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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 #46: Wordtalk

 

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

Episode #46 features another excerpt from the presentation for the Individual Differences in Learning Association in Howard County, Maryland.  This excerpt describes WordTalk; a free text-to-speech plug-in for Microsoft Word.

The episode features a bumper from Karen Janowski who is an assistive technology consultant, an assistive technology specialist for a school district in Massachusetts, adjunct faculty member at Simmons College, and school board member in her town.  She is also one of the innovators behind the UDLTechToolKit wiki, which contains a plethora of resources useful for differentiating instruction.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #72: WordTalk

WordTalk is a free text-to-speech add-in for Microsoft Word. You can find all the details about which versions of Word it works with along with other frequently asked questions, installation instructions and more over at the WordTalk download page.

1. WordTalk SlideShare Tutorial –  This tutorial, created by Paul Hamilton, describes everything you need to know about WordTalk.

 

Additional Resources Mentioned-

1. www.iste.org/chewat – Select “Notify Me” to sign up to get an e-mail reminder when the book comes out.

2. Eight is Enough Presentation – This is the slideshow I used during the presentation for IDL.

3. 2009 Edublog Award Winners – Congratulations to all of the winners!  Let me recommend you head over there to check out all of the nominations and winners. The A.T.TIPSCAST placed seventh out of 26 in the category of “Best Educational Use of Audio“.

4. CliCk, Speak – A free, open source text-to-speech extension for the Firefox web browser.

5. Text-to-Speech in OpenOfficeOpen Office is a free suite of programs including a word processing program.  OO Text To Speech is a free download for this program.

6. Word Magnets – Type or paste text (words or letters) into a box that then makes each word (or letter) a separate moveable object.  Perfect for word scrambles or sentence generation on an interactive whiteboard.

Screenshot of Word Magnets

Drag words to make sentences

screen shot of word magnets

Drag letters to make words

Upcoming Presentations-

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

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

Contact Information-

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

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

Podcast Hosting

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

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

Episode Overview:

Hey everyone,

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

A.T.TIPS in this Episode:

A.T.TIP #60: Google Earth

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

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

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

A.T.TIP #62: Mystudiyo.com

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

A.T.TIP #63: Shorttext.com

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

Points of Interest:

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

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

Upcoming Presentation Information:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com

Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #38: Graphic Organizer Interview – Part 2

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,
Episode #38 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #38 features Part 2 of the interview with Chris Cummins, a high school English teacher and adjunct professor at the State University of New York at Fredonia who is currently teaching a class on Literacy and Technology. The second part of the interview focuses more on specific tools that can be used to create graphic organizers while also touching upon some ideas about implementing graphic organizers across the curriculum.

A.T. TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #54: VUE (Free)
“The Visual Understanding Environment (VUE) is an Open Source project based at Tufts University. The VUE project is focused on creating flexible tools for managing and integrating digital resources in support of teaching, learning and research. VUE provides a flexible visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information.”
VUE Examples and Video Tutorials
A.T.TIP #55: FreeMind (Free)
“FreeMind is a premier free mind-mapping software written in Java.”
FreeMind Examples and Video Tutorials
A.T.TIP #56: Record Sound Feature of Inspiration (Not Free)
Students who can tell you a story (or explain an essay) orally but who have difficulty expressing those thoughts in a written format can use the “Record Sound” feature of Inspiration to complete writing assignments, like stories, essays, or essay questions on tests.  The strategy involves the students recording one thought per cell in a web or outline created in Inspiration.  Once they have recorded each sentence orally they can go back, listen to the sentence in the cell, and begin typing it in.  Every time they get stuck with spelling or forget what they were going to type they can re-listen to their own recording to type it in.  The following screenshots explain how to use the “Record Sound” feature of Inspiration.
Let’s say you have a graphic organizer that looks like this:

Super Four Square Template

After selecting a cell, the student can record his voice by going here:

Inspiration Screenshot 1

Once the student has selected “Record Sound” the following window will appear.  Use the red record button to begin recording.  Use the “Save” button to save the recording.

Inspiration 2

Once the sound has been saved the selected cell will display a “speaker” icon in the upper right hand corner.  Double-click on this speaker icon to hear the recorded message as many times as necessary while the student types the words.

Inspiration 3

Additionally, teachers could use this feature to leave hints or reminder to students when developing a graphic organizing template.

Upcoming Conference Presentations-

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

Contact Information-

If I don’t get to see you at NECC we can still connect virtually. Join the A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and/or Classroom 2.0 ! You can also follow me on twitter.com.
Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of the show! You can access the podcast and register as a fan of the show from here:
Podcast Hosting
Podcast Hosting at CyberEars.com
Thanks everyone and happy listening!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #32: Gift Ideas for Students with Severe Disabilities

Hey everyone,

Episode #32 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #32 is mostly an audio version of my guest blog post over at Patrick Black’s blog Teaching All Students.  The post outlines a personal family experience while providing a number of ideas for gifts that could be given to students with severe disabilities.  It is my hope that educators who find this useful will forward it onto families who will then share it with other family members.  Embedded within the episode are a number of A.T.Tips as outlined below.

A.T.TIP #44: CAST’s UDL Book Builder

A.T.TIP #45: Playlists / CD Mixes

A.T.TIP #46: Tadalist.com

Here is my entry into the Better Hearing and Speech Month Video Contest for 2009 titled “2 Minute Mouths

My colleagues will be riding in the local Tour De Cure sponsored by the American Diabetes Foundation.  If you can donate, even a dollar, it would be much appreciated.  Select the “donate” button on either website to make a donation.

I’ll be presenting at these two upcoming conferences:

1. 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!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #31: Packing Peanuts

Hey everyone,

Episode #31 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #31 describes the diabolical event that happened to me on April 1st, 2009.  It also describes different ways to you use packing peanuts as assistive technology tools or to support existing assistive technology tools.

A.T.TIP #43: Packing Peanuts

Also, check out these resources associated with the different ways mentioned to use packing peanuts.

1. Deep Pressure and Weight Lifting– An article about the use of bean bag chairs as deep pressure

2. Packing Peanut Dome – Check out how this creative student used packing peanuts!  Wouldn’t this make an awesome chill-out area?

3. Lap Buddies – A school system that is creating and using lap buddies.

Oh, and here is that  picture of Yours Truly getting hit in the face with a pie…

Chris gets hit in the face with a pie

Chris gets hit in the face with a pie

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!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #27: Transportation Interview-Part 2

Hey everyone,
Episode #27 is up for your listening pleasure! Episode #27 features the second and final part of the interview pertaining to transportation. During this part of the interview we brainstorm ideas for using technology during transportation for educational purposes.

A.T.TIP #38: Technology for Transport

Oh, and don’t forget about the conference that are quickly approaching.  I’ll be at all of the following so I hope to see you there:

1. The National At-Risk Education Network (NAREN) Conference February 17-19, in Panama City, Florida.

2. The Virginia Society For Technology in Education (VSTE) Conference– February 22-24, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

3. National Educational Computing Conference (NECC)- June 28th – July 1st, in Washington, D.C.

If I don’t get to see you at any 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 !

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!