12/16/2011: iRead3/ISTEP Accommodations and Large Print & Braille Orders, What Are You Measuring? Education of Young Children, Upcoming Interstate Webinar, Accessible Pledge, Doing More With Less,

IREAD-3/ISTEP Accomodations:  See Appendix C in the Program Manual, which starts on page 54 and can be downloaded here:

What Are You Measuring and What Assumptions Are You Making?

Same Exam For All Animals Cartoon

After recently having my handwriting and my signature corrected and rejected…(seriously) by an elementary school teacher, I spent a little time reflecting on what we might actually be spending our time and effort on in many classrooms and what it is that we might actually be measuring.  In my particular example, instead of being evaluated on whether I read and signed an important document (the important part) I was being evaluated on my handwriting skills (the much less important part).  I felt frustrated, cheated, misunderstood and a little angry.  I instantly knew how many of our students must feel in classrooms.  Granted, my handwriting skills leave a bit to be desired.  Yes, that is truly my handwriting above.  However, what really mattered in this case was my involvement in reading and understanding the document, not in my ability to produce a handwritten signature.  In short, I felt that I was being measured against something other than what I was told was the primary objective.  I wonder how many students feel this way every day in our classrooms?  How many feel like they know concepts and techniques and information that they are unable to demonstrate?  How many know how to acquire and assimilate new content, but maybe not in the traditional ways?  Are we treating these students fairly by telling them they will be measured on their ability to spell, but then we actually measure their ability to hand-write on that spelling test?  The cartoon above, that many of you have probably seen in the past, demonstrates this idea in a very simple way.  Here’s a few related links and resources as you consider the idea of Fairness not always meaning Equal or Same and also about making assumptions about what students may or may not know.

Doing More With Less:  Many of us probably share a similar feeling that we are often being asked to accomplish more with less time, money and resources than we had last year in our districts, our schools our classrooms.  Here’s a great little video about taking a close look at something/anything that you’re already spending even a small amount of time doing and then trying to be creative about accomplishing multiple things with that one task. Check it out:


Acquiring and Using Digital Text to Support Universal Design for Learning Webinar Series

Thursday, January 19, 2012 – 3:00 – 4:00 pm EST

This OCALI webinar focuses on using digital text to support Universal Design for Learning (UDL).  A very brief overview of UDL will be provided and then we will address the many ways digital text can be modified to support the diverse needs of the students in our classrooms. Several resources for obtaining both copy written and public domain digital text will be provided. We will discuss emerging trends in the use of digital text such as eBook readers and open source textbooks. The presentation will conclude with a review of tools and websites that incorporate many aspects of UDL.

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).

Space is limited.   Reserve your Webinar seat now.   [ Learn more and register ]    or at: http://www.ocali.org/project/at_webinars


Education of Young Children Image of Two Young Girls at Computer

Young Children/Early Childhood:  Keep an eye and an ear open for some exciting opportunities from the PATINS Project with regard to the Education of Young Children coming this February through Spring 2012!  Watch here on this blog and also the PATINS Website: www.patinsproject.com for announcements!  Also, if you are specifically involved in the education of young children and are looking for particular trainings or resources, please let us know!  Contact your PATINS Regional Coordinator or leave a comment here on the blog: Contact Us.   Also, check into the Indiana Association for the Education of Young Children Conference,  April 26-28, 2012: www.iaeyc.org/IndianaEarlyChildhoodConference/GeneralConferenceInformation/tabid/809/language/en-US/Default.aspx


PATINS Tagxedo Image

Remember To Take PATINS Accessible Pledge (if you haven’t already)

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



8/26/2011: SMARTBoards for SLPs, Upcoming Interstate Shared Webinars, Proloquo2Go Update and other Apps, Blind-Low Vision Math Tools and more.


Upcoming Webinars:  I’m pleased to announce a collaboration with both Ohio’s OCALI Project and Michigan’s MITS Project.  Many of OH’s and MI’s webinars/online trainings will be shared/open to Indiana educators, though many will have limited spaces available.  Likewise, appropriate Indiana online trainings will be shared with OH and MI educators, with priority certainly given to IN educators.  The first one from OH is coming up soon!

-Sept 8, 2011.  3-4pm EST.  “Best AT Tools 2011”   Register Here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/731819122

-See The Full Listing Here: http://www.patinsproject.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=78&Itemid=40


Digital Video and The Web… changing people’s lives:

Remember to Check Out the NEW PATINS WEBSITE! 

 “The effectiveness of a group is not determined by any individual’s intelligence in the group,
but by how the group communicates… by how often the individuals communicate with one another.” 
David Brooks

8/12/2011: Welcome Back To School, Technical Assist Grant, New DRM Online Training, Various Available Grants, Inspirational Video!

Welcome Back To School …for many of you!

PATINS Targeted Technical Assistance Grants:  There seems to be some confusion out there about 2 related but unconnected Grants that were recently announced.  There was a grant that was due to IDOE on 8/10 this week.  There is a separate and different grant through the PATINS Project that is due October 3, 2011 called the Targeted Technical Assistance Grant for Indiana public K-12 districts.  Read about it and apply here!     http://nepatins.edublogs.org/2011/08/05/technical-assistance-grants-due-october-3/      Contact us with questions.

Great Educational Comic Strips/Cartoon Creation!  Chris Bohn, is doing some really cool things with this tool and some of her students on the autism spectrum.  Let me know if you’re interested in learning more and I’ll gladly put you in touch with Chris.  www.bitstripsforschools.com   (Thanks Chris!)

AAC Device Trainings: There are some recurring training opportunities I recently learned about that are worth passing on for families and therapy teams!  These are non-device-specific trainings for 3 hours to cover basics of Unity, programming, and implementation.  No CEUs will be offered, but the trainings are free.  The trainings will take place at Riley Hospital on the first Thursday of the month from 4:00-7:00 p.m. beginning Thursday, October 6.  So far, we have only scheduled the trainings through December, but plan to add January thru May sometime in the fall.  We have a limit of 15 participants per training and they will need to register at www.prentrom.com/training

NEW Online DRM Training:  If you are a newly appointed DRM, a current DRM needing a refresher or you know a DRM in need of help, there is now an online training created by the ICAM!  Contact your PATINS Regional Coordinator if you’re in need of utilizing this Video Training and we’ll point you in the right direction:   www.patinsproject.com


A Little Inspiration & Perhaps... food for thought as we begin this new school year.  A moving TED talk from Caroline Casey

 “The effectiveness of a group is not determined by the individual’s IQ in the group, but by how the group communicates… by how often individuals communicate with one another.”  David Brooks

2/25/2011: No Snowdays Online, Your Docs to ePubs, Feedbooks, Education Killing Creativity, Allow Kids To Fail? Proloquo Keyguards, How/Where Do You Work?

School’s Always In Session: With all the lovely weather this winter and ALL the snow days that MANY Indiana schools have experienced, I thought this was particularly relevant.  You’ve been reading my thoughts here on the blog about online 3D immersive environments and learning now for several years, but now it’s showing up in many places!  One question that HAS to be asked, that I think so many people are afraid to even acknowledge is, “if students can obtain the material and instruction w/out coming to a physical classroom, then why are we still spending money on the physical classroom?” Of course, I realize the answer to that is highly complex and it requires an answer to, “can students obtain the materials and instruction w/out coming to a physical space.”   Read the article here: www.techlearning.com/Blogs/36642

Convert Your Docs to ePubs:

Feedbooks:  Another source to search for texts if you cannot find them from the ICAM (Indiana Center for Accessible Materials)

Proloquo2Go KEYGUARDS: Yep…here’s the first in a likely flood to come:  www.laseredpics.biz/servlet/the-2547/proloquo-proloquo2go-keyguard-adaptive/Detail

Education Killing Creativity: “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” This is from a few years back, but certainly worth watching/listening to again.  Some of you have probably heard me lately in recent training sessions talking about creativity and jobs and the status of education.  I figured this goes well with that dish.  www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

Allow Kids To Fail:  Going right along with the above concept on killing creativity, here’s another audio/video delight worth your time.  “Get comfortable with… the idea of allowing kids to fail as part of the learning process.”  “we have become infatuated with the notion that there is only one right answer, such as with bubble tests.” www.ted.com/talks/diana_laufenberg_3_ways_to_teach.html


~POLL For The Week~

(results discussed and expanded upon next week)

Where do you go when you REALLY need to get some good work done?
Respond Here:  www.surveymonkey.com/s/WhereHowDoYouWork