Turning your laptop screen into a touchscreen with AirBar

AirBar brings the capabilities of a touchscreen to your laptop. No tools or software are required, just a simple USB plugin provides you with the ability pinch, swipe, zoom, tap and draw using your finger, a stylus or even a paintbrush.  Presently AirBar works on computers with Windows 7, 8, or 10 or a Chromebook. Just plug it in and create an interactive screen.AirBar

Turn on the closed captioning to boost literacy skills

Closed captioning was initially created to provide access to video recordings and television programing for individuals with hearing impairments. However, turning on the closed captions has been found to support literacy skills for struggling readers. The use of closed captions has lead to improved foundational reading skills including, phonics, word recognition, vocabulary and fluency. The use of closed captions increases access to print and provides another way of presenting print. Listen to the research and turn on the captions to boost reading skills for all students to improve their speed and fluency. When using captions students are more engaged and increase retention of information because they are actively participating in the learning process.  Students are more focused on the information that they are recieving visually and auditorially especially when provided with high interest material.

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Closed Captioning Gives Literacy a Boost – Education Week

Captioning to Support Literacy | Reading Rockets

Google Drive Checklist for Teachers

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 9.37.46 PMFiona Bessey-Bushnell, Occupational Therapist, Chesterfield County Public Schools suggested that we share a link to a recent post in Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.  This post highlights a Google Drive Checklist for Teachers.  This checklist includes sections to help students better understand Google Drive,  Google Docs, Google Presentation, Google Forms, Spreadsheets and Drawing.  Check it out!


AT – The Great Equalizer

This personal story from Demian Lapointe is so poignant and it had me wondering how many other students have been in his shoes.  He describes how he successfully used technology outside of the classroom for writing assignments, but when asked to complete an in-class assignment without his AT supports, he struggled. It’s a great testimony as to how using the right technology tools for writing as he says ” is the great equalizer.”    Read Demian’s story

Thank you Jennifer Mitchell for linking us to this article in your TechKnowledgy Presentation today!

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Retractable Clothesline

Capture               clothesline

Using a retractable clothesline allows for a variety of activities to reinforce math and language arts skills.  Students can stand, walk  or wheel along the clothesline to order numbers, skip count or create number patterns in math.  Given a set of words they can create sentences, put  words in abc order or practice spelling.  What other ways can you think of to use a clothesline in your classroom?


Escape the summer heat!

Today’s video is longer, so pour yourself a refreshing cool beverage and watch this webinar from Don Johnston on supporting students with significant disabilities learn become writers.  It features the First Author Writing Software from Don Johnston.

[vimeo 75607425 w=500 h=375] <p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/75607425″>Webinar: “Can Low-Incidence Students Become First-Time Writers? Yes!” (2013 Version)</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/donjohnstoninc”>DonJohnstonInc</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

iPad Apps for Learners with Reading and Writing Difficulties

Many iPad apps are available to support learners with reading and writing difficulties.  The Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning (CALL) Center in Scotland recently completed a wheel of apps that support students with reading and writing difficulties. This Wheel of Apps is not comprehensive but attempts to identify relevant, useful apps and to categorize them based upon challenges students might have.  The wheel includes links to each app, although it links to the iTunes UK store, useful information about the app can be obtained.

ipad apps reading writing



Alternatives to scribing

For students with writing difficulties one of the most common accommodations used is scribing.  This accommodation is often problematic in that it does not allow for student independence and it utilizes valuable personnel resources.  Watch this quick video from one school division on alternatives to scribing.  Try one of these ideas today!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9WzB8uZOnU&w=560&h=315]