Tag Archives: Organization

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #61: Room (Re-)Arranging

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 #61 features a description of two virtual classroom layout tools. This is the first episode of Season 4 of the A.T.TIPSCAST!

 

Sample Room

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #47: x2

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

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

Headshot of Proby Patel

Proby Patel

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

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

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

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

Screenshot of Windows Media Player

Screenshot of Windows Media Player

 

Additional Resources Mentioned-

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Presentations-

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

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

Contact Information-

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

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

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #44: Alternative Professional Development @ PUWT09

 

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

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

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

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

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

 

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

  Document Holder from inverted CD case

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

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

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

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

Check out a Voki I created.

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

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

Check out a video I made in Blabberize

Additional Resources Mentioned-

1. Loudoun County Public Schools’ Assistive Technology Video Archive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Presentations-

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

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

Contact Information-

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

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

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

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

Episode Overview:

Hey everyone,

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode:

A.T.TIP #60: Google Earth

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

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

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

A.T.TIP #62: Mystudiyo.com

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

A.T.TIP #63: Shorttext.com

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

Points of Interest:

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

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

Upcoming Presentation Information:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

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

Hey everyone,

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

The Content:

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

The Style:

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

More to Come:

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

Upcoming Presentation Information:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST SPECIAL EPISODE: Big Announcement #1 – Professional Development

Hey everyone,

I’ve put together a professional development packet for you to download and use within your school or school district.  Here is how it works.

The Problem:

Educators don’t have time to stay after school for staff development, but most, drive to work.  Some educators may be reluctant to utilize new technologies, but most know how to operate a CD player.  Educators are being asked to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of every learner every day.

The Solution:

The A.T.TIPSCAST is a free podcast that provides strategies to help educators differentiate instruction.  As someone who organizes staff development workshops for your school or school district, download the episodes in each volume and burn them to a CD.  Download the question booklet for that volume, print it out, and put it with your newly burned CD.  Devise a method for distribution and then distribute to staff.  E-mail me to get a copy of the answer booklet with all the answers in it.  You’re done!

With minimal effort you’ve introduced three awareness level staff development workshops that educators can take without ever leaving their car!  That’s over 3 and a half hours worth of professional development content at your fingertips with more to come as additional volumes of the A.T.TIPSCAST are completed (Volume #4 isin production now)!

The Resources:

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

All Files For Volumes 1 – 3:

1. This file contains everything in one download: volumes123everythingincluded (PDF)

Volume 1 Separately (Episodes 1 – 9, Total Running Time  1:12:42)-

1. Question Booklet for Volume 1: volume1package (PDF)

2. CD Label for Volume 1: vol1cdlabels (PDF)

Volume 2 Separately (Episodes 10 – 18, Total Running Time 1:13:21)-

1. Question Booklet for Volume 2: volume2package (PDF)

2. CD Label for Volume 2: vol2cdlabels (PDF)

Volume 3 Separately (Episodes 19 – 26, Total Running Time 1:12:38)-

1. Question Booklet for Volume 3: volume3package (PDF)

2. CD Label for Volume 3: vol3cdlabels (PDF)

This is what it will look like when it is put together:

ATTIPSCAST CD and Booklet

ATTIPSCAST CD and Booklet

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

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

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

Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #30: NAREN 09- Top 3 (Part 2)

Hey everyone,
Episode #30 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #30 is the second of a two-part feature on the top three things I learned at the National At-Risk Education Network (NAREN) Conference of 2009. Be warned, this episode is unlike most of the other episodes in that the tips described are more along the lines of “educational philosophy” rather than “strategy” but I felt they were well-worth discussing.

A.T.TIP #41: Brain-Based Learning from the Upsidedownorganization.org

1. Brain-Based Learning– Definition from www.funderstanding.com

2. Brains.org – The website for people involved in the education and parenting of brains of all ages about practical classroom applications of current brain research by Dr. Kathie Nunley.

A.T.TIP #42: Putting students to work doing the work that schools need done

1. Student Volunteer Network – Originally started by three high school students this network provides a database of volunteer opportunities for students

2. International Student Volunteers, Inc. – Not exactly related to doing work in schools, but still an interesting organization.

I’ll be presenting at these two upcoming conferences:

1. Maryland Assistive Technology Network Conference (MATN)- May 7th in Maryland (Session on Alternative Professional Development in Assistive Technology).

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

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

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

Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com

Thanks everyone and happy listening!