1/27/2011: 3-Part Series on Young Children and AIM Starting NEXT WEEK! Emphasizing Responsibility, New TTA Grant Applications Open SOON, ePub Converter Upgrade Reminder, PATINS State Conference 2012 Dates!

Apologies that this post didn’t go out Friday morning like usual.  I have several important announcements though and needed to wait a couple more days. 
You won’t want to miss some of this stuff! 

When Will We Start Teaching Online Responsibility… and stop blocking access???  Anyone who’s ever had a conversation with me about education has likely heard my feelings on all the missed opportunities, teachable moments and chances to grow that happens when organizations choose to block access to the internet or to content on the internet rather than to teach responsible use and to enforce consequences when individuals choose to misuse the tools.  When a student can’t do addition, we teach.  When  student doesn’t know how to implement the scientific method, we teach.  When a student is having trouble giving change for a $10 bill, we teach.  When a student doesn’t know how to access research material in the library, we teachBUT, when a student doesn’t know how to use the internet appropriately, safely, effectively and efficiently, WE BLOCK.  Blocking and Restricting in lieu of teaching responsibility and enforcing a set of rules is something I don’t believe I’ll ever fully understand and truly a dis-service to the students who will not be living and working in a world where they will be blocked and restricted.  Rather, they will need to have skills and tools to make good, safe, appropriate choices.  Further, the students in school districts who understand this and have already changed their policies will have an enormous advantage over the students in school districts who have not.  This article discusses this shift from Acceptable Use Policies to RESPONSIBLE Use Policies and is certainly worth a very quick read.  “According to Wolf, schools have generally found it easy to shift or waive existing policies if it means making the most of the educational value of mobile technologies.” Craven said. “It empowers their learning so much that it would be irresponsible of us as a district to prevent children from using mobile devices or using the device that they learn best with for those few who are going to cause problems.”


Engage Students with ANY Device:  IF you do happen to be in a district fortunate enough to allow students to utilize the technology they already have, perhaps in addition to some school owned mobile technology, then definitely take a couple minutes and check out Socrative.  This is a FREE resource for utilized just about ANY device as as Student/Audience Response system. 

New PATINS Sponsored Opportunity to learn AIM with Young Children from two awesome National Presenters

  • 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 http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/AIMforyoungchildrenseries12712 for Registration information or visit www.patinsproject.com for additional information. 

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


IN Early Childhood Conference:  As a nicely timed  follow up to the 3-Part Series with Scott, Kelly and Donna described above, be sure to check out the opportunities at the Indiana Early Childhood Conference on April 26-28.  PATINS should be there at a booth and also presenting.  Registration is now open and more info can be found here:   www.iaeyc.org/IndianaEarlyChildhoodConference/tabid/435/language/en-US/Default.aspx


MARK  YOUR  CALENDARS!  PATINS State Conference 2012.  Nov.8-9, Indianapolis
more details coming soon!

PATINS State Conference 2012 Logo
NEW ROUND of TTA (Targeted Technical Assistance) Grants AVAILABLE SOON!  As soon as today or tomorrow, you should expect to see PATINS announce that a 2nd round of TTA Grants will be accepted!  Remember you saw it here first!  :)   There will be a fairly short turnaround time on the application and as soon as it’s available, I will post a special announcement with links and resources here on this blog.  In the meantime, you can start to think about who you’d like on your TTA Team and start to gather a little bit of information about your school district with regard to the current status of Accessible Instructional Materials and the 7 AIM Quality Indicators, which are linked here for you: http://aimconsortium.cast.org/best_practices/quality_indicators.  and also listed below:

Does YOUR Indiana school district need help with any of these?  If Yes, the PATINS TTA Grant can help you!

  1. Supporting the provision of appropriate, high-quality instructional materials in specialized formats.
  2. Providing specialized formats  of materials in a timely manner.
  3. Developing & Implementing written guidelines defining responsibilities and actions for specialized formats.
  4. Supporting Professional Development and Training for staff around students with print disabilities and implementation of specialized formats.
  5. Developing & Implementing a systematic process for monitoring & evaluating the provision of specialized formats.
  6. Utilizing data to guide changes that support continual improvement around the provision of specialized formats.
  7. Allocating sufficient resources to ensure the delivery & sustainability of services to students with print disabilities.


FREE ePub Converter Upgrade!  Remember to upgraded your DAISY to ePub Converter from the ICAM (Indiana Center for Accessible Materials) for FREE to version 2.0.  This new version makes it VERY EASY for you to create iPad or other eReader content directly from your MS Word documents!   We can always provide you training on doing this as well!   Just ask.   In the meantime, send your DRMs here to get the free upgrade for you:


200 POSTS!!!  I’m not sure if anyone but me has been keeping track, but this posting will be #198 since I started doing this “Friday Blog” back in September of 2007.  Remember you can go to the right hand side of this blog and search all of the past 198 posts by month or by keyword.  It’s all archived.  So, for my 200th blog posting, I thought I’d try to do something extra fun, interesting or just different.  If anyone has any ideas or request for the 200th posting, just send me an email and/or leave a comment here on the blog!  All ideas welcome!  nepatins@ciesc.k12.in.us





8/11/10: SPECIAL POSTING: FREE Read:OutLoud Upgrade to 6.0.2!

Friday morning, the normal Blog posting is scheduled to happen, but I wanted to get this special news out ASAP!

icam image

ICAM is offering a free software update for Read:OutLoud. 

  • Remember, ROL is a great text to speech program that opens NIMAS files beautifully along with pdf, txt, rich text, html, xml, DAISY and offers many other teaching and learning scaffolds as well. 
  • This is a good piece of software for all students AND you have an unlimited license to install it on ALL of your school’s computers AND send it home with ALL students!  So, it’s a great UDL Tool!

Option 1: Upgrade Yours: As part of the ICAM license in Indiana you can download the update for FREE.  This download will search for any version 6 products that are already installed and update them to version 6.02…it’s very quick and simple.

Option 2: Install Fresh: If you don’t have any Read:OutLoud software installed yet, you can download (for FREE) the entire install package for Mac or PC from the ICAM Here:

Preview of what’s new in Read:OutLoud Version 6.0.2:

  • Added web page loading status bar to web browser
  • Proxy Authentication with password encryption (the Internet browser now works through your district’s firewall)
  • Improved table reading
  • Bookmark icons in outline

I just updated most of mine and it’s simple & quick!

Tune back in Friday morning for the normal Friday Posting!  It’s going to focus primarily on Visual Impairments!

Read:OutLoud Image Logo
Read:OutLoud Image Logo