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Closed Captioning Improves Literacy

Posted by admin on August 23, 2016 in AT, Browser Tools, Digital tools, Reading, udl |

Closed_captioning_symbol.svgCaptioning, or Closed Captioning, has a proven track record of improving literacy for learners of all ages.

In one randomized study, students engaged daily in content with “Same Language Subtitling” scored significantly higher than students in the comparison condition on the reading comprehension achievement post tests.  Data from PlanetRead has shown that even 30 minutes of weekly exposure to SLS or captioning over 3-5 years, enables adults and children with basic familiarity of the alphabet to become functionally literate.  The science underlying SLS and captioning is strong. Eye-tracking research has established that SLS causes an automatic and inescapable read-along response. Early-readers when exposed to SLS or captions, try to read along, and in the process, find their reading skills improving.

This free and simple tool is available to parents, educators, and anyone trying to help someone improve their reading skills! Closed Captioning is available on most devices including TV, Digital Cable, Satellite, DVD’s and many internet video channels such as YouTube.  Simply turn on this feature and captions become immediately available.  In addition, many educational video sites and organizations with digital content provide Closed Captions on their content.

Turn on captioning to turn on reading!  To find everything from how to turn on captioning, to finding sites with captioned content, visit Captions for Literacy.  (@Caps4Lit)

 

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EPIC – eBooks and Audiobooks

Posted by admin on August 22, 2016 in AT, Digital tools, iPad, Reading, Tablets, udl |

epicEpic! – Unlimited Books for Kids is a subscription based digital book resource for children ages 12 and under. While the individual cost is $4.99 per month, Epic is available to educators for free!

Register, create student profiles, assign books, attach quizzes, and track reading progress (time and pages read).  Over 10,000 ebooks are available, along with Audio Books and Read-Along books, and over 500 Spanish/English bilingual books.  Additional books are added each month.  Books can be read on any digital platform, or made available offline (there is a web-based portal, and apps in the Chrome Web Store, iTunes Store and Google Play Store).

Epic’s service includes a variety of fiction & non-fiction from leading publishers. It’s been called the “Netflix” of books for kids!

With all of the options available, this is a terrific tool for Universal Design for Learning and differentiation!

Watch this video to get started with your Free Educator account. @EpicKidsBooks

 

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Add Images to Google Form Answers

Posted by admin on August 19, 2016 in Assessment, Digital tools, Google, udl |

fruitGoogle Forms now allows images to be added as answer choices. The option for pictures to be embedded in the question has been available for some time, however this new feature really opens up this tool for differentiation!

Students can choose a visual response in the multiple choice or checkbox question types.  This is a terrific option for young learners, struggling readers, English Language learners and others.  Using Google Forms, with image responses, can be used for assessment & check for understanding as well as student surveys, voting, lunch choice – the possibilities are endless!

View this how-to from Google – linked here.  You can also read more and view a video tutorial at Freetechnology4teachers.com. (@rmbyrne)

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C-Pen Portable Text Reader

Posted by admin on August 16, 2016 in AT, Digital tools, Reading, udl |

c penThe C-Pen Reader and C-Pen Exam Reader, developed in the United Kingdom, is now available in the US!  This latest, significant, advancement in portable text reading technology for users of all ages.

The C-Pens allow for more independent reading, helping eucators and parents move away from reading aloud to students.  While the pens offer differing features, both read-aloud of words as well as lines of text, built-in speaker and earphone jack, rechargeable battery, viewable font from 6.5 – 22, and only weigh 1.8 oz!

The C-Pen Reader also features instant word lookup in the dictionary and the ability to scan and save to file for copying or transferring to your computer.

The C-Pen Exam Reader is an allowable exam accommodation in the United Kingdom, can we envision the day where this type of portable tool is approved for standardized US assessments?

School Health has begun carrying both pens in the US:  C-Pen Reader from School Health & C-Pen Exam Reader from School Health. Follow them on Twitter @schoolhealth or @EnableMart.

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Project Gutenberg – Free Classic eBooks and Audio Books

Posted by admin on August 15, 2016 in AT, iPad, Reading, Tablets, Uncategorized |

project gutenberg app iconProject Gutenberg – not your Grandmother’s old, weathered text!  New, upgraded features and options make this long-standing resource worth another look.  Project Gutenberg offers over 50,000 free public-domain ebooks, along with tens of thousands more through partners and affiliates.  Most of the classics are included, providing digital access for diverse learners.  Choose among free epub books for reading on any computer, Chromebook, tablet or iPad/iPhone, or Kindle.  Download them or read them online, with or without images, with or without audio.  Many books, through partner Librivox, are human-read for a significantly improved audio listening experience, or access the Audio Book, Human Read Category.

Access books directly through the Project Gutenberg Website or download an app (Gutenberg Project iPad app or Gutenberg Books Android app).  For more information on book downloads, access the Gutenberg How-To page for mobile devices.  Follow on Twitter @gutenberg_org.

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Set a Time Limit On an iPad

Posted by admin on March 26, 2015 in AT, iPad |

iPad timerDo you use the iPad as a reward for your students?  Do they difficulty closing out of an app or putting the device away?

Use the default clock on your iPad, paired with a passcode, to turn the iPad (or iPhone) off automatically.  Follow this easy 2-step process to limit the time a student has in an app:

Open the Clock app, and choose the Timer icon at the bottom of the screen.  Tap the music icon at the bottom of the timer screen (♫ ♫) and choose “Stop Playing”, then “Set”.  Open the Settings app, tap Passcode in the left column, then Turn Passcode On in the right column, and set a 4 digit passcode (DO NOT FORGET THIS PASSCODE!)  Make sure “Erase Data” slider is off on this screen.

To use this feature, return to the clock app, Set Timer > Start.  Give the iPad to the student with the desired app open.  When the timer runs out, the Slide to Unlock screen will be shown and the passcode must be entered to unlock.  (Click here for printable directions with pictures).

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Chrome Apps & Extensions for Diverse Learners with Symbaloo

Posted by admin on January 30, 2015 in AT, Browser Tools, Digital tools, Professional Learning, udl |

Chrome SymbalooSymbaloo and Symbaloo.edu – a wonderful platform to store and share resources.  Symbaloo allows teachers to share valuable resources with their students and with each other. The best part is, Symbaloo is easy to use. You can add any link you find on the web to a customized tile, and organize your tiles in different webmixes (categories). You can search for tiles in the Symbaloo’s tile database, and you can search for content curated by other educators in Symbaloo’s gallery.  Check out this Symbaloo with Chrome Apps and Extensions for Diverse Learners!

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QR Voice – Create Short Audio Supports Simply!

Posted by admin on January 29, 2015 in AT, Digital tools, iPad, Reading, udl |

QR VoiceQRVoice is a tool that allows you to create QR codes that when scanned will play a short  audio message that’s very easy to use.  To create your own QR code you just need to go qrvoice.net, type in your message, then click on the mini-qr code icon next to the text field.  A weblink and QR Code will pop up.  Save or copy that QR image for use anywhere you want a student to be able to hear that audio.  Create codes for test/quiz directions, explanation of assignments, task directions, etc.  Any phone, iPad, or computer with a camera will be able to access the code with a QR reader, and hear the audio message.  Simple and Free!

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Technology Triage – ATIA 2015

Posted by admin on January 29, 2015 in AT, Digital tools, Professional Learning, udl |

Tech Triage title slideDidn’t get a chance to join us for this session at ATIA 2015?  Find the “Technology Triage:  Managing the Barrage of AT and UDL Tools” here!  Look in on some of my favorite sites, curation tools, and platforms for sharing with other professionals as well as families and students.  Link here to the Google Slides Presentation.

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Posted by admin on January 25, 2015 in aac, AT, Social Story |

Picto4mePicto4Me is an online Google Chrome application that allows you to create communication and picture boards – free!  Create boards with various size icons, customize with your own pictures, save to your Google Drive, share with others, download as PDF, add audio, play boards with switches, and more!  A great, free online alternative to expensive software.  Link to this YouTube Video for some help getting started.

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