Productivity is one of those words thrown around in society that act like a non-specific band-aid for fixing whatever is wrong. If we increase student productivity… Teachers need to use their time more productively… and so on. Sometimes increasing productivity requires increasing stimulation. While researching this week’s tip I came across the focus@will site. firstname.lastname@example.org The site streams music that is picked to increase productivity. It has tips running along the bottom, and 8 different genres of music to run in the background. Listening to music without lyrics works really well for me. The trick in a classroom is to find a music style that suits the students that need it while not disturbing the ones that don’t. In this way it becomes yet another tool in your UDL tool box!
I started out researching “SpeakIt”, a free app on the Chrome Web Store. For those using the web browser Chrome, once installed, this app will translate all highlighted text to speech while on the internet. SpeakIt adds a speaker button to the right of the bookmark star just outside of the URL address box on the Chrome browser. The user just needs to highlight the selection to be spoken and press the speaker symbol. The pictured box will appear and read. To get this app, go to https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/home search SpeakIt in the search window and follow the instructions. While I would not recommend this app for all text to speech needs, it is free, easy to download and can be used in some non-essential ways. One of my favorites is for proofreading. I will let the computer read what I have written while I listen for content.
So how did one thing lead to the other? I pulled up this article http://edudemic.com/2013/04/cycle-of-productivity/ “This Is The Modern Cycle of Productivity” by Katie Lepi on Edudemic. I was testing SpeakIt for this post. It is a quick fun article and lead me to focus@will. Try the app on the article and you will notice that the graphic will not read. That is because it is just a picture of the original graphic. This is an issue that has been discussed and will continue to be discussed when looking at truly accessible reading material.
Don’t forget that it is Autism Awareness Month. The Appy Mall as well as Appolicious have been listing several free and reduced autism apps!
See you at the PATINS Tech Expo!
PATINS 2013 Tech Expo
Thursday, April 18, 2013
502 East Carmel Drive
Carmel, IN 46032
NO REGISTRATION FEE TO ATTENDEES!