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BIG News!

Posted by: | October 20, 2014 | No Comment |


Targeted Technical Assistance Grant Becomes…

AEMing for Achievement Grant!

Are you looking for:

1. Intensive, but friendly, and direct assistance bringing your district into full compliance with Accessible Instructional Materials implementation and data collection for the purpose of increasing student achievement.

2. Dedicated PATINS-ICAM Staff meeting your district, both in-person & online, as frequently as you need, for the rest of this grant cycle (school year).

3. Free Access to the Universal Protocol for Accommodations in Reading (uPAR) for your district’s buildings & direct training on using it! Read more about uPAR here: http://donjohnston.com/upar/#.VEEpVBZIUeQ

4. Focused assistance to students identified as benefiting from reading accommodations in 2 primary ways. First, in ensuring your district is in compliance with the 7 Quality Indicators for providing Accessible Instructional Materials and second in assisting your staff in the collection and analysis of data to guide accommodations and to demonstrate growth.

If so, you are AEMing for Achievement for your students and we can help!

LEA’s are encouraged to follow this link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/aem20142015  and apply for this grant.  Please hurry, the application deadline is November 7, 2014.  

2014 – PATINS State Conference News

28 More Days! – Spots are filling up!

Hurry and register for this year’s conference: “Accessible Learning in Indiana: Materials, Modes, and Measurement”.  Time is flying and the number of registrants is growing!  We are looking at another great year with lots of attendants and extraordinary speakers.

Please follow this link to register:  http://bit.ly/stateconf14  

PATINS Project State Conference Flyer.  Question:  Where can you find all these national presenters and others sharing their expertise???  Answer:   2014 PATINS State Conference.  November 18 & 19, Crowne Plaza at Historic Union Station, Downtown Indianapolis.   Registration Info http://bit.ly/stateconf14  Pictures around the written description from top to bottom on the left:  Dan Herlihy, Mike Marotta, Kirk Behnke, Beth Poss, Chris Bugej, Joy Zabala, Scott Marfilius.  From Top to bottom on the right:  Jason Gibson, Josh Blue, Kelly Fonner, Mystie Rail, Jason Carroll, Therese Willkomm and Loui Lord Nelson.


App of the Week! – Reflex Student, by Explore Learning

Screenshot 2014-10-20 14.39.19This FREE app uses games to help students learn math facts.

under: Uncategorized

UEB Ready?

Posted by: | October 9, 2014 | No Comment |

Today, PATINS, Project Coordinator Glenda Thompson is my guest writer for the blog!



Presenters:  IERC Staff, PASS Project Staff, & PATINS staff

Trainings will take place in November at each of the PATINS regional sites. The training schedule is below:

November 5, 2014 – Northeast*
November 6, 2014 – Northwest
November 12, 2014 – Southwest
November 13, 2014 – Southeast
November 14, 2014 – Central

An additional training, available to ISBVI staff only, will be offered at ISBVI on October 30.

Check-In 8:30 AM (Eastern Time)
Training: 9:00AM – 3:30 PM 

UEB Ready? Introduction to Unified English Braille will be both informational and experiential. A comparison of English Braille American Edition (EBAE) and UEB will be provided. Teachers and staff will participate in a variety of exercises specific to UEB. This introduction is intended to educate and prepare teachers of students who are blind/low vision and paraprofessionals in order to facilitate a smooth transition to the new code.

For more details and registration information, download the flier.


Please submit all registration forms for UEB Ready? Introductions to Unified English Braille to the PASS Project using one of methods below:

*Please note the change in location for the Northeast Regional Training on November 5, 2014. Rather than the Northeast PATINS Regional Site, the training will take place at Heartland Career Center, 79 South County Road 200 West, Wabash, IN 46992. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Bonnie Bunch.

For more information on UEB here is a 15 minute interview from PATINS TV.

Picture of PATINS Central Regional Coordinator, Jeff Bond on the PATINS TV set.Are you UEB Ready?
Join Host Jeff as he welcomes Leslie Durst, Indiana Educational Resource Center (IERC) and Marcee Wilburn, Promoting Achievement for Students with Sensory Loss (PASS).  They will introduce Unified English Braille and explain an upcoming transition from American Edition Braille to UEB.

under: AT Conferences, General Info, Services

Inspiration and Alt Tags

Posted by: | October 2, 2014 | No Comment |

Sometimes I need to search for ideas.  Either for blog posts or for a specific educator request.  Regardless, I have a few places that never let me down.  Pinterest is one of those.  It allows me to search for what the world is posting on my topic.  When I searched Assistive Technology today, this was the first pin I saw.  They call it a Party Ring Mouse.

Picture of a child's adjustable ring glued onto a computer mouse It was re-pinned by SOS Inc. Resources.  When I clicked on the picture it took me to the original pinner’s site http://www.theoatc.org/resources/PartyRngMouse.asp  posted by the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center.  If you have ever visited Pinterest, you know that you can spend hours just looking at pins of things you are interested in and following them to their resources.  The biggest problem with Pinterest is that it’s content is not accessible to people who are blind.  If you were to use a screen reader on this blog page, when you got to the actual picture you would hear a description of the picture.  ”Picture of a child’s adjustable ring glued onto a computer mouse.”  That is something that I have to embed into the picture.  It is called an “alt tag”.  It sounds hard, but it isn’t.  Unfortunately, this is not available for Pinterest unless the original image is tagged.  Then the tag will move with the picture, I’m told.  For more information on Pinterest and accessibility try this post http://drumbeatconsulting.com/blog/2012/01/30/would-the-blind-be-pinterested-the-disability-markets-perspective/  Also, if you’re interested in learning a bit more about alt tags,  http://ohksocial.com/alt-tags-image-titles-file-names/ 


The Party Ring Mouse is fairly low tech.  For high tech, check this out this design concept of a device that will translate sign language into speech and speech into text.  http://www.red-dot.sg/en/online-exhibition/concept/?code=1033&y=2013&c=16&a=0  They really need to busy and make this!

Some things to be aware of:

October is Learning Disabilities Awareness MonthFollow this link to the “31 Days of LD Calendar” presented by the Learning Disabilities Association of America The calendar features links to free live and archived webinars, as well as links to apps, videos and other information.

Kelli is on PTV! – Tuesday, October 7th, the newest PATINS Coordinator, Kelli Suding will be joining Jeff Bond at 11:40 am EST to discuss social media options and how PATINS is involved.

Head to the Homepage! – Drop by the PATINS homepage www.patinsproject.com to check out the “Top 10 Reasons to Attend the 2014 PATINS Conference”

PATINS has a Pinterest Page – Search “patinsproject”


under: 21st Century Skills, AT Conferences, General Info, Online Resources
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For the last year I have been teaching educators how to use the Guided Access feature + Timer on the iPad.  Guided access is a wonderful tool for keeping students in the app you would like them to use.  As an added help, the timer feature, located in the clock app on all iPads/phones, will allow the user to place a time limit on the usage of the device.  Together you have an iPad that is locked into an appropriate app for the student and will turn off and be locked when their time is up!  With iOS 8 these functions have been combined into Guided Access.  Now when you triple click the home button to begin Guided Access on the bottom right-hand side of the screen you will see “Time Limit” and “Options”.  Pressing the Options button under Time Limit allows you to set the amount of time you wish the user to be working in that app.  So far, this is my favorite update!

under: apps, General Info, iPads, Uncategorized

What is Going On?

Posted by: | September 18, 2014 | No Comment |

Busy Times! - Some quick updates on what is happening at PATINS.


Have you been watching?  Recently Jeff Bond has Spoken with Leslie Durst about the pathway to becoming UEB ready (episode 45).  Just Tuesday, Jeff interviewed Dan Parvu with Teach Town (episode 46).  On October 7th Jeff will be back with some more technology tips and how to’s.  But mark your calendars, live on October 21, 2014 at 11:45 am EST, Jeff along with Zach Bender from Don Johnston will introduce:

Co:Writer Universal!

Whether on iPad, iPhone, Chromebook, or desktop computer, your students now have unlimited access to their favorite writing tool!  Co:Writer Universal covers all of your most-used technology platforms providing students with anywhere, anytime access!

Celebrate with Host Jeff and Guest Zach Bender from Don Johnston, as we unveil Co:Writer Universal and learn how it revolutionizes implementation while also creating a BIG shift in the way that we document and celebrate student writing achievement!

2014 PATINS State Conference“Accessible Learning in Indiana: Materials, Modes, and Measurement” 

Get Registered!

This year, there are 2 sessions that will require pre-registration so that we can guarantee seats.  Tuesday’s All Day Session:  AT Bootcamp with Mike Marrotta & Kirk Behnke and Wednesday’s 1/2 day hand’s on make and take Creating Access Solutions for Print Disabilities with Therese Willkomm

To Register:  http://bit.ly/stateconf14

Keynote Speaker: Josh Blue

November 18 – 19, 2014

Downtown Crowne Plaza
Indianapolis, Indiana

App of the Week! – JotNot

JotNot icon is a cartooned scanner on a blue background

 Free/Pro = $2.99

With this app you can scan, print or type onto the iPad and then open it in many other apps and write or dictate on to it.  Think worksheets, guided notes etc!  For help contact your Coordinator!

under: Uncategorized
Sandi Mahl (with clown nose) using Read&Write for Google to read a book on Project Gutenberg.

Sandi Mahl using Read&Write for Google to read a book from Project Gutenberg with a clown nose on.

For many schools, it is time for “Put Your Nose in a Book Day”.  Everyone gets clown noses and spends some dedicated class time reading.  With assistive technology, the term reading can be viewed in many different ways. Our students read with their fingers, their ears and their eyes.  The important thing is that they are all reading with their minds as well.

Another Great App!  Free today!

My Story Book Maker AppMy Story – Book Maker for Kids

This app has so many great and easy to use tools, that I’m going to let their video show them all!


This just in!

Watch PATINS Project Director, Daniel McNulty and Data Analytics & Networking Coordinator, Kelli Suding, stick their noses in the book, Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses, by Kimberly and James Dean!


Screenshot 2014-09-05 10.33.16

under: Uncategorized

A Favorite App is FREE today!

Posted by: | August 29, 2014 | No Comment |

Screen Shot 2013-05-12 at 7.16.29 PM

Just a quick head’s up!  One of the apps for iPad that I always recommend has “gone free” for at least today.  It is called Native Numbers – Complete Number Sense Mastery Curriculum - https://appsto.re/i6gm3JV 


I recommend it because of the unique way that it introduces the concept of counting and assigning symbols to groups of things.  It does not look childish, so is appropriate not only for all lower grade students, but all the way from pre-K to 12.


Enjoy the long weekend!

under: Uncategorized

Goodbye, PowerPoint!

Posted by: | August 19, 2014 | 1 Comment |

A recent article in Education Week Teacher starts with the title “Goodbye, PowerPoint” and then follows with, “How Education Conferences are Branching Out”.  It’s a good article I’ll let you read it yourself, but the title sent me in a different direction.  This summer I helped present in a two day training for technology leadership.  In it we asked the attendees to introduce themselves digitally without using PowerPoint.  They succeeded quite impressively.  We then went on to show them some of the problems that students with special needs might have when trying to see, hear or understand their information.  This was our way of helping them understand that delivering information in just one way was not going to work for everyone.  As educators, we need to be aware that as we distribute the opportunities to learn not all will be able to grab it in the same manner.  The key is to distribute the information in many different ways.  Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principals state that we need to be creating flexible learning environments that accommodate the individual learning styles of our students.  This means we need to find multiple ways to excite them about learning.  Give them multiple ways to acquire information and give them multiple ways to express what they have learned.

This brings up a favorite quote of mine:

"If you assign a project and get back 30 of the exact same thing, that's not a project, that's a recipe."  Chris Lehmann

So, while the level of comprehension may differ at the end of the day, how a student demonstrates what they have learned should reflect how they understand it.  So I say, let’s keep PowerPoint around as an option, but not make it the rule.

Website of the Week!

While researching the Chris Lehmann quote I discovered a great site (FREE) for students to demonstrate understanding by using quotes.  It is called Quozio.com and is so simple to use!  Here is one more quote courtesy of Quozio!

"The Cheese stands alone."  Farmer in the Dell

under: General Info, Online Resources, Services, Software, UDL
Tags: , ,

Perfect is the enemy of done.

Posted by: | August 14, 2014 | 1 Comment |

Perfect is the enemy of done is a version of Voltaire’s proverb, “Perfect is the enemy of good.”  I heard this during a YouTube of Kevin Honeycutt’s Keynote at the Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference from Australia last May.  The phrase, as well as the speech made me think.  Here are some of those thoughts.

Kevin Honeycutt video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5Sck2EkxJ4

pictures showing the beamz device and how it is played

Beamz - Try it! It’s in the PATINS Library.

One of the people in “the band” on the video is playing a Beamz.  The Beamz has 4 laser beams that when broken create music.  It comes with it’s own songs or as in the Kevin Honeycutt video, it can play along with another performer.

To show some of it’s other capabilities here is a great video from Mark Coppin of the Anne Carlsen Center.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcHStXdlu5Y

This device has all sorts of great applications.  Think of the fun and exploring that can happen while students learn to reach and block the the beams to make music or just fun noises!

Do you have time for perfect?  When we try new things sometimes we put it off because we worry about how it will go.  What if…  but…  this isn’t the way I… Throw these worries away and get to the fun of trying something new and getting results!  Good results, bad results whatever! All of us at PATINS are waiting to help you make that jump.   Just enjoy the ride!

Have fun!

 App of the Week

Disco Zoo Icon Disco Zoo

Free for iDevices and Android – “Travel to regions around the world and collect everything from pigs to dinosaurs for your Disco Zoo. Discover hidden animals through casual puzzle play. Manage and expand your zoo to maximize earnings. Throw funky disco parties to get your animals and visitors groovin’!”  This is a fun app that works on counting and memory.  Each animal is captured by remembering the pattern they have in a hidden grid.  Ok, I admit that there are a lot of apps that are more educational to do those things, but most importantly this app is fun.  It also reminds us that everyone can benefit from a little disco break!   Shake Your Groove Thing!

under: Uncategorized

Happy New Year!

Posted by: | July 29, 2014 | No Comment |

Happy New Year - with confetti

Here they come!

It’s that time of year again.  You’re excited, admit it.  All those new faces, familiar faces, sounds and challenges.  Part of you thinks, “I could stay on vacation.” Another part (traitor) is excited to get in there.  Whether you’ve been at one of the many summer trainings going on around the state, or you’ve just been reading and thinking.   The teacher in you knows it’s time, and is ready to try those ideas out!

I don’t want to overwhelm you, but… here’s a couple more.  :-)

Let someone else be the bad guy!

The beginning of the year means going over the rules and other necessary, but BORING tasks.  It needs to be done, but maybe you can share the load.  I am a big fan of using avatars to do tasks like this.  My favorite is Voki www.voki.com   I would set up a Voki avatar to tell my students what their bell-ringer activity was.  That way I was free to greet them and be friendly.  As a secondary teacher at the beginning of the year, I would have to repeat my classroom procedures for six different classes.  I made it more interesting by having a diferent Voki avatar read each rule and then I would explain it.

There are several different sites that will allow you to set up a speaking avatar like Voki.  When you have a website, program or application that you like, but would like it to do something just a bit differently, the website “moreofit.com” www.moreofit.com  is the place to search.  Here, from moreofit.com is a link to 500 other popular sites like Voki. http://www.moreofit.com/similar-to/www.voki.com/Top_10_Sites_Like_Voki/

It’s what we do!

Even though it’s a new school year, some things don’t change.  If you are stuck and need a new idea, the PATINS Coordinators are ready to help!  We are all excited and geared up to have a great 2014-15 with you!  

 App of the Week!

Forest Fighter! App graphic with a cartoon plane flying over a forest fire


From the Zyrobotics News Feed:  Forest Fighter!  Has been nominated for a 2014 Summer Award for Best App for Children and Toddlers.  For more information, http://www.bestmobileappawards.com/app-submission/forest-fighter


under: apps, Samples & Examples, Services

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