" out of Literacy presentation from VSTE 2012

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp, provider of the award-winning literacy solution Read&Write GOLD. To learn about Read&Write Gold and their suite of web apps click on the banner below!

Texthelp Advertisement

 Use promotion code ATTIPS13SAVE10 to get 10% off online orders of Read&Write GOLD!

Cannot be combined with other offers. Offer expires May 31, 2013.

Episode #111 features a recording of a live presentation by Christopher and Melissa Bugaj at the 2012 Virginia Society for Technology in Education Conference about commonly recommended,  evidence-based reading solutions. Access the entire presentation from http://bit.ly/vste12literacy.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #322 – The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd (Podcast)

A.T.TIP #323 – Lego Comic Builders

Lego City                             Lego Star Wars                       Lego DC Universe

      

A.T.TIP #324 – Reading for Function (Reading Community Signs)

A.T.TIP #325 – MindMeister.com (Graphic Organizer)

A.T.TIP #326 – TarheelReader.org (Accessible e-stories)

A.T.TIP #327 – VoiceOver for iOS (Text-to-Speech)

A.T.TIP #328 – Speak Selection for iOS (Text-to-Speech)

A.T.TIP #329 – Editing Checklists

Upcoming Presentations 

FREE Webinar: The Great Eight with Sally Norton-Darr for the Virginia Society for Technology in Education.  Wednesday – March 13th, 2013 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM ET.

FREE Webinar: Xbox 360 & Avatar Kinect with Dr. Tara Jeffs, Karen Dietrich, and Mark Nichols for the Virginia Society for Technology in Education.  Wednesday – March 20th, 2013 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM ET.

FREE Webinar: Can You Hear Me Now? Integrating Audio in the Classroom with Melissa Bugaj for the Virginia Society for Technology in Education.  Wednesday – March 6th, 2013 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM ET. Postponed due to inclement weather. Rescheduled for Wednesday – April 10th, 2013 from 4:00pm to 5:00pm ET

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #109: The Magic LAMP

Episode Overview-

Episode #109 features a discussion of the approach to augmentative / alternative communication known as Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP).

This episode also features a bumper from Lucas McCarty.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #312 – Be goofy to coax communication

A.T.TIP #313 – Keep symbols where they are on an AAC device

A.T.TIP #314 – Use of a key guard to help with targeting difficulties on an AAC device

A.T.TIP #315 – Start with the most cells as possible when implementing an AAC device

A.T.TIP #316 – Place semantically similar words apart on an AAC device

A.T.TIP #317 – Using or combining phonetically similar words in lieu of additional fringe symbols

A.T.TIP #318 – Show teams “end user” videos, like the one below…

Example: Lucas McCarty uses LAMP to communicate his dream

Mentioned In This Episode –

Only God Could Hear Me Trailer – Documentary featuring Lucas McCarty

Year of Our Lord: Faith, Hope, and Harmony in the Mississippi Delta – Book by T.R. Pearson about Lucas McCarty

Picture of the ATEval2Go Vendor Session at ATIA 2013 (Thanks to @Briandowd for snapping the panoramic pic)

Chris presents ATEval2Go at

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

Logo for ISTE's Course on UDLUniversal Design for Learning – ISTE 6 Week Online Course – Starts February 18th, 2013. Each week features new strategies and resources for implementing the principles of Universal Design for Learning into your institution.

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

A.T.TIPSCAST #108: A Tour of Pre-K Stations

Episode Overview-

Episode #108 features my 4 year old daughter taking listeners on a tour of her pre-kindergarten program describing aspects of stations including the Discovery Area, the Music Area, the Dramatic Play Area, the Puzzle Area, the Building Center, the Sensory Table, and the Book Corner.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #307 – Peace Object

Students touch or hold an object together as they discuss their differences as a reminder that even though they had an argument, there can be a peaceful resolution.

A.T.TIP #308 – Speaker Object

A student touches or holds an object to indicate he or she is speaking. This object also serves as a visual reminder to the listener to be respectful to the one who is talking.

A.T.TIP #309 – Labeling Stations

Placing a visual representation with corresponding text at each station.

A.T.TIP #310 – Digital Pictures of Students to Represent Location

Students move visuals of themselves and place them at the station to indicate where they plan to spend their time. When all of the spaces on the visual chart are filled no other students may join in that area. The visual representation of individualized location tends to decrease roaming.

A.T.TIP #311 – Defining a Space

Tape can be used to define an area to provide students with a visual cue to help them understand and respect physical boundaries.

Mentioned In This Episode –

PDF Slideshow of Maggie and the Stations

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

Logo for ISTE's Course on UDLUniversal Design for Learning – ISTE 6 Week Online Course – Starts February 4th, 2013. Each week features new strategies and resources for implementing the principles of Universal Design for Learning into your institution.

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of Universal Design for Learning with Beth Poss & Chris Bugaj. January 29th & 30th, 2013 at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

LIVE Webinar: DigitALL Stories – Tools for Storytelling in the 21st Century (Webinar Code: AT13-WEB03-LB) with Beth Poss.  Thursday, February 07, 2013 at 3:30-5:00 PM ET Webinar Fee:  $49.00 for the Assistive Technology Industry Association.

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #106: Thankful For…

Episode Overview-

Episode #106 features a brief discussion of a number of assistive technology tools Chris is thankful to have access to use for himself, to share with educators, and the can be used with students.

This episode also features a bumper from Daniel McNulty, State Director of the PATINSPROJECT in Indiana.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

A.T.TIP 300 – The Periodic Table of AAC by Kate Ahern

A.T.TIP 301 – Symbaloo.com

Chris's Symbaloo HomePage

A.T.TIP 302 – PATINS TV for Professional Development

A.T.TIP 303 – OpenClipArt.org

A.T.TIP 304 – Soungle.com

A.T.TIP 305 – The EduBlog Awards

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of Universal Design for Learning with Beth Poss & Chris Bugaj. January 29th & 30th, 2013 at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

Edublog Award Nominations 2012

Hello there everyone,

This is a blog-only post. There isn’t any new audio, or official A.T.TIPSCAST episode, associated with this post. This post outlines my nominations for the 2012 Edublog Awards. In my experience, most educational bloggers, podcasters, and Tweeters do so on their own time, after work hours because it is their passion. They aren’t asked to do it. They aren’t paid to do it. Yet, we all benefit from the many hours they put into their craft.

The Edublog Awards provide a way to recognize these enormous efforts. Here are my nominations for the 2012 Edublog Awards:

Best Individual Blog –

Teaching All Students by Patrick Black – (www.teachingall.blogspot.com) – Yeah, I nominate this blog every year and will continue to until 1. A better blog of its type surfaces or 2. It wins (and even then I might re-nominate it). Fresh ideas, multiple resources, and practical solutions for making instruction accessible to EVERY student. When it comes to implementing technology for every student, this blog is a MUST read.

Best Teacher Blog –

Speech Techie by Sean Sweeney – (www.speechtechie.com) – The winner of the 2010 Best New Blog Edublog award has maintained its status as the premiere blog focusing on the topic of using technology in the practice of speech-language pathology. The beauty of the blog is that the strategies shared are for every educator, not just for those working as speech-language pathologists.

Best Educational Use of Audio/Video/Visual/Podcast –

The Edceptional podcast by Anne Truger, Deb Truskey, Tricia Lazarro, and Patrick Black (Edceptional on iTunes) – Boom! The Edceptional podcast hit the ground running as part of the EdReach Network and hasn’t looked back! The podcast features reviews and discussions of the latest new, blogs, and resources associated with students who have special needs in school. The varying fields of the hosts and guests makes for well-rounded discussions and well-explained resources that examine all the angles of a topic. If audio is your preferred modality for receiving content and you’re interested in topics related to educating ALL students, then this is the podcast for you! Recently, they’ve switched formats recording over Google Hangout giving people even more options to participate. People can listen to the podcast, watch the recorded video on YouTube, or participate LIVE! during the actual recording!

Best Educational Wiki –

The UDLTechToolKit by Karen Janowski & Joyce Kazman Valenza (http://udltechtoolkit.wikispaces.com/) – Simply the best collection of tools on the web for differentiating instruction and infusing options into every lesson plan. The days of handing every student a worksheets and expecting every student to do every task the same way are coming to an end. The UDLTechToolKit provides educators with tools which they can immediately implement in their classrooms to provide students with engaging options for how best they can receive information and express what they know.

Best Open PD, Unconference, or Webinar Series –

VSTELive! Webinar Series (http://www.vste.org/index/learn/webinar) – VSTELive! webinars (Virginia Society for Technology in Education) are always engaging, informative, and cutting edge which gather insights from experts on contemporary topics in the world of educational technology. When you participate in a live VSTE webinar you are certain to have an enjoyable experience while learning new ways of thinking, learning, and doing. Keep ’em coming VSTE!

Best Twitter Hashtag –

#atchat– For years I’ve lurked, following along on different educational Twitter chats but it is only recently that I’ve actually started to participate. It was #atchat on Wednesday nights at 8pm ET led by Karen Janowski that got me to switch from passive reviewer to active participant. Engaging, timely, and relevant topics are discussed each week leading to the sharing of practical tools and strategies that work to help users of assistive technology tools.

Best Mobile App –

Flying Books App (Free – Flying Books App This free storybook app provides users with a unique reading experience. Rather than focusing on the bells and whistles, the app provides users with an opportunity to record narration of the story which results in an increase in reading abilities of the user. You won’t find random, unnecessary interactive components that distract students from the story in the Flying Books app. Instead, the Flying Book app provides users with the ability to listen to text read aloud or record themselves reading the story. Although the books in the library require a purchase, the app also allows students to create their own book complete with full audio recordings for free.  It is a great way to practice re-telling of a narrative and/or reading fluency.

I hope you check out these fantastic resources and, if you agree with my choices, consider voting for these fantastic creations, projects, and initiatives to recognize the dedication of these individuals.

My nomination alone does not guarantee that these fine folks will be officially nominated. If you agree with my nominations, consider writing a blog post of your own featuring these terrific educational resources. They deserve your time! Find out more information about how to participate over at The Edublog Awards.

Enjoy!

Chris

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 105: An App for Literacy

Episode Overview-

Episode #105 features a brief discussion about what to look for when evaluating storybook apps and an example of a quality storybook app.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

A.T.TIP 299 – Flying Books App

Flying app iTunes logoFlying Books logo (green book worm)

Download Flying Books for iOS (Free) – http://bit.ly/flyingbooks

Website – Flyingbooks.me

Twitter –  @flyingbooksapp

Facebook Page – http://facebook.com/FlyingBooks

Night Light Story available via Flying Books App-

Dragonfly, Dragonfly, Show Us the Way – Dragonfly, Dragonfly, Show Us The Way Cover
Three unique friends embark on a journey of discovery which reveals their individual talents.

Free audio download (15:03): Dragonfly, Dragonfly, Show Us the Way

Blog with activities:                    Dragonfly, Dragonfly, Show Us the Way

Reg Silva’s blog post about creating the illustrations:

http://bit.ly/regdragonflypost

YouTube eBook announcement:                 

PDF of Mistakes in Various Storybook Apps-

Problematic Storybook Apps

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of Universal Design for Learning with Beth Poss & Chris Bugaj. January 29th & 30th, 2013 at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 104: It’s Alive!

Black and white pic of Chris dressed in a lab coat with gloves on his hands and goggles on his forehead looking crazed as he gazes off into the sky. He is surrounded by lightning and there is text in the foreground in a creepy font that reads "A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 104: It's Alive".

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST features a recording of the events that transpired in the attic of the Bugaj household on a stormy night in October 2012 which involves electricity, a tablet computer, some spare parts, and (of course) some strategies that can help students.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

A.T.TIP 294 – Online, Virtual Techknowledgy Conference – http://bit.ly/vafreetraining

A.T.TIP 295 – Mindmeister for iPad graphic organizer app for iOS

Night Light Stories outlined on MindMeister

Example of a MindMap created using MindMeister

A.T.TIP 296 – High Contrast Feature of iOS

A.T.TIP 297 – Communication Lanyard for Receptive Purposes

A.T.TIP 298 – Sentence Starter/Carrier Phrase Strips – Examples from jgitchelself on BoardmakerShare.com

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of Universal Design for Learning with Beth Poss & Chris Bugaj. January 29th & 30th, 2013 at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

kidshalloweenwithtextContact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

A Frankenstein's Monster head to the left of text that reads "A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 104: It's Alive!"

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #103: Introducing ATEval2Go

ATEval2Go logo

Episode Overview-

Episode #103 of the A.T.TIPSCAST describes ATEval2Go; an iPad app designed to help professionals conduct assistive technology consultations and evaluations.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

A.T.TIP 291 – ATEval2Go by Smarty Ears

Watch this short trailer describing the app:

Watch this longer (about 20 minutes) tutorial describing the app:

A.T.TIP 292 – GeekSLP.com by Barbara Fernandez

A.T.TIP 293 – SpeechTechie.com by Sean Sweeney

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of Universal Design for Learning with Beth Poss & Chris Bugaj. January 29th & 30th, 2013 at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 102: Brite Digital Stories

Britely Logo

Episode Overview-

Episode #102 of the A.T.TIPSCAST features a brief discussion of technical and practical uses of the digital storytelling site Britely.com. Miss Mel (Chris’s wife) stars in a guest segment where she describes the uses and benefits of Britely.com.

Programming Note (2/13/13) – Britely was acquired by Groupon. All content using this site will be deleted on 2/18/13. Oh well, it was a good tool while it lasted!

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

A.T.TIP 290 – Britely.com and follow them on Twitter @britelyapp

Melissa’s Examples:

America's (Not Mags) Favorite Past Time

The title of the book over a background of a bunch of pumpkins

Picture of silhoutte of woman running with the text "Finding My Way" in front of it.

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of Universal Design for Learning with Beth Poss & Chris Bugaj. January 29th & 30th, 2013 at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

Sneak Peek: Digital Storytelling Sample

A future episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST will focus on digital storytelling. Britely.com is one site that can be used to easily create digital stories. The future episode will focus on the why’s, how’s, and how-to’s related to the implementation of digital storytelling for students. In the meantime, my wife created a few fun, comedic, and inspiring digital stories to be used as examples. The first is titled A Toddler’s Guide to Pumpkin Carving and the second is titled  Finding My Way. They both work just like a slideshow with full screen images containing overlayed text. We hope you enjoy them! If you do, please like it, share it, pin it, tweet it, email it, and/or comment on them. We hope you enjoy the story!

The title of the book over a background of a bunch of pumpkins

Picture of silhoutte of woman running with the text "Finding My Way" in front of it.

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of Universal Design for Learning with Beth Poss & Chris Bugaj. January 29th & 30th, 2013 at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 101: UDL NEXT

An arrow pointing to the right made up of many little green UDL's

Episode Overview-

Cover for The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public SchoolsThis episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by the book, The Practical and Fun Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools.

Episode #101 of the A.T.TIPSCAST features a brief discussion about what comes next in one’s personal quest to learn more about the implementation of the Universal Design for Learning framework. Download a .PDF Transcript of this episode.

This is the first episode of Season 6 of the A.T.TIPSCAST!

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

A.T.TIP 288 – SpiderScribe.net – Web-based Graphic Organizer

An example of a graphic organizing web made using Spiderscribe.net. Features UDL Next logo, small google maps picture of Orlando Florida, and two text bubbles with links to presenation information about ATIA 2013A.T.TIP 289 – UDLResource.com by Paul Hamilton

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

Logo for ISTE's Course on UDLUniversal Design for Learning – ISTE 6 Week Online Course – Starts September 10th, 2012.

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of Universal Design for Learning with Beth Poss & Chris Bugaj. January 29th & 30th, 2013 at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #100: Movie Review Extravaganza

Collage of all four images of previous A.T.TIPSCAST Movie Review images

Episode Overview-

Episode #100 of the A.T.TIPSCAST features an audio version of all of the Assistive Technology Movie Reviews done so far, previously only available as blog-only posts. These include all of the following:

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Moneyball

The Hunger Games

The Avengers

This episode also features a bumper from Dr. Joy Zabala, the director of technical assistance at the Center for Applied Special Technologies and the National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials who invites you to check out all the resources at http://aim.cast.org and let’s you know you are listening to the A.T.TIPSCAST!

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

A.T.TIP 287 – Random.org – Random Number Generator

Piano & Laylee Giveaway Winner-

Amy Braddock!

amysassistivetech.blogspot.com

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of Universal Design for Learning with Beth Poss & Chris Bugaj. January 29th & 30th, 2013 at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

Credits-

This episode features less than 30 second clips of music from all of the following artists:

1. U2- Mission Impossible Theme

2. The Imagination Movers – Everybody’s Game

3. Soundgarden – Live to Rise

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #99: Books for Digital Citizenship

6 year old boy reading "Piano and Laylee Text Message"

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is supported by the International Society for Technology in Education who is the publisher of the Piano & Laylee Learning Adventures series.

Episode #99 features a brief discussion of how digital literacy skills and appropriate technology practices can be ingrained into the habits of young students by introducing them to fictional stories at an early age. The episode also includes an interview and review by a rising second grader who read each of the books.

This episode also features a bumper from Sandy Hanebrink, from http://touchthefuture.us who shares information about the organization which is located in the south eastern part of the United States.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

A.T.TIP 286 – Piano and Laylee Learning Adventure Series

  • Piano and Laylee Go Online
  • Piano and Laylee Text Message
  • Piano and Laylee and the Cyberbully
  • Piano and Laylee Help a Copycat Become a Creative Cat
  • Piano and Laylee Learn About Acceptable Use Policies

Paperback Copies

Hardcover Copies

Kindle Editions

Nook Editions

Piano and Laylee Facebook Site

Piano and Laylee Author Wiki with Activities

ISTE Author Podcast interview with Author Carmela Curatola Knowles

Giveaway Information-

Share the Piano and Laylee books in some way and let me know about it by June 27th, 2012 at 11:59pm. I’ll keep a list of all entries. Then, on June 28th, I’ll use a random number generator to select the winner of a complete set of Piano and Laylee books!! Each different way you share counts as one entry, so share as many different ways as you can! Tweets, status updates, e-mail notifications, posters hung on bathroom stalls…whatever! Tell me about your sharing so I know to add your entries to the list!

4 year old girl holding "Piano and Laylee and the Cyberbully" over her eye

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of Universal Design for Learning with Beth Poss & Chris Bugaj. January 29th & 30th, 2013 at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

Credits-

This episode features a less than 30 second clip of music from the following artist:

Ralph’s World – Puppy Dog

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #98: Captions On!

Attipscast Logo with closed caption logo

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp Systems, provider of award-winning literacy solutions including Read&Write GOLD and Fluency Tutor. To learn about these products and their new suite of web apps go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #98 features a discussion of how literacy skills can be improved by simply turning on the captions while watching television and other videos.

This episode also features a bumper from Dave Hohulin, from the http://myinfinitec.org recorded during ATIA Orlando 2012.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

A.T.TIP 285 – Turn on Closed Captioning while watching any video to improve literacy skills

Read Captions Across America Campaign – The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) initiative launched in association with the National Education Association’s (NEA) annual “Read Across America” campaign meant to spread the word about the benefits of captions for all readers.

captionsforliteracy.org – Research, posters, and instructions pertaining to the benefits of turning the captions on for learners

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of Universal Design for Learning with Beth Poss & Chris Bugaj. January 29th & 30th, 2013  at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

Assistive Technology Movie Review: The Avengers

I’m a super hero geek and proud of it. I didn’t just grow up reading comics. I played games about super heroes, watched super hero cartoons, created robust fight sequences and narratives (often in that order) with super hero action figures, and pretended I was the one taking down the bad guys.

It was “Super” fun!

Today, I get to relive those adventures with my two little ones by fighting giant robots, thwarting the plans of treacherous villains, and protecting the lives of the innocent baby dolls scattered around the room.

Picture of Chris and his kids dressed like generic super heroes (masks and capes)

This is “Super” fun!

Over the past few years, the folks at Marvel have been releasing movies starring some of their most popular super heroes.  Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, and Thor have each had their own summer blockbuster movie (Iron Man actually had two).  These movies set the stage for the ultimate super hero team up, bringing all of them together in The Avengers.

Without even asking me about it, my wife made babysitter arrangements and pre-purchased the opening night tickets. She had watched all these movies with me, loving the Iron Man movies the most. She wasn’t nearly as excited as me to see The Avengers but when I told her it was directed by Joss Whedon, creator of her favorite show of all time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she was all in.

As you can probably guess, on the night of the big event, I found myself grinning from ear to ear, mesmerized for over two hours.  Despite the fact that I was ten years old again, I couldn’t help but draw some parallels between Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and contemporary practices in the world of education and assistive technology.

SPOILERS FOLLOW
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

The Tesseract as Curiosity and Engagement-
The movie starts with an action packed sequence of events where the villain of the movie, Loki, steals the Tesseract; a powerful energy source with the potential for creating sustainably clean energy for the planet. Loki plans to use the Tesseract to create a portal into space through which he can bring an invading alien army.

It comes to light during the movie that Loki has not been the only power looking to use the weapons for less than peaceful purposes. S.H.I.E.L.D. (a government agency) works to exploit the power of the Tesseract to create its own set of unique weaponry which can be used to keep the peace. Good intentions to be sure, but by keeping this fact a secret they cast a nefarious shadow of doubt over the entire organization.

The Tesseract is unharnessed energy, not unlike the enthusiasm of students entering school. Have you seen the overflowing brightness behind a kindergartener’s eyes before the first day? It is brimming with hope, eagerness, curiosity and a desire to learn. The raw energy is palpable. Students come to school, en masse, already engaged. Therefore, keeping them interested in school should be as easy as saying some incredibly cool catch phrase. Unfortunately, somehow, it’s not.

Educators, throughout the entire span of students’ educational careers, have the massive responsibility of helping students continue to feel engaged in their learning.  It is not the fault of the Tesseract that people are trying to exploit it. Likewise, it is never the students’ fault if and when they become disengaged with learning.

Students DO NOT CHOOSE to be bored.

The power of the Tesseract is like that of curiosity in students. Curiosity can be kept flowing through students by providing them with options about how they’d best like to learn. Curiosity will continue to drive student’s engagement when they get to make choices about how they’d best like to learn.

For now, the curriculum is set, static, and determined, but the ways for students to experience that content is changing, dynamic, and flexible. By providing students with options, you give them freedom, much like an Avenger keeping the world safe from a race of invading aliens. If educators approach each lesson plan by saying, “What’s the best way I can engage each learner?” and then successfully execute those lessons, they will have taken a heroic first step.

A Group of Individuals Does Not a Team Make
The Avengers brings together a group of individuals, each with his or her own set of unique traits and abilities which add something to the whole. Each character has a skill set that makes them a valuable asset and which makes them vital to the success of the mission. When an Individualized Education Program is being developed, individuals from different disciplines and perspectives come together for a common purpose. Each individual member brings his or her own set of talents to the table to formulate a plan which outlines the instructional needs of a student. However, a group of individuals working toward the same cause does not necessarily make it a team.

Throughout the course of the movie, the Avengers learn that individual feats of strength and demonstrations of skill might be impressive (and fun to watch) but don’t necessarily equate to getting the job done. It isn’t until the end of the movie, setting egos aside and learning to work together, do the Avengers truly form a team. Likewise, when developing and implementing an Individualized Education Program, the team should work synergistically, not separately. It is not the job of the speech therapist to work on goals related to communication, the job of the occupational therapist to work on fine motor goals, the job of the physical therapist to work on gross motor goals, the job of the parent to work on things at home, the job of the general and special education teachers to work on academic goals, or the job of the administrator to ensure that everything gets done. Rather, it’s the job of everyone, to work on every aspect of every goal, collaboratively. When this happens, the individual skills of professionals blur into something cohesive, a true team forms and the student is the one who ultimately wins.

Character Before Technology
Each hero in the Avengers utilizes a weapon that matches their individual set of skills. Captain America uses his iconic shield. Iron Man is outfitted with a suit of armor. Thor wields Mjolinir, a mighty hammer. Hawkeye shoots a bow. Black Widow uses acrobatics and firearms. And the Hulk is a weapon all unto himself.

In this movie, just like in all of the other Marvel movies, the focus is on the character, not the tools they use. The weapons support the characters, not the other way around. In this way, the weapons used by the heroes are similar to the process of selecting a device or strategy for a student.

When Steve Rogers was becoming Captain America, the plot wasn’t the discovery of some shield made of Vibranium and how someone could use it. Rather, it was about a man who stays true to himself while facing incredible circumstances. In Iron Man, the story isn’t about a man who sets out to develop an invincible suit of armor but rather, creates one out of necessity. Thor’s hammer serves as a symbol for doing what is right, but the story of Thor centers around humility.  Bruce Banner’s main conflict comes from an internal struggling for control not about the ramification of experimenting with gamma radiation. In truth, what gets to the core of all of these characters has nothing to do with the tools they use, but rather, who they are as people.

Device selection happens in much the same way. When selecting an intervention for a student or class, the question should be centered around who the student is and what they needed to accomplish, rather than the idea of having a tool and wondering who could use it. For Marvel, it’s not “We have this shield, suit of armor, mystical hammer, gamma radiation, bow, etc. We should give them to someone”. Instead, it’s “There’s this complex character who faces intense problems. What type of tools should we provide this person to help solve these problems?” For selecting specific assistive technology for students, it shouldn’t be “Look at this shiny cool tool, who should use?” Instead, it should be “This student (or groups of students) has a problem. Which tool(s) can this student (or these students) use to help address that problem?” When devices are selected based on the character of the student, rather than the other way around, one can be sure that the student is getting what is needed.

Sacrifices –
Agent Coulson has been described as the glue that holds the various Marvel movies together and helps to maintain continuity. The character makes an appearance in many of the other Marvel movies. He is an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who helps to bring the individuals together because he believes in the idea of forming a cogent team of Superheroes. Agent Coulson makes the ultimate sacrifice to provide the final catalyst for driving the group to work together as a team.

Many educators do this too. Many live for their students, providing countless hours way beyond the limits of the typical work day to provide the very best service they can. They believe they are making a difference, investing in the future, and truly impacting the lives of students in a positive way. Coulson died because he believed in the Avengers. Educators sacrifice money, resources, and (most importantly) time to the idea that students, no matter their ability, can and will learn.

Also like the Avengers, educators perform these selfless tasks with mixed levels of support. At the end of the movie, the director makes the point to show how the public reacts differently to the knowledge that heroes exist. Some embrace the heroes, thanking them diligently. Others question their true intentions. Some even outright blame the heroes for the invasion. Educators, despite their passion and sacrifices, receive this same mixed response from the public at large, however, educators shouldn’t be chastised or scorned. Rather, they should be respected and revered for being the heroes they are.

Fun
Overall, the Avengers is a fun, action-packed thrill ride that brings a helicarrier-load of laughs and smiles. Engaging characters drive a compelling plot all supported by the backdrop of a fascinating universe. Working in the field of education is much the same. Teaching, and supporting students, is one of the most enriching and rewarding professions. It is filled with memorable, meaningful, jaw-dropping moments that leave an impression, move you to tears, and can make you feel like you’re the hero you always wanted to be.

Chris's face superimposed over the Avenger's faces

The Avengers Movie Poster

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #97: Buddy Walk

Buddywalk / NDSS logo

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by the book The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools. Learn more at http://iste.org/chewat.

Episode #97 features an interview with Becky Switalski, the National Buddy Walk Director for the National Down Syndrome Society, who shares some history, insights, and awesome experiences from annual Buddy Walk events.

This episode also features a bumper from Mike Marotta from Advancing Opportunities in New Jersey. Check out their website over at http://assistivetechnologycenter.org

A.T.TIPS in this Episode:

A.T.TIP 284 – Buddy Walk

Like the Buddy Walk Facebook Page

Follow the Buddy Walk on Twitter

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW! Mission Possible: Proliferating a Culture of Universal Design for Learning with Beth Poss & Chris Bugaj. January 29th & 30th, 2013  at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Credits-

This episode features less than 30 second clips of music from all of the following artists:

1. The Wiggles – Froggy Went A Walkin’

2. U2 – Walk On

3. Cake – Walk On By

4. The Laurie Berkner Band – Walk Along The River

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #96: A Language-Based Curriculum

The A.T.TIPSCAST Spelled out in children's blocks

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp Systems, provider of award-winning literacy solutions including Read&Write GOLD and Fluency Tutor. To learn about these products and their new suite of web apps go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #96 defines and examines the benefits of a language-based curriculum and discusses strategies for how teachers can implement this approach into their classrooms.

This episode also features a bumper from Ron Rogers, who works for the State Support Team in Region 1 of Ohio.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode:

A.T.TIP 283 – A Language-Based Curriculum

Also Mentioned in This Episode-

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month!
Learn more and get involved by going to
http://asha.org/bhsm

Listen to past A.T.TIPSCAST episodes
created for Better Hearing and Speech Month:

http://www.diigo.com/list/attipscast/bhsm

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #95: Itchin’ for Switchin’

This is a picture of two marks caused by a type of damage on a piece of furniture

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Texthelp Systems, provider of award-winning literacy solutions including Read&Write GOLD and Fluency Tutor. To learn about these products and their new suite of web apps go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #95 features a discussion of implementation strategies and tools for accessing technology using switches.

This episode also features a bumper from Kirk Behnke, from the Texas Assistive Technology Network, who offers an invitation to the statewide assistive technology conference coming up in June.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode:

A.T.TIP 277 – Using a Switch to Cause a Human Reaction

A.T.TIP 278 – Favorable Tactile Textures on Switch Surfaces

A.T.TIP 279 – HelpKidzLearn.com – Switch accessible games

A.T.TIP 280 – http://bbc.in/sixgames – Switch accessible games

A.T.TIP 281 – Switch accessible mini-golf from the AccessApps suite of tools from EduApps as presented by Mark Nichols, Loudoun County Public Schools Special Education Supervisor.

A.T.TIP 282 – OneSwitch.org.uk – Blog with information about accessibility including switch accessible materials.

Also Mentioned in This Episode-

Can you guess what caused the damage to the piece of furniture in the picture at the top of this blog post? Leave your guesses in the comments section of the blog or contact me using the links below with your guesses.

HINT: It is related to the content in this episode.

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

Register as a fan of the show to receive e-mail alerts for new episodes