12/30/2011: Happy 2012 Pledge, Grant County Family Fun Night, A Read:OutLoud Tip, Dates To Keep In Mind, iPad Microscope

Happy New Year Image

Almost Happy New Year!  Do you have anything in particular on your list of things you want to accomplish in 2012 regarding the education of students in your district?  One great start, might be taking the PATINS PROJECT ACCESSIBLE PLEDGE if you haven’t already and if you have, then find someone else in your building and talk to them about the importance of accessibility in the classroom and ask them to consider taking the pledge:

Accessible Instruction: EVERY Educator’s Responsibility

Once you have completed the pledge which is only 4 questions, then your name goes into a drawing for an IPAD 2 to be drawn January 13th.  Join the PATINS Project as we take the Accessible Instruction Pledge.

I pledge to do my part to bring accessible instruction to all students.   Click here to take the Accessible Instruction Pledge.

By completing this form, I pledge that at every opportunity I will…

  • Understand the individual needs and abilities of learners to ensure that my instruction is accessible to all students
  • Advocate for accessible instructional materials
  • Choose to purchase materials that have accessible versions available
  • Create documents and handouts that can be read and completed using assistive technology
  • Support others in their efforts to learn more about supplying accessible instructional materials
  • Maintain an accessible website



Grant Country Family Fun Night Image


Grant County Family Fun Night: Parents and families of children with autism, there is a Family Fun Night March 13, 2012 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm at the Indiana Wesleyan University Marion Campus Barnes Student Center.  More info available in January.


Read:OutLoud Image LogoRead:OutLoud Tip:  By now, most people know that the great text to speech (and more) program called Read:OutLoud has been available to put on all of your district’s computers and your students’ computers at home at NO COST.  Keep in mind that we can quickly and easily provide training for you on ROL both in-person and online.  Here’s a quick tip that I recently worked on for one teacher in particular that I thought others might benefit from.

  1. Teacher has a MS Word Document Test or Quiz.  This would be a .doc or .docx file format.
  2. ROL will not open MS Word Documents
  3. OPen the Document in MS Word and then Go to File, Save As, and then save it as a DIFFERENT file type, such as RTF or PDF
  4. In some cases, RTF format may NOT preserve enough formatting when opened in ROL.  For example, you might lose bullets, numbering or outlining.
  5. In many of those cases, I’ve found it to work much better if I save the MS Word Document as a PDF.
  6. The PDF (or RTF) should now open fine for you in ROL with Text To Speech and all of the other great ROL tools.
  7. Here’s a very quick video I made on doing this process: http://www.patinsproject.com/Videos/NE_TTAVids/ROLElkhartTTA1/ROLElkhartTTA1.html

Create An iPad Microscope for less than $10: (Video)  http://youtu.be/sAqN8ihAFv8

QR Codes In Class:  If you’ve got any iPads, iTouches or other tablet or smartphone of any kind with a camera, consider getting a Free QR Code Reader such as “Scan” on those devices.  Then, go to one of the many free websites for CREATING QR Codes, like “Kaywa” and create some codes FOR THE PURPOSE of Hardlinking.   Hardlinking is the new way to link.  It is the linking of the online world with the  ‘real’ world.  Link student papers with online follow up resources or link spots in the classroom such as the class pet’s home with online info about that animal.  Be creative and let us know what you come up with by posting comments back here on the blog!


Keep In Mind!

Be Safe, Relax, and Enjoy a few more days with your families and friends and I’ll hopefully see many of you again for the second semester! 

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