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!
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:
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”
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
App of the Week! – JotNot
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!
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!
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!
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!
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:
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!
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
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!
App of the Week
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!
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!
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
Time is Running Out!
This seems to be the theme of this time of year. As we head toward those last exciting/important/jam packed days of the 2013-14 school year, it is an intricate dance to get all of the end of year celebrations integrated with the end of year academia. The last thing I want to do is add to your stress level, so I will try to balance this post between you’re running out of time and maybe this will help.
Last Call for Conference Proposals
PATINS is presently accepting proposals until May 20th for its 2014 Conference on November 18-19, 2014. This conference will be held at Crowne Plaza at Historic Union Station, Downtown Indianapolis Indiana. This year’s theme is “Accessible Learning in Indiana: Materials, Modes & Measurement”. As in the past, presenter’s registration fees will be waived. Please use either the qr code below or this link to submit your presentation.
I spend a lot of time in schools and I can say that I have learned as many things from other educators as they have learned from me. Come on teachers, tech specialists, administrators step up to the plate and show us what you’ve got! Feel like you have half a presentation and need a co-presenter? Send me an email ([email protected]) and I’ll see what I can do.
How about 12 more months?
Here’s what we Know – Read&Write for Google is a powerful Text to Speech Chrome Extension for web pages and Google docs that will convert text to speech, change the voice, change the speed and translate to many languages for FREE. We also know that when you first download it on the Chrome Store, you get 30 days free of the Premium Matrix which includes: word prediction, talking dictionary, picture dictionary, fact finder, study skills highlighters, highlight collector and vocabulary builder.
What we Want to Know is how can we find the time to try out this extension to find out if it is really as great as everyone says it is.
What we (are about to) Learn is that TextHelp Read & Write for Google just became free for teachers! Here’s the link to register: http://rw.texthelp.com/drive/Support/Home If you already have a trial or have an expired trial of Read&Write for Google, your trial will automatically be converted to a 12 month premium subscription. How’s that for easing up the time burden?
End of the Year Info
Library closing dates:
Many of the schools in Indiana either have been or will be spending a bit of extra time in the classroom this spring, but nevertheless, the 2013-14 school year is coming to an end. Each PATINS region will be closing it’s lending library at a different date. We ask that you please have all materials returned at that time.
Here is a quick run down of those dates for your convenience:
- NW PATINS: 5/23/2014
- NE PATINS: 5/16/2014
- CE PATINS: 5/22/2014
- SE PATINS: 5/28/2014
- SW PATINS: 5/9/2014
Watch the webpages for the re-opening dates!
We’re still working!
Many of the PATINS coordinators will be speaking at the “Summer of eLearning” conferences around the state. Here is a link to the map http://www.doe.in.gov/elearning/2014-summer-elearning-map and to the website http://www.doe.in.gov/elearning/2014-summer-elearning Hope to see you there!
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