Category Archives: Professional Development

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)

 

 

 

 

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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!

 

 

 

 

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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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!

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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-

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Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

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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

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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