2/3/2012: Start of 6 Mostly Free Ways to get Books on Your iPad, Congrats Kristin from Wabash, Digital Learning Day, AIM For Young Children Reminder!

iTunes Books Image

6 Mostly Free, Easy, Fun Ways to Get Books/Content on Your iPad:

  1. Use MS Word and the Free (if you’re in Indiana) ePub Converter from Don Johnston on Mac or PC:
    Download the Step-By-Step PDF of this simple process here: Worde Pub To iBooks Step by Step McNulty
  2. PAGES Software on a Mac Computer:
    Download the Step-By-Step PDF of this simple process here: Pages To iBooks Step By Step Daniel McNulty


The Next 4 Ways Are Listed Below and Will be Available Very Soon! 

  1. Install The Magic Catalog of Project Gutenberg ePubs on the  iPad
  2. Use The Free StoryKit App on the iPad
  3. Use MS Powerpoint and the DJ ePub Converter on Mac or PC
  4. Use iAuthor on a Mac Computer


Flipped Classroom,  An Info-Graphic:  I’m still forming opinions on this whole Flipped Classroom idea, but I thought I’d share this graphic.  I’m curious to hear other’s thoughts.


Congratulaions Kristin from Wabash!  Kristin won the drawing for the 1st quarter prize for submitting follow up evaluations for PATINS Trainings this year!  Kristin won a Kindle and the next prize will likely be an iPevo Webcam/Document Camera.  It’s the same webcam I use for all my trainings where I show an iPad or other device on the desk!  Remember to fill out those PATINS Follow Up Evaluations for your chance to win.  Additionally, by submitting those evaluations, you are supporting the continuation of PATINS services provided to Indiana’s public K-12 schools at no cost to them!

Digital Learning Day!  Digital Learning Day was February 1st and some really neat things took place across the country.  If you missed any of it or just want to see it again, I encourage you to visit the website AND ALSO encourage all of your colleagues to visit the website: http://wpc.1806.edgecastcdn.net/001806/aee/aee020111.html?ebtv=C

Scott Marfilius Donna McNear Early Childhood Part 1 ImageEarly Childhood/Young Children Series NEXT WEEK!    Don’t Forget About This!   It Starts THIS COMING MONDAY AFTERNOON!  You will need to be registered by Monday Afternoon at the very latest!  Click the Picture Above to REGISTER!


The PATINS Project will be hosting a three part series on AIM to Start Early: Implementing Accessible Materials with Young Children with national presenters Kelly Fonner, Scott Marfilius and Donna McNear:

Feb. 6, 2012; 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EST

    - The first event in the series is a webinar with Scott and Donna that will cover the current educational contexts for using AIM with young children, as well as cover the foundational concepts, research implications, developmentally appropriate practices and the instructional framework.

Mar. 5, 2012; 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EST

    - The second event will be a live streaming event with Kelly, Scott and Donna that will encompass implementation with demonstration of appropriate technology tools and software and instructional supports.

April 2, 2012; 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EST

    -The final event will be a follow-up webinar with Kelly and Scott that will focus on developing a plan for implementation and program development/improvement.

Click here for Registration information for this informative series.

*Professional Growth Points (PGPs) for participation require participation in all three events of the series.



1/20/2012: Control SmartBoard with iPad, Apple’s Announcement, Braille Valentines, INSource Disability Fair, Tech Expo Registration, Digital Learning Day, ePub Converter Reminder

Controlling Your SMARTBoard w/Your iPad: 

This is a question I’ve received several times actually.  It’s a little bit confusing so I like to first make sure that folks understand what the smartboard actually is.  There’s no computer in the smartboard, rather the smartboard is connected to a computer and it controls the computer it is connected to.  So, think of the smartboard like a mouse/keyboard/monitor all in one.  You can control the computer and you can see what the computer is doing with the smartboard, but you don’t control the smartboard.

So, what you might really be asking isn’t so much how you can “control the smartboard,” but rather, “can you control the computer with an iPad.”  The simple answer is, not really.  There are things that exist such as Go To My PC, HippoRemote, Keymote, Remote Jr., which could allow you to do something like what you’re asking, but not really.  I don’t think it’d quite do what most have in mind.  To be honest though, I need to spend more time exploring this area and plan to do so over the next couple of weeks.

You  COULD mirror or show what’s happening on the iPad, on the smartboard.  That’s much easier and either requires a simple little connector that you plug the projector’s cable into OR an Apple TV, which the iPad can connect to wirelessly and play through the projector to display the content that is in the iPad.  In the meantime, here’s a great link with some tools addressing this issue:  http://mashable.com/2010/02/28/iphone-remote-control-apps/

Braille Valentines Available:  Everyone likes to receive a Valentine, why not include some braille on yours this year for as little as $10?  Details on the PDF Flyer here:  Valentine from NBP 2012

Disability Resource Fair: INSource’s Annual Disability Resource Fair in Anderson, IN will take place on March 3, 2012 from 9am – 1pm.  Contact with questions: mmattingly.advocate@gmail.com   See Event Flyer Here: INSource Anderson Flyer 2012  Come see PATINS there along with many other service providers.

Apple in K-12!  More than likely, you’ve heard bits and pieces of Apple’s announcement yesterday concerning textbooks.  There are some very exciting things happening, but I also want to remind everyone that Digital does NOT always equal Accessible and that copyright and intellectual property should still be very real concerns/considerations.  Here’s some links:

Digital Learning Day is Feb 1st!  Are you onboard yet with Digital Learning Day updates?  If not, you should be!  Find out more and sign up here:  www.digitallearningday.org
TECH EXPO 2012!  Don’t forget to Register for the PATINS Tech Expo coming up on April 19, 2012.  Free Registration, Free Lunch, Free Parking and LOTS of free advice, opportunity to build networking, ask questions, voice concerns and get your hands on the latest and greatest Assistive Technology right from the vendors!  Check out last year’s blog posting for 30+ very short video clips of vendors from the 2011 Tech Expo, here: http://nepatins.edublogs.org/2011/04/15/4152011-patins-tech-expo-2011-videos-drm-podcast-interviews-creative-commons-and-copyright-great-highlighter-tool-free-software-upcoming-events/
  • 2012 Tech Exp0 Flyer Here: Click here for informational flyer
  • 2012 Tech Exp0 Registration Here: Click here to register!
  • Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars for Nov. 8-9, 2012 for the return of the PATINS State Conference in Indy!  We’re lining up outstanding presenters for this event already!  More info coming soon!
ePub Converter Upgrade:  Don’t forget to get your free upgrade to the ePub Converter 2.0 from the ICAM website.  It offers some serious improvements!  Also, watch for big news coming soon about the ICAM materials ordering interface and procedures!

6/3/2011: Textbooks In Indiana, New Scheduling Tool, Real Life Math, Digital Story Tool

Textbooks in Indiana: “…For starters, it redefines what a textbook is. As of July 1, the word “textbook” in the Indiana code will refer not just to books but also computer hardware, software and digital content.” Read the whole article here and share your thoughts here on the blog in the form of comments. http://www.nwitimes.com/news/opinion/guest-commentary/article_f99f3714-de9b-5fde-a3a5-ef078d1d464d.html

Real Life Math: (Thanks Tina) http://www.thirteen.org/get-the-math/category/the-challenges/

Doodle: A cool new web based tool very useful for scheduling collaborations with others.  Check it out.  I plan to use it pretty extensively this coming school year.   www.doodle.com

Little Bird Tales(Thanks Vicki): “A tool that lets you capture your voice; create an online book using artwork, pictures and words. You can scan your pictures, upload them from your computer or you can draw your pictures onLittleBirdTales’ art pad. When you finish uploading your pictures, you write your text and record your voice for  each one. When you finish, you can share it with others via email or get an embed code to place it on your blog/website. This tool is ad-free, user friendly and a great tool  to create digital stories with young learners. It will certainly foster the creativity of our students.”   I’ve played with this and created a couple of my own stories.  It’s pretty fun! www.littlebirdtales.com

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

12/24/2010: Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Great Writing Site, New AAC Option for iPad, Replacing Textbooks with iPad

Hard to believe we’re 1 semester down already in the 2010-2011 school year!  I hope you are all enjoying some relaxing time with family and friends, so I’ll keep it short this week.

Great WRITING Resource! (thanks Jim):  Found by NW PATINS Site Coordinator, Jim, this writing web resource is quite powerful!  http://livebinders.com/play/play/2170

TapSpeak CHOICE: …another AAC CHOICE for the iPad.  at $99, this deserves a look!  As soon as I can establish enough iTunes credit I plan on doing so myself and posting my thoughts.  In the meantime: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tapspeak-choice-for-ipad/id408507581?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

SpaceKraft iPod Switch: A cool, simple, wireless switch interface for the iPod!  Check it out:  www.spacekraft.co.uk/shops/sk/Product.aspx?cref=PD1682800

“Online Professional Development is Key to Infrastructure for Learning Here’s a quote from this interesting article in Tech & Learning:

The importance of online professional development training is evident through these benefits:

  • flexibility and versatility
  • potential to build community among teachers and across groups
  • new possibilities for accountability
  • improvement of teacher retention by enabling teachers to become more directly involved in their own learning and professional growth, and
  • blended professional development makes the most of the access to technology, combining online and face-to-face interaction.”

READ the article for yourself here:  www.techlearning.com/article/34862

Remember PATINS is providing many free online training opportunities to you that include PGP Points:   www.patinsproject.com/training.html

Replacing a Pile of Textbooks with an iPad: Here’s an interesting article that was recently linked to on the PATINS Facebook account.  It seems like I’ve also been talking to a lot of you recently about the pros & cons of replacing textbooks with something like an iPad.  Thought this article was definitely worth a quick read.  It’s this sort of interactive, collaborative and on-the-go learning that I believe needs to replace the traditional reading of printed textbooks at most educational institutions.  One thing we have to keep in mind is accessibility.  Digital does not equate to accessible.  This must remain a priority and a question we ask first.

  • Here’s the link directly to Inkling, mentioned in the article:  www.inkling.com
Have A Great Holiday

Have A Great Holiday

6/11/2010: Video Tutorial: NIMAS Book onto i (Pad, Touch, Phone) For Free!

iPad Image

iPad Image

Video Tutorial:  Getting a NIMAS Text Book into Stanza for iPad, iTouch, iPhone:

Referenced Important Links: (You’ll need these to complete the demonstration in the video tutorials above)

  1. Stanza Website: www.lexcycle.com
  2. Stanza Desktop Application: www.lexcycle.com/desktop
  3. Tech Adapt: www.techadapt.com
  4. iTunes: www.apple.com/itunes

Have a Great Weekend Image

9/4/2009: Problems With Textbooks, Text To Speech Comparison, 7-Year Old Keeps Me Current, A Great Teacher’s Blog, ISTE Webinar and PATINS Island Open House!

Some of the problems, illustrated nicely: I’ve talked recently to quite a few of you in person about this video and we were unable to access it, so I thought I’d post it here in hopes that you will be able to watch it.  It demonstrates very nicely, the problems with printed textbooks and linear reading.

Speech To Text Options:
Most of you know how I feel about text to speech in that for those it works for, it works very well for.  But for any students with breath support or articulation issues, speech recognition has a long way to go yet.  However, I’m also firmly planted in the belief that it rarely ever hurts to try!   A couple weeks ago Tina shared with us these links, which are incredibly useful for comparing the speech recognition options available:

Jumpstart 3D Immersive World now on the Wii: True story: Tuesday night my 7 year old told me that Jumpstart World (the online 3D immersive world like Second Life) would be coming to the Wii gaming system.  I, shamefully, sort of blew her off.  I mean, how could this 7 year old possibly know this information before I did, and I’d not heard this.   Well, Wednesday morning I receive the email from Jumpstart announcing this!  Wednesday night, I told my daughter how smart she was and thanked her for keeping her father current on this sort of information.  :)  If you are new to this blog or haven’t talked to me in the last 3 years, Jumpstart World is an 3D immersive space for THREE YEAR OLDS!  Just another reminder for me that our children are learning differently, using an expanded vocabulary and expecting the adults in their lives to keep up.  This is also the world we claim to be preparing them to live and work effectively in.  Yet, for many students, their school requires them to ‘power off’ when entering.  They get through the school day so they can ‘power back on’.  I recently heard someone compare this to getting on an airplane.  Sitting in rows, all facing the front and being forced to turn off all electronics and restrict their normal activities, their normal personal and professional learning and social networks, their audio and video content, their access to more efficient ways of performing.  ….an uncomfortable necessity in order to get from one place to the next.  …just something to consider.

Virtual Authors: This morning we had a staff meeting on our Second Life Island and Vicki introduced us to this blog for improving reading, writing and communication skills.  This is great because she’s doing it with students with more severe disabilities, giving them an authentic purpose for writing and allowing others to comment on their writing without the fear of correction from their teacher, which really isn’t authentic.  This makes absolute sense to me as it is pretty much what I’ve been doing with my daughters since they were about 4 years old.  I can’t say for sure why, but they do love to read and to write now at 6 and 7.  Blogging is FREE by the way.  :)

Learn WITH The World Webinar: This one is not free unfortunately, but looks really good and certainly supports the concept of removing barriers between the real world and the school environment.
Learning WITH the World: Using Technology to Connect Students Globally in Project-based Learning is an ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) webinar happening Sept. 9 at 4pm EST.   More info here: www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/ProfessionalDevelopment/WebinarSeries/20092010Webinar/Learning_with_the_World.htm

PATINS Project Island Main

PATINS Project Island Main

PATINS-Project Island Open House! The PATINS PROJECT will be hosting an open house for most of the day and a portion of the evening on October 20th on our Second Life Island.  Watch for more information on this to come in the next several weeks.  There will be PATINS Staff Avatars available to give tours of the island, answer questions and help you out!   You will need to have an avatar created and Second Life software installed ahead of time.  See the PATINS website’s 5- Video Tutorial series on getting started in Second Life and creating your avatar.  …or contact me for help!

Have a great LONG WEEKEND!