Category Archives: Universal Design for Learning

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)

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

A.T.TIPScast Episode #150: A.T. Movie Review – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

 

Chris as a Jedi with young Yoda in the background

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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 #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

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A.T.TIPScast Episode #149: Designing Awesome Experiences

Driveway shoveled to spell A.T.TIPSCAST

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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 #149 explores the idea that the cultural perception of school is a miserable experience that people need to trudge through rather than actively enjoy and suggests ways to change that perception.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #476: The C.U.R.R.E acronym (Curiosity, Uniqueness, Risk-Taking, Real World, and Enjoyment)

Also Mentioned In This Episode –

Research on special education turn over rates

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 #139: The Nightmare Before Technology

Jack Skellington's eyes and nose with the word "ATTTIPSCAST" as his mouth

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 #139 features three song parodies from The Nightmare Before Christmas. My apologies to Tim Burton and Danny Elfman. As you listen, please keep in mind that I’ve never had one singing lesson, ever. In case you’d like to sing along, I’ve added the lyrics below.

This is Technology 

Boys and girls of every age

wouldn’t you like to see something strange

Come with us and you will see,

our use of technology

This is technology, this is technology,

students scream when they see its sight

This is technology, everybody make something,

click or press to squeal with deeeelight,

It’s our time, everybody scream,

in this time of technology

I am the one you hold in your hand

screen gone dark and battery glowing red

I am the one sitting in your lap,

keyboard up and ready for your tap

This is technology, this is technology, nology, nology, nology, nology

Press the button to go home,

everyone post things all day long

Its our time, don’t we love it now,

everybody’s waiting for the next surprise

Pinch that corner, then,

zoom in if you can,

that gadget only weighs an ounce and don’t break the..

screen,

this is technology,

front and back and going green,

Aren’t you wired?

Well, that’s just fine,

say it once, say it twice,

take a chance and hold the mice,

write while you type, yeah it’s alright

Everybody scream, everybody scream,

its our time for technology

I am the boy with the tears on his face

gone in a flash with a tablet in place,

I am the girl who you need to teach

I am the one who you need to reach,

I am the teacher trying to get it right,

Making their futures nice and bright

This is technology, this is technology, nology, nology, nology, nology

slender tablets everywhere,

make it fun so we all care,

that’s your job, know what I mean?

in our time of technology

In this time don’t we love it now,

everyone’s waiting for the next surprise

A.TTIPSCAST

helps you with the facts

will help you learn just how to be

Give you tools so students win!

This is technology, everybody scream!

Please make way for a very special guy

Our man Chris is king of the Tipscast,

everyone hail to the tipscast Song

Now, this is Technology, this is Technology, nology, nology, nology, nology

In this time we press home everyone hail to the techno song

On on on on turn it on on on on on on on

—————————————————————————————————-

Chris’s Lament

There are few who deny,

That technology is the best,

For it’s benefits are renowned far and wide

When it comes to surprises

With a backlit light

We make things without even trying

With the slightest little effort

using hashtags and alarms,

Twitter helps teachers find what they seek

With a mic in your hand

And a dulcet tone,

Podcasts swept many listeners off their feet!

Yet year after year,

It’s the same routine

And students grow so weary

when we lecture things.

And I BET!

They like making things,

But they’ve grown tired of the same old thing…

Oh, somewhere deep inside their bones

An emptiness began to grow,

There’s something out there in the wide unknown,

A longing that they’ve never known

They can master it alright,

with strategies out of sight

teachers guide them rightwhen others can’t

They might think it’s yucky or they’re super unlucky

that they’re learning more in Finland, what’s the chance?

And since they have read, they can fill others’ heads

To spread technology integrations.

Any woman or man can learn like they can

But hurry ‘cause we need those educations

Oh you there please do understand

That the song I sing should make you grin

you’d lose that frown,

if you only understood

We can’t give it up,

that wouldn’t be good

We can’t fill that empty place all alone

Students need to explore the great unknown

Give praise and praise year after year

Makes students smile from ear to ear

——————————————————————————————————-

What’s This?

What’s this? What’s this?

There’s tools everywhere

What’s this?

There’s strategies in the air

What’s this?

I can’t believe my eyes

I must be dreaming

Wake up, Chris, this isn’t fair

What’s this?

What’s this? What’s this?

There’s something that I dig

What’s this?

There’s students making things

What’s this?

The schools are lined with

Little children laughing

Everybody seems so happy

Have I possibly gone appy?

What is this?

What’s This?

There’s children using tech

Instead of using pens

They’re busy building joys

And absolutely no one’s ever sad

There’s apps on every screen

Oh, I can’t believe my eyes

And in their bones I feel the choice

That’s coming from inside

Oh, look

What’s this?

They’re putting things online,

they post!

Why they looks so engaged,

inspired!

They’re gathering around to share a story

Roasting worksheets on a fire

What’s this?

What’s this?

In here there’s so much that is free,

how queer!

And who would ever think

And why?

They’re creating unique things

Let’s see what this electric gadget brings

And there’s a smile on everyone

So, now, correct me if I’m wrong

This looks like fun

This looks like fun

Oh, could it be I got my wish?

What’s this?

Oh my, what now?

The children are amazed

But look, there’s something underneath

All tools, no glitches here to block them or ensnare them,

very little mobile things

Secure them in their dreamland.  

What’s this?

The worksheets are all missing,

the nightmares can’t be found

And in their place there seems to be

Good feeling all around

Instead of screams, I swear

I can hear learning in the air

The spark of thoughts and reason

Are absolutely everywhere

The sights, the sounds

They’re everywhere and all,

around!

I’ve never felt so good,

before!

This empty place inside of me is

filling up

I simply cannot get enough

I want it, oh, I want it

Oh, I want it for my own

I’ve got to know

I’ve got to know

What is this place that I have found?

What is this?

UDL? Hmmmm???

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #453: Song Parodies to Represent Content for Learners

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

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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 #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!

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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 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

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

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

Assistive Technology Movie Review – The Hunger Games

My wife doesn’t read books. She devours them. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins was no exception. I, however, find it difficult to read a book during the school year. My literature consumption primarily takes place in the form of audiobooks or podcasts during my commute.  That said, when my wife circled last Friday on the calendar and said, “We’re going to see The Hunger Games” I felt the urge to read the book before seeing the movie.

As luck would have it, my in-laws came to visit the weekend prior to the movie coming out. In an effort to give them some alone time with their grandkids, I barricaded myself in our bedroom and went to town on the novel.

I knocked it out in two days; a record for me.

I was eager to experience the phenomenon in the same way as my wife so I could have something intelligent to say when the inevitable discussions comparing the film adaptation to the literary work occurred.

Once again I couldn’t help but see correlations  throughout the story to the implementation of technology following a Universal Design for Learning framework.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

The story, which is mostly the same between the book and the film, is, at its core, one of rebellion, defiance, and self discovery. It involves 24 children between the ages of 12 and 18 placed within a large, outdoor arena to fight to the death for the purposes of entertaining the masses.  This annual death match, known as The Hunger Games, was established to keep the working class in line as a reminder of the power of the ruling class.  The contestants in this gladiatorial bloodbath are known as “tributes.”

The tributes in the story have a diverse set of backgrounds, skills, and traits, making each one unique and special in some way. My brain immediately equated the tributes to students within a classroom, struggling to survive through the arena of school, trying to win at education, competing with one another for acceptance into college or for scholarships. Just like in the story, despite the cut-throat competition, alliances and friendships are formed. In both the story and within schools, individuals realize that collaboration and teamwork prove more successful than standing alone.

If the tributes in the arena represent students, then the supplies and weapons used to kill opponents would represent the technology necessary to complete a task. The tributes make decisive choices about what tools they need to accomplish their objectives of staying alive and killing others. Likewise, students within an environment following the principles of Universal Design for Learning utilize an array of tools to accomplish their mission of learning the content and achieving educational goals. In the arena, the wrong set of tools could equal pain, suffering, or even death while the correct set of tools matched to an individual’s skills could prove most effective. In school, choosing the wrong set of tools could equal the loss of precious time but the right set of tools, matched to an individual’s abilities, could make a significant impact in student performance.

Blazing hot days, freezing cold nights, swarms of deadly insects, wild mutated animals, and poisonous vegetation are just a few of the hazards prevalent throughout the arena. These conditions are controlled by the gamekeepers in order to provide the maximum entertainment value for the audience.  Like in the arena, the school environment itself can be manipulated to shape the challenge facing a student.  Educators should engineer environments with the educational goals of students in mind. For instance, if a student has a language goal of making requests then placing desired objects out of reach provides the student with an opportunity to communicate. Likewise, if a student is physically having difficulty accessing something within his environment, like a computer or interactive whiteboard, the educator must manipulate the environment to provide access.  Either way, the educator molds the environment in a manner conducive to the needs of every learner.

The protagonist of the story is a character named Katniss, a 16 year old girl thrust into the midst of the carnage. She is provided a mentor named Haymitch who has the primary task of preparing her for the battle royale. During the actual event, Haymitch is also responsible for garnering “sponsors” for Katniss who will fork up cash to provide additional necessary tools not already in the environment.

In this way, Haymitch works like an assistive technology trainer guiding students in ways to successfully utilize the technology already present within the environment. Likewise, when that technology proves too restrictive or limiting, it is up to the assistive technology trainer to provide additional possibilities for the student. Haymitch goes to sponsors asking for additional supplies while an assistive technology trainer goes to vendors looking for tools that might meet the needs of students.

When Haymitch obtains a sponsor who provides supplies, he sends it to Katniss via parachute with a note attached with advice on how to best use it.  In similar fashion, when assistive technology trainers acquire a new device to help students they provide training and tutorials.

In the end, Katniss teaches the establishment of the ruling class a lesson that despite attempting to control the chaos, something unpredictable can occur to upset the rhythm of the status quo.  Educators attempting to provide and implement a variety of technology options to students should recognize this very same fact. A universally designed classroom strives to provide an atmosphere of controlled chaos and insulated entropy.  Students provided with a multitude of choices about tools and activities they wish to use to best demonstrate their knowledge or which best engages them in the learning process might get messy. Almost always, something can go wrong. The unexpected will occur.  Unlike the Gamekeepers in The Hunger Games, educators should expect this. Even more so, they should embrace it.

Providing a universally designed environment, at times, might feel like a difficult task, but remember no one is alone.  Anyone can call out to others, like the song of a Mockingjay, to ask for help. Perhaps a model of a peer is all that is needed for the spark to begin Catching Fire within a colleague. Educators across districts (way more than the 12 outlined in the story) are working toward accomplishing similar goals. Sharing accomplishments and demonstrating successes is the best way to spread the culture of universal design for learning.

As you move forward, continuing on your own mission to provide options for students, I only have these words of encouragement: May the odds be ever in your favor.

Profiles of characters from The Hunger Games with an embedded picture of Chris as one of the characters

 

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #93: The Traitr Feature of Toondoo.com

Cartoon character wearing grey T-shirt, blue jeans, and white sneakers with a voice bubble that reads welcome to Episode 93 of the A.T.TIPSCAST. This episode is all about using the Traitr tool of Toondoo.com to help support students with social-emotional goals.

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 #93 features a discussion of how the Traitr feature of Toondoo.com can be used to help students working on social – emotional goals.

This episode also features a bumper from Marsye Kaplan, the Assistive Technology Team Leader for Baltimore County Public Schools.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode:

A.T.TIP 273 – Toondoo.com

four panel comic with each character saying something about universal design for learning. The first panel features a young caucasian woman with blonde hair saying I can use comics to present content to students. Panel 2 contains a woman from India saying I make comics to express what I know. Panel 3 features a caucasian boy wearing an A.T.TIPSCAST shirt that says I like comics because they are engaging. Panel 4 features an little green alien saying Comics are fun!

A.T.TIP 274 – Traitr feature of Toondoo.com

Example 1 – Students create their own avatars based on the traits in the picture.

Screenshot of the Traitr tool with a digital picture of a 4 yo girl uploaded next to a comic avatar of the same girl.Example 2 – Students use uploaded picture to learn about an emotion. By practicing how to create the emotion, students learn how to identify the emotion represented in the picture.

Screenshot of Traitr tool with picture of chris making a sad face next to an avatar of a man who looks like chris making a sad face.

A.T.TIP 275 – ThinkPort.org – Educator tools including downloadable graphic organizing templates, how-to tutorials, a lesson plan builder, and more.

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #92: Thri Mor Speling Strategeez

The A.T.TIPScast logo embedded within the word A.T.TIPSCAST

 

 

 

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 #92 features a number of easy-t0-implement strategies to help students learn to be better spellers and to correct spelling errors.

This episode also features a bumper from Dr. Denise DeCoste from Montgomery County Maryland encouraging everyone to check out the UDL Resources created by the HIAT team from Montgomery County Public Schools.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode:

A.T.TIP 270 – Turn off the automatic spell and grammar check

Tutorial in a variety of MS Office Software Titles and Versions

Tutorial in Open Office

Tutorial in Google Docs

A.T.TIP 271 – www.ghotit.com

Screenshot of the free phonetic spell checking tool on the ghotit website

Screenshot of misspelled word being correcting using the free phonetic spell check tool on the ghotit website.

A.T.TIP 272 – Adding a background image to Word Art

A picture of a shamrock embedded into the word shamrock

A picture of a leprechaun embedded within the word leprechaun

Picture of a girl embedded within the letters of her name

Also Mentioned in This Episode-

Jamie Martin from The Kildonan School in New York.

The Spelling Bee – An audio story about a fourth grade boy who practices for the school spelling bee using a variety of creative ways involving both low and high tech tools.

Sign up for the Universal Design for Learning & Assistive Technology Online Course from ISTE.

Sign up to attend the ATIA webinar I’ll be conducting with Beth Poss on March 20th, 2012 titled Write On! Free Web-based Tools to Support Writing.

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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Assistive Technology Movie Review: Moneyball

As soon as I saw the trailer for Moneyball I added it to the Netflix queue. I didn’t feel compelled to see this movie in the theater because a) I’m not a big fan of baseball and b) I tend to spend theater dollars on movies laden with impressive special effects to maximize the big screen experience.  I was, however, interested in learning how mathematics and statistics could be applied in an formulaic approach to change how people think. When it was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar I bumped it up in the queue.

Like in the last blog post about a movie, I wasn’t expecting to find correlations between a mainstream film and contemporary educational philosophies like Universal Design for Learning.  My apologizes to my wife for the frequent pausing of the DVD to take notes. I couldn’t help it. Ideas just kept pop flying into my head.

The movie, based on a true story, stars Brad Pitt as Billy Beane, a former baseball player turned general manager for the Oakland Athletics. The movie opens at the end of a successful season for the Athletics. Instead of celebrating however, Pitt finds that his star players have left to take higher paid contracts on other teams. Faced with replacing these high profile names within a limited budget and frustrated with a staff using traditional scouting methods, Pitt begins looking for a different approach to fill the missing roster spots.

The scouts, in my view, echo the mindset shared by some educators that “this is the way we’ve always done it and it has worked out fine so far.”  To some extent, this might be true. For sure, I grew up filling out an exorbitant amount of worksheets and I feel like I received a decent education. But, could it have been done differently? Could my educational experience been even more meaningful? I think so. More importantly, does this traditional approach of providing worksheets to practice a concept work for everyone? I think not.

The movie demonstrates, in glaring fashion, that change is difficult.  People who have been doing something the same way for years, no matter the profession, resist change. Pitt’s character proposes a shift away from tradition and it meets with opposition.

Moving education away from a continuous flow of worksheets following a rigid, one size fits all philosophy into a new world where students are provided with choices as to how best they’d like to engage in their own learning would yield better results.

On a trip to negotiate with the Cleveland Indians Pitt meets a Yale grad, played by Jonah Hill, who pitches a radical new theory of player evaluation. Hill suggests that a wide range of individual variables can each be given numerical values and a quotient can be calculated from these numbers.  This quotient can then be used to get the most productive players for the money available.  The final quotient they use to evaluate a player’s value, the one of paramount importance to Pitt and Hill’s characters, is tendency to get on base.

For years I’ve thought that a merit-based system of pay would be a benefit to education. The theory is simple. Pay teachers based on performance. The most poignant argument against a merit-based system is how to make it equitable based on all the variables present in a classroom. Once I tried to make a list of all the variables that would need to be considered if a merit-based system were to exist. The list was as big as the Green Monster at Fenway Park.

Hill’s character in the movie quantified each relevant variable and generated a formula which he used to boil it down into one number. To me, if this exists for all the relevant variables present on the baseball field, then this same approach could be applied to evaluate, and thus pay, teachers according to a quantified value. The approach, as applied to baseball, is called sabermetrics. It would an interesting project for a class of individuals studying statistics to try to duplicate these efforts applying them to contemporary classroom variables.  The result might just produce an equitable system for paying educators based on productivity rather than solely on a traditional step approach.

Once Pitt’s character implemented the new approach I leaned over to my wife and said, “If this works right off the bat (pardon the pun) it is going to be a really short movie”. Predictably, the new approach didn’t work right away and the nay-sayers felt justified in their negative prognostications. In the movie, things go awry for Pitt and Hill but they stick to their failing approach, dedicated to see it through to the end.

To me, teachers implementing different or varied technologies in their classrooms to meet the needs of the different and varied learners in their classrooms should understand that sometimes things don’t work the right way, right away. Chaos might ensue. Like Pitt and Hill’s characters, stick to it. One loss on the baseball field doesn’t mean the entire season is a wash.  Likewise, one lesson where the technology didn’t work correctly or where students got confused doesn’t mean the approach isn’t solid. If you make an error, letting the proverbial ball roll between your legs, that’s okay. Brush off the dust and use it as motivation to hit a home run at your next “at bat”.

Furthermore, in some instances technology might work to help a student the instant it is put in place. However, in most cases, it usually takes time to successfully implement a technology tool. Consider the examples of implementing word prediction for a student with spelling difficulties or an augmentative communication device for a student who has never used one before. Although these tools can be powerful and life-altering when used overtime, it usually takes some time for a person to learn to use these tools effectively. It typically takes patience, practice, training and time for a student to truly integrate these tools to make a difference in their lives. Therefore, like Pitt and Hill’s characters, stick to it. If the decision to place a device was founded on solid evidence, then it is likely to work. Don’t give up. Chances are, you won’t strike out.l

Faced with a doomed team at the bottom of the standings, the duo  move out of their introverted comfort zones to enact the help of the players. Once the players are educated about the philosophy and brought on board as partners in the approach , positive results begin to occur. The Athletics, remarkably, begin to win against teams that can afford much higher paid players. In this same way, students should be made aware of the teacher’s educational philosophy and be accepted as cohorts in the approach.  Like the players on the team, students will work to improve (and help each other to improve) if they have a shared vision, outlook, or campaign to get behind. Set and share an obtainable and collaborative classroom goal. Authentically involve the students in as many decisions as possible in an attempt to reach that goal. Refer to it and reflect on it together so no one starts striking out on bad pitches.

Likewise, this same approach of establishing and sharing a common goal works for any group or people working together. Grade levels teams, assistive technology teams, school wide and system wide faculties, or any group of people working to achieve a common goal will produce better results if everyone has taken ownership of that goal.

In baseball, the general manager doesn’t necessarily need to fix a flaw in a batter’s swing, he just needs to create the environment in which the player himself can grow to make adjustments. In this same way, a teacher does not need to dictate solutions to solve every problem students encounter, but rather, provide the proper guidance and support to let the students develop their own solutions.

In the end, of course, Pitt, Hill, and the Athletics go on to prove that their system works. The movie claims that professional baseball, steeped in tradition and history, changed forever after that season.  In the following years every team changed to adopt Pitt’s new statistical approach to player evaluation and acquisition.  The profession, and the economy surrounding it, was forever altered largely due to the ideas and efforts of two men.

Educators can have that same impact on their chosen profession. Whether looking at education globally or at each of its subsequent parts (like assistive technology), long standing practices should be challenged, turned over, and re-examined to see if they are truly effective. We might find that embracing new approaches, and showing the determination to stick to these approaches, could result in an effective grand slam for education as a whole.

cropped photo of Brad Pitt in the movie poster for MoneyballPicture of Chris posing like Brad Pitt in the poster for the movie Moneyball

 

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #90: Summary of Summarizers

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 #90 features a discussion of tools that can be used to summarize text.

This episode also features a bumper from Sharon Jones, from the Virginia Department of Education’s Training and Technical Assistance Center, telling everyone about the assistive technology consideration and assessment resources over at http://ttaconline.org/atsdp

A.T.TIPS in this Episode:

A.T.TIP 260 – http://wikisummarizer.com

A.T.TIP 261 – The Simple English language of Wikipedia

screenshot the Simple English language option in WikipediaA.T.TIP 262 – http://tools4noobs.com/summarize

A.T.TIP 263 – Document Summary feature of Greatsummary.com

A.T.TIP 264 – smmry.com

A.T.TIP 265 – freesummarizer.com

A.T.TIP 266 – textcompactor.com

A.T.TIP 267 – Summly iOS App

Also Mentioned in This Episode-

Andrew Hess from Mamaroneck Schools in New York.

iThoughts Graphic Organizing iOS App

Xmind – Graphic Organizing Software

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 #89: Free Fraction Tools from ConceptuaMath

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 #89 features a look at the free fraction tools provided by ConceptuaMath as well as a few other tools useful for visualizing, representing, and understanding fractions.

This episode also features a bumper from Linda Oggel, from the Virginia Department of Education’s Training and Technical Assistance Center, telling everyone about their A.T.TIP Line (1-804-828-4927) which you can call to get assistance on anything related to assistive technology.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #256 Free Fraction Tools from ConceptuaMath.com

A.T.TIP #257 – Creating graphs in Excel

A.T.TIP#258 – Creating graphs in Google Docs Spreadsheets

A.T.TIP#259Create-A-Graph web site from National Center for Educational Statistics

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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Assistive Technology Movie Review – Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Despite having seen all the previous Mission Impossible movies, when I saw the preview for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol I thought, “Ick.” Then, when I heard from a few Twitter friends how much they enjoyed it, saw some additional television spots playing that catchy theme music, and noticed that it was directed by Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille, The Iron Giant, etc.) I changed my mind. Still, I was thinking I’d add it to the Netflix queue and get around to seeing it a year or two from now.

Over the winter break my in-laws came into town giving my wife and I an opportunity to have a day out together. We did some shopping, grabbed a bite to eat, and went to see Mission Impossible for the heck of it. As it turns out, we both really enjoyed it.

What I found most interesting about the movie were the parallels in the story to building and maintaining an assistive technology team. Without providing any spoilers, the movie centers around a small team of professionals who use technology to overcome problem after problem in order to achieve their objectives.  The team utilizes their different talents to assess each situation by analyzing their environment and then implementing technology to address the issues.

To me, this is exactly how a team of educators considers assistive technology for a student. The team analyzes the situation, determines what goals need to be met, and then decide what tools are necessary to address those goals.

Approximately half way through the movie the team of good guys realize that they will not be able to acquire any more resources. They are forced to find solutions using only what they have available to them. When implementing technology for a student, educators should first look to what they already have in their environment. Technology that is present and available to every student is always the best place to start and typically these tools are considered the least restrictive solutions. Furthermore, in the current fiscal environment of shrinking budgets, using what’s freely available first, before looking for external solutions that cost money, helps to keep funds available for when a student absolutely needs something to be purchased.

As the events of the plot unfold, the team finds that technology fails them…over and over again. As the technology fails, the team is forced to improvise to continue on their mission.  Unfortunately, this holds true in the world of education as well. Technology breaks down and back-up plans needs to be implemented so students aren’t left floundering without the supports they need to help them achieve their goals.  When the technology goes down, it’s up to the educational team to review, revise, and react, often in innovative ways, to make sure students succeed.

At the end, it’s no surprise, that Tom Cruise’s team is victorious. As team leader he gives a short speech explaining how proud he is of the team for their resiliency, collaboration, and never-give-up attitude. Even if you think the mission in front of you is impossible, whether it be stopping a terrorist from enacting his nefarious plot or assisting a student in achieving his or her educational goals, the edict is the same- failure is not an option.

Providing necessary technology to help students achieve their educational goals is your mission, and if you’re a good educational team, your only choice is to accept it.

Tom Cruise in hoody from MI4Chris as Tom Cruise in MI4

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #86: Strategy Smackdown @ VSTE 2011

Visual of the text "Strategy Smackdown VSTE 2011" over a red starburst

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 #86 features a round robin resource sharing event conducted during the Virginia Society for Technology in Education 2011 Conference in Roanoke, Virginia known as the “Strategy Smackdown.” Participants in the Smackdown shared different tools useful to help educate students.

Also, I’d like to thank Adam Bellow for contributing the bumper at the beginning of the episode. You can check out his website at  http://edutecher.net.

Special thanks to Andy Rothenberger for taking notes of the event (which helped tremendously in putting the list below together) and for posting his notes to the VSTE 2011 Collaboratively Google Doc.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #233: http://superherosquad.marvel.com/cyoc by Chris Bugaj

Previous A.T.TIP #149: www.taggalaxy.de by Adam Bellow

A.T.TIP #234: Twiddla.com by Andy Rothenberger

A.T.TIP #235: Elmo’s Adventures in Spending, Saving, and Sharing Podcast by Chris Bugaj

A.T.TIP #236: Edmodo.com by Rebecca Evan

A.T.TIP #237: Schoology.com by Adam Bellow

A.T.TIP #238: Toontastic iOS App by Bambi Feighner

Previous A.T.TIP #127: Wordle.net by Liz Thomas

A.T.TIP #239: Tagxedo.com by Andy Rothenberger

A.T.TIP #240: Tagul.com by Chris Bugaj

Previous A.T.TIP #225: ABCya Word Cloud Generator by Chris Bugaj

A.T.TIP #241: GoSoapbox.com by Adam Bellow

A.T.TIP #242: Polleverywhere.com by Adam Bellow and Chris Bugaj

A.T.TIP #243: Eflnet.com by Liz Thomas

Previous A.T.TIP #190: Wallwisher.com by Liz Thomas

A.T.TIP #244: Corkboard.me by Andy Rothenberger

A.T.TIP #245: Popplet.com by Chris Bugaj

A.T.TIP #246: Crocodoc.com by Andy Rothenberger

Also Mentioned In This Episode-

Previous A.T.TIP #58: NightLightStories.net by Chris Bugaj

The LiveScribe Pen by Liz Thomas

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #85: Online, Gesture-based Learning, Part 1

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 #85 features the first of two episodes describing the use of websites featuring activities which utilize webcams to engage students through interactive, gesture-based activities.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #230 – Wild Kratts‘ Caracal Leap

Screenshot of Caracal Leap

Screenshot of Caracal Leap

A.T.TIP #231 – http://bit.ly/snowsweeper

Snow Sweeper Screenshot

Screenshot of Snow Sweeper

A.T.TIP #232 – www.playdocam.com

Screenshot of PlaydoJam two players

 

Screenshot of PlaydoJam, One player

Additional Information –

This is an example of a message where the user needs to allow the website access to the webcam.

Screenshot of message asking for user to allow access to webcam

Also Mentioned In This Episode-

Video featuring Dr. Media talking about exercise:

http://bit.ly/brainruleexercise

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #84: PoP @ GMU AT Share Fair ’11, Part 2

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 #84 features the second of two parts of a recording of a discussion at the George Mason University Assistive Technology Share Fair of 2011 about the educational uses of podcasting.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #221 – Pinky Dinky Do Podcast

Website- http://pinkydinkydoo.com/podcasts.html

Subscribe to the Pinky Dinky Doo podcast in iTunes

A.T.TIP #222 – iTunes App for iOS

A.T.TIP #223 – Redlaser App for Scanning QR Codes

Website- http://redlaser.com/

A.T.TIP #224 – http://tinyurl.com – URL Shortener

A.T.TIP #225 – ABCya Word Cloud Generator

Website- http://abcya.com/word_clouds.htm

A.T.TIP #226 – Edceptional Podcast –

Blog- http://edreach.us/tag/edceptional/

Subscribe to the Edceptional podcast in iTunes

A.T.TIP #227 – Deleting Podcasts from your iOS device

A.T.TIP #228 – Listening to audio fiction from the school or public library

A.T.TIP #229 – http://podiobooks.com – Free audio fiction

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 82: Paranormal Apptipity

An image of a hand drawn ghost hovering over text reading "ATTIPSCAST #82: Paranormal Apptipity"

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 #82 is a recording of an event where Chris and his wife Melissa describe a variety of educational tools as they conduct a paranormal investigation.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #210 – http://selectsmart.com/topjobs.html

A.T.TIP #211 – The Career Toolkit at http://dreamit-doit.com

A.T.TIP #212 – http://careerpath.com

A.T.TIP #213 – About.me

A.T.TIP #214 – Voice Memo App (for smartphones)

A.T.TIP #215 – Audioboo.fm / Audioboo app (for smartphones)

A.T.TIP #216 – Justin.tv

A.T.TIP #217 – Livestream.com

A.T.TIP #218 – Silence

The Small Mermaid e-book is now available!

Purchase the book from Amazon for the Kindle and Kindle app.

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 #80: Ablegamers Interview

Ablegamers Foundation 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. For more information, go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #80 features an interview with Mark Barlet, co-founder of the Ablegamers Foundation.  Mark describes the goals of the foundation, how people can get involved to support the foundation, and shares some ways the foundation has helped people get their game on! This is the last episode of Season 4 of the A.T.TIPSCAST.  Look for new A.T.TIPSCAST episodes in the Fall of 2011.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #208 – Ablegamers Foundation

Picture of Chris wearing a hat with a Wii Remote attached to it.

WiiMote Hat

Picture of person controlling an onscreen car using his chin

Driving with your chin

Picture of a gaming glove

Gaming Glove – Move fingers to touch sensors on other fingers

Picture of some alternative gaming controllers on a table

Alternative Gaming Controllers

Picture of a modular controller

Modular Controller – Move the modules to customize where you want the controls

Also Mentioned in this Episode –

iOS App – Stem Stumper

Upcoming Presentations-

To view the entire presentation history check out the “Presentations” link at the top of the blog.

Contact Information-

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #78: Scanning Pictures as a Work Job

picture with diluting effect on it of student scanning a picture

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. For more information, go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #78 features an interview with Cynthia Clark, a high school teacher and the recipient of the 2011 Recognition for Excellence in Supporting Special Education Secondary Teacher Award from the Special Education Advisory Committee. Cynthia describes her program where students scan pictures to practice vocational skills.

 A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #204 – Scanning Pictures as a Work Job

picture of Cynthia next to a computer and scanner

Cynthia and her scanning station

Picture of scanning directions Cynthia uses

Scanning Directions

Picture of Order Form

Order Form

Picture of envelope for 50 pictures

50 Picture Envelope

Upcoming Presentations-

To view the entire presentation history check out the “Presentations” link at the top of the blog.

Contact Information-

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #77: Product Spotlight – Intel Reader

Image of the Intel Reader

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by the Intel Reader. Learn more about this handheld, portable device with built-in optical character recognition and text-to-speech technology at http://careinnovations.com/reader.

This episode features a brief description of optical character recognition (OCR) and features an interview with Steve Gallo from Intel – GE where we talk about the implementation of the Intel Reader for students and in the classroom.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #203 – Optical Character Recognition

Guest Appearances on Other Podcasts-

I was recently the guest on another educational technology podcast!

Edceptional Episode 12 –

Joined by my wife, Melissa Bugaj, we talk about Night Light Stories, The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools, and much, much more!

It was quite an honor to be a part of this awesome show! I hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed participating!

Upcoming Presentations-

To view the entire presentation history check out the “Presentations” link at the top of the blog.

Contact Information-

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #76: Universal Design for Working

Universal Design for Working below the abbreviation UDW with the words options, choices and preference built in

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.

This episode features a brief crisis of conscience moment which leads the host to question the implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as an educational practice. Chris postulates on what the future of the American workplace would look like if every student learned according to the principles of UDL.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #201 – Keeping Notes in Google Calendar

A.T.TIP #202 – Inserting Comments in Spreadsheets

Inserting Comments in Excel 07

Inserting Comments in Google Docs Spreadsheets

Also Mentioned in This Episode-

Glassdoor Article Regarding Best Places to Work

Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center PDF on Universal Design in the Workplace

Guest Appearances on Other Podcasts-

I was recently the guest on two other ed tech podcasts.

Seedlings Episode 115 – We talk about the National Ed Tech Plan, UDL, and more!
http://edtechtalk.com/node/4968

Edceptional Episode 6 – We talk iOS devices and more!
http://edreach.us/2011/04/25/edceptional-show-6/

It was quite an honor to be a part of both of these shows! I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed participating!

Upcoming Presentations-

To view the entire presentation history check out the “Presentations” link at the top of the blog.

Contact Information-

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 75: Mouse Properties

A.T.TIPSCAST spelled using a swiss cheese font

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. For more information, go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #75 features an exploration of the various settings to make adjustments to the way a user controls the mouse when working on Windows XP and Windows 7.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #200 – Mouse Properties of Windows XP and Windows 7

Tutorial of Mouse Properties

Guest Appearances on Other Podcasts-

I was recently the guest on two other ed tech podcasts.

Seedlings Episode 115 – We talk about the National Ed Tech Plan, UDL, and more!
http://edtechtalk.com/node/4968

Edceptional Episode 6 – We talk iOS devices and more!
http://edreach.us/2011/04/25/edceptional-show-6/

It was quite an honor to be a part of both of these shows! I hope you enjoy listening as much as I enjoyed participating!

Upcoming Presentations-

To view the entire presentation history check out the “Presentations” link at the top of the blog.

Contact Information-

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

Image at the top of this post created using: http://www.searchfreefonts.com/free/accent-swiss-cheese.htm

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #74: Contextualized Communication

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.

This episode features a description of a scenario where a student with mulitple articulation difficulties is communicating effectively 90% of the time but needs help when telling about novel situations.  A strategy was put in place that is effectively helping that student communicate with others during these times. This episode is one of my contributions to Better Hearing and Speech Month by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

 A.T.TIPS –

#199: Providing Contextual Communication with a Camera Phone

Upcoming Presentations-

PATINS PROJECT – “UDL 2.0″ in Second Life – May 2nd, 2011 – 4:00pm – 5:00pm with Beth Poss.  Register for free: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MAY2

Second Life Location: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/PATINS%20Project%20Island/149/28/32

For a list of the entire presentation history check out the “Presentations” link at the top of blog.

Contact Information-

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 73: UDL for Online Courses

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. For more information, go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #73 features an audio version of an article about online learning for a partnership between the International Society of Technology in Education (www.iste.org) and the Council of Ontario Directors of Education (www.ontariodirectors.ca).  A version of the article is being published by CODE for their newsletter, the CODE Chronicles. According to the spirit of the article, I thought it would be best to have the article exist in multiple formats.  You can read the article, listen to the article, and/or enjoy the comic.

Read a text version of the article (PDF)

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #194: www.vocaroo.com – Voice recording website (Bonus – Listen to a short piece of audio as my wife and I describe ways to use this tool: http://bit.ly/vocideas)

A.T.TIP #195: www.photopeach.com – Multimedia slideshow website

A.T.TIP #196: www.pixton.com – Comic generating website

A.T.TIP #197: www.kerpoof.com – Animated movie generating website

A.T.TIP #198: Multi-modal approach to online learning

Upcoming Presentations-

PATINS PROJECT – “UDL 2.0” in Second Life – May 2nd, 2011 – 4:00pm – 5:00pm with Beth Poss.  Register for free: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MAY2

Second Life Location: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/PATINS%20Project%20Island/149/28/32

To view the entire presentation history check out the “Presentations” link at the top of the blog.

Contact Information-

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #72: Digital Video Strategies

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. For more information, go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #72 features a discussion of the use of digital video with students, in educational evaluations, and in educational reports.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #191: Scripting for Video Production

A.T.TIP #192: Students Interviewing Others on Video

A.T.TIP #193: “Right Way, Wrong Way” Videos

Right Way

Right Way Visual

Wrong Way Visual

Wrong Way Visual

Images used from http://www.openclipart.org/detail/thumbs-up-smiley-by-skotan & http://www.openclipart.org/detail/thumbs-down-smiley-by-sunking2

Upcoming Presentations-

To view the entire presentation history check out the “Presentations” link at the top of the blog.

Contact Information-

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

Episode #71: Wallwisher at Temple University

 

The word "A.T.TIPSCAST" painted on a tire

Episode Overview-

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

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

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

Episode #71 features a clip from a live presentation at Temple University where Beth Poss and I describe www.wallwisher.com.

The episode also features a bumper from Jennifer Mitchell from http://speechtx.com who mentions the resources at www.vcu.edu/ttac.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #190: www.wallwisher.com

Walls mentioned in this episode (feel free to write something on any of the walls!):

Night Light Stories Whimsical Wall of Wit- http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/nightlightstories

Wall created during the presentation at Temple University – http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/udl2philly

Wall created with students during a presentation – http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/mrb123

Upcoming Presentations-

ESBOCES Model Schools Technology Leadership Webinar Series

UDL & Assistive TechnologyApril 4th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

Eight is EnoughApril 6th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Alternative Professional DevelopmentApril 11th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Participant’s Choice – Social Media/Podcasting OR Web 2.oApril 13th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

PATINS PROJECT

UDL 2.0 in Second Life – May 2nd, 2011 – 4:00pm – 5:00pm with Beth Poss

Contact Information-

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #70: Melissa’s Math Madness

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. For more information, go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #70 features math resources as shared by special guest host Melissa Bugaj, host of the Night Light Stories podcast.

The episode also features a bumper from the participants in the Social Media for Speech-Language Pathologists session conducted at the American Speech Language Hearing Association conference of 2010.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #185: http://nlvm.usu.edu – National Library of Virtual Manipulatives

A.T.TIP #186: www.brainpop.com

A.T.TIP #187: www.ixl.com

A.T.TIP #188: www.internet4classrooms.com

A.T.TIP #189: www.themathpage.com

Upcoming Presentations-

ESBOCES Model Schools Technology Leadership Webinar Series

Practical AT – March 7th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

UDL & Assistive TechnologyApril 4th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

Eight is EnoughApril 6th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Alternative Professional DevelopmentApril 11th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Participant’s Choice – Social Media/Podcasting OR Web 2.oApril 13th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Contact Information-

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

Episode #68: AT Smackdown @ ATIA 2011 Orlando

ATsmackdownlogo

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. For more information, go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #68 features a round robin resource sharing event conducted during the Orlando ATIA 2011 Conference known as the “A.T. Smackdown.” Educators like Dave Hohulin, Karen Janowski, Brian Wojcik, and a host of others shared different tools that they have found useful to help educate students. With this go round, I got to be there in person to record the live event!

Also, I’d like to thank Eliza Anderson, for contributing the bumper at the beginning of the episode.  You can check out the free newsletter/e-zine with information on how to subscrive and contribute over at http://atprogramnews.com

Special thanks to Dave Hohulin and Brian Dowd for sharing their notes of the event (which helped tremendously in putting the list below together).

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

Previous A.T.TIP #121: www.livebinders.com by Karen Janowski

A.T.TIP #154: www.Posterous.com by Dave Hohulin

A.T.TIP #155: Google Search by Reading Level by Cheryl Oakes

A.T.TIP #156: Wikispaces’ Best Wikis for Education of 201o by Madeleine Pugliese

A.T.TIP #157: WSDs e-Toolbox by Madeleine Pugliese

A.T.TIP #158: www.wiggio.com by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #159: Quick Response (QR) Code Generator feature of http://bit.ly by Chris Bugaj

A.T.TIP #160: http://qrcode.kaywa.com by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #161: Chrome QR Code Extension by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #162:  Theme Font and Size Changer FireFox Extension by Paul Hamilton

A.T.TIP #163: www.easybib.com by Jamie Martin

A.T.TIP #164: Highlighter & Extract Highlights feature of www.diigo.com by Karen Janowski

A.T.TIP #165: www.sweetsearch.com by Jamie Martin

A.T.TIP #166: www.vuvox.com by Chris Bugaj (The Heebie Jeebies Slideshow/Collage Example)

A.T.TIP #167: http://search.creativecommons.org by Jeannette VanHouten

Previous A.T.TIP #1: MS Word Voice Comments by Paul Hamilton

A.T.TIP #168: www.hippocampus.org by Dave Hohulin

A.T.TIP #169: www.fotobabble.com by Karen Janowski

A.T.TIP #170: www.shmoop.com by Karen Janowski

A.T.TIP #171: Readability by Cheryl Oakes

A.T.TIP #172: www.notforest.com by Dave Hohulin

A.T.TIP #173: www.palbrowser.com/physicaldisabilities.html by Jeannette VanHouten

A.T.TIP #174: www.producteev.com by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #175: www.printwhatyoulike.com by Susan Gill

A.T.TIP #176: www.readitlaterlist.com by Susan Gill

A.T.TIP #177: www.awesomehighlighter.com by Susan Gill

Also Mentioned In This Episode-

iPhone Zoomtext app that provides OCR capabilities and text to speech by AI Squared

Write Microsoft to give feeback about versions of MS Word that don’t have a quality version of the voice comment feature as mentioned by Paul Hamilton

Upcoming Presentations-

ESBOCES Model Schools Technology Leadership Webinar Series

Practical AT – March 7th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

UDL & Assistive TechnologyApril 4th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

Eight is EnoughApril 6th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Alternative Professional DevelopmentApril 11th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Participant’s Choice – Social Media/Podcasting OR Web 2.oApril 13th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Contact Information-

A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and Classroom 2.0

Facebook Fan Page

Twitter.com/attipscast

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 67: Glogster at Temple University

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. For more information, go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #67 features a recording of a live event from a presentation Beth Poss and I did at Temple University back in November of 2010. Beth and I are doing a Pre-Conference Workshop – UDL 2.0 Hands on! on January 26th from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.  Sign up and join us for a day of interactive fun!  The episode also features a bumper from Sean Sweeney. Check out his Edublog Award Winning blog www.speechtechie.com.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #153: www.glogster.com

Upcoming Presentations-

Maryland Assistive Technology Network Webinars

Web 2.0 Tools, January 13th, 2011– 3:00pm – 4:00pm EST

ESBOCES Model Schools Technology Leadership Webinar Series

Practical AT – March 7th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

UDL & Assistive TechnologyApril 4th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

Eight is EnoughApril 6th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Alternative Professional DevelopmentApril 11th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Participant’s Choice – Social Media/Podcasting OR Web 2.oApril 13th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

The Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2011 – Orlando, Florida

Pre-Conference Workshop – UDL 2.0 Hands on! – January 26th – 8:00am – 4:00pm with Beth Poss

Re-energize Your Technology Implementation – January 27th – 9:20am – 10:20am with Mark Nichols

PD 2.0 – Interactive Web-based Technology for PD in AT – January 27th – 1:15pm – 3:15pm with Beth Poss

Other Resources Mentioned in This Episode-

UDL EXPLAINED VIDEO – http://bit.ly/udlexplained

2010 EDUBLOG AWARDS – Best Educational Podcast

Contact Information-

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

Episode #65: AT Smackdown @ ATIA Chicago 2010

AT smackdown image

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. For more information, go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #65 features a round robin resource sharing event conducted during the Chicago ATIA 2010 Conference known as the “A.T. Smackdown.”   Educators like Dave Hohulin, Karen Janowski, Brian Wojcik, Patrick Black, and host of others shared different tools that they have found useful to help educate students.   Lucky for us they had the foresight to make an audio recording of the event!  You can check out a full list with brief descriptions of each tool over at http://teachingall.blogspot.com.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #123: Dropbox.com presented by Patrick Black

A.T.TIP #124: Into The Book presented by Karen Janowski

A.T.TIP #125: Evernote.com presented by Dave Hohulin (w/ Patrick Black)

A.T.TIP #126: Simplenoteapp.com presented by Bob Cunningham

A.T.TIP #127: Wordle.net presented by Shari Lorenzo

A.T.TIP #128: Glogster EDU presented by Shari Lorenzo

A.T.TIP #129: Google Forms presented by Shari Lorenzo

A.T.TIP #130: JISC Toolbar presented by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #131: Can Assist Dynamic Keyboard presented by Sarah Rose

A.T.TIP #132: Google Scribe presented byMary Bettlach

A.T.TIP #133: Windows 7 Keyboard with Word Prediction presented by Mary Bettlach

A.T.TIP #134: Jing presented by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #135: Screencast.com presented by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #136: Diigo.com presented by Patrick Black

A.T.TIP #137: The Khan Academy mentioned by Patrick Black

A.T.TIP #138: Read Aloud Feature of Adobe Reader presented by Lynda Hartman

A.T.TIP #139: Typewriter feature in Adobe Reader once file created/feature enabled in Acrobat Pro presented by Lynda Hartman

A.T.TIP #140: Prezi.com presented by Patrick Black and Emily

A.T.TIP #141: Sporcle.com presented by Dave Hohulin

A.T.TIP #142: Clipmarks.com presented by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #143: Google Safe Search presented by Karen Janowski

A.T.TIP #144: Content Lock/Safety Mode for YouTube.com presented by Patrick Black

A.T.TIP #145: Google Docs Share Settings via a question from Sam Spinello answered by  Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #146: Drawing in Google Docs presented by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #147: Kidzui.com presented by Brian Wojcik

Also Mentioned In This Episode-

Gaggle.net mentioned by Brian Wojcik

Nettrekker.com mentioned by Brian Wojcik

Upcoming Presentations-

Techknowledgy 2010, November 11th – Richmond, Virginia

Chew The P.H.A.T: Policies & How-to’s for Assistive Technology – 8:30am – 9:30am EST

with Sally Norton-Darr & Judith Schoonover

Alternative Professional Development – 1:00pm– 2:00pm EST

Annual American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention 2010, November 20th – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Chew The P.H.A.T: Policies & How-to’s for Assistive Technology Poster Session8:00am – 9:30am EST

with Sally Norton-Darr & Judith Schoonover

Social Media: Blogging, Microblogging, and Podcasting for SLPs – 10:30am – 11:30am EST with Beth Poss

Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, November 22nd – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Free (or almost free) Tools to Help Kids Succeed in School – 9:00am – 12:00 pm EST with Beth Poss

ISTE Special Interest Group Media Specialists Webinar, December 1st

UDL 2.0 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm EST with Beth Poss

Maryland Assistive Technology Network Webinars

Assistive Technology Teams, December 9th – 3:00pm – 4:00pm EST with Sally Norton-Darr

Web 2.0, January 13th – 3:00pm-4:00pm EST

ESBOCES Model Schools Technology Leadership Webinar Series

Eight is Enough – January 3rd, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Alternative Professional Development – January 10th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Participant’s Choice – Social Media/Podcasting OR Web 2.o – January 24th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

UDL & Assistive Technology – January 31st, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

The Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2011 – Orlando, Florida

Pre-Conference Workshop – UDL 2.0 Hands on! – January 26th – 8:00am – 4:00pm with Beth Poss

Re-energize Your Technology Implementation – January 27th – 9:20am – 10:20am with Mark Nichols

PD 2.0 – Interactive Web-based Technology for PD in AT – January 27th – 1:15pm – 3:15pm with Beth Poss

Contact Information-

A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and Classroom 2.0

Facebook Fan Page

Twitter.com/attipscast

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 63: Saber Saw’s Game

Attipcast text with a rainy background. Cemetary in the distance.

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. For more information, go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

When Chris and Melissa wake up in a strange room after a Halloween party they meet the notorious Saber Saw who asks them if they want to play a game.  Will they win?

 

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #116: TeacherTube.com

A.T.TIP #117: SchoolTube.com

A.T.TIP #118: Digital Voice Recorders

What is a DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) file?

A.T.TIP #119:  Sensory Menu

Check out the tables on this website for sensory strategies.

A.T.TIP #120: Sensory Basket

Check out this article about creating a “Sensory Bag”

A.T.TIP #121: Livebinders.com

Check out the Livebinder Saber Saw created while doing some research (Warning: Not a pleasant topic).

Upcoming Presentations-

T/TAC Assistive Technology Share Fair 2010, October 22nd – George Mason University, Virginia

     Alternative Professional Development 12:20pm – 1:20 pm EST

     Tools Bonanza – 1:30pm – 2:30pm EST with Karen Dietrich

Techknowledgy 2010, November 11th – Richmond, Virginia

     Chew The P.H.A.T: Policies & How-to’s for Assistive Technology – 8:30am – 9:30am EST

with Sally Norton-Darr & Judith Schoonover

     Alternative Professional Development – 1:00pm– 2:00pm EST

Maryland Assistive Technology Network Webinars

     Assistive Technology Teams, December 9th – 3:00pm – 4:00pm EST with Sally Norton-Darr

Web 2.0, January 13th – 3:00pm-4:00pm EST

Annual American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention 2010, November 20th – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

     Chew The P.H.A.T: Policies & How-to’s for Assistive Technology Poster Session 8:00am – 9:30am EST

with Sally Norton-Darr & Judith Schoonover

     Social Media: Blogging, Microblogging, and Podcasting for SLPs – 10:30am – 11:30am EST with Beth Poss

Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, November 22nd – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

     Free (or almost free) Tools to Help Kids Succeed in School – 9:00am – 12:00 pm EST with Beth Poss

ISTE Special Interest Group Media Specialists Webinar, December 1st

      UDL 2.0 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm EST with Beth Poss

ESBOCES Model Schools Technology Leadership Webinar Series

Eight is Enough – January 3rd, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Alternative Professional Development – January 10th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Participant’s Choice – Social Media/Podcasting OR Web 2.o – January 24th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

UDL & Assistive Technology – January 31st, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

The Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2011 – Orlando, Florida

Pre-Conference Workshop – UDL 2.0 Hands on! – January 26th – 8:00am – 4:00pm with Beth Poss

Re-energize Your Technology Implementation – January 27th –  9:20am – 10:20am with Mark Nichols

PD 2.0 – Interactive Web-based Technology for PD in AT – January 27th – 1:15pm – 3:15pm with Beth Poss 

Contact Information-

A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and Classroom 2.0

Facebook Fan Page

Twitter.com/attipscast

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #59: Listener Feedback, Part 3

Radar 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. For more information, go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #59 features feedback from listeners of the podcast which lead into additional A.T.TIPS.

 

Podcast Hosting

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #58: Text – to – Movie

Animated Gif of the A.T.TIPSCAST log in lights

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. For more information, go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #58 features a description of how teachers and students can turn text into short, engaging video segments.

 

Podcast Hosting

A.T.TIPSCAST Episohd #57: 2 Kwik Spallng Reesehorsez

Attipscast spelled with pictures of letters

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. For more information, go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #57 features a description of two resources to help students with spelling. The first tool helps students while studying spelling words and the second tool helps students fix misspellings.

 

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #98: Spell with Flickr (http://metaatem.net/words/) – The image spelling “ATTIPSCAST” above was created using this website.

A.T.TIP #99: Correct a Sentence Window on http://gingersoftware.com. Try copying and pasting the following sentence into the window on the Ginger Software site:

“Mi smrt phrend iz reedng a booc wth an oarng cvr.”

 

Presentation Information –

Miss the presentation in Second Life of “Fun and Practical Strategies using (Assistive) Technology with Students”?  No sweat!  Here’s a link to the Google Doc with all the resources shared! Feel free to add more while you’re there!

http://tinyurl.com/slfunpractical

Contact Information-

A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and Classroom 2.0

Facebook Fan Page

Twitter.com/attipscast

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #53: High Contrast in Windows

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. For more information, go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #53 features a discussion about the high contrast feature of Microsoft Windows as a tool to help students access on-screen information.

The episode features a bumper from Bill Peters, whose family will be participating in the Bounce for Autism on April 22nd, 2010.  Pump It Up – Inflatable Party Zones,  has partnered with the Autism Society to help spread awareness and raise funds for autism research and family support.  100% of the proceeds go to the Autism Society of America.   The event is happening all over the country in over 140 Pump It Up locations.  You can find out more information and find a location near you from http://pumpitupparty.com or www.autism-society.org.  You can also follow Bill on Twitter at @billpet.

 

High Contrast Window

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #52: Puzzles- More Than Meets The Eye

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. For more information, go to www.texthelp.com.

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

Episode #52 features a discussion about the use of puzzles and a classic set of toys from the 80s as educational tools to practice fine motor skills, enhance visual-spatial abilities, utilize logical reasoning skills, build vocabulary, and more!

The episode features a jammin’ bumper from Mark Nichols, an assistive technology coordinator with Loudoun County Public Schools in Northern Virginia. Check his blog, The Tech Flash, and follow him on Twitter at @thetechflash2.

 

Podcast Hosting

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #51: Bitstrips for Pragmatic Language

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

Episode #51 features a discussion about the different uses of comics to address pragmatic language difficulties.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #83: Bitstrips.com – Comic Generator

Bitstrip comic where student is presented with choices to a girl who dropped her books

Pragmatic Language Practice Activity

Check out this tutorial on using Bitstrips.com from Palm Breeze Cafe

Resources regarding Pragmatic Language from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Contact Information-

A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and Classroom 2.0

Facebook Fan Page

Twitter.com/attipscast

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

Question Booklets for Volumes 5, 6, & 7!

attipscast-logo-300x300.jpg

Hey everyone,

No new audio with this post.  It is a blog only update to let you know that the Question Booklets for Volume 5, 6, and 7 are now available.  If you’re new to the A.T.TIPSCAST and you’re not sure what that is, you can find out more by checking out the special episode about professional development posted back in May, 2009.

You can find the Question Booklets for every volume by clicking on the “Free PD Kits” link  in the top right corner of the page.

Volume 7 (Episodes 45 – 49, Total Running Time 1:09:35)-

1. Question Booklet for Volume 7: Volume7Package  (PDF)

2. CD Label for Volume 7:  Vol7CDlabels (PDF)

Volume 6 (Episodes 42 – 44, Total Running Time 1:04:22)-

1. Question Booklet for Volume 6: Volume6Package (PDF)

2. CD Label for Volume 6: Vol6CDlabels (PDF)

Volume 5 (Episodes 36 – 41, Total Running Time 1:08:36)-

1. Question Booklet for Volume 5: Volume5Package (PDF)

2. CD Label for Volume 5: Vol5CDlabels (PDF)

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #50- Talking Heads: Videoconferencing

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

Episode #50 features a discussion about the educational uses of video conferencing.

The episode features a special segment from Claire, the daughter of one of my colleagues, and her friends who delivered the audio on a CD within a bowl full of Jell-O.

CD in orange Jell-O

Podcast Hosting

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #49: AutoCorrect in Word

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

Episode #49 features a description of how to use the Autocorrect function of Microsoft Word as a way to practice errorless learning.

The episode features a bumper from Jeannette Van Houten, an assistive technology curriculum strategist from New Jersey. I was fortunate enough to meet Jeannette at ATIA 2010 in Orlando.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #75: Autocorrect in Microsoft Word

Step 1. Click on the Office Button

Step 2. Choose “Word Options”

Step 3. Select “Proofing” and then “AutoCorrect Options”

Step 4. Put the text you want to have replaced in the “Replace” box and the text you want to appear instead in the “With” box.

Screenshot of AutoCorrect Window in Word 2007

AutoCorrect in Word 2007

Or just watch this cool www.woopid.com tutorial I found on YouTube.com:

AutoCorrect in Word 07 Tutorial

Contact Information-

A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and Classroom 2.0

Facebook Fan Page

Twitter.com/attipscast

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #48: Vozme

 

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

Episode #48 features an interview with the free to use website Vozme.com.  To my knowledge, this is the first time in history when a person actually got a sit-down interview with an actual website. Vozme.com and I discuss strategies for using the website to create .mp3 files from text.

The episode features a bumper from Christine Southard and Lisa Parisi who are two fifth grade inclusion teachers in Long Island, New York.  I was fortunate enough to meet Christine and Lisa at NECC 09 and attend their presentation about the tools they use to differentiate instruction for the students in their classroom.  It was at their presentation where I learned about Vozme.com.

Podcast Hosting

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #47: x2

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

Episode #47 features an interview with Proby Patel, a fourth year medical student at Ross University.  Proby and I discuss strategies for managing the massive amounts of content students experience.  Specifically, we discuss the uses of speed controls of digital media players to help students experience content faster.

Headshot of Proby Patel

Proby Patel

The episode features a bumper from Brian Wojcik who is the special education/assistive technology center coordinator at Illinois State University.  For some reason the embed code isn’t working for the video of Brian’s bumper but you can watch it directly from here: Brian Wojcik Bumper.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #73: Variable Playback Speeds for Digital Media Players

In Windows Media Player, version 11, open the file you want to watch.  Click on the Now Playing tab, then Enhancements, and then Play Speed Settings to control the playback speed.

Screenshot of Windows Media Player

Screenshot of Windows Media Player

 

Additional Resources Mentioned-

1. http://iste.org/setsig – The Special Education Technology Special Interest Group from the International Society for Technology in Education (also known as ISTE).  The SETSIG’s website has a wiki with links to ongoing discussions about using technology for students in special education as well as a handy assistive technology primer.

2. Windows Media Player 11 Keyboard Shortcuts – Note: Shortcuts may vary based on the version of Windows Media Player you are using.

3. Quicktime 7 Keyboard Shortcuts – Note: Shortcuts may vary based on the version of Quicktime you are using.

4. Real Player Keyboard Shortcuts – Note: Shortcuts may vary based on the version of Real Player you are using.

Upcoming Presentations-

Alternative Professional Development – Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2010 – Orlando, Florida – January 28 – 2:45pm – 3:45pm EST

UDL 2.0 presented with Beth Poss – Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2010 – Orlando, Florida – January 29 – 9:15pm-10:15pm EST

Contact Information-

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com/attipscast.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #46: Wordtalk

 

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

Episode #46 features another excerpt from the presentation for the Individual Differences in Learning Association in Howard County, Maryland.  This excerpt describes WordTalk; a free text-to-speech plug-in for Microsoft Word.

The episode features a bumper from Karen Janowski who is an assistive technology consultant, an assistive technology specialist for a school district in Massachusetts, adjunct faculty member at Simmons College, and school board member in her town.  She is also one of the innovators behind the UDLTechToolKit wiki, which contains a plethora of resources useful for differentiating instruction.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #72: WordTalk

WordTalk is a free text-to-speech add-in for Microsoft Word. You can find all the details about which versions of Word it works with along with other frequently asked questions, installation instructions and more over at the WordTalk download page.

1. WordTalk SlideShare Tutorial –  This tutorial, created by Paul Hamilton, describes everything you need to know about WordTalk.

 

Additional Resources Mentioned-

1. www.iste.org/chewat – Select “Notify Me” to sign up to get an e-mail reminder when the book comes out.

2. Eight is Enough Presentation – This is the slideshow I used during the presentation for IDL.

3. 2009 Edublog Award Winners – Congratulations to all of the winners!  Let me recommend you head over there to check out all of the nominations and winners. The A.T.TIPSCAST placed seventh out of 26 in the category of “Best Educational Use of Audio“.

4. CliCk, Speak – A free, open source text-to-speech extension for the Firefox web browser.

5. Text-to-Speech in OpenOfficeOpen Office is a free suite of programs including a word processing program.  OO Text To Speech is a free download for this program.

6. Word Magnets – Type or paste text (words or letters) into a box that then makes each word (or letter) a separate moveable object.  Perfect for word scrambles or sentence generation on an interactive whiteboard.

Screenshot of Word Magnets

Drag words to make sentences

screen shot of word magnets

Drag letters to make words

Upcoming Presentations-

Alternative Professional Development – Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2010 – Orlando, Florida – January 28 – 2:45pm – 3:45pm EST

UDL 2.0 presented with Beth Poss – Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2010 – Orlando, Florida – January 29 – 9:15pm-10:15pm EST

Contact Information-

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com/attipscast.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #45: Sequencing with PowerPoint

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

Episode #45 features a brief breakdown of the skill of sequencing followed by a recording of a portion of a presentation I did for the Individual Differences in Learning Association in Howard County, Maryland.

The episode features a bumper from Dr. Katharina Boser who is the president of the Individual Differences in Learning Association.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #71: Sequencing with Slide Sorter View in PowerPoint

 

Step 1. Take pictures of an event or sequential activity.

Step 2. Place each picture on a slide (using the Photo Album feature of PowerPoint).

Step 3. Select the View tab and choose Slide Sorter.

Screenshot of Slide Sorter view with slides out of order

Step 4. Drag n’ drop the slides into the correct order to practice sequencing.

Screenshot of Slide Sorter view of PowerPoint with arrow showing third slide being dragged into position as the second slide

Screenshot of Slide Sorter view of PowerPoint dragging the fifth slides into the third slide position

Additional Resources Mentioned-

1. www.iste.org/chewat – Select “Notify Me” to sign up to get an e-mail reminder when the book comes out.

2. Eight is Enough Presentation – This is the slideshow I used during the presentation for IDL.

3. Edublog Award Nomination – Vote for the A.T.TIPSCAST!  The A.T.TIPSCAST was nominated for a 2009 Edublog Award in the category of “Best Educational Use of Audio“.  Voting is open to the public and ends on December 16th, 2009.  Even if you don’t vote, let me recommend you head over there to check out all of the nominations.  The list of all those nominated in all of the different categories is a tremendous resource in itself, so I hope you check it out (and vote for the A.T.TIPSCAST)

Upcoming Presentations-

Alternative Professional Development – Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2010 – Orlando, Florida – January 28 – 2:45pm – 3:45pm EST

UDL 2.0 presented with Beth Poss – Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2010 – Orlando, Florida – January 29 – 9:15pm-10:15pm EST

Contact Information-

 Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com/attipscast.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

Edublog Awards 2009: My Nominations

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 but don’t click away yet!  This post outlines my nominations for the 2009 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 and they aren’t paid to do it, but 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 2009 Edublog Awards:

Best individual blog – Teaching All Students by Patrick Black – (www.teachingall.blogspot.com) – Fresh ideas, multiple resources, and practical solutions for differentiating instruction for EVERY student.

Best individual tweeter – Melissa Techman (www.twitter.com/mtechman) – In my estimation, the most prolific person on Twitter.  Melissa is the first to share valuable resources and insights moving us all forward with her conversations and input.

Best new blog – The Tech Flash by Mark Nichols (www.thetechflash.com) – Although the first post was in October of 09, The Tech Flash is already proving to be one of the most pertinent blogs about technology for all students (with a special focus on students with disabilities) not to mention resources for teachers, administrators, and parents alike.

Best teacher blog – Speech-Language Pathology Sharing by Eric Sailers (www.speechlanguagepathologysharing.blogspot.com) – There aren’t many speech-language pathologists who integrate technology in their practice and share those experiences with the world at large.  Few skills are as important to a student as the ability to communicate, let alone communicate effectively.  This well-planned and thorough blog provides support to every teacher who has a student with communication difficulties.

Best educational use of audio – Teacher 2.0 podcast by Rodd Lucier (www.thecleversheep.com) – I could be wrong about this, but I believe the willingness of teachers to listen to an audio file correlates directly to the length of that file.  The longer the file, the less likely it is that a teacher will listen to it.  The Teacher 2.0 podcast provides succinct yet thought-provoking topics on education technology that make listeners feel like they are part of an active  conversation rather than a passive member of the audience.

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.  A teacher could get lost for hours in the possibilities for students.  Any visitor instantly begins to see solutions for students they work with on a daily basis.

Best educational use of a social networking service – The Assistive Technology Ning by Brian Wojcik (http://assistivetech.ning.com/) – The Assistive Technology Ning provides individuals who are interested in the topic of assistive technology with a way of having virtual discussions including the ability to share multimedia (text, video, audio, images, etc.) while also providing a way to have a visual representation of its participants.

I hope you check out these fabulous resources and, if you agree with my choices, consider voting for these fantastic creations, projects, and initiatives to recognize the dedication of these individuals.  Find out more information about how to participate over at The Edublog Awards.

Enjoy!

Chris

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 43: Listener Feedback, For Real – Part 2

 

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

Episode #43 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #43 features some more feedback from listeners of the show. There was still too much feedback to fit it all into just this episode so you can expect to hear at least one more Listener Feedback episode in the future.

The episode also features a bumper from Lisa Givens who works as an educational specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools in Assistive Technology Services. I caught up with Lisa at NECC 09 and I’m just now getting to play her bumper. 

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #64: Classroom Acoustic Coalition (via Facebook)

 

The focus of the Classroom Acoustic Coalition Facebook group is to bring about awareness about acoustics in the classroom.  In the episode Signal-to-Noise ratio is mentioned as something to consider when working with students. The following are some other helpful resources about S/N and classroom acoustics:

1. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Article on 5 Strategies to Promote Good Classroom Acoustics

2. Guidelines for Teachers to Help Minimize Auditory Perceptual Problems

A.T.TIP #65: Onetruemedia.com

This website allows you to quickly upload pictures and videos (.mpegs, .mpgs, .mp4, .mov, .avi, .wmv, .jpg’s and more) and then select from a number of free montage styles and music to create a nicely polished, professional looking, special effect ridden video.  Once finished, the website generates a URL for your video that can be shared.  The website is easy to use and would allow students to be able to create flashy presentations above and beyond just a simple slideshow.  Plus, there is nothing to install.  All of the controls and design occur right there on the website all for free. The only downside is that only some of the montages and music is free.  For access to the complete library you need to become a premium member and pay a fee.  Also, to export the video into another file format you need to be premium member.  The following are some of the videos I’ve made using this website:

1. Professional Development Montage

2. A.T.TIPScast Montage

A.T.TIP #66: Screentoaster.com

This website allows you to capture a video of whatever is happening on your screen.  You can export videos as .swf files (flash) and .mov files, which means you can save the videos right down to your computer.  You can choose to record the entire screen or record a rectangular area of the screen. Screentoaster.com is a great way to capture and share what a student has done on a computer and is also a great way to capture any lesson done on the computer.  Also, a student could capture work they’ve done on a home computer to share back with teacher.  It is also great for making short video tutorials providing directions for how to do something on the computer.  Students could watch these videos over and over again as a way to have instructions repeated as many times as necessary.

Additional Resources Mentioned-

1. Loudoun County Public Schools’ Assistive Technology Video Archive

Upcoming Presentations-

Alternative Professional Development – Powering Up With Technology Conference 09 – Upper Marlboro, Maryland – November 14th- (Time TBD)

Alternative Professional Development – Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2010 – Orlando, Florida – January 28 – 2:45pm – 3:45pm EST

UDL 2.0 presented with Beth Poss – Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2010 – Orlando, Florida – January 29 – 9:15pm-10:15pm EST

Contact Information-

If I don’t get to see you at NECC we can still connect virtually. Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 42: Count Edula’s Game

Episode Overview:

Hey everyone,

Run! Run! Run for your lives! Episode #42 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #42 features a visit to Count Edula’s mansion where he asks about some tools he can use to help organize his  “hypothetical” zombie army.  Chris’s suggestions just so happen to be useful tools to help students as well.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode:

A.T.TIP #60: Google Earth

Google Earth lets you to zoom anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. Google Earth is a free software program you can download and install on your computer.  When you launch the program you see a celestial view of the earth.  On the left hand side you see a search window.  Type in any location, hit the magnifying glass icon, and watch as you zoom to that location.  Also on the left side of the screen you’ll find a section called “layers” click on any of the boxes there to add additional features to what you see in your search.  So, for instance, if you select the “3D Buildings” layer when a 3 dimensional image of a building is available you will see that building in three dimensions.  Try it by searching for any major city, like Chicago, and you’ll see a three-dimensional representation of tons of different buildings or try doing a search for one of the lighthouses along the Outer Banks.  In more remote locations like those you can really see the difference between the 2 dimensional representations and the 3 dimensional representations.   There is a street view layer that is awesome where you can see, where available, a 360 degree digital image as if you were standing at a given location.  Students who have trouble visualizing how tall something is, or what something might look like, or how a structure might appear in real-life, can experience these places in a very tangential way.  Using Google Earth before or after a field trip or community-based instructional trip can bring a totally new dimension to the learning experience.  What’s nice about Google Earth is that it’s totally free.  Students can download it at home to explore on their own. Again, this is just scratching the surface of what it can do as there are all different types of layers, including shipwrecks, weather conditions and forecasts, and global awareness.

A.T.TIP #61: Google Earth Video Tours

Google Earth 5 allows you to create a tour by creating a movie. One of the icons is a little video camera.  Just click on that video camera icon and then the little red record button that appears.  Teachers can use this with students to give a little video tour of where they are going or where they have been.  Students can also use this feature to demonstrate their knowledge.  A student records themselves traveling from place to place in Google Earth to demonstrate they know how to get to a location from a location, that they know where on the globe an event occurred or where a place is actually located.  You could even use it as an alternative way to tell a story.  Instead of writing that essay on what they did over Winter Break, students can virtually take the teacher and other students to that location by showing it on Google Earth.

A.T.TIP #62: Mystudiyo.com

Mystudiyo.com  is a website that allows you to create assessments using all sorts of different media.  There are different assessment types to choose from, but the one that I think is easiest and most relevant to students is the multiple choice type of assessment.  Once you choose your assessment type the website takes you through a series of questions to set-up your quiz.  It’s like a quiz wizard that walks you through creation, step-by-step.   You can choose from different looks of your quiz and you can add introductory media using text, an image, or video to give directions which is perfect for students who might have trouble reading instructions.  You can also have text, an image or video accompany each question, which means you could read each question aloud and save it as a video to have a much more accessible assessment.  At the end of the assessment a student can be presented with a scoreboard to see how well they did.  Once you’ve finished creating your quiz the website generates a unique URL for your quiz.  Take that URL and distribute it to students  for them to take the quiz on your computers or, if possible,  on their own home computers.  See how well you can do on the quiz created by Count Edula for his zombie horde.

A.T.TIP #63: Shorttext.com

Shorttext.com allows someone to either type or copy/paste text directly into it.  Then, once they are ready, they click on the “Create URL” button to make a URL for that text.  In the future, they just go back to that unique URL to access that text again.  It’s a handy way to save information.  For instance, students who tend to lose things, like thumbdrives or assignments, can post it to Shorttext.com.  Then, all they need is the URL to go get it.  Unlike a thumbdrive, the URLs can be shared with a teacher or in a safe location that doesn’t get transported to and from school.  There are some other tools on the net that might be better for organization of assignments and such, but shorttext.com has a very simple interface without lots of buttons or other functions.  This makes it less intimidating, which is why I like it and which is why it might be perfect for some students and teachers.  Check out a piece of intercepted correspondence from one of Count Edula’s zombie field generals.

Points of Interest:

Mentioned in the podcast is an article by the New York Times about Wikipedia’s new policy about editing entries about living people.

Also, if you haven’t seen this Common Craft How-to video, well, it might be worth your time to help you prepare for the impending apocalypse.

Upcoming Presentation Information:

 The Building Blocks of a Successful Assistive Technology Team presented with Sally Norton-Darr – ISTE Webinar – October 21st- 4pm – 5pm EST

Eight is Enough: Ways to Use What You Got – Clarksville, Maryland – November 9th – 7:30pm – 9:00pm EST

Alternative Professional Development – Powering Up With Technology Conference 09 – Upper Marlboro, Maryland – November 14th- (Time TBD)

Alternative Professional Development – Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2010 – Orlando, Florida – January 28 – 2:45pm – 3:45pm EST

UDL 2.0 presented with Beth Poss – Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2010 – Orlando, Florida – January 29 – 9:15pm-10:15pm EST

I hope to meet you at any or all of these presentations. But, if you can’t make it to those, and you’re interested in any of this (or other) content for workshops in your district please contact me at attipscast@gmail.com. We can work together to set something up either in person or virtually!

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com as @attipscast.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #41: Listener Feedback, For Real – Part 1

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

Episode #41 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #41 features some feedback from listeners of the show.  There was too much feedback to fit into one episode so you can expect to hear more in the future.

The episode also features a bumper from Sally Norton-Darr and Judith Schoonover about the new version of CAST’s BookBuilder.  Judith and Sally will be doing workshops on this at the following professional conferences if you’re interested in attending:

ATIA 09 in Chicago, Illinois on October 28th – 31st 

Techknowledgy 09 in Richmond, Virginia – November 19 & 20

RATE in Fairfax, Virginia on November 7th

 

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #59: freesound.org

 

The Freesound Project is a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds. Freesound focusses only on sound, not songs.

Additional Resources Mentioned-

Image of Brian’s Interactive PowerPoint Presentation

Teaching All Students Blog

Upcoming Presentations-

 The Building Blocks of a Successful Assistive Technology Team presented with Sally Norton-Darr – ISTE Webinar – October 21st- 4pm – 5pm EST

Eight is Enough: Ways to Use What You Got – Clarksville, Maryland –                                                                                  November 9th – 7:30pm – 9:00pm EST

Alternative Professional Development Powering Up With Technology Conference 09 – Upper Marlboro, Maryland –  November 14th- (Time TBD)

Alternative Professional Development Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2010 – Orlando, Florida – January 28 – 2:45pm – 3:45pm EST

UDL 2.0 presented with Beth Poss – Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2010 – Orlando, Florida – January 29 – 9:15pm-10:15pm EST

Contact Information-

If I don’t get to see you at NECC we can still connect virtually. Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting

Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

Halloween Party Invitation

Invitation to Halloween Party

Invitation to Halloween Party

Hello all,

The next episode should be coming out shortly but, in the meantime, something strange happened.  I received this strange invitation today when I got home from work.  Check it out:

CEInvite

A.T.TIPSCAST Special Episode: Big Announcement #2- The Book

Hey everyone,

Well this was the big secret project I’ve been working on that I had mentioned in previous episodes.  I introduce to you now “The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools: Building or Improving Your District’s AT Team” by Christopher Bugaj and Sally Norton-Darr.  The book is being published by the International Society for Technology in Education (better known by the acronym ISTE) and will be available for pre-order in February March of 2010.

The Content:

As the title suggests the book provides strategies of building an assistive technology program in public schools.  Answers to common questions such as “How do we consider AT for every student?”, “How does assistive technology get documented in an IEP?”, “What are some effective ways of working with Instructional Technology?”, “Who should be on an AT Team?”, “When and how do you write an AT evaluation report?”, “What is the most effect service delivery model?”, “How do you adequately follow-up with teachers and students?”, “How do you collect data and demonstrate progress?”, and “How do you build a comprehensive assistive technology program?” are all found in the book.

The Style:

The book is written in such a way that it is easy to use and fun to read. We wanted to create a book that wouldn’t feel like a chore to read.  Therefore, the book is laced with engaging analogies and humorous stories which emphasize and clarify the points being made.  In the future we hope to have some excerpts for you to sample, both in text and audio formats.  Throughout the book we provide procedures that have not only been relatively easy to implement but also have proven exceptionally effective for us.  In fact, that was kind of our mantra for the book, “If it’s working for us, why wouldn’t it work for you?”

More to Come:

I’ll be sharing more information in the coming weeks and month about purchase information, pricing, and how you can help spread the word about the book if you’re interested in helping out.

Upcoming Presentation Information:

 The Building Blocks of a Successful Assistive Technology Team presented with Sally Norton-Darr – ISTE Webinar – October 21st- 4pm – 5pm EST

Eight is Enough: Ways to Use What You Got – Clarksville, Maryland –                                                                                  November 9th – 7:30pm – 9:00pm EST

Alternative Professional Development Powering Up With Technology Conference 09 – Upper Marlboro, Maryland –  November 14th- (Time TBD)

Alternative Professional Development Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2010 – Orlando, Florida – January 28 – 2:45pm – 3:45pm EST

UDL 2.0 presented with Beth Poss – Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2010 – Orlando, Florida – January 29 – 9:15pm-10:15pm EST

I hope to meet you at any or all of these presentations.  But, if you can’t make it to those, and you’re interested in any of this (or other) content for workshops in your district please contact me at attipscast@gmail.com.  We can work together to set something up either in person or virtually!

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com as @attipscast.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #40: Night Light Stories

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,
Episode #40 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #40 features an interview with Miss Mel, the host of the Night Light Stories podcast which features free original children’s stories!  The episode also features a bumper from Nancy Stewart, the lead special education teacher at Avoca School District 37 in Wilmette, Illinois.  You can check out her blog Mad Math Beyond Numberdome and her school blog.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #58: Night Light Stories Podcast

Nightlight300x300

Contact Miss Mel via Twitter with @nightlight08 or via e-mail at nightlightstories@gmail.com
Join the Night Light Stories group on Facebook to receive updates when new stories become available.

Upcoming Events-

I’ll be the moderator for the 2009 Online Summer Institute on Assistive and Instructional Technology on the topic of “Use of Social Media Tools” for the Family Center on Technology and DisabilityRegistration and participation is totally free.  I hope you can participate in the discussion!

Contact Information-

If I don’t get to see you at NECC we can still connect virtually. Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.
Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:
Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com
Thanks everyone and happy listening!

Volume 4 Question Booklets are now available!

attipscast-logo-300x300.jpg

Hey everyone,

No new audio with this post.  It is a blog only update to let you know that the Question Booklets for Volume 4 are now available.  If you’re new to the A.T.TIPCAST and you’re not sure what that is, you can find out more by checking out the special episode about professional development posted back in May.

The Resources:

Download these files to make your own staff development workshop out of the A.T.TIPSCAST!

All Files For Volumes 1 – 4:

1. This file contains everything in one download: Volumes1-4everythingincluded (PDF)

Volume 4 Separately (Episodes 27 – 35, Total Running Time 1:25:10)-

1. Question Booklet for Volume 4: volume4package (PDF)

2. CD Label for Volume 4: vol4cdlabels (PDF)

If you have any trouble with any of these files, contact me at attipscast@gmail.com and I’ll work with you to get it working!

Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com as @attipscast.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

 

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #39: Photo Album in PowerPoint

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,
Episode #39 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #39 describes different ways to utilize the Photo Album feature of Microsoft PowerPoint to facilitate digital storytelling.  The episode features a discussion with the newly-improved, fan favorite, B-Bot!

A.T. TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #57: Photo Album Feature of PowerPoint
In PowerPoint 07 Photo Album can be found in the “Insert” tab.  It is built right into this version.
PAscreenshot1
Although there may be slight variations based on the version of PowerPoint you are using, the Photo Album feature of PowerPoint looks like this:
PhotoalbumScreenshot2
Step-by-step directions for Photo Album Feature of PowerPoint 07
Photo Album in other versions of PowerPoint can be downloaded from the following websites:
PowerPoint 2003
PowerPoint 2000 (requires a free download and install)

Upcoming Conference Presentations-

I’ll be presenting at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC)- June 28th – July 1st in Washington, D.C. (Poster Session: Chew the P.H.A.T-Policies and How-to’s in Assistive Technology with Sally Norton-Darr).

Contact Information-

If I don’t get to see you at NECC we can still connect virtually. Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.
Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:
Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com
Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #38: Graphic Organizer Interview – Part 2

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,
Episode #38 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #38 features Part 2 of the interview with Chris Cummins, a high school English teacher and adjunct professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia who is currently teaching a class on Literacy and Technology. The second part of the interview focuses more on specific tools that can be used to create graphic organizers while also touching upon some ideas about implementing graphic organizers across the curriculum.

A.T. TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #54: VUE (Free)
“The Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is an Open Source project based at Tufts University. The VUE project is focused on creating flexible tools for managing and integrating digital resources in support of teaching, learning and research. VUE provides a flexible visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information.”
VUE Examples and Video Tutorials
A.T.TIP #55: FreeMind (Free)
“FreeMind is a premier free mind-mapping software written in Java.”
FreeMind Examples and Video Tutorials
A.T.TIP #56: Record Sound Feature of Inspiration (Not Free)
Students who can tell you a story (or explain an essay) orally but who have difficulty expressing those thoughts in a written format can use the “Record Sound” feature of Inspiration to complete writing assignments, like stories, essays, or essay questions on tests.  The strategy involves the students recording one thought per cell in a web or outline created in Inspiration.  Once they have recorded each sentence orally they can go back, listen to the sentence in the cell, and begin typing it in.  Every time they get stuck with spelling or forget what they were going to type they can re-listen to their own recording to type it in.  The following screenshots explain how to use the “Record Sound” feature of Inspiration.
Let’s say you have a graphic organizer that looks like this:

Super Four Square Template

After selecting a cell, the student can record his voice by going here:

Inspiration Screenshot 1

Once the student has selected “Record Sound” the following window will appear.  Use the red record button to begin recording.  Use the “Save” button to save the recording.

Inspiration 2

Once the sound has been saved the selected cell will display a “speaker” icon in the upper right hand corner.  Double-click on this speaker icon to hear the recorded message as many times as necessary while the student types the words.

Inspiration 3

Additionally, teachers could use this feature to leave hints or reminder to students when developing a graphic organizing template.

Upcoming Conference Presentations-

I’ll be presenting at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC)- June 28th – July 1st in Washington, D.C. (Poster Session: Chew the P.H.A.T-Policies and How-to’s in Assistive Technology with Sally Norton-Darr).

Contact Information-

If I don’t get to see you at NECC we can still connect virtually. Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.
Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:
Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com
Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #37: Graphic Organizer Interview – Part 1

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,
Episode #37 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #37 features Part 1 of a two part interview with Chris Cummins, a high school English teacher and adjunct professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia who is currently teaching a class on Literacy and Technology.  During this first part of the interview Chris and I talk about a few different styles of graphic organizers as well as discuss how to implement graphic organizers in a high school setting.

A.T. TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #51: The Frayer Model of Graphic Organizer
Create a graphic organizing web online using the Frayer Model
A.T.TIP #52: Semantic Mapping (Super Word Web)
 Create a semantic map by downloading the template from Longwood University
Super Word Web excerpt from “Stretching Student’s Vocabulary” by Karen D’Angelo Bromley and Judy Lynch
A.T.TIP #53: Compare – Contrast Model of Graphic Organizer
Downloadable compare and contrast graphic organizers from Education Oasis
Compare and Contrast Matrix from Write Design Online

Upcoming Conference Presentations-

I’ll be presenting at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC)- June 28th – July 1st in Washington, D.C. (Poster Session: Chew the P.H.A.T-Policies and How-to’s in Assistive Technology with Sally Norton-Darr).

Contact Information-

If I don’t get to see you at NECC we can still connect virtually. Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.
Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:
Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com
Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #36: CAST Book Builder Discussion

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,
Episode #36 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #36 features a discussion about Book Builder by Sally Norton-Darr, Judith Schoonover, and Mark Nichols.  They will be doing a presentation centering on the uses of Book Builder during the National Educational Computing Conference on June 29th.  They are asking that you leave a comment on this blog post talking about how you use Book Builder, improvements you would like to see to Book Builder, or anything related to your experiences with the tool.

A.T. TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #44 (Redux): Book Builder by CAST
 While you’re there, check out the book Sally and Judie created:

Sally and Judie Screenshot

Water book by Sally and Judie

Support The Cause-

My colleagues will be riding in the local Tour De Cure on June 14th, 2009, sponsored by the American Diabetes Foundation. If you can donate, even a dollar, it would be much appreciated. Select the “donate” button on either website to make a donation.

Upcoming Conference Presentations-

I’ll be presenting at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC)- June 28th – July 1st in Washington, D.C. (Poster Session: Chew the P.H.A.T-Policies and How-to’s in Assistive Technology with Sally Norton-Darr).

Contact Information-

If I don’t get to see you at NECC we can still connect virtually. Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.
Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:
Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com
Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #35: ART of this World

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,
Episode #35 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #35 describes two websites that contain online painting programs.  The episode also features a bumper from Julie Bisbee, a speech-language pathologist from San Juan County, New Mexico.  Download the flyer for the Participatory Assistive Technology Conference being held on Monday, June 15th, 2009 at San Juan College.  Also, mentioned in this episode is the “Accessing the Artist Within” project from the Anne Carlsen Center in North Dakota.  Here is a link explaining the QIAT with a link to subscribe to the QIAT Listserv.

A.T TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #49: Sumo Paint

This is a screenshot of what Sumo Paint looks like

A.T.TIP #50: National Gallery of Art Kids Zone
Check out the student created works over in the A.T.TIPSCAST Flickr Photostream

Support The Cause-

My colleagues will be riding in the local Tour De Cure on June 14th, 2009, sponsored by the American Diabetes Foundation. If you can donate, even a dollar, it would be much appreciated. Select the “donate” button on either website to make a donation.

Upcoming Conference Presentations-

I’ll be presenting at the  National Educational Computing Conference (NECC)- June 28th – July 1st in Washington, D.C. (Poster Session: Chew the P.H.A.T-Policies and How-to’s in Assistive Technology with Sally Norton-Darr).

Contact Information-

If I don’t get to see you at NECC we can still connect virtually. Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.
Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:
Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com
Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #34: Digital Visual Feedback Modulators

Hey everyone,

Episode #34 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #34 describes another strategy for assisting students who have trouble maintaining appropriate volume while speaking.  The episode also features a bumper from my mom, Jackie Bugaj.  I’d like to thank Thomas F., Doug G., Michael M., Christopher C., and Timothy C. for their contributions that can be heard at the end of the episode.

A.T.TIP #48: Digital Voice Feedback Modulators

Here are some videos that further explain how to use digital voice feedback modulators.

Visual Feedback For Volume Management:

Visual Feedback With Audacity:

My colleagues will be riding in the local Tour De Cure sponsored by the American Diabetes Foundation. If you can donate, even a dollar, it would be much appreciated. Select the “donate” button on either website to make a donation.

I’ll be presenting at these two upcoming conferences:

1. Teacher Researcher Conference – May 27th, 2009 in Fairfax, Virginia (Session on Strategy-A-Day Calendar on Teacher Desktops as an Agent of Change with technology resource teachers).

2. National Educational Computing Conference (NECC)- June 28th – July 1st in Washington, D.C. (Poster Session: Chew the P.H.A.T-Policies and How-to’s in Assistive Technology with Sally Norton-Darr).

If I don’t get to see you at either of those conferences we can still get together virtually over the Internet. Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:

Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #33: Voice Feedback Modulators

Hey everyone,

Episode #33 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #33 describes a strategy for assisting students who have trouble maintaining appropriate volume, rate, or pitch when speaking.  This episode is one of my contributions to Better Hearing and Speech Month by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.  The episode also features a bumper from Speech Language Pathologist and Assistive Technology Specialist,  Beth Poss.  Check out the website www.matnonline.com for more information about the Maryland Assistive Technology Network as well as incredible resources related to assistive technology.  I presented on the topic of Alternative Professional Development at the MATN conference which was held on May 7th, 2009.  The presentation was an collaborative effort between myself and the audience.  Here is a PDF of what we put together during the workshop: Alternative Professional Development Presentation from MATN on May 7th, 2009.

A.T.TIP #47: Voice Feedback Modulators

Here are some sample Voice Feedback Modulators

Voice Feedback Modulator #1

Voice Feedback Modulator Sample 1

Voice Feedback Modulator Sample 1

Voice Feedback Modulator #2