Tag Archives: Universal Design for Learning

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 #150: A.T. Movie Review – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

 

Chris as a Jedi with young Yoda in the background

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 #150 is a review of the film Star Wars: The Force Awakens from an educational perspective.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #477: The National Education Plan of 2016

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)

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #138: UDL Explained Google Hangout

UDLonthebrain

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 #138 features a recording of a Google Hangout on the concept of Universal Design for Learning. Derek Kaufman, a Google certified educator in Northern Virginia invited me to say a few words describing Universal Design for Learning. To our surprise, two leaders in the field of assistive technology and Universal Design for Learning showed up to participate in the discussion! Luis Perez and Marvin Williams added their own insights and experiences to help explain why developing curriculum and lesson plans using a Universal Design for Learning approach is necessary in contemporary education.  The entire presentation was recorded and can be found below.

A.T.TIPS in this Episode –

A.T.TIP #451: Bart Simpson Blackboard Generator – http://bit.ly/bartblackboard

bart-simpson-generator

A.T.TIP #452: Meme Generator

 

Upcoming ATIA Webinars

Social Media for Beginners: Twitter 101  with Beth Poss – 3:30pm – 5:00pm ET on April 22, 2015. Webinar for the Assistive Technology Industry Association

Upcoming Live Presentations

Technology Driven Data Collection: Using Digital Tools to Document Progress
One-Day Pre-conference – January 28th,  2015.
Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

Register Now!

Data Collection Cartoon

Schedule of Presentations at the 2015

Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference

Date Time Title Co-Presenters Additional Information
1/28/2015 8am – 4pm Technology Driven Data Collection: One-Day Pre-Conference Beth Poss http://bit.ly/dataatia15
1/29/2015 8am – 9am Generation Tech! Empower students with an authentic writing/publishing opportunity Eliza Anderson, Melissa Bugaj
1/29/2015 12pm – 1pm Professional Development Smackdown Diana Carl, Mike Marotta, Kirk Behnke, Beth Poss
1/29/2015 2:20pm – 3:20pm PD2015 – Using a Strategy-A-Day Calendar to Elicit Change Sally Norton-Darr, Mark Nichols, Judith Schoonover
1/30/2015 8am – 9am Indiana Jones meets the Internet: Becoming an Assistive Technology Archaeologist Beth Poss
1/30/2015 9:20am – 10:20am Twitter 101–Building Your AT Professional Learning Network Beth Poss
1/30/2015 2:20pm – 3:20pm Innovative Practices in PD 2015: It’s Not Business as Usual Diana Carl, Mike Marotta, Kirk Behnke, Linda Wilson,

EdCampAccess International

I’ll Be There! Will you?

Register Now! Its’ Free!

Utah Center for Assistive Technology

Strengthening and Streamlining Your Assistive Technology Practice –  February 3th, 2015

KEYNOTE: More Than One Way To Skin A Cat (Practical & Fun AT) – February 4th, 2015

Common Recommendations Using (Mostly) Free Resources – February 4th, 2015

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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

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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

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About.me

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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

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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

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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!"

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

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

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

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

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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

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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-

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Twitter.com/attipscast

attipscast@gmail.com

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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

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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

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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

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

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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

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

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 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 #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!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #76: Universal Design for Working

Universal Design for Working below the abbreviation UDW with the words options, choices and preference built in

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.

This episode features a brief crisis of conscience moment which leads the host to question the implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as an educational practice. Chris postulates on what the future of the American workplace would look like if every student learned according to the principles of UDL.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #201 – Keeping Notes in Google Calendar

A.T.TIP #202 – Inserting Comments in Spreadsheets

Inserting Comments in Excel 07

Inserting Comments in Google Docs Spreadsheets

Also Mentioned in This Episode-

Glassdoor Article Regarding Best Places to Work

Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center PDF on Universal Design in the Workplace

Guest Appearances on Other Podcasts-

I was recently the guest on two other ed tech podcasts.

Seedlings Episode 115 – We talk about the National Ed Tech Plan, UDL, and more!
http://edtechtalk.com/node/4968

Edceptional Episode 6 – We talk iOS devices and more!
http://edreach.us/2011/04/25/edceptional-show-6/

It was quite an honor to be a part of both of these shows! I hope you enjoy listening as much as I 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!

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode 75: Mouse Properties

A.T.TIPSCAST spelled using a swiss cheese font

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 #75 features an exploration of the various settings to make adjustments to the way a user controls the mouse when working on Windows XP and Windows 7.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #200 – Mouse Properties of Windows XP and Windows 7

Tutorial of Mouse Properties

Guest Appearances on Other Podcasts-

I was recently the guest on two other ed tech podcasts.

Seedlings Episode 115 – We talk about the National Ed Tech Plan, UDL, and more!
http://edtechtalk.com/node/4968

Edceptional Episode 6 – We talk iOS devices and more!
http://edreach.us/2011/04/25/edceptional-show-6/

It was quite an honor to be a part of both of these shows! I hope you enjoy listening as much as I 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!

Image at the top of this post created using: http://www.searchfreefonts.com/free/accent-swiss-cheese.htm

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #74: Contextualized Communication

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.

This episode features a description of a scenario where a student with mulitple articulation difficulties is communicating effectively 90% of the time but needs help when telling about novel situations.  A strategy was put in place that is effectively helping that student communicate with others during these times. This episode is one of my contributions to Better Hearing and Speech Month by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

 A.T.TIPS –

#199: Providing Contextual Communication with a Camera Phone

Upcoming Presentations-

PATINS PROJECT – “UDL 2.0″ in Second Life – May 2nd, 2011 – 4:00pm – 5:00pm with Beth Poss.  Register for free: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MAY2

Second Life Location: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/PATINS%20Project%20Island/149/28/32

For a list of the entire presentation history check out the “Presentations” link at the top of 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 73: UDL for Online Courses

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 #73 features an audio version of an article about online learning for a partnership between the International Society of Technology in Education (www.iste.org) and the Council of Ontario Directors of Education (www.ontariodirectors.ca).  A version of the article is being published by CODE for their newsletter, the CODE Chronicles. According to the spirit of the article, I thought it would be best to have the article exist in multiple formats.  You can read the article, listen to the article, and/or enjoy the comic.

Read a text version of the article (PDF)

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #194: www.vocaroo.com – Voice recording website (Bonus – Listen to a short piece of audio as my wife and I describe ways to use this tool: http://bit.ly/vocideas)

A.T.TIP #195: www.photopeach.com – Multimedia slideshow website

A.T.TIP #196: www.pixton.com – Comic generating website

A.T.TIP #197: www.kerpoof.com – Animated movie generating website

A.T.TIP #198: Multi-modal approach to online learning

Upcoming Presentations-

PATINS PROJECT – “UDL 2.0” in Second Life – May 2nd, 2011 – 4:00pm – 5:00pm with Beth Poss.  Register for free: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MAY2

Second Life Location: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/PATINS%20Project%20Island/149/28/32

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 #72: Digital Video Strategies

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 #72 features a discussion of the use of digital video with students, in educational evaluations, and in educational reports.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #191: Scripting for Video Production

A.T.TIP #192: Students Interviewing Others on Video

A.T.TIP #193: “Right Way, Wrong Way” Videos

Right Way

Right Way Visual

Wrong Way Visual

Wrong Way Visual

Images used from http://www.openclipart.org/detail/thumbs-up-smiley-by-skotan & http://www.openclipart.org/detail/thumbs-down-smiley-by-sunking2

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!

Episode #71: Wallwisher at Temple University

 

The word "A.T.TIPSCAST" painted on a tire

Episode Overview-

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

Cover for The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools

The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools

Episode #71 features a clip from a live presentation at Temple University where Beth Poss and I describe www.wallwisher.com.

The episode also features a bumper from Jennifer Mitchell from http://speechtx.com who mentions the resources at www.vcu.edu/ttac.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #190: www.wallwisher.com

Walls mentioned in this episode (feel free to write something on any of the walls!):

Night Light Stories Whimsical Wall of Wit- http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/nightlightstories

Wall created during the presentation at Temple University – http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/udl2philly

Wall created with students during a presentation – http://www.wallwisher.com/wall/mrb123

Upcoming Presentations-

ESBOCES Model Schools Technology Leadership Webinar Series

UDL & Assistive TechnologyApril 4th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

Eight is EnoughApril 6th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Alternative Professional DevelopmentApril 11th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Participant’s Choice – Social Media/Podcasting OR Web 2.oApril 13th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

PATINS PROJECT

UDL 2.0 in Second Life – May 2nd, 2011 – 4:00pm – 5:00pm with Beth Poss

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 #70: Melissa’s Math Madness

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 #70 features math resources as shared by special guest host Melissa Bugaj, host of the Night Light Stories podcast.

The episode also features a bumper from the participants in the Social Media for Speech-Language Pathologists session conducted at the American Speech Language Hearing Association conference of 2010.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #185: http://nlvm.usu.edu – National Library of Virtual Manipulatives

A.T.TIP #186: www.brainpop.com

A.T.TIP #187: www.ixl.com

A.T.TIP #188: www.internet4classrooms.com

A.T.TIP #189: www.themathpage.com

Upcoming Presentations-

ESBOCES Model Schools Technology Leadership Webinar Series

Practical AT – March 7th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

UDL & Assistive TechnologyApril 4th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

Eight is EnoughApril 6th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Alternative Professional DevelopmentApril 11th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Participant’s Choice – Social Media/Podcasting OR Web 2.oApril 13th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

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 Special Episode #5: Podcasting 101 – Mardi Gras Style

yellow ball with headphones over the word attipscast

Episode Overview-

Special Episode #5 features a quick introduction to podcasting with a little bit of Mardi Gras nonsense thrown in for fun. Melissa Bugaj, host of the Night Light Stories podcast, co-hosts the episode.

Upcoming Presentations-

ESBOCES Model Schools Technology Leadership Webinar Series

Practical ATMarch 7th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

UDL & Assistive TechnologyApril 4th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

Eight is EnoughApril 6th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Alternative Professional DevelopmentApril 11th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Participant’s Choice – Social Media/Podcasting OR Web 2.oApril 13th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

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 #69: Alternative Professional Development @ Techknowledgy 2010

Episode Overview-

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

Cover for The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools

The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools

Episode #69 is features another recording of a live event from the Techknowledgy 2010 Conference in Richmond, Virginia.  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 Techknowledgy 2010.

The episode also features a bumper from Rochelle Hamilton and Cindy Carmina who are educators from Prince William County, Virginia.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #178: www.screenjelly.com – Screen Capturing

A.T.TIP #179: www.kissyoutube.com – Download Videos from Youtube.com

A.T.TIP #180: www.zamzar.com – File Converting

A.T.TIP #181: www.lcps.org/at – The Website for Loudoun County Public School’s AT Team

A.T.TIP #182: www.dinah.com – Create Foldables!

A.T.TIP #183: Place Value Machine – http://bit.ly/gr4dec

A.T.TIP #184: www.TweenTribune.com – Daily News Sites for Tweens and Teens!

Upcoming Presentations-

ESBOCES Model Schools Technology Leadership Webinar Series

Practical AT – March 7th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

UDL & Assistive TechnologyApril 4th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

Eight is EnoughApril 6th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Alternative Professional DevelopmentApril 11th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Participant’s Choice – Social Media/Podcasting OR Web 2.oApril 13th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

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!

Episode #68: AT Smackdown @ ATIA 2011 Orlando

ATsmackdownlogo

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 #68 features a round robin resource sharing event conducted during the Orlando ATIA 2011 Conference known as the “A.T. Smackdown.” Educators like Dave Hohulin, Karen Janowski, Brian Wojcik, and a host of others shared different tools that they have found useful to help educate students. With this go round, I got to be there in person to record the live event!

Also, I’d like to thank Eliza Anderson, for contributing the bumper at the beginning of the episode.  You can check out the free newsletter/e-zine with information on how to subscrive and contribute over at http://atprogramnews.com

Special thanks to Dave Hohulin and Brian Dowd for sharing their notes of the event (which helped tremendously in putting the list below together).

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

Previous A.T.TIP #121: www.livebinders.com by Karen Janowski

A.T.TIP #154: www.Posterous.com by Dave Hohulin

A.T.TIP #155: Google Search by Reading Level by Cheryl Oakes

A.T.TIP #156: Wikispaces’ Best Wikis for Education of 201o by Madeleine Pugliese

A.T.TIP #157: WSDs e-Toolbox by Madeleine Pugliese

A.T.TIP #158: www.wiggio.com by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #159: Quick Response (QR) Code Generator feature of http://bit.ly by Chris Bugaj

A.T.TIP #160: http://qrcode.kaywa.com by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #161: Chrome QR Code Extension by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #162:  Theme Font and Size Changer FireFox Extension by Paul Hamilton

A.T.TIP #163: www.easybib.com by Jamie Martin

A.T.TIP #164: Highlighter & Extract Highlights feature of www.diigo.com by Karen Janowski

A.T.TIP #165: www.sweetsearch.com by Jamie Martin

A.T.TIP #166: www.vuvox.com by Chris Bugaj (The Heebie Jeebies Slideshow/Collage Example)

A.T.TIP #167: http://search.creativecommons.org by Jeannette VanHouten

Previous A.T.TIP #1: MS Word Voice Comments by Paul Hamilton

A.T.TIP #168: www.hippocampus.org by Dave Hohulin

A.T.TIP #169: www.fotobabble.com by Karen Janowski

A.T.TIP #170: www.shmoop.com by Karen Janowski

A.T.TIP #171: Readability by Cheryl Oakes

A.T.TIP #172: www.notforest.com by Dave Hohulin

A.T.TIP #173: www.palbrowser.com/physicaldisabilities.html by Jeannette VanHouten

A.T.TIP #174: www.producteev.com by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #175: www.printwhatyoulike.com by Susan Gill

A.T.TIP #176: www.readitlaterlist.com by Susan Gill

A.T.TIP #177: www.awesomehighlighter.com by Susan Gill

Also Mentioned In This Episode-

iPhone Zoomtext app that provides OCR capabilities and text to speech by AI Squared

Write Microsoft to give feeback about versions of MS Word that don’t have a quality version of the voice comment feature as mentioned by Paul Hamilton

Upcoming Presentations-

ESBOCES Model Schools Technology Leadership Webinar Series

Practical AT – March 7th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

UDL & Assistive TechnologyApril 4th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

Eight is EnoughApril 6th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Alternative Professional DevelopmentApril 11th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Participant’s Choice – Social Media/Podcasting OR Web 2.oApril 13th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Contact Information-

A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and Classroom 2.0

Facebook Fan Page

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 67: Glogster at Temple University

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 #67 features a recording of a live event from a presentation Beth Poss and I did at Temple University back in November of 2010. Beth and I are doing a Pre-Conference Workshop – UDL 2.0 Hands on! on January 26th from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.  Sign up and join us for a day of interactive fun!  The episode also features a bumper from Sean Sweeney. Check out his Edublog Award Winning blog www.speechtechie.com.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #153: www.glogster.com

Upcoming Presentations-

Maryland Assistive Technology Network Webinars

Web 2.0 Tools, January 13th, 2011– 3:00pm – 4:00pm EST

ESBOCES Model Schools Technology Leadership Webinar Series

Practical AT – March 7th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

UDL & Assistive TechnologyApril 4th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

Eight is EnoughApril 6th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Alternative Professional DevelopmentApril 11th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Participant’s Choice – Social Media/Podcasting OR Web 2.oApril 13th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

The Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2011 – Orlando, Florida

Pre-Conference Workshop – UDL 2.0 Hands on! – January 26th – 8:00am – 4:00pm with Beth Poss

Re-energize Your Technology Implementation – January 27th – 9:20am – 10:20am with Mark Nichols

PD 2.0 – Interactive Web-based Technology for PD in AT – January 27th – 1:15pm – 3:15pm with Beth Poss

Other Resources Mentioned in This Episode-

UDL EXPLAINED VIDEO – http://bit.ly/udlexplained

2010 EDUBLOG AWARDS – Best Educational Podcast

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!

Episode #65: AT Smackdown @ ATIA Chicago 2010

AT smackdown image

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 #65 features a round robin resource sharing event conducted during the Chicago ATIA 2010 Conference known as the “A.T. Smackdown.”   Educators like Dave Hohulin, Karen Janowski, Brian Wojcik, Patrick Black, and host of others shared different tools that they have found useful to help educate students.   Lucky for us they had the foresight to make an audio recording of the event!  You can check out a full list with brief descriptions of each tool over at http://teachingall.blogspot.com.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #123: Dropbox.com presented by Patrick Black

A.T.TIP #124: Into The Book presented by Karen Janowski

A.T.TIP #125: Evernote.com presented by Dave Hohulin (w/ Patrick Black)

A.T.TIP #126: Simplenoteapp.com presented by Bob Cunningham

A.T.TIP #127: Wordle.net presented by Shari Lorenzo

A.T.TIP #128: Glogster EDU presented by Shari Lorenzo

A.T.TIP #129: Google Forms presented by Shari Lorenzo

A.T.TIP #130: JISC Toolbar presented by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #131: Can Assist Dynamic Keyboard presented by Sarah Rose

A.T.TIP #132: Google Scribe presented byMary Bettlach

A.T.TIP #133: Windows 7 Keyboard with Word Prediction presented by Mary Bettlach

A.T.TIP #134: Jing presented by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #135: Screencast.com presented by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #136: Diigo.com presented by Patrick Black

A.T.TIP #137: The Khan Academy mentioned by Patrick Black

A.T.TIP #138: Read Aloud Feature of Adobe Reader presented by Lynda Hartman

A.T.TIP #139: Typewriter feature in Adobe Reader once file created/feature enabled in Acrobat Pro presented by Lynda Hartman

A.T.TIP #140: Prezi.com presented by Patrick Black and Emily

A.T.TIP #141: Sporcle.com presented by Dave Hohulin

A.T.TIP #142: Clipmarks.com presented by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #143: Google Safe Search presented by Karen Janowski

A.T.TIP #144: Content Lock/Safety Mode for YouTube.com presented by Patrick Black

A.T.TIP #145: Google Docs Share Settings via a question from Sam Spinello answered by  Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #146: Drawing in Google Docs presented by Brian Wojcik

A.T.TIP #147: Kidzui.com presented by Brian Wojcik

Also Mentioned In This Episode-

Gaggle.net mentioned by Brian Wojcik

Nettrekker.com mentioned by Brian Wojcik

Upcoming Presentations-

Techknowledgy 2010, November 11th – Richmond, Virginia

Chew The P.H.A.T: Policies & How-to’s for Assistive Technology – 8:30am – 9:30am EST

with Sally Norton-Darr & Judith Schoonover

Alternative Professional Development – 1:00pm– 2:00pm EST

Annual American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention 2010, November 20th – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Chew The P.H.A.T: Policies & How-to’s for Assistive Technology Poster Session8:00am – 9:30am EST

with Sally Norton-Darr & Judith Schoonover

Social Media: Blogging, Microblogging, and Podcasting for SLPs – 10:30am – 11:30am EST with Beth Poss

Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, November 22nd – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Free (or almost free) Tools to Help Kids Succeed in School – 9:00am – 12:00 pm EST with Beth Poss

ISTE Special Interest Group Media Specialists Webinar, December 1st

UDL 2.0 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm EST with Beth Poss

Maryland Assistive Technology Network Webinars

Assistive Technology Teams, December 9th – 3:00pm – 4:00pm EST with Sally Norton-Darr

Web 2.0, January 13th – 3:00pm-4:00pm EST

ESBOCES Model Schools Technology Leadership Webinar Series

Eight is Enough – January 3rd, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Alternative Professional Development – January 10th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Participant’s Choice – Social Media/Podcasting OR Web 2.o – January 24th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

UDL & Assistive Technology – January 31st, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

The Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2011 – Orlando, Florida

Pre-Conference Workshop – UDL 2.0 Hands on! – January 26th – 8:00am – 4:00pm with Beth Poss

Re-energize Your Technology Implementation – January 27th – 9:20am – 10:20am with Mark Nichols

PD 2.0 – Interactive Web-based Technology for PD in AT – January 27th – 1:15pm – 3:15pm with Beth Poss

Contact Information-

A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and Classroom 2.0

Facebook Fan Page

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 63: Saber Saw’s Game

Attipcast text with a rainy background. Cemetary in the distance.

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

When Chris and Melissa wake up in a strange room after a Halloween party they meet the notorious Saber Saw who asks them if they want to play a game.  Will they win?

 

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #116: TeacherTube.com

A.T.TIP #117: SchoolTube.com

A.T.TIP #118: Digital Voice Recorders

What is a DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) file?

A.T.TIP #119:  Sensory Menu

Check out the tables on this website for sensory strategies.

A.T.TIP #120: Sensory Basket

Check out this article about creating a “Sensory Bag”

A.T.TIP #121: Livebinders.com

Check out the Livebinder Saber Saw created while doing some research (Warning: Not a pleasant topic).

Upcoming Presentations-

T/TAC Assistive Technology Share Fair 2010, October 22nd – George Mason University, Virginia

     Alternative Professional Development 12:20pm – 1:20 pm EST

     Tools Bonanza – 1:30pm – 2:30pm EST with Karen Dietrich

Techknowledgy 2010, November 11th – Richmond, Virginia

     Chew The P.H.A.T: Policies & How-to’s for Assistive Technology – 8:30am – 9:30am EST

with Sally Norton-Darr & Judith Schoonover

     Alternative Professional Development – 1:00pm– 2:00pm EST

Maryland Assistive Technology Network Webinars

     Assistive Technology Teams, December 9th – 3:00pm – 4:00pm EST with Sally Norton-Darr

Web 2.0, January 13th – 3:00pm-4:00pm EST

Annual American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Convention 2010, November 20th – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

     Chew The P.H.A.T: Policies & How-to’s for Assistive Technology Poster Session 8:00am – 9:30am EST

with Sally Norton-Darr & Judith Schoonover

     Social Media: Blogging, Microblogging, and Podcasting for SLPs – 10:30am – 11:30am EST with Beth Poss

Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, November 22nd – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

     Free (or almost free) Tools to Help Kids Succeed in School – 9:00am – 12:00 pm EST with Beth Poss

ISTE Special Interest Group Media Specialists Webinar, December 1st

      UDL 2.0 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm EST with Beth Poss

ESBOCES Model Schools Technology Leadership Webinar Series

Eight is Enough – January 3rd, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Alternative Professional Development – January 10th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Participant’s Choice – Social Media/Podcasting OR Web 2.o – January 24th, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm

UDL & Assistive Technology – January 31st, 2011 – 8:00pm – 9:00pm with Sally Norton-Darr

The Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference 2011 – Orlando, Florida

Pre-Conference Workshop – UDL 2.0 Hands on! – January 26th – 8:00am – 4:00pm with Beth Poss

Re-energize Your Technology Implementation – January 27th –  9:20am – 10:20am with Mark Nichols

PD 2.0 – Interactive Web-based Technology for PD in AT – January 27th – 1:15pm – 3:15pm with Beth Poss 

Contact Information-

A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and Classroom 2.0

Facebook Fan Page

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 #62: 9/11 & Service

9/11 encircled in yellow

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 #62 features a description of different ways students, educators, and schools can get involved in 9/11 National Day of Service activities.  Share the logos below to help spread the word!

Logo for the National Day of Service. 9/11 encircled by a yellow circle.

9/11 encircled in yellow

 

Contact Information-

A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and Classroom 2.0

Facebook Fan Page

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 #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 #60: Three Random Recommendations

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 #60 features a description of three random recommendations from actual evaluations.  This is the Season Finale for Season 3 of the A.T.TIPSCAST!

 

Podcast Hosting

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #59: Listener Feedback, Part 3

Radar 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 #59 features feedback from listeners of the podcast which lead into additional A.T.TIPS.

 

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #58: Text – to – Movie

Animated Gif of the A.T.TIPSCAST log in lights

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 #58 features a description of how teachers and students can turn text into short, engaging video segments.

 

Podcast Hosting

A.T.TIPSCAST Episohd #57: 2 Kwik Spallng Reesehorsez

Attipscast spelled with pictures of letters

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 #57 features a description of two resources to help students with spelling. The first tool helps students while studying spelling words and the second tool helps students fix misspellings.

 

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #98: Spell with Flickr (http://metaatem.net/words/) – The image spelling “ATTIPSCAST” above was created using this website.

A.T.TIP #99: Correct a Sentence Window on http://gingersoftware.com. Try copying and pasting the following sentence into the window on the Ginger Software site:

“Mi smrt phrend iz reedng a booc wth an oarng cvr.”

 

Presentation Information –

Miss the presentation in Second Life of “Fun and Practical Strategies using (Assistive) Technology with Students”?  No sweat!  Here’s a link to the Google Doc with all the resources shared! Feel free to add more while you’re there!

http://tinyurl.com/slfunpractical

Contact Information-

A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and Classroom 2.0

Facebook Fan Page

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 #56: Typing Tutors, Part 2

A.T.TIPSCAST Logo with orange Matrix-like theme

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 #56 continues an exploration of different ways for students to practice keyboarding skills and keyboard accessibility.

 

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #92: http://play.typeracer.com

A.T.TIP #93: http://typingweb.com

A.T.TIP #94: Dance Mat Typing

A.T.TIP #95: Instant Messaging for Keyboarding Practice

A.T.TIP #96: Stickers for Keyboard Accessibility

A.T.TIP #97: Tactile Feedback for Keyboards

Upcoming Presentations-

Fun and Practical Strategies for Using (Assistive) Technology with Students –

8:00 PM EST on Monday, May 24th 2010 on VSTE ISLAND in Second Life.

Contact Information-

A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and Classroom 2.0

Facebook Fan Page

Twitter.com/attipscast

Leave a comment down below or drop me a line at attipscast@gmail.com. Let me know what you think of te 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 #55: Typing Tutors, Part 1

 A.T.TIPSCAST Logo with orange Matrix-like theme

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 #55 features a discussion about different ways for students to practice keyboarding skills.

The episode also features a free ringtone you can download from The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Better Hearing and Speech Month website. You can find that, plus tons of other free resources over at http://asha.org.

 

Podcast Hosting

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #54: The Small Mermaid

 A.T.TIPSCAST etched on a rock underwater

Download a free PDF of the story- Episode #54: The Small Mermaid (PDF)

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 #54 features a fairytale written for Better Hearing and Speech Month about a little mermaid whose voice is stolen and how she goes about finding a new way to communicate.  It is guest narrated by Miss Mel, @nightlight08, from the children’s podcast Night Light Stories.

This story is also available for the Kindle and Kindle app on the iPad for $0.99.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

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A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #53: High Contrast in Windows

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 #53 features a discussion about the high contrast feature of Microsoft Windows as a tool to help students access on-screen information.

The episode features a bumper from Bill Peters, whose family will be participating in the Bounce for Autism on April 22nd, 2010.  Pump It Up – Inflatable Party Zones,  has partnered with the Autism Society to help spread awareness and raise funds for autism research and family support.  100% of the proceeds go to the Autism Society of America.   The event is happening all over the country in over 140 Pump It Up locations.  You can find out more information and find a location near you from http://pumpitupparty.com or www.autism-society.org.  You can also follow Bill on Twitter at @billpet.

 

High Contrast Window

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #52: Puzzles- More Than Meets The Eye

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 #52 features a discussion about the use of puzzles and a classic set of toys from the 80s as educational tools to practice fine motor skills, enhance visual-spatial abilities, utilize logical reasoning skills, build vocabulary, and more!

The episode features a jammin’ bumper from Mark Nichols, an assistive technology coordinator with Loudoun County Public Schools in Northern Virginia. Check his blog, The Tech Flash, and follow him on Twitter at @thetechflash2.

 

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Bookmarks: The Complete Set

Hello everyone,

Download the complete set of bookmarks: Complete Set

There is no new podcast episode with this post. This is a complete set of all the bookmarks in one PDF document.   Each bookmark features a character from a cartoon strip within the book created using Bitstrips.com. Feel free to download this PDF of all the bookmarks and do any or all of the following:

1. Post to your blog.

2. Print out to use while you read the book!

3. Print out to give to other educators.

4. Share via your favorite social networking site (like Twitter or Facebook).

5. Post to an online discussion forum.

6. Post to an educational listserv.

and anything else you can think of!

Complete Set of Bookmarks

Complete Set of Bookmarks

Here’s a link to the complete set of all the bookmarks: Complete Set

The Book – http://iste.org/chewat
The Book’s Facebook Fan Page – http://bit.ly/atbookfb
Twitter – http://twitter.com/attipscast

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #51: Bitstrips for Pragmatic Language

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

Episode #51 features a discussion about the different uses of comics to address pragmatic language difficulties.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #83: Bitstrips.com – Comic Generator

Bitstrip comic where student is presented with choices to a girl who dropped her books

Pragmatic Language Practice Activity

Check out this tutorial on using Bitstrips.com from Palm Breeze Cafe

Resources regarding Pragmatic Language from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Contact Information-

A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and Classroom 2.0

Facebook Fan Page

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!

Question Booklets for Volumes 5, 6, & 7!

attipscast-logo-300x300.jpg

Hey everyone,

No new audio with this post.  It is a blog only update to let you know that the Question Booklets for Volume 5, 6, and 7 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 the page.

Volume 7 (Episodes 45 – 49, Total Running Time 1:09:35)-

1. Question Booklet for Volume 7: Volume7Package  (PDF)

2. CD Label for Volume 7:  Vol7CDlabels (PDF)

Volume 6 (Episodes 42 – 44, Total Running Time 1:04:22)-

1. Question Booklet for Volume 6: Volume6Package (PDF)

2. CD Label for Volume 6: Vol6CDlabels (PDF)

Volume 5 (Episodes 36 – 41, Total Running Time 1:08:36)-

1. Question Booklet for Volume 5: Volume5Package (PDF)

2. CD Label for Volume 5: Vol5CDlabels (PDF)

A.T.TIPSCAST Special Episode #4: ISTE Author Podcast Interview

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

This special episode features an interview Sally Norton-Darr and I did for the ISTE Author Podcast Series.  In the interview we talk about what is assistive technology, why we wrote the book, why it is both practical and fun, and provide some tips for new and veteran assistive technology teams.  We also have some fun telling about some team pranks!  Enjoy!

Book Information-

Podcast Hosting

Bookmark #2: The Technology Monster

Hello everyone,

Download the bookmark: The Technology Monster

There is no new podcast episode with this post. As a way to help get the word out about the book, we thought it might be fun to pass around some bookmarks featuring some of the content. This is the second bookmark to be released. You’ll be able to find these files here or over at the Facebook Fan Page for the book. Each bookmark features a character from a cartoon strip within the book created using Bitstrips.com. Feel free to download these bookmarks and do any or all of the following:

1. Post to your blog.

2. Print out to use while you read the book!

3. Print out to give to other educators.

4. Share via your favorite social networking site (like Twitter or Facebook).

5. Post to an online discussion forum.

6. Post to an educational listserv.

and anything else you can think of!

Here’s a link to the second bookmark called “The Technology Monster

The Technology Monster Bookmark

The Technology Monster Bookmark

The Book – http://iste.org/chewat
The Book’s Facebook Fan Page – http://bit.ly/atbookfb
Twitter – http://twitter.com/attipscast

A.T.TIPSCAST Special Episode #3: Book Excerpt – Chapter 6

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

This special episode features an excerpt from “The Practical (and Fun) Guide to Assistive Technology in Public Schools” as read by the authors!  In chapter 6, “Choosing Assistive Technology Teammates,” the authors make recommendations on assembling an AT team—who should be on the team, what qualities are best in a team member and team leader, and what to avoid. This chapter provides an example of the practical advice found throughout the book while getting a taste of the authors’ unique way of driving home a point—with humor!

Book Information-

Podcast Hosting

Bookmarks for Bloggers 1: The Paperwork Monster

Hello everyone,

Download the bookmark: The Paperwork Monster

There is no new podcast episode with this post.  As a way to help get the word out about the book, we thought it might be fun to pass around some bookmarks featuring some of the content.  These bookmarks will be released as .PDF files at the rate of one per week for the next five weeks.  You’ll be able to find these files here or over at the Facebook Fan Page for the book. Each bookmark features a character from a cartoon strip within the book created using Bitstrips.com. Feel free to download these bookmarks and do any or all of the following: 

1. Post to your blog.

2. Print out to use while you read the book!

3. Print out to give to other educators.

4. Share via your favorite social networking site (like Twitter or Facebook).

5. Post to an online discussion forum.

6. Post to an educational listserv.

and anything else you can think of!

Here’s a link to the first one called “The Paperwork Monster

The Paperwork Monster

The Paperwork Monster Bookmark

The Book – http://iste.org/chewat
The Book’s Facebook Fan Page – http://bit.ly/atbookfb
Twitter – http://twitter.com/attipscast

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #50- Talking Heads: Videoconferencing

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

Episode #50 features a discussion about the educational uses of video conferencing.

The episode features a special segment from Claire, the daughter of one of my colleagues, and her friends who delivered the audio on a CD within a bowl full of Jell-O.

CD in orange Jell-O

Podcast Hosting

A.T.TIPSCAST Episode #49: AutoCorrect in Word

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

Episode #49 features a description of how to use the Autocorrect function of Microsoft Word as a way to practice errorless learning.

The episode features a bumper from Jeannette Van Houten, an assistive technology curriculum strategist from New Jersey. I was fortunate enough to meet Jeannette at ATIA 2010 in Orlando.

A.T.TIPS In This Episode-

A.T.TIP #75: Autocorrect in Microsoft Word

Step 1. Click on the Office Button

Step 2. Choose “Word Options”

Step 3. Select “Proofing” and then “AutoCorrect Options”

Step 4. Put the text you want to have replaced in the “Replace” box and the text you want to appear instead in the “With” box.

Screenshot of AutoCorrect Window in Word 2007

AutoCorrect in Word 2007

Or just watch this cool www.woopid.com tutorial I found on YouTube.com:

AutoCorrect in Word 07 Tutorial

Contact Information-

A.T.TIPPERS group on Facebook and Classroom 2.0

Facebook Fan Page

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 #48: Vozme

 

Episode Overview-

Hey everyone,

Episode #48 features an interview with the free to use website Vozme.com.  To my knowledge, this is the first time in history when a person actually got a sit-down interview with an actual website. Vozme.com and I discuss strategies for using the website to create .mp3 files from text.

The episode features a bumper from Christine Southard and Lisa Parisi who are two fifth grade inclusion teachers in Long Island, New York.  I was fortunate enough to meet Christine and Lisa at NECC 09 and attend their presentation about the tools they use to differentiate instruction for the students in their classroom.  It was at their presentation where I learned about Vozme.com.

Podcast Hosting

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 #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.