Tag Archives: Assistive Technology

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 #152: Breaking Down and Building Up Language

Texthelp advertisement

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

Episode Overview –

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

Sample Planning Sheet

Targetted Word – Put

Numbers in Language Opportunities column are minimum opportunities

to use the targetted word

TIME ACTIVITY

LANGUAGE OPPORTUNITIES

8:00 – 8:30

Morning Circle

Attendance – Where to put others (5)

Calendar – Where to put # day (5)

Weather – Where to put clothes on character (5)

8:30 – 9:00

Science

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

9:00 – 9:30

Storytime

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

9:30 – 10:00

Snack

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

10:00 – 10:30

Art

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

10:30 – 11:00

Maths

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Live Presentations

ISAAC Conference in Toronto, Canada – August 2016

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

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

Liberator AAC Summit – Melbourne, Australia – July 2016

Contact Information

attipscast@gmail.com
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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #134: Able To

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 #134 questions the usage of the phrase “able to” when reporting on the abilities of students. This is the Season 8 premiere.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #436: Banning the R Word and http://r-word.org
A.T.TIP #437: Elevateapp.com

Upcoming ATIA Webinars

Low Cost Ways to Provide More Options To Help Students with Reading and Writing – 3:30pm – 4:30pm ET on November 12th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association
Getting Your AT Party Started: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Program Building with Sally Norton-Darr – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on December 11th, 2014. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

 

Upcoming Live Presentations

Be A Digital Detective with Beth Poss – 12:45pm – 3:00pm on November 18, 2014. PATINS 2014 Conference.
Twitter 101 with Beth Poss – 10:15am – 11:15am on November 18, 2014. PATINS 2014 Conference.
Technology Driven Data Collection: Using Digital Tools to Document Progress –  One-Day Pre-conference – January 28th,  2015. Assistive Technology Industry Association One-Day Pre-conference. Register Now!
Multiple Presentations – January 29th – 31st,  2015. Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference.
TBD – Keynote Speaker –  February 4th, 2015. Utah Center for Assistive Technology

 

Contact Information

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

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Bonus Content – Learn By Listening Podcast Tutorial

Bonus Content Overview-

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

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

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

WhentoListen

Sponsor Information –

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

Banner ad for http://texthelp.com

 

 

New Content Coming Soon –

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

Upcoming ATIA Webinars

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

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

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

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

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

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

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

 Use promotion code ATTIPS14SAVE20 to get

20% off online orders of Read&Write!

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

Episode Overview-

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

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

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

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

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

A.T.TIP #425 – http://manybooks.net/

A.T.TIP #426 – http://openlibrary.org

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

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

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

A.T.TIP #430 – http://gutenberg.org

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

A.T.TIP #432 – http://bit.ly/lit2go

A.T.TIP #433 – http://dailylit.com

Upcoming Presentations –

VA Training and Technical Assistance Center Region 5 –

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

Tuesday, April 8th  – 8:15am – 3:30pm

Texas Assistive Technology Network – 

Tuesday, June 10th

UDL 2.0 – with Beth Poss (3 Hour Session)

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

ATIA Webinars

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

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

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

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

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

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

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

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

 Use promotion code ATTIPS14SAVE20 to get

20% off online orders of Read&Write!

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

Episode Overview-

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

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

Upcoming Presentations –

ISTE SIGML Second Life and TweetChat –

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

VA Training and Technical Assistance Center Region 5 –

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

Tuesday, April 8th  – 8:15am – 3:30pm

Texas Assistive Technology Network – 

Tuesday, June 10th

UDL 2.0 – with Beth Poss (3 Hour Session)

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

ATIA Webinars

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

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

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

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

About.me

subscribe in itunes button

Disability-led Innovations For The Masses: My TEDx Talk

WATCH THE VIDEO directly – 

Thanks to all the people who helped put together TEDxAshburn!

Upcoming Presentations –

ISTE SIGML Second Life and TweetChat –

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

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

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

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

VA Training and Technical Assistance Center Region 5 –

Tuesday, April 8th  – 8:15am – 3:30pm

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

Texas Assistive Technology Network – 

Tuesday, June 10th

UDL 2.0 – with Beth Poss (3 Hour Session)

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

ATIA Webinars

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

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

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

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

About.me

subscribe in itunes button

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

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

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

 Use promotion code ATTIPS14SAVE10 to get

10% off online orders of Read&Write!

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

Episode Overview-

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

Redefining “Assistive Technology Device”

by Christopher Bugaj

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s the example:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The need to use a tool is the difference.

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

I think there are two potential solutions.

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

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

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

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

That brings us to Option 2.

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

Wouldn’t that be a better definition?

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

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

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

Upcoming Presentations –

ISTE SIGML Second Life and TweetChat –

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

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

ATIA Webinars

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

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

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

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

About.me

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

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

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

 Use promotion code ATTIPS14SAVE10 to get

10% off online orders of Read&Write!

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

Episode Overview-

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also Mentioned In this Episode –

The votes have been tabulated for the  2013 Edublog Awards!

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

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

Thank you all for your votes!

Upcoming Presentations –

Assistive Technology Industry Association

Orlando, Florida

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

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

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

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

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

ATIA Webinars

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

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

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

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

About.me

subscribe in itunes button

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

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

ATTIPScast Logo 1 big

Click the logos to vote!

ATEval2Go logo

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

howtovote2013Voting ends on December 18th, 2013

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

Best Individual Blog – Teaching All Students by Patrick Black

Best Individual Blog & Best Ed Tech BlogPrAACtical AAC

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

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

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

Best Hashtag – #atchat

Best Educational Use of a Wiki – UDLTechToolkit

Best Open PD/Webinar/UnconferenceVSTELive! Webinars

One last thing…

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

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

Cover of the book Technology Tools or Students with Autism

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

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

 Use promotion code ATTIPS14SAVE10 to get

10% off online orders of Read&Write!

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

Episode Overview-

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #397 – Chill-out station

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Presentations –

Virginia Society for Technology in Education

Roanoke, Virginia

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

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

Assistive Technology Industry Association

Orlando, Florida

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

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

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

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

ATIA Webinars

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

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

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

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

About.me

subscribe in itunes button

Edublog Award Nominations 2013

Hello there everyone,

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

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

Best Individual Blog –

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

Best Teacher Blog –

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

Best Group Blog –

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

Best New Blog –

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

Best Ed Tech / Resource Sharing Blog –

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

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

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

Best Educational Wiki –

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

Best Open PD, Unconference, or Webinar Series –

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

Best Twitter Hashtag –

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

Best Free Web Tool –

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Chris

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

Cover of the book Technology Tools or Students with Autism


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

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

Episode Overview-

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #390 – Social situation stories

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

A.T.TIP #392 – Mini-offices

A.T.TIP #393 – Thicker pencils

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

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

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

Upcoming Presentations –

Virginia Society for Technology

in Education Conference

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

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

Assistive Technology

Industry Association Conference

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

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

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

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

ATIA Webinars

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

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

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

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

About.me

subscribe in itunes button

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

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

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

Cartoon Image of the iPad with a monster looking cover

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #384 – Find My iPhone/iPad

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Presentations –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

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

About.me

subscribe in itunes button

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

Infected Cartoon Zombie wearing an A.T.TIPSCAST shirt

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

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

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

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

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

A.T.TIP #381 – #ATChat on Twitter

A.T.TIP #382 – QIAT Listserv

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

Upcoming Presentations –

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

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

About.me

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

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

Also Mentioned in This Episode –

Logo from TEDxAshburn

Cover the book Technology Tools for Students with Autism

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

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

The book is now available for pre-sale.

Upcoming Presentations –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

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

About.me

ATIA Pre-Conference Announcement – Digital Make & Take

Digital Make and Take: Digging Deeper

Advertisement for Digging Deeper Presconference

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

 2014 Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

 with Christopher Bugaj and Beth Poss

LEARN MORE & REGISTER 

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

Don’t Sit N’ Get!

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

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

NEED IDEAS? CONSIDER CREATING ANY OF THESE:

Strategy-A-Day Calendar

Multimedia Professional Development Workshop

Blog

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

Podcast

Video Channel

App Review Resource

Online Professional Development Workshop

Multimedia Slideshow Series

Wiki

eBook

Comic Strip Series centered around a particular topic

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

Social Bookmarking Group

LEARN MORE & REGISTER 

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

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

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #368  – Minecraft PE Lite app

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

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

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

A.T.TIP #370 – BlocksWorld HD app

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

Spaceman hovering over a tools palette

A.T.TIP #372 – Kodable app

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

A.T.TIP #373 – DIY app

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

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

Also Mentioned in This Episode –

AutisMate’s Hero of the Week Interview

Minspeak Newsletter featuring A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 116

Upcoming Presentations –

Speaker at TEDxAshburn – September 28th, 2013

Logo from TEDxAshburn

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

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

About.me

Texthelp’s Continued Sponsorship

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

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

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

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

Texthelp Advertisement

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

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

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

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

A.T.TIP #362 – Tools Checklist

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

Upcoming Presentations –

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

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

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

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

Check out my bio at About.me

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #118: Implementing Edmodo

edmodo logo

Episode Overview-

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

Texthelp Advertisement

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

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

Upcoming Presentations –

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

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

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

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

The Scratch

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

Episode Overview-

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

Texthelp Advertisement

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #358 – Scratch

Upcoming Presentations –

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

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

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

Credits – 

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

Texthelp Advertisement

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

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

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

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

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

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

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

Also Mentioned in This Episode-

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

http://asha.org/bhsm

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

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

Texthelp Advertisement

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

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

http://bit.ly/paintchipsideas

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

A.T.TIP #353 – http://freerice.com

A.T.TIP #354 – http://wordnik.com

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

Texthelp Advertisement

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

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

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

Read a transcript of the extended version of the article

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

A.T.TIP #343 – Screencastomatic.com

A.T.TIP #344 – Skitch

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

A.T.TIP #346 – Educreations

A.T.TIP #347 – Sliderocket.com

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

A.T.TIP #349 – Zite (app)

A.T.TIP #350 – Scoop.it

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

Texthelp Advertisement

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

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #340 – Windows 7 Magnifier

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

A.T.TIP #341 – Screenleap.com

Upcoming Presentations 

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

Also Mentioned In This Episode – 

Quantum Leap

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

Texthelp Advertisement

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

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tutorials – http://bit.ly/turnoncconyt

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

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

Tutorial – http://bit.ly/guidedaccessonios

Upcoming Presentations 

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

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


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

Episode Overview-

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

Texthelp Advertisement

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

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

A.T.TIP #323 – Lego Comic Builders

Lego City                             Lego Star Wars                       Lego DC Universe

      

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

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

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

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

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

A.T.TIP #329 – Editing Checklists

Upcoming Presentations 

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

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

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

This episode also features a bumper from Lucas McCarty.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Example: Lucas McCarty uses LAMP to communicate his dream

Mentioned In This Episode –

Only God Could Hear Me Trailer – Documentary featuring Lucas McCarty

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

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

Chris presents ATEval2Go at

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #307 – Peace Object

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

A.T.TIP #308 – Speaker Object

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

A.T.TIP #309 – Labeling Stations

Placing a visual representation with corresponding text at each station.

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

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

A.T.TIP #311 – Defining a Space

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

Mentioned In This Episode –

PDF Slideshow of Maggie and the Stations

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

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

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

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

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

A.T.TIP 301 – Symbaloo.com

Chris's Symbaloo HomePage

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

A.T.TIP 303 – OpenClipArt.org

A.T.TIP 304 – Soungle.com

A.T.TIP 305 – The EduBlog Awards

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

Edublog Award Nominations 2012

Hello there everyone,

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

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

Best Individual Blog –

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

Best Teacher Blog –

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

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

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

Best Educational Wiki –

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

Best Open PD, Unconference, or Webinar Series –

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

Best Twitter Hashtag –

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

Best Mobile App –

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Chris

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

Episode Overview-

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

A.T.TIP 299 – Flying Books App

Flying app iTunes logoFlying Books logo (green book worm)

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

Website – Flyingbooks.me

Twitter –  @flyingbooksapp

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

Night Light Story available via Flying Books App-

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

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

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

Reg Silva’s blog post about creating the illustrations:

http://bit.ly/regdragonflypost

YouTube eBook announcement:                 

PDF of Mistakes in Various Storybook Apps-

Problematic Storybook Apps

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 104: It’s Alive!

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

Episode Overview-

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

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

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

Night Light Stories outlined on MindMeister

Example of a MindMap created using MindMeister

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

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

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

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

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

kidshalloweenwithtextContact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

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

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #103: Introducing ATEval2Go

ATEval2Go logo

Episode Overview-

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

A.T.TIP 291 – ATEval2Go by Smarty Ears

Watch this short trailer describing the app:

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

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

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

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 102: Brite Digital Stories

Britely Logo

Episode Overview-

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

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

Melissa’s Examples:

America's (Not Mags) Favorite Past Time

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

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

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

Sneak Peek: Digital Storytelling Sample

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

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

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

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

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

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 101: UDL NEXT

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

Episode Overview-

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

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

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

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

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

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

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Moneyball

The Hunger Games

The Avengers

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

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

Piano & Laylee Giveaway Winner-

Amy Braddock!

amysassistivetech.blogspot.com

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

Credits-

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

1. U2- Mission Impossible Theme

2. The Imagination Movers – Everybody’s Game

3. Soundgarden – Live to Rise

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

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

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

Paperback Copies

Hardcover Copies

Kindle Editions

Nook Editions

Piano and Laylee Facebook Site

Piano and Laylee Author Wiki with Activities

ISTE Author Podcast interview with Author Carmela Curatola Knowles

Giveaway Information-

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

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

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

Credits-

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

Ralph’s World – Puppy Dog

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

Attipscast Logo with closed caption logo

Episode Overview-

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

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode-

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

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

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

Upcoming Presentations

REGISTER NOW!

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

Assistive Technology Movie Review: The Avengers

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

It was “Super” fun!

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

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

This is “Super” fun!

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

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

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

SPOILERS FOLLOW
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

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

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

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

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

Students DO NOT CHOOSE to be bored.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chris's face superimposed over the Avenger's faces

The Avengers Movie Poster

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #97: Buddy Walk

Buddywalk / NDSS logo

Episode Overview-

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

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode:

A.T.TIP 284 – Buddy Walk

Like the Buddy Walk Facebook Page

Follow the Buddy Walk on Twitter

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

Upcoming Presentations

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

Credits-

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

1. The Wiggles – Froggy Went A Walkin’

2. U2 – Walk On

3. Cake – Walk On By

4. The Laurie Berkner Band – Walk Along The River

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode:

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

Also Mentioned in This Episode-

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

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

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

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

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

Episode Overview-

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

Read & Write Gold, TextHelp, and Fluency Tutor logos

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

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also Mentioned in This Episode-

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

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

Contact Information-

About.me/chrisbugaj

Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #94: DIY Video Libraries

A.T.TIPSCAST written in yellow block text with blue background surrounded by faded white bubbles

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 #94 features a recording of a live event from the Loudoun County Public School’s ActivLoudounPlus conference. Kevin Hale, an Algebra teacher at Loudoun County High School, explains how an accommodation outlined in one student’s IEP blossomed into a strategy accessible to any student.

This episode also features a bumper from Cheryl Wooline, an assistive technology coordinator from Florida. Cheryl encourages everyone to share the A.T.TIPSCAST with other teachers! Thanks Cheryl!

A.T.TIPS in this Episode:

A.T.TIP 276 – Creating a Do-It-Yourself Video Library

Mr. Hale’s Site

Resources from the Presentation on Diigo

Also Mentioned in This Episode-

Night Light Stories’ Rube Goldberg Machine Video

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 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

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

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

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

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #91: Musical Listener Feedback 4

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 #91 features e-mails, tweets, Facebook comments and other correspondence from listeners.

This episode also features a bumper from Mona Pruett, from the Virginia Department of Education’s Training and Technical Assistance Center, telling everyone about the assistive technology blog at http://assistivetechnology.vcu.edu.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode:

A.T.TIP 268 – Summarizing feature of Mac OS X as shared by @GGGwGadgets

A.T.TIP 269 – Making your own switch from a CD

Also Mentioned in This Episode-

Patrick Black from the Edceptional podcast and from the blog http://teachingall.blogspot.com.

Write Microsoft to let them know you’d like the Voice Comment feature added back into newer versions of Word.

100 Web Tools for Learning with a Disability from @jennymacant

Universal Design for Learning & Assistive Technology Online Course from ISTE

“Name That Tune” Answers –

Note: All song clips are MIDI files and less than 30 seconds in length

1. California Sun (The Rivieras)

2. Sweet Home Chicago (from the Blues Brothers)

3. Here We Have Idaho (Idaho’s State Song)

4. Buffalo Soldier (Bob Marley)

5. Kentucky Woman (Neil Diamond)

6. Down Under (Men At Work)

7. Theme to Northern Exposure

8. We Are The World (USA for Africa)

9. Hello, Goodbye (The Beatles)

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: 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

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

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

SURPRISE, CHRIS! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Hi All,

This is Chris’ wife, Mel. I am hijacking his blog. How I got in here isn’t important . Let’s just say it took some gum, a ferret, and an accomplice to help me break in. Whew, I am feeling like a fish out of water in WordPress. It is fancy in here. Why am I here, you ask?

IT’S CHRIS’ BIRTHDAY!!!

Happy Birthday Chris! As part of your present, I collected some audio birthday messages for you!  You will find the links below to hear them:

Sally and Molly’s Talking Tom app message – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnKqOzD8nZs&feature=youtu.be

Sean’s Fotobabble message- http://www.fotobabble.com/m/Q1hrRXRFdFR3NDQ9

Patrick’s Vocaroo message- http://vocaroo.com/?media=vffbVuhcgcCbmh91z

Brian’s Songify App message- http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4768678/Happy%20Birthday%20Chris%21.mp3

Jeannette‘s Voice Memo message – http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4768678/Voice%20005.amr

Flanigan Family Vocaroo message- http://vocaroo.com/?media=v7rRkKrS5f4QPFTz7

Matt’s Vocaroo message from Paris- http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4768678/Memo.mp3

Night Light Stories Household’s Vocaroo message- http://vocaroo.com/?media=vzuonVBfIudEkmgU3

Darth Vader’s Birthday Message- http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dEWv19Eh8b8#!

Milliman Family Vocaroo message- http://vocaroo.com/?media=v1kHX1gadBEQDgtPE

Chris’s Voice Memo Message – http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4768678/happy%20happy.amr

Beth‘s WordFoto app Picture message –

Pic of Chris and his kids as spelled out with the words Happy Birthday

Amy‘s Doodle Buddy App Picture Message –

Happy Birthday message with two smiley faces and two presents

Please feel free to leave a birthday wish for Chris in the comments! I know he would LOVE to hear from you!

Thanks for having me!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #88: Online, Gesture-based Learning, 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 #88 features the second of two episodes describing the use of websites featuring activities which utilize webcams to engage students through interactive, gesture-based activities.

This episode also features a bumper from Kelly Ligon, from the Virginia Department of Education’s Training and Technical Assistance Center, telling everyone about the new online version of the Techknowledgy Conference which you can access over at http://ttaconline.org/atsdp

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #252 – Bubble Burst

Student matches nose to outline of a nose onscreen

A picture of a student popping bubbles with her noseA.T.TIP #253 – Catch The Hoops

Picture of Chris wearing a hat to catch hoops on head

A.T.TIP #254 – Furry Mind

Picture of Chris point to furry creatures from the game Furry Mind

A.T.TIP #255 – WebCam Mania

Picture of boy playing the soccer game in Web Cam Mania

Additional Information –

As a reminder of what was mentioned in Part 1, 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

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 #87: Listening Station Strategies

Episode Overview-

This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Night Light Stories. Night Light Stories is a free audio podcast featuring original stories for children of all ages! Learn more at nightlightstories.net or subscribe now in iTunes!

Badge for Night Light Stories Dot NetEpisode #87 features a discussion of implementation strategies and resources for using free audio fiction in the classroom by special guest host Melissa Bugaj. She also blogs about family exploits and adventures at http://accordingtomags.blogspot.com.

Also, I’d like to thank Tom Woodward for contributing the bumper at the beginning of the episode. You can check out his website at http://bionicteaching.com.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #247 –  The Sesame Street Podcast (Video Podcast)

A.T.TIP #248The Storynory Podcast

A.T.TIP#249Barefoot Books Podcast

A.T.TIP#250Librivox.org

A.T.TIP#251Loudlit.org

Also Mentioned In This Episode

A.T.TIP#58Night Light Stories

A.T.TIP#229Podiobooks.com

Research –

Article:  Listen Up – Using audio books to help improve reading

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 #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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The 2011 Edublog Awards! Time to Vote!

The 2011 Edublog Award nominations are out! “The Compendium Blog of the A.T.TIPSCAST” has been nominated in the category of “The Best use of Audio/Video/Podcast”. The podcast came in fourth last year! Where will it place this year?!?! We’ll find out on December 14th.

Vote for the A.T.TIPSCAST hereThe following are a list of ways you can help:

1. Vote once per day from work.

2. Vote once per day from home.

3. Vote once per day from your smartphone (if you have one).

4. Ask your friends, family and colleagues to vote once per day at home, work, and from a smartphone.

Click on this VOTE button to vote!

Not sure how? Watch this 1 minute video demonstrating the process.

 

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

Best EdTech/Resource Sharing Blog- SpeechTechie

Best Twitter Hashtag- #slpeeps

Best Educational Use of a Wiki- UDLTechToolkit

Best Webinar Series- VSTELive!

One last thing…

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

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

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

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 #83: PoP @ GMU AT Share Fair ’11, Part 1

Episode Overview-

Episode #83 features the first 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.

This episode also features a bumper from Amanda Peters from Atomic Learning inviting everyone to take the Accessibility Instruction Pledge.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #219 – Video Recorder and Sound Recorder Functions of Interactive Whiteboard Software

Smart Notebook Smart Recorder Video Tutorial

ActivInspire Screen Recorder Video Tutorial

A.T.TIP #220 – Voice record/memo feature of digital cameras

Blog post describing some cameras that record audio

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 #81: Save Target As…

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 #81 is the first episode of the fifth season of the A.T.TIPSCAST and features a brief discussion about the technology skill of downloading a file from the Internet.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #209 – Save Target As…

 “Save Target As…” video: http://bit.ly/savetargetasvid

The Small Mermaid e-book is now available!

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

Upcoming Presentations-

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

Contact Information-

http://about.me/chrisbugaj

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 #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 #79: Being Both Smart and Activ

Buddywalk 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 #79 features a discussion about the use of the free versions of some common interactive whiteboard software titles.

This episode also features a bumper from Becky Switalski who is encouraging people to submit photos to be shown on the big screen in Times Square to raise awareness for National Down Syndrome month and to kick off the Buddy Walk season.  If you can, submit a picture for the presentation!

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #205 – www.cutepdf.com (free PDF generator)

A.T.TIP #206 – Smart Notebook Express (web-based)

Chart comparing Smart Notebook Express & Smart Notebook

A.T.TIP #207 – ActivInspire Personal Edition (free download)

Chart comparing ActivInspire Personal Edition & ActivInspire Professional Edition

The Small Mermaid e-book is now available!

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

Professional Development Question Booklets

The question booklets for Volume 11, 12, and 13 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 this page.

Volume 11 (Episodes 67 – 68, Total Running Time 1:14:43)-

1. Question Booklet for Volume 11: Volume11Package  (PDF)

2. CD Label for Volume 11:  Vol11CDlabels (PDF)

Volume 12 (Episodes 69 – 70, Total Running Time 1:08:44)-

1. Question Booklet for Volume 12: Volume12Package (PDF)

2. CD Label for Volume 12: Vol12CDlabels (PDF)

Volume 13 (Episodes 71 – 77, Total Running Time 1:12:43)-

1. Question Booklet for Volume 13: Volume13Package (PDF)

2. CD Label for Volume 13: Vol13CDlabels (PDF)

Upcoming Presentations-

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

August 2nd, 2011 – PD 2.0 with Beth Poss.  ATIA Webinar. Register Now!

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!