1/15/2009: Free Tech Expo! 101 Blog Posts! New Free Wiki Service, Technology Reluctant Teachers, ISTE on Facebook, iPhone Voiceover, #EdChat Tuesdays, Windows 7 Accessibility, Talking Powerpoin

Blog Post #101!

Last week was the 100th blog posting since I started doing this instead of sending out my weekly AT ‘newsletters’ to my contacts and I didn’t even realize it was #100 until now!  Since my 50th blog posting, I had planned to do a “Best Of” Blog post when it got to #100 and I totally forgot!   So, I think I will go through the past 101 blog postings in the next few weeks and do a “best of” at that time.

A New Wiki Service: Last week a comment was left here on the blog about a new wiki that some people may be interested in.  I’ve set up an account here myself and played with it a bit and it seems to be very user friendly, have a very nice interface and is free.  You might check it out if you’ve been thinking about starting a wiki for your school or classroom or if you have a wiki now and have been wanting to move it to an easier interface.  www.intodit.com

What’s The Point? An interesting read from Steve Anderson on something most of has have dealt with at least once.  “There is one in every school. There is one in every district. There is that one teacher, no matter what you do, no matter how much time you take, how slow you go, how much one-on-one time you spend with them, there is that one teacher who is not going to integrate technology into their classroom. They dig in their heals. They bury their heads in the sand. They shut the doors to their classroom, leaving technology (and perhaps ultimately quality learning) out in the cold.”  Read the Article here: www.guide2digitallearning.com/blog_steven_anderson/you_want_me_use_my_classroom_what_s_point

VoiceOver iPhone: Last week I blogged about the iPod Shuffle and voiceover… here’s more info on VoiceOver accessibility of the new iPhone.  This might be of particular interest to those attending my presentation at FETC yesterday.  The topic of accessibility of the iphone/itouch for people who are blind was a topic that came up during discussion at the end.

#EdChat on Twitter: “to accommodate teachers in various time zones we have two edchat discussions which take place usually around 12pm NYT (EST) and 7pm NYT (EST).”  http://teacherbootcamp.edublogs.org/2009/08/18/edchat-join-the-conversation/

Windows 7? Surprisingly enough, I’ve talked to a district in Indiana recently that has already decided to go with Windows 7 district wide.  I’m excited to see how it works out for them and hope it all goes very smoothly.  In the meantime, I thought I’d take a closer look at it myself and at least compare the Accessibility Features of the differing versions of Windows.   Compare the accessibility claims of each windows version for yourself here:

Have Your Powerpoint present itself! Quite a while back, Vicki shared this resource with us and I just have been forgetting to blog about it!   This free tool will read/speak your powerpoint presentations, text as it is typed and even hidden text.  Only works in ppt for Windows though, no Mac version.  You must have ppt 2000 or later and Windows XP.  :  http://fullmeasure.co.uk/powertalk/

ISTE on Facebook: International Society for Technology in Education has been on Facebook for a bit and there is some great info and networking going on, such as this wall posting about Presenters needing to understand backchannelingwww.iste-community.org/forum/topics/backchannelinga-skill-for.  Check out ISTE on Facebook!

Person First Language: I know this technically doesn’t have a lot to do with assistive or accessible technologies, but it just so happens that some people I hear doing this MOST, are folks involved in technology of some sort.  I’m just struggling to understand why so many people are still not using person first language.  For example, today I got an email with a link to a USA Today story entitled: “iPhone applications can help the autistic.” Really?  “the autistic?”   How about, “Children or People with autism can benefit from iPhone Apps.”  It is a good article about a good device (iTouch) and a good piece of AAC software for it (Proloquo2Go).   Assistive and Accessible Technologies help people… they don’t help disabilities.

Plan Now:

The PATINS Tech Expo has once again been scheduled for April 20, 2010 from 9am – 4pm at the Jr. Achievement Building in Indianapolis. NO COST to attend! DOOR PRIZES!

Have a Great Weekend!

11/13/2009: Support Continued PATINS AT and UDL in Indiana, Engaging Instruction, Indiana School District in National Spotlight, Immersive Science World, Win7 Accessibility, More.

ENGAGE ME! Check out this video  Something I’ve always believed and something that more and more people are starting to talk about is the idea that the tools that engage our students the most (and that they will be using in their world outside of school) have typically been the same exact tools that we ban from the classroom.   www.handheldlearning.co.uk/component/option,com_smf/Itemid,58/topic,1490.0

Support PATINS-Project: Please see this letter in request of your support for the PATINS-Project to continue providing Assistive Tech and UDL support in the State of Indiana.  We would greatly appreciate your voice of suport.
Download Letter Here:  PATINS AT letter of support 11-10-09

Indiana UDL Success! When you have a moment to read a success story on building up UDL in a school district, click on the link below.
PATINS has had six Bartholomew Schools in total become successful UDL pilot sites through our UDL grant.
We are pleased with their commitment and our working relationship with this school district and excited about how many students have and are benefiting from Universal Design for Learning!  It could build throughout your district too, if, it hasn’t already.

CAST You Tube Channel: Speaking of CAST, they now have their own channel on YouTube!  Check it out:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=viLC9FIo2a4

JumpStart World Future Land: For years now, you’ve heard me talk about the importance and the relevancy of 3D immersive environments for several different reasons.  One reason, obviously with the development of the new PATINS  Island is for teacher training that requires no travel costs.  Another big reason is that this is the sort of technology that our students are CHOOSING to engage in, have fun with and learn from on their OWN time.  Here is just one more example of the RAPIDLY expanding 3D online virtual spaces specifically intended for children as young as 3 years. http://blog.jumpstart.com/2009/10/16/futureland-is-here/

Kidzui: A controlled, safe web-browser FOR students, even VERY young children.  This one shared to me by my friend Chris.  Thanks Chris! www.kidzui.com

Second Life and Science Teachers: Check out this blog posting about Science in SL.

Teaching Students NOT at School (H1N1 relevant?): With a LARGE percentage of students missing from many Indiana school buildings due to H1N1-like symptoms, the issue of teaching students who might be our of class for 1-2 weeks straight becomes very relevant, very quickly.  Here’s one article on the topic.  I’d also like to remind everyone that I am available and willing to help schools set up things like podcasting, video conferencing and teaching in online immersive environments, for this purpose.  Just let me know!

Windows 7 Accessibility: Windows 7 has a few accessibility features that have been improved from Vista:

Some Indiana Educational Videosin the Paper:

Have a Great Weekend Image