Tag Archives: ADHD

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 #44: Alternative Professional Development @ PUWT09

 

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

Episode #44 is up for your listening pleasure and boy is it a doozy! It clocks in at just under 42 minutes!  Yikes! Episode #44 is kind of a unique episode because it features a recording of a live event. Back on November 14th I was lucky enough to attend the Powering Up with Technology Conference in Prince George’s County Maryland.  At that conference I presented a session called Alternative Professional Development.  I use the term “presented” loosely because, although I was listed as the presenter, the session was more of an integrated brainstorming session.  I was more of the moderator for the discussion than a presenter.  During the session we tried to outline some of the common problems with staff development happening in public schools and then try to come up with some solutions.  During the course of the discussion a bunch of great ideas were mentioned about how to address some of the problems with the typical professional development model.  Furthermore, a number of concrete resources are mentioned that can be used to assist students.  You can access the entire presentation as generated by the audience here:  Alternative Professional Development Presentation from PUWT09.

The episode also features a bumper from Robin Lesht who is a speech-language pathologist from Mount Prospect, Illinois. I met Robin at ATIA 09 where we shared different experiences working in the field of speech-language pathology.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #67: Document Holder from Inverted CD case and Alligator Clip

 

Many a student has strained their neck transposing a handwritten assignment onto the computer because the paper was flat on the desk.  To alleviate the neck strain people started to use document holders so that they didn’t have to constantly shift their field of vision from the paper to the screen and back again.  Sure, you could go out and spend money on a fancy, commercial document holder or you could take an unused CD case that you probably have lying around, flip it over so the hinged cover is upright and then fasten the paper to it with an alligator clip.  Done and done, instant document holder.

  Document Holder from inverted CD case

A.T.TIP #68: www.educatus.com

This website provides over 1000 pre-made lessons/presentations on a wide variety of curricular topics.  The media-rich presentations are similar to a PowerPoint presentation and each one is available to be viewed online via your web browser.  Each presentation is useful as a pre-learning activity where students could be asked to independently review content before a class discussion, as an alternative source of content to complement or supplement another lesson, or as a follow-up/review activity at the end of a lesson.

A.T.TIP #69: www.voki.com

This website allows you to create an animated talking head.  Use text-to-speech or record a voice to have the voki speak the message.  Vokis could be used by a teacher to introduce a lesson, give verbal instructions for an assignment, record reminders to students, provide feedback and more!  Vokis could be used by a student as an alternative means of expression for presentations, practicing conversations, or demonstrating knowledge.  Check out these ideas on how to use Voki in your classroom from The Edublogger.

Check out a Voki I created.

A.T.TIP #70: www.blabberize.com

This website allows you to upload a picture, select a portion of that picture that will move (usually a mouth), and then record a message.  When the message is played back, the selected area will move in time with the message.  Blabberize can be used in similar ways as Vokis.  It could be used by a teacher to introduce a lesson, give verbal instructions for an assignment, record reminders to students, provide feedback and more!  It could be used by a student as an alternative means of expression for presentations, practicing conversations, or demonstrating knowledge.

Check out a video I made in Blabberize

Additional Resources Mentioned-

1. Loudoun County Public Schools’ Assistive Technology Video Archive

2. Evidence that high-speed Internet access is not ubiquitous.

3. More evidence that high-speed Internet access is not ubiquitous.

4. www.delicious.com – Social Bookmarking Site.  Note that the A.T.TIPSCAST uses delicious to share resources on the left side of the page.

5. www.Prezi.com – A new and interesting way to create a presentation.  Information is presented on one large canvas and you zoom into different areas of the canvas to view the information.

6. www.tinyurl.com – A useful way of making long URLs shorter.  Shortened URLs are easier for users to remember (like www.tinyurl.com/nlsstories) and easier for people to type in if entering a URL from a piece of paper.

7. Tonyvincent.info – A link library of useful educational resources created by the keynote speaker of the conference, Tony Vincent.  **Corrected from original post- Tony made a comment below sharing that the site he used to present at the conference was http://tonysite.info ***

8. Radio WillowWeb Podcast – Radio WillowWeb is a podcast for kids
and by kids from the students at Willowdale Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska.
Each new show is called a Willowcast. Each Willowcast can be heard on WillowWeb
as an mp3 digital audio file.

9. ASHA Podcast – The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s podcast features interviews with different individuals making strides in the field of speech-language pathology and audiology

10. Quick Access Toolbar in Word 07 – Microsoft Word 07 features a quick access toolbar that can be customized, allowing for favorite tools to be shown and less used tools to be hidden.  This feature helps to reduce clutter on the screen while highlighting to students some key/important features they could be using in Word.

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 – 9:15am-10:15am 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 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 #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 #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!