The importance of storytelling

Remember how wonderful it was to hear a great story? Your favorite teacher would share the details, page-by-page, and create that visual that might last forever. Digital storytelling builds on that theme but also allows the user an opportunity and means to share their story, their work, or their project. Here’s a great resource for creating and telling stories through the process of digital storytelling – Center for Digital Storytelling, http://www.storycenter.org/.

Mac-OS and AT: Some vodcasts worth subscribing to!

Click on http://www.assistiveware.com/podcasts.php for “exploring the frontiers of assistive technology.” This is a series of vodcasts (video podcasts) with people who are using AT to communicate, express their creativity, play games and just live their lives. There are a few episodes per year, each starring a different person. It’s Mac-focused and covers a range of topics.

2008 AccessWorld® Guide to Assistive Technology Products

The American Foundation for the Blind has updated this guide to reflect detailed profiles of over 280 products for people who are blind or visually impaired, including more than 30 new products. This guide includes a list of products, product comparisons, suggested guidelines for purchasing an accessible cellphone, and specifics about GPS products.
Go to:
http://www.afb.org/store/product.asp?sku=978%2D0%2D89128%2D837%2D4&mscssid=FAH5MAFW2PF79K6WVXMSGDHGB9UJ9DC7

New AT show online from AT Maine!

The very cool folks at AT Maine have a new episode out: http://www.atmaine.com/topic/atshow/2009/05/14/now-available-the-assistive-technology-show-for-may-13-2009/
Topics in the May 13th show include: One handed keyboards, Braille watches and other timekeeping devices, adaptive products on Ebay, Amazon and other places, a demo of Moshi, a clock totally controlled by voice, using mobile phones as wireless access points, and OCR software.

Since so many AT providers are knee-deep in Web 2.0…

You might be interested in the following that was just released from the National Center for Technology Innovation:
“Web 2.0 tools are now in use at most schools, and teachers have been largely responsible for making this happen, according to a national K-12 technology survey National Online Survey of District Technology Directors Exploring District Use of Web 2.0 Technologies. But of all the various applications of Web 2.0 technologies, social networking remains the outcast, with the vast majority of districts reporting that few or no teachers engage in this type of communication. The two most significant reasons cited were security concerns and lack of know-how on the part of teachers. According to the researchers, teacher-generated online content will be the “the next area of growth in the use of Web 2.0 technologies.” To read more or get a free copy of the study, click here: http://www.nationaltechcenter.org/index.php/2009/05/14/teachers-lead-adoption-of-web-20-but-perceptions-stifle-social-networking/

AT for People with Vision Challenges

A new book has been published to assist with assessment of students who are blind or visually impaired. Assistive Technology for Students Who are Blind or Visually Impaired: A Guide to Assessment (2009) by Ike Presley and Frances Mary D’Andrea might be worth checking out. Assessing this group of students can be challenging and this book provides suggestions for technologies for accessing print, electronic information and producing written communication and materials in alternate formats and ideas for an effective assessment process.
If you would like to read more about it go to:
http://www.afb.org/store/product_extend.asp?sku=978%2D0%2D89128%2D890%2D9&extend=toc&mscssid=FAH5MAFW2PF79K6WVXMSGDHGB9UJ9DC7