3/18/2011: Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Right Now! New DRM Podcast Interview, Money Reader, Listening Tools, QR Codes, Tech Expo, Bugaj and Poss in May, PATINS YouTube



Virtual Worlds Best Practices In Education is Happening RIGHT NOW!

This is the third year I’ve attended and my second year presenting at this amazing 3 day, online, free, international educational conference. If you can possibly get into Second Life to attend any of this conference today.  It started at 5pm EST last evening and runs through Sunday night, pretty much 24 hours/day!  There are lots of really great sessions going on.  I’ll be giving a tour of the PATINS Island tonight from 5pm -6:30pm EST.

Here’s the Master Schedule for all events across the 3 days: http://vwbpe11.vwbpe.org/

VWBPE 2011
See you there, hopefully!   My avatar’s name is, “DanielG Tigerfish.”

ICAM Logo image

New PATINS DRM Interview Podcast Episode with Concord Schools DRM, Tim Tahara: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id394731602

Some Quick Resources:

Coming Events:

Have a Great Weekend Image

3/11/2011: Open Source Textbooks and Virtual School, PATINS Tech Expo, Creating Audio Chapters

Open Source Content/Virtual School:


Why Open Source Textbooks? (Video): http://davidwees.com/content/why-textbooks-should-be-open-source

Audiobook Creator: I had a couple of emails this week from teachers wanting to take some audiobooks they had and bread or divide them up into more manageable chunks.  The books they have are all one audio file or all one single mp3, which tends to be difficult to navigate for students if they are required to, for example, open their books to chapter 3.  So, you could potentially break it up into chapters yourself, but you’d have to do it manually, which might take some time.   I think I blogged about these tools back in 2008, but now’s as good a time as ever to bring them up again.

  1. For PC : Free mp3 to m4b converter: www.freeipodsoftware.com/index.php
  2. For Mac:

Alternatively, You could import the file into Audacity (free) and chop it up manually into chapters or whatever… exporting each chuck as a separate audio file.  This is free and very doable, but will take a little time and also require you to learn to use Audacity, which isn’t hard, but is a small learning curve.  Probably a good thing to learn anyway, in my opinion.

Continue reading

2/4/2011: PATINS AT Overview Online Module, Learning in 3D Online, LEGO Universe, SketchUp and ASD, Apps for Special Needs, PATINS Tech Expo Registration

SORRY I’M LATE this week!  I’ve been terribly sick for nearly a full week now and hope none of you get this nasty virus!  I do have some great things to share however and better late than never!

AT Overview Module: NW Site Coordinator, Jim Lambert, has done an awesome job creating this online module that you can work through at your own pace AND receive PGP credit!   Check this out:

Learning Online in 3D: So, again this year at ATIA I heard plenty about online, immersive learning in 3D Virtual Worlds.  I may have blogged about these in years past, but they are worth checking out again.

WiloStar: “Online Homeschooling and 3D Virtual Worlds for K-12 Education”  FULLY ACCREDITED! www.wilostar3d.com

Avatar Story Tellers: K-12 Virtual Worlds.  Take your Digital Story Telling to the next level!!! “Avatar Storytellers is the first multiplayer online educational virtual world designed specifically for classroom students ages 9-12.  Avatar storytellers is an engaging K-12 immersive virtual world educational curricula that allows students to create 3D digital stories inside immersive virtual worlds using WiloStar3D’s custom avatar system.”   www.avatarstorytellers.com

LEGO Universe: Already being a fan of LEGO’s and the creativity they seem to encourage in kids and adults, This particular one got me so excited that I actually went and found a lego store and bought this software before leaving the ATIA conference.  It was $20 for the software and then there is a monthly fee to participate, but the first month is free to try it out.  I have to tell you that after only a few days of my own 7 and 9 year old girls playing it, that this is an amazing online immersive learning experience for students.  http://universe.lego.com/en-us/parents/wheretobuy.aspx#tab-download

Designing Online in 3D and Students on the Autism Spectrum: Many of you are probably already familiar with Google Sketchup.  If not, it’s a free way of creating and modeling things in 3D.  It’s very fun, very powerful and very engaging!  http://sketchup.google.com/

Particularly related to Google Sketchup and kids on the autism spectrum, check this out!   Students on the Autism Spectrum

Finally for this week, Apps for Children With Special Needs:   http://a4cwsn.com

Lots more next week!

2011 PATINS TECH EXPO (free & PGPs)



Flyer Here:

10/15/2010: Jiffy Lube in Virtual Worlds, IASP Conference, Fractions App,

IASP Conference Podcast: I was fortunate enough to attend and be asked to record some podcast interviews and recording of the panel session a the Annual Fall Indiana Association of School Psychologists (IASP) Conference.  Watch for this podcast soon!  I’ll announce it here and link to it.  It’ll also be available from the IASP Website: www.iasponline.org

Fractions App: A nice free little fractions app!  http://motionmathgames.com

Immersive Learning in 3D Image

Jiffy Lube & Ernst & Young Are Learning Online In Virtual Worlds: If you’ve not ready anything else I’ve ever posted over the last 3 years about Second Life and Virtual Worlds/Immersive Environments, you should read this!  This is a very quick little article in the Training Industry Quarterly about how real life training is taking place in Second Life rather than real life or face to face settings, specifically for Ernst & Young, which is recognized as one of the word’s big 4 accounting firms!   If nothing else, this points to the VERY REAL fact, that 3D Immersive Environments are already a part of the work force.  These are skills that our students will need and our teachers must teach.  The business world is already onboard with giving and receiving training and professional development online in Second Life.



PATINS_Island Labeled Map

(Download a larger version of the PATINS ISLAND map above by clicking on it)

As you know, you may request a training, workshop, or presentation from PATINS Staff at any time.  However, as a state, we are moving rapidly away from face-to-face trainings and beginning to utilize more online tools.
PATINS would like some input from you as we schedule trainings for the 2010-2011 school year. Your input is greatly appreciated and will help us to prepare for and schedule trainings that will benefit you most!

Please take 2 or 3 minutes to complete this Training Needs Assessment For us?
Click Here: www.surveymonkey.com/s/2010NeedsAssessment1

Of course, I’ve been blogging about Second Life, Skype and virtual learning for several years now, but many education professionals seem to have put it on the back burner unfortunately.  Well, the time has come when educators really have to be ready, willing and able to not only learn online, but also begin to think about TEACHING online!  The survey above will greatly help us in planning online trainings for you and your school during this 2010-2011 school year and we really appreciate your time in filling out that survey.

PATINS has several methods for providing you the live training you need, when face-to-face training simply is not an option.  These are ALL FREE for you to use with us.   These include:

  • Second Life…for an immersive, 3D, workshop-like, interactive experience
  • Skype for person to person video calling
  • Tokbox for multiple person video conferencing
  • GoToMeeting for desktop sharing and voice conversations

We also have several other options such as:

  • A weekly or monthly live show type of format
  • Video tutorials accessible 24/7
  • A NIMAS/ICAM podcast
  • and much more in the works!   Let us know what, how and when will best serve your needs!

Remember:  PATINS has plenty of information including Video Demonstrations on our website for getting started with Second Life, so that you can come visit the Training Facilities we’ve built on the PATINS Second Life Island: www.patinsproject.com/SLEventsCalendar.html

The PATINS Island location is: http://slurl.com/secondlife/PATINS%20Project%20Island/112/102/26

Here’s a link to a document of ours that lists about 50 other educational locations in Second Lifewww.patinsproject.com/SecondLife/SLLandmarks.pdf

Virtuality to Attract & Train 21st Century Teachers:  An Interesting Article in THE JOURNAL; “When Pamela Whitehouse heard about Teach WV, West Virginia’s plan to attract new K-12 teachers and update professional development approaches, the WVU instructional technologist wanted to get involved. She and her team are building spaces in virtual worlds where teachers can experiment with new ways of engaging students.”  Read more here: http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/08/04/tapping-virtuality-to-attract-and-train-21st-century-teachers.aspx

Mass. School District Launching Statewide Virtual School: Another interesting read in THE JOURNAL: http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/08/24/massachusetts-district-to-launch-statewide-virtual-school.aspx

Here’s Some Upcoming (non-PATINS) events online that you may want to know about:

ISTE Island (Second Life): Kyle Gomboy from Reaction Grid speaks (for free) on educators using RG and even hear from a panel of educators currently working there.  Sept. 21, 2010 at 5pm slt, which is 8pm est.  The ISTE Island location in Second Life is: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/ISTE%20Island/92/75/30

AIM (Accessible Instructional Materials) Webinars: The National Center on AIM provides on-going interactive opportunities to develop and extend knowledge about accessible instructional materials through monthly webinars. September webinars will include the monthly “AIM Basics” session and an updated version of a popular spring session, “AIM Center Supports for Decision-Making Teams.”

School Security Virtual Summit: September 21, 10:30 to 3:30 pm  FREERegister Here

Making Assistive Technology Work with Viewer 2:  On Virtual Ability Island in Second Life.  Two Dates:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 1, 5 pm SLT  (8pm EST)
  • Thursday, Sept. 2, 7:30 am SLT and 2 pm SLT (5pm EST)

The following will be discussed:

  • use of joysticks (What kinds are used? How well do they work in SL?).
  • mouse alternatives (What are they? How well do they work in SL?).
  • controls/ buttons that need to be close to each other in the user interface.
  • kinds of skins (appearances of user interface).
  • creating user stories to aid developers.

Contact Us.    Build an Avatar.    Get Online.     Let Us Know How We Can Help

5/17/2010: Special Monday Posting! ~4 Free Summer Second Life Sessions in June!~

Click Image Below to View Larger

June PATINS SL Flyer

Getting Started in Second Life (pdf files):

3/12/2010: David Davis SL Recording Available! FETC Virtual Spring Conference, Facebook to Teach Internet Safety? Awesome FREE Mapping Tool & Photoshop Replacement, Animal Crossing, Dragon Tips, Sumo Paint, Bye Bye Print, IEP Checklist & MORE!

C:\Users\Daniel G McNulty\Desktop\DavisRecordingMarch42010.png

David Davis Presentation Recording on the PATINS Second Life Island: Watch and listen to the recording of this event here!  As this was my first attempt at recording a session while also participating in it, it’s not perfect, but I think the content is conveyed just fine for the most part.  I’ll promise to work on refining my audio and camera work for the next one!  David was an outstanding presenter and the information/resources he shared were quite valuable.  Check out this recording and remember to plan for upcoming session on our SL Island!   Watching the recording is great, but being there live, walking around, interacting, asking questions, participating in discussion is so much better!  This one is about 1hr and 12 minutes long.  It’s a big file at that length, so you’ll need a high speed internet connection and a little patience for it to begin.  On a high-speed connection, it should start playing in a minute or two.  It’s also available as a download for your iPod, if you prefer to take it on the go!

FETC Virtual Spring Conference: Registration Open!  http://events.fetc.org/Events/Virtual-Spring-2010/Home.aspx

Interesting Internet Safety Idea: Using Facebook to TEACH internet safety.   I like the discussion happening here!  “”If we wouldn’t teach science without the lab or literature without the novel, then why don’t we actually use the internet to teach Internet Safety – safely online!”

Tips for Dragon on iPhone: Here’s some tips for getting the results you expect from the FREE Dragon Dictate App.

Sumo Paint Image

Sumo Paint! Cool free online application for painting, drawing, cropping, and working with images!  Quite possibly, my new favorite FREE tool for when I don’t have Photoshop!

UMapper: Create Free embeddable Flash maps!  Super easy and very cool!  The possibilities for using this with students are endless! Make your own maps!  Add images!  Add Sounds!  Add Text!   Link your map to a data feed!  SO COOL! …and I’m not even a ‘map guy.’    www.umapper.com

Here’s a sample I created: Go ahead, play with it, drag it around, hover over things, click on things.  Cool huh?  Took me about 3 minutes.

INSource Fair Anderson
INSource Fair Anderson

INSource Fair: This past Saturday I represented the PATINS Project at the INSource Disabilities Resource Fair in Anderson, IN.  Find out about other resource fairs, training and conferences available through INSource Here: www.insource.org/training.htm


Don’t forget about Virtual Worlds Best Practices In Education -3rd Annual International Conference TODAY & TOMORROW!

Once again, some of the PATINS Staff will be attending this free, online, virtual, international educational conference today and tomorrow.

I will also be presenting a session this year Friday (TODAY), from 5pm -7pm EST on our Island.

“The Virtual World Best Practices 2010 focus is “Imagination Around the World”.  From the North, East, West and South corners of the physical world what is evident is the collaborate nature of virtual world participants to share knowledge and experience. This 48 hour conference will indeed provide opportunities for sharing and further understanding virtual world technology.”

Saying Goodbye to Print? An interesting article on the disappearing printed word, how the type of text might influence the medium and more.

Online Learning Research: The research literature (1996 to July 2008) found more than 1,000 empirical studies of online learning. On average, students of online learning performed better than those with face-to-face instruction.” More Here: http://www.techlearning.com/article/26692

IEP Checklist: (Thanks Glenda)…one more free one for the iPhone/iTouch: www.php.com/free-iep-checklist-application-iphone

Remember (Blog Tip)!

Everything I’ve ever blogged is archived here AND search-able!  There is a “SEARCH” box to the right.  Just delete the word “Search” and type in a keyword/s you’re looking for and everything I’ve ever blogged about that includes that keyword should come up for you!  A nice feature to use when you sort of remember something I blogged about, but that didn’t really resonate with you back then because you maybe didn’t have a need that you do now!   Just thought I’d mention it as it has come up a few times in phone conversations this past week.

Plan To Attend:

April 20, 2010 in Indianapolis.
No Cost To Attend
To Register:

2/26/2010: News About Your Stimulus Dollars, Virtual Worlds Best Practices In Education Conference! Punishment Systems and UDL Engagement, Cool Twitter Apps! A Good Classroom Blog Example, and Two FREE Events Coming SOON!



Virtual Worlds Best Practices In Education -3rd Annual International Conference- March 12,13, 2010

Once again, several of the PATINS Staff will be attending this free, online, virtual, international educational conference.  I will also be presenting a session this year on the Friday.

“The Virtual World Best Practices 2010 focus is “Imagination Around the World”.  From the North, East, West and South corners of the physical world what is evident is the collaborate nature of virtual world participants to share knowledge and experience. This 48 hour conference will indeed provide opportunities for sharing and further understanding virtual world technology.”

Read More Here: www.vwbpe.org
Register Here (FREE): www.vwbpe.org/registration

Teacher Collaboration Key to Student Success: “…Educators at the most collaborative schools reported the highest levels of morale, trust and shared responsibility for student success.
Read more of this article here:  edweek.org/tm/articles/2010/02/17/metlife.html?tkn=RYTCpFN0hFiRdFFlQZlSJRxR2BVFGEgdORIh&cmp=clp-ascd

Why Punishment Based Systems Don’t Work: I know this isn’t directly related to assistive or accessible technologies, but I do believe it’s related to UDL, but pay special attention in this article to the point #1 that Dr. Nunley makes: “1. In order for non-aversive techniques to work, the environment inside the classroom must be more desirable than the environment outside the classroom.” As an educator, have you ever asked yourself whether your student find your classroom more desirable than the world outside your classroom?  You probably have and the answer for many classrooms is probably that most students would prefer to NOT be in the classroom if they had the choice.  …but, have you ever asked yourself, as an educator, why this is?  …or more importantly, what could you specifically do to move your classroom space toward being the more desirable location.  For me, several things immediately come to mind that would make my classroom more desirable to students.  A few of which include:

  • making sure every part of my instruction, their responses and my assessment was accessible to all of my students (making it a fair environment)
  • NOT requiring my students to “power down” all of the gear they use outside of the school when they come in (making it a relevant and engaging environment)
  • Allowing my students to have an authentic audience for the hard work they put forth with blogs, podcasts, digital story telling, etc. (making it a motivating environment)
  • Read the whole article on behavior here: http://help4teachers.com/punishment.htm

Get More From TWITTER with Twitter Apps! Check these out!  Some certainly more useful than others  …especially, TwitterCal to sync your google calendar with your twitter, and Twittonary, which will explain some twitter-specific words that may seem foreign at times!

A Couple Interesting Videos about Second Life as an Educational Tool:

  1. Breaking the Second Life Learning Curve: http://www.3outube.com/watch?v=88Dn0STScWk
  2. Second Life VWLEM 09 Conference Day Two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-up0vG2qlI&NR=1

A Good Classroom Blog Example: A request came in last week from an educator wanting training on setting up a classroom blog and this educator pointed me toward this one as an example of what she hoped to do.  I think this is one nice example from 5th grade teacher, Jay Monson in Minnesota!  What a great resource for parents and students to subscribe to.  Easy to set up and administer, relevant to the outside world (utilizing RSS) and creating an authentic connection between the worlds outside and inside the classroom walls.  Check out Jay’s blog here:   http://classblogmeister.com/blog.php?blogger_id=59644&blog_id=&listclass=32377

RFB&D and ICAM February News for DRMs: Chance to win a FREE Mp3 player!  The DRM who downloads the most books from February 22 through March 15, 2010 will receive a FREE Mp3 player and will be featured on the support site at www.rfbd.org/indiana in April.  Download audiobooks today for your chance to win!

Register now to order RFB&D downloadable books. To register email your ID (ICAM####), name, address, phone number and email address to aimcustserv@rfbd.orgNeed Technical Support? Visit the AudioPlus support site at www.rfbd.org/indiana.

Click here for News about your school’s Stimulus Dollars: In addtional to clicking the link to find out details on your schools stimulus funds, you might find it interesting that only 12-17% of them have been spent and time is running out!  Several State Buys have been added to the PATINS website and more could be coming in the next couple weeks.  Don’t forget to check this tab on our site before making purchases.  Additionally, the PATINS staff is more than happy to help you spend your money!  Actually, we just want to make sure that schools don’t forget about accessibility, that every student is different and that we have a nice collection of experience with MANY assistive and accessible technologies and are very willing to make suggestions, offer resources, training, etc.  PATINS State Buy page here: www.patinsproject.com/buys.html

Don’t Forget these TWO FREE EVENTS coming up SOON!

  1. DAVID DAVIS presents: “Virtual Instruction and Assessment Environments: Addressing 21st Century Skills for Students with Disabilities” March 4th, 3:30pm EST, PATINS Second Life Island.  More info here: www.patinsproject.com/SecondLife/DavidDavisFlyer.pdf
  2. PATINS TECH EXPO: April 20th, 9am – 4pm, Crowne Plaza Indianapolis (change in location).  This is a free opportunity to come see the newest in Assistive Technology, ask questions of the vendors, attend presentations and build your personal learning network!  More info here: PATINS Tech Expo Flyer 2010 Required Registration Here: www.surveymonkey.com/s/PATINStechexpo2010

Have a Great Weekend Image

David Davis in Second Life (FREE) in 2 Weeks! Are You Ready? Some Ideas!

“According to a research report from Forrester, by 2012, “3-D Virtual Platforms will be as important for work as the Web is today.”

Are you prepared for this?  Are you prepared to prepare your students for this?  How about to prepare your students with disabilities for this?

This is a great, free opportunity for you to experience a training from a wonderful national presenter on the PATINS-Project Island.  The PATINS Staff will be there to assist and there will be discussion to follow.  David Davis is typically presenting at such conferences as Closing The Gap, FETC, ATIA, and many other national gatherings.  This is an opportunity for you to see him for free, requiring no flight, no hotel room, no mileage, no parking fees and no meal reimbursements!

Some Ideas:

  1. Have many people in one room, with only one person actually controlling an avatar, but displaying the presentation from that one avatar’s perspective on a big screen with a projector.  This is a great option, I think, for anyone who may feel intimidated at this point to create and attend with their own avatar.  This also means that Second Life will only need to be opened up for one computer and bandwidth won’t be an issue either.
  2. Access this Second Life Presentation at home, at the local coffee shop or other location with wifi.
  3. Contact me in the next couple of weeks for help creating and setting up your own avatar in order to attend this event.  dmcnulty@r8esc.k12.in.us
  4. Use the free & quick video tutorial guides to Getting Started in Second Life posted on the PATINS Website:  www.patinsproject.com/videos.html

PATINS Main Auditorium Second Life image
PATINS Main Auditorium Second Life image

Click The Image For a Teleport Right Into Our Main Auditorium

“normal” Friday Blog Posting coming tomorrow morning still !

2/12/2010: Are You Ready To Teach Online? David Davis in SL, ISTE Connects, Wired Kids, Podcasting Accessibility, Website Evaluation, Looking Back At The Tools, Family Center on Tech and Disability & Two Little Girls Grab My iPhone for Valentines Day!!!

Solar System Image From STEMmED Island

A screenshot of my avatar observing the working solar system model on the STEMmED Island in Second Life (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math Education).


The STEMmED Island (above image) is actually a close neighbor of the PATINS-Project Island on the Second Life Grid and I just happened upon it one evening while exploring educational content in SL.  I’ve been hearing more and more about teaching and learning rapidly moving more toward online and gradually away from face to face.  This has obviously been happening to the professional development, technical training and even university environments over the past 5 years, but now there is more and more talk about it in the K-12 world.

THEN, It just happened to be that Vicki sent me an article from the February Edition of Tech & Learning yesterday which outlines some very interesting observations related to online teaching and learning.  For example, The US DOE did a meta-analysis and research review on online learning studies between 1996 and July 2008, including more than 1000 empirical studies on online learning.  This meta-analysis provided some VERY interesting data including:

  • single subject designs comparing blended and purely online learning experiences, generally resulted in similar student learning outcomes.
  • giving learners control of their online interactions and prompting learner reflection enhanced online learning.
  • video and online quizzes did not appear to influence the amount that students learn in online classes.
  • Additionally, check out these results from a poll of Tech & Learning Readers, clearly indicating that educators want more professional development.  Yet, we know that funds and time available for travel are at zero in many places.  …again, bringing us back to the discussion of online learning.  Are you ready?  PATINS is providing online trainings, workshops, meetings  and presentations now & YOU are invited!
  • T&L_Readers_Poll

*This information was published in the free digital version of the Tech & Learning Magazine, so I feel comfortable sharing it here.  You can read the entire magazine online here, for free: www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newbay/tl_201002/#/0

*The referenced USDOE study can be found here: www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf

MainAuditorium_001Speaking of Teaching & Learning Online!!!

David Davis from FDLRS to Present for FREE on PATINS-Project Island in Second Life:
March 4, 3:30pm EST!!

INFO HERE: http://nepatins.edublogs.org/2010/02/04/special-posting-david-davis-to-present-march-4th-on-patins-second-life-island-free/

International Society for Technology in Education TOP TEN PRIORITIES for 2010: Posted February 1, “Teacher Prep. & Access to Technology Named Top Priorities” Read More Here:

A Look Back At The Tech Tools: Top 100 Tools for Learning in 2009; where did they go and what are we using now?  This video outlines it pretty well and you know what they say about those who don’t know their history…www.slideshare.net/janehart/top-100-tools-for-learning-2009-2509241?from=share_email

Family Center on Technology and Disability: …nice and easy alphabetical listing online or download it as a PDF file

Do Online Kids = Negligent Parents? http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/28/wired-kids-negligent-parents/?partner=rss&emc=rss

Getting Into Podcasting?  Do you know the accessibility requirements? www.steeple.org.uk/wiki/Accessibility_requirements_for_podcasting-related_media

Evaluate Your Educational Websites…using Kathy Schrock’s Guide: http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schrockguide/eval.html.

iloveyouFinally, just for the upcoming Valentines weekend, I thought I’d share something my own little girls did recently.  I have had a no touching my iPhone rule for my girls ever since they recorded themselves singing and emailed it (accidentally) to the sheriff who lives down the street.  BUT, last night I reinstated their privileges on a probationary status.

Anyway, they used the free app for iPhone/iTouch  called “StoryKit” and created this little “story” using nothing by my phone and their creativity.  They did this entirely on their own, with no assistance or advice from me AND they spent about 45 minutes doing it, together, w/out fighting, completely engaged.

It’s no great piece of writing, but it is a ‘creation’ that includes writing, illustration and photography, AND making each page sort of accessible by recording themselves speaking (or singing) exactly the words they had written on each page.  …again, with no advice from me as I was attending the SL session on the computer, while they were doing this.

Here’s their story, shared from the iPhone to the web with 1-click.  Talk about authentic audience:

Might be a good ‘app’ to add to your toolkit.  It certainly seems engaging for students.