PATINS TECH EXPO 2013! REGISTRATION is OPEN! This year’s Tech Expo will take place on April 18, 2013 at the Fountains in Carmel, IN. Once again, there is NO REGISTRATION FEE for Attendees! AND, your lunch is on PATINS and your parking is FREE.
Parent/Family iPad Accessibility Evening: Are you or do you know of a family in the South Bend, Indiana area who could benefit from an evening of Accessibility Training on the iPad? Check into this free training opportunity on Feb. 26th at LOGAN, co-hosted by the PATINS Project and INSource. Flyer Here: Parent iPad Night Flyer 2 26 13
iPad: Larger Text: Do you always or occasionally need to see your text larger on your iPad or iPhone or iTouch? There are a couple of really simple options. Check out this quick Video: Larger Text on iPad Video
A NEW VIDEO INTERVIEW: On the day before the PATINS State Conference last month, I sat down to speak casually with Dr. Joy Zabala, National AIM Center Director of Technical Assistance, about her background and start in the world of assistive technology, accessible materials, and “usable materials,” and how these concepts are all interrelated in a truly universally designed learning environment. Joy Zabala is truly a leader in the field, an inspiration and a thinker! She’s one you’ll not want to miss! Watch the video below and remember that you can watch this and many other videos on the PATINS Website Here: http://bit.ly/patinstv
Star It! That’s right, make it a favorite! If you’ve tried to put an MP3 audio file or MP4 Video file, for example, into your Dropbox on your computer in order to access it on your iDevice, you’ve probably realized it’s not quite that simple. Sure, you can get into your Dropbox on your iDevice (as long as it’s connected to the internet) and you can even view/listen to your audio or video content right there in Dropbox, but you have no way of sending it to your iDevices library. Unfortunately, I don’t have a trick for that part, but what you can do is touch the little Star in Dropbox to make that file a “Favorite.” This makes your content available to you when your away from WiFi or your devices is not connected to the internet for any other reason. Thanks Jeff Bond for finding this one.
REMEMBER to Tune In to PATINS TV on Tuesday at 11:45am EST to see Sandi Mahl(PATINS SE Coordinator) and Kelli Suding(PATINS SE Assistant) make their debut as special PATINS TV guests! Sandi and Kelli have a wealth of knowledge to share and they’ll share it in a way that’s fun and understandable. This episode will show viewers how to use assistive technology to meet the needs of their student or child by modifying every day toys. We will use low cost, no-tech to low-tech items on books and toys to allow children to find the JOYful independence that they constantly seek and deserve!
NEW TO AIM? Are you new to Accessible Instructional Materials? Check out the newly redesigned homepage of the national AIM Center’s Website. It features a new All About AIM section that’s pretty great for anyone just getting involved with accessible materials. Maybe you’re an old pro with AIM? You probably know someone who’s not. Send them here! http://aim.cast.org/learn/accessiblemedia/allaboutaim
PATINS Tech Expo… Registration coming soon! Look for Tech Expo registration to be live on the PATINS Website early to mid-January!
Registered for ATIA yet? Tell your colleagues here in Indiana and in any other state to look for the Pre-Conference Session PRE-09T. Jeff Bond and I will be presenting this all-day session on Tuesday January 29th. It’s a Hands-On BYO-Device Session titled, “Creating, Finding, and Utilizing Accessible Text and e-Reading on iDevices with FREE Software.” Register for ATIA here: www.atia.org/precon
2 iPad Tips: Two iPad-things happened to me this week that were more than slightly frustrating and the solutions quite simple. So, I thought I’d share in hopes of helping others avoid future headaches!
My iPad stopped making all noises: I had checked all of my settings, performed hard and soft reboots, and yes, I even made sure the volume was turned up and still my iPad was not making any sounds! I even did a full restore, which did not work. No keyboard clicks, no lock/unlock screen noise, no email arriving dings, text message boings, etc., BUT Voiceover was working. I was at a loss for about a week and was beginning to think my iPad was faulty or damaged, until… I came across the solution! If you select “Use Side Switch to:” lock rotation when previously it was set to Mute, and your side switch WAS in the mute position WHEN you switched the toggle from mute to rotation, it thinks that it’s still on mute!
THEsolution was simply to flip the switch to the UNMUTE position, go into settings and select “Use side switch to: MUTE” (then switch it back to lock rotation if you’d like, BUT don’t play w/ the side toggle while doing so).
My iPad told me it was damaged and needed an Apple Store: After I get iPads returned from loans, I restore them to their previous state as a normal part of the routine before they go out to the next borrower. Well, upon finishing the restore on Wednesday, I got a message on my iPad that it was damaged, could not be activated and would need to be returned to an Apple Store. WHAT? It was working fine 10 minutes ago. WELL, I realized eventually that the Apple Activation servers were down! All I needed to do was wait a couple of hours and then the iPad re-activated fine. So, if you happen to get this message on your iDevices, there MAY not actually be anything wrong with it.
The Final (almost) 2 of the 6 MostlyFree, Easy, Fun Ways to Get Books/Content on Your iPad:
Use iAuthor on a Mac Computer: OK, so this is definitely my favorite! VERY cool! BUT, even though it’s free, it’s only for Mac computers. AND, I have not had time this week to finish my exploration of iAuthor on my Mac computer. So, I’ll delay this until next week.
A New Assessment Tool for Selecting Appropriate Reading Accommodations!
PAR was developed in collaboration with Denise DeCoste, author of the widely embraced Assistive Technology Assessment: Developing a Writing Productivity Profile and Linda Bastiani Wilson. They’re desire was to create a repeatable and systematic assessment process that would not only provide concrete documentation you can use for IEP meetings, but also outline evidence-based practices you can use to make decisions about selecting a suitable reading accommodation for a student being considered.
Protocol—guides you in collecting data to compare independent reading, reading with a human reader and reading with a text reader
Reading Samples—provides eight reading passages (four narrative, four expository) and vocabulary questions for each grade level, grades 3rd through 10th
Quizzes—contains comprehension quizzes for each reading passage—factual, topic related, inferential and vocabulary
Multiple Formats—reading passages are available in Word and ePUB so that you can use them in Bookstream (Don Johnston’s cloud-based reading distribution system) or within your current text reader
Call For Proposals OPEN! Doing something exciting related to Access To The Curriculum, Accessible Instructional Materials. or Assistive Technologies in your district? Your School? Your Classroom? Consider sharing your experiences and expertise with other Indiana Educators at the PATINS 2012 State Conference, Nov. 8-9, 2012! Call For Presentation Proposals is now open and selected presenters will have their conference registration fees waived! Click here to submit a proposal!
District-Wide AT Planning: A View From 40,000 Feet Webinar
Thursday, February 23, 2012 3:00 – 4:00 pm EST
Description: Assistive technology (AT) supports have traditionally been considered on a case-by-case basis within the scope of a student’s IEP. It is necessary to consider and assess the need for AT individually for appropriate alignment of student needs with AT features and supports. Unfortunately, it has not worked well for the actual implementation phase of the AT process in school settings. This system often delays student access to needed AT due to the time involved in pursuing and implementing individual funding, training, setup and integration within already existing school technology. This OCALI webinar will discuss a comprehensive system of district-wide planning for AT implementation that allows students quicker access to needed AT supports. Included in the presentation is a demonstration of a tiered model of AT supports. Consideration for multi-environment implementation for “anytime anywhere” access to AT will also be discussed. This webinar is appropriate for administrators, AT specialists, classroom teachers, related services providers and others interested in the “big picture” implementation of AT services within their district.
During the 2011-2012 school year, the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI), in collaboration with Michigan’s Integrated Technology Supports (MITS) and Promoting Achievement through Technology and Instruction for All Students (PATINS) will provide a series of webinars that focus on assistive technology (AT), accessible instructional materials and universal design for learning (UDL).
IMPROV: Being a huge fan of word-prediction, and especially co:writer, as a classroom teacher, I wanted to make sure everyone knows about the new AAC tool from Don Johnston that is based on Co:Writer! Check it out here:
A GoTalk on your iPad: New App I came across recently from Attainment that sort of turns your iPad into a GoTalk. Interesting to me because the GoTalk is one of my most favorite low-tech/static display AAC devices and the iPad is absolutely one of my favorite high-tech devices! http://attainmentcompany.com/featured/GoTalkNow/ It, however, is not free. $79.99. I do plan to eventually have it on my iPads for loan though, so feel free to request away! PATINS Lending Libraries.
Alexicom App: Speaking of AAC Apps on the iPad, this is another one I’ve recently started loaning out on my iPads and iTouches. It seems like it might be a good fit for the SLP’s who work with students on the autism spectrum (or other disabilities of course) who want to utilize real images/photos instead of symbols. It’s a FREE APP. Here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/alexicom-aac/id395122088?mt=8
Apps Running In The Background: The PATINS Central Site Coordinator, Jeff Bond, came across a very interesting article about those apps that you leave running in the background. Typically, I always tell people to go in and close them down every so often, but this article presents some information that may contradict that advice in some instances. Have a read:
Yesterday’s Webinar: I have to apologize to those who were registered for the PATINS webinar scheduled for 1/12/12 at 3:15pm EST, “Audio, Audio, Audio.”
Unfortunately, at about 2:45pm we lost all internet service in my office building. I tried everything I could to fix the situation until 3pm and then decided I would try to drive to the local McDonald’s and utilize their WiFi, but quickly found that it was also down! I sincerely apologize for that inconvenience and am rescheduling yesterday’s webinar for 3 different upcoming dates. I hope that everyone who was hoping to attend yesterday will be able to find at least one of these 3 new dates that will work with your schedule and even if you weren’t planning on attending yesterday, perhaps one of these 3 new dates will interest you! You are welcome to share these 3 new dates for this webinar with any of your colleagues you think may be interested as well. The first one is coming up quickly on this coming Monday afternoon!
NOW AVAILABLE; The FREE ePub Converter Upgrade: DRMS can now go to the ICAM Website for a FREE upgraded version 2.0 of their aDAISY to ePub Converter! This new upgrade handles many more file types and should be much more efficient at converting some of those stubborn NIMAS files we’ve had trouble with in the past. So far, we are VERY impressed with it!
People Traveling w/Disabilities: The Transportation Security Administration has launched TSA Cares, a new helpline number designed to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions.
Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. TSA Cares will serve as an additional, dedicated resource specifically for passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or other circumstances or their loved ones who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying.
The hours of operation for the TSA Cares helpline are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. EST, excluding federal holidays. Travelers who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to contact TSA Cares or can e-mail TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov.
If you would like to make advance arrangements for screenings at airports, travelers can contact TSA using Talk To TSA <https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/talktotsa/> , a web-based tool that allows passengers to reach out to an airport Customer Service Manager directly, and the TSA Contact Center, 1-866-289-9673 and TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov, where travelers can ask questions, provide suggestions and file complaints
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.
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 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 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.
Teacher has a MS Word Document Test or Quiz. This would be a .doc or .docx file format.
ROL will not open MS Word Documents
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
In some cases, RTF format may NOT preserve enough formatting when opened in ROL. For example, you might lose bullets, numbering or outlining.
In many of those cases, I’ve found it to work much better if I save the MS Word Document as a PDF.
The PDF (or RTF) should now open fine for you in ROL with Text To Speech and all of the other great ROL tools.
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!
PATINSTech Expo: April 19, 2011 Save The Date!
PATINSState Conference:Nov 8-9, 2012 Save The Date!
PATINS Tech Expo 2011 took place this past Thursday at the Crown Plaza in Indianapolis! Thank you to all who came and helped make it a success! It was a great event with lots of information from many assistive technology vendors including many presentations and hands-on opportunities with both software and hardware! If you missed it, first thing to do is mark down this annual event on your calendar for next April! Then, check out these Video Samples from this year’s tech expo. These Videos should open with iTunes or Windows Media Player or VLC Player on either a Mac or PC, but let me know if you have trouble. They are all VERY short samples and should give you an idea of what the PATINS Tech Expo is all about.
DRM Spotlight Podcast: Remember to subscribe to our Digital Rights Managers (DRM) Spotlight Podcast here. About once per month, I spend 10-15 minutes talking with one of Indiana’s outstanding DRMS’s about what they do, how they do it, what works well, what doesn’t and advice or suggestions they might offer other DRMs in other Indiana school districts. It’s free advice and suggestions from people who are doing it! A new episode (#7) with Wayne Township DRMs posted yesterday!
Discover Ed: Some of you may remember me blogging about Creative Commons and copyright issues back in July of 2008 (HERE) and perhaps you were able to participate in the DOE’s 21st Century Learning Labs podcast episode on March 28th (HERE) on Creative Commons. “DiscoverEd is a search prototype developed by Creative Commons to explore metadata enhanced search, specifically for OER.” (Open Educational Resources). Definitely worth spending some time here and familiarizing yourself with CC licensing in General! http://discovered.labs.creativecommons.org/search/en/
If you don’t think Creative Commons Licensing applies to you and your classroom/school, here are three questions to ask yourself:
Do my students create anything digitally? (photos, artwork, drawings, word documents, audio recordings, blogs, podcasts)
Do my students contribute to a class or school Wiki, Blog, Facebook page, etc?
Do my students go online to gather digital resources (photos, videos, audio, text, etc).
If you answered YES to any of these three questions, then CC and copyright really is an essential piece of your curriculum. If you didn‘t answer YES to the above three questions, are you really preparing your students for life and work in the 21st century? Awesome Highlighter: One I’ve blogged about before, but was reminded of this morning in a skype presentation I was giving. www.awesomehighlighter.comVendor Discounts: Don’t forget about the current Vendor Discounts through PATINS: www.patinsproject.com/buys.htmlFree Software: …also, don’t forget that these 3 pieces of great software can be obtained FREE OF CHARGE through PATINS -ICAM
Textbooks No More? Several of you have probably heard me talk recently in-person about the future of textbooks and some ways to prepare. Here’s an interesting article about Washington State and their redesigning of the textbook for the digital age, as a follow up: http://education.newsweek.com/2011/01/25/who-needs-textbooks.html
VoiceThread for All Students: You’ve probably heard me talk about VoiceThread in the past as a way for students to express what they know as sort of a more complex form of Digital Story Telling. Check out this article, specifically looking at VoiceThread and students with Special Needs. VoiceThread and Students with Special Needs Article
Teach PAPERLESS! Are You Ready? I’ve been working hard this year to become 100% paperless in my office and I’d say we are about 99% there! Like any change in procedure, it’s been a process that involved a learning curve, but not many things in the office are more efficient, quicker, easier, far more accessible and cheaper! Here’s an article, somewhat related to the above textbook article, on what a digital textbook should/could be: http://teachpaperless.blogspot.com/2011/02/digital-textbook-should-be-more-than.html
App Depoyment: I get questions almost every week about APPS and how to get them from the iTunes Store onto student and teacher devices. 2 things I want to direct your attention to in this regard. First is the Apple Policy and second is thing concept referred to as Mingled Content model of app deployment:
Organize Your Computer: Last week I had someone ask me, following my discussion on keeping teacher files on a computer organized into folders and utilizing other organization methods, if the folders on a PC could be color coded. Great idea! …but, no it appear that they cannot, unless you use some third party software. Here’s some information from microsoft on staying organized with your files (essential as you move to paperless) and also on some third party software for color coding your folders: www.microsoft.com/atwork/productivity/files.aspx
PATINS Email! As you probably know by now, ALL PATINS Staff have new email addresses as of July 1. Several of us have had some difficulty getting emails to our contacts from our new addresses. If you have a minute, please check your email settings and/or make sure that “@ciesc.k12.in.us” is on your whitelist of accepted emails! It might be worth checking with your technology staff to make sure. We’re afraid some of you aren’t getting the information you deserve! Let your colleagues know to check here on the blog on Fridays as well. Better yet, subscribe to the blog and rest assured you’ll always receive announcements, info, resources, tips & tricks, etc., each Friday!
Dropbox: Are you using Dropbox to share your files? I’ve had an account for quite some time, but never really used it until this week with my colleague Jeff! Jeff shared three large images with me that were well over 3MB each using Dropbox and it all happened in a matter of seconds. These sorts of files would normally be way to large to email. It’s FREE up to 2GB and then modest fees if you need more than the free 2GB. It’s super-simple to use. Check it out and share files with other teachers! With moving to RAPIDlY increasing ONLINE training and professional development, keep in mind that PATINS Staff can share large files with you in this way too! www.dropbox.com.
The PATINS Refurbished Computer Program needs to find organizations and/or individuals who can donate their laptops, desktops, and 17” monitors to our program. We will arrange the pickup of anydonations.
Read:Out Loud:YES, it is FREE for ALL of your K-12 Indiana Public School students to use on ALL your district computers AND to send home with ALL of your students for use on their home computers. It is NOT just for students with IEPs, for NIMAS qualified students, for students with visual impairments, etc. It can be used with ALL students. (I got this question a couple more times this week and wanted to make sure everyone knows that this can be used with ALL students!)
Trainings & Workshops: Look for PATINS Regional trainings and workshops to be scheduled soon. MANY of them to be online! Don’t be shy to request trainings from PATINS Regional Sites! We’re here to serve your needs at no cost to you and have several methods for providing these trainings online now! Next week: Lots of info relating to online teaching and learning! Get your avatars ready!
Have a great, long, safe, holiday weekend everyone!
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.”
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)
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 email@example.com! Need 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!
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