Tag Archives: Twitter

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #145: Listener Q & A 14-15, Pt.1

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

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This episode of the A.T.TIPSCAST is sponsored by Easy Grade, the EZ Grader that does half points! Replace your cardboard EZ-Grader with the Easy Grade app available for FREE on both iOS and Android.

Episode Overview –

Episode #145 features answers to questions from listeners who have written e-mails over the past few years. There are a few movie quotes thrown in. Can you name the movies?

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #465: http://trackthisfor.me – Track anything!

Also mentioned in this Episode –

http://bit.ly/joinqiat – QIAT Listserv

http://bit.ly/ctdrwwebinarvid – Center for Technology and Disability webinar on free tools and strategies for reading and writing

http://bit.ly/twitter101atia2015 – Slide deck from ATIA 2015 Twitter 101 session

http://bit.ly/googleformvideotutorial – Video tutorial on Google Forms

http://bit.ly/gfsummaryofresponses – Tutorial on summary of responses

http://bit.ly/ctdmmrecordedwebinar – Webinar from the Center for Technology and Disability on Multiple Means of Professional Development

Movies Quoted in This Episode – 



Coach Carter

The Avengers

Finding Forrester

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

Upcoming ATIA Webinars

Social Media for Beginners: Twitter 101  

with Beth Poss – April 22, 2015  3:30pm – 5:00pm ET

Image advertising Twitter 101 session

Upcoming Live Presentations

SWAAAC Conference – Denver, Colorado – June, 2015

Strengthening and Streamlining Your AT Practice

Multiple Means of Professional Development

More Than One Way To Skin A Cat – Practical (And Fun) UDL


Baton Rouge, Louisiana – June 2015 – TBD

Brisbane, Australia – June 29th, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

With Bruce Baker

Sydney, Australia – July 1st, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

With Bruce Baker

Melbourne, Australia – July 3rd, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

With Bruce Baker

Perth, Australia – July 7th, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

Auckland, New Zealand – July 13th, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

With Bruce Baker

Christchurch, New Zealand – July 14th, 2015

Implementing Core Vocabulary & Minspeak All Day Long

Phoenix, Arizona – September 2015 – TBD

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – September 2015 – All Day Keynote

More Than One Way To Skin A Cat – Practical (And Fun) UDL

Strengthening and Streamlining Your AT Practice

Common Recommendations Using (Mostly) Free Resources

Getting to the Core of Language

Grand Rapids, Michigan – October 2015 – TBD

Contact Information

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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

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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


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!


Strategy-A-Day Calendar

Multimedia Professional Development Workshop


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


Video Channel

App Review Resource

Online Professional Development Workshop

Multimedia Slideshow Series



Comic Strip Series centered around a particular topic

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

Social Bookmarking Group


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.



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


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

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!