Tag Archives: Instructional Technology

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #132: Wandoo Planet and the Banish Boredom Tour

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 #132 features the audio from a Google Hangout held with Lindsey Hill from Evanced Solutions discussing their free application, Wandoo Planet; the world’s first kid-powered interest genome project. Students make selections based on their interests to discover associated media suggestions (books, movies, etc.). Lindsey also describes activities students might encounter when they are visited by the Banish Boredom library tour.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #434: Wandoo Planet

Follow Wandoo Planet on Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

 Use promotion code ATTIPS14SAVE20 to get

20% off online orders of Read&Write!

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

Episode Overview-

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

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

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

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

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

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

A.T.TIP #425 – http://manybooks.net/

A.T.TIP #426 – http://openlibrary.org

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

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

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

A.T.TIP #430 – http://gutenberg.org

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

A.T.TIP #432 – http://bit.ly/lit2go

A.T.TIP #433 – http://dailylit.com

Upcoming Presentations –

VA Training and Technical Assistance Center Region 5 –

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

Tuesday, April 8th  – 8:15am – 3:30pm

Texas Assistive Technology Network – 

Tuesday, June 10th

UDL 2.0 – with Beth Poss (3 Hour Session)

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

ATIA Webinars

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

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

Contact Information-

Follow me on Twitter

Send an e-mail to attipscast@gmail.com

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

About.me

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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

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #127: Audio Stories for Secondary Students

Escape Artists Logo

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 #127 features a discussion of the benefits of inviting secondary students to listen to audio fiction.

This episode features a bumper from David Jackson from Lafayette, Indiana.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #404 – Cast of Wonders

Logo for the Cast of Wonders

A.T.TIP #405 – Podcastle

Podcastle Logo

A.T.TIP #406 – EscapePod

Escape Pod Logo

A.T.TIP #407 – PseudoPod

Logo for Pseudopod

A.T.TIP #408 – Giving out CDs with audio stories as prizes and gifts

Evidence that Listening to Audio Stories Improves Reading Abilities – http://bit.ly/audiostoriesimprovereading

Also Mentioned In this Episode –

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. 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

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 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

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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

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 #92: Thri Mor Speling Strategeez

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

Download the audio directly- Episode #92: Thri Mor Speling Strategeez

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