Showing posts with label Special Education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Special Education. Show all posts

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Best of the Web - Fall 2013 Edition

This morning at the Title I and Special Education Conference in Bismarck, ND I presented my latest version of Best of the Web. This version was updated to include new resources that I've discovered since June. This version is roughly 50% new material from the last version that I published.

The slides are embedded below. You can download them from Slideshare.



Click here for more information about my workshops, keynotes, and how you can bring me to your school or conference. My winter schedule still has some dates available.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Free Speech - Augmentative & Alternative Communication App

The Give Speech Foundation recently launched  a free iPad app designed to assist students who have Autism and other speech and communication impairments. The Free Speech app provides a set of images and icons representing common household objects and activities.When a student clicks on an icon the word or phrase is read aloud.

The default categories of icons on the Free Speech app are activities, self-care, grocery store, clothing, descriptors, emotions, and body. You can add more categories and icons to the app by taking pictures with your iPad and labeling them. You can also add more categories and icons to the app by uploading them from albums on your iPad. The video below provides a short overview of the Free Speech app.



Applications for Education
The Free Speech app could be an excellent app to use with students who need assistance communicating their wants, needs, and emotions.

While trying out the Free Speech app I was reminded of this 60 Minutes Story about using iPad apps with students who have Autism.

Thanks to Adam Bellow for sharing this app on Twitter this morning. Adam is working on a new project called EduClipper that looks promising. Click here to sign-up for news about EduClipper. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My IEP Meeting - An App for IEP Meetings

Update: Yikes! The pricing of this app has changed since I wrote this post. Thanks to Olga LaPlante for pointing that out. 

My IEP is an iPhone and iPad app designed to help parents and guardians to gather and organize information before, during, and after IEP meetings. (For those unfamiliar with the term IEP, in the US, means Individualized Education Program. IEP meetings are held with parents and teachers of students in special education programs). My IEP offers tools for categorized note-taking, creating checklists, behavior tracking tools, calendar sync, and file storage. Users of My IEP can take pictures of meeting documents and store them in their My IEP files folders.

Applications for Education
My IEP could be a good app for parents to use not only during meetings, but also throughout the school year to keep track of important information and questions that they want to share during an IEP meeting. I think that classroom teachers could also use the app for recording information to share during IEP meetings.

H/T to Suzanne Bartel for sharing My IEP on Twitter. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Impressed by the iPadsibilities of iPads in Special Ed

Over the weekend I had the great pleasure to attend Ed Camp Boston. My friend Harold Shaw and I drove down together early in the morning. On the drive down the conversation turned to tablet devices and their use(s) by schools. Neither of us have iPads or other tablets in our classrooms, but we're intrigued by the conversations happening around their use in schools.

As the Ed Camp Boston schedule filled-up, it was clear that Harold and I weren't the only ones interested in exploring the possibilities for iPads in classrooms. I choose to attend an afternoon session titled iPads & iPods in Special Education led by Meg Wilson. I won't bore you with a blow-by-blow of the whole hour. In short, I'm very impressed by the possible uses of iPads in special education, particularly with students who have multiple special needs. The app that Meg showed that impressed me most is Sign for Me. Sign for Me is definitely not a free app, but if I needed it I would gladly pay for it.

In the same session Meg directed us to a great wiki called Mobile Learning 4 Special Needs where you can find a large categorized list and review of apps for use with special education students.

I'm still not ready to run out and deploy iPads to all 1250 students in my school. However, now that I've seen some more of the possibilities, I am less skeptical of the idea of deploying iPads in a 1:1 classroom. I continue to look forward to learning more about iPad uses in schools.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

TED Talk - The World Needs All Kinds of Minds

In this TED Talk recorded just a few weeks ago at TED 2010, Temple Grandin explains how people with autism view the world. Temple Grandin, who was diagnosed with autism as child, shares how the unique way her mind works helps her to solve problems. She goes on to explain the unique skills possessed by people with autism. You might not completely agree with her assessment of what schools are doing for students with autism, but she does raise some great points that should be considered by anyone working with students who have autism.


If you're viewing this in RSS you may need to click through to watch the video.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
15 TED Talks to Watch Before 2010
Put TED Talks on Your Desktop
Teaching With TED Talks

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Technology Resources from Special Ed Perspectives

Try as I might to present resources for every K-12 teacher, the fact of the matter is I'm just one guy and I tend to look at things from the perspective of a mainstream middle school and high school classroom teacher. I know that some subscribers to this blog are special education teachers. For those of you that teach special education students, I have two blogs that you should consider adding to your RSS reader.

Paul Hamilton's Free Resources from the Net for Every Learner is a blog that I've been subscribed to for a couple of years. Paul had taken a small break from blogging, but started blogging again this month and has posted some great stuff.

Kate Ahern's Teaching Learners With Multiple Special Needs is another blog written by a special education teacher. I've been subscribed to Kate's blog almost as long I've been subscribed to Paul's. As the blog title implies, Kate works with students who have multiple special needs. Through her blog I've learned a lot not only about the technology she uses, but the unique challenges special education teachers face on a daily basis.

I should also mention my fellow Mainer, Harold Shaw who teaches special education in a district a couple of hours north of me. Harold has recently written an interesting post titled Do Special Education Students Really Need to Have Grades?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

PLN Powered - Autism Education Resources

If this is your first time visiting Free Technology for Teachers, please note that I typically don't post just a list of resources. I made an exception to that rule in this case to demonstrate how useful having a PLN can be.

This morning I received a Tweet from someone in my PLN asking me if I knew of any good resources for teachers of students with Autism. Although I have stumbled across some resources on this topic in the past, I couldn't think of any right away (in part because I had a class starting in a matter of minutes). Rather than just saying something like, "I'll get back to you" I reTweeted the question to my 3400+ followers. As I should have expected, the responses came in fast and furious. Taking a clue from Deven Black who said, "do you think we showed the value of a PLN?" I decided to create this post.

Here is list of good resources for teachers of students with Autism. Everyone who contributed to this list is listed and linked to above the item(s) they suggested.

From Deven Black
Kodak Lesson Plans for Special Education
British Columbia Ministry of Education
National Association of Special Education Teachers - IEP Goals
Child Development Institute
Autism Society of America

From Liz Ditz
Teaching LD

From Autisable
Division TEACCH

From Gifted KidsieTeachernet, Autistic Spectrum
DysTalk

From Saroth681
Autism Speaks
LD Online

From RPaterson
Autism Outreach

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Animoto Makes Improvements

Animoto has been featured on Free Technology for Teachers many times over the last year and is included in Twelve Essentials for Technology Integration. And just when I think Animoto has reached the zenith of awesomeness, they make more improvements. In an email that I received today from Animoto I learned that they have made infrastructure improvements that will improve upload times and decrease buffering times. These improvements should make for a better user experience at times of peak activity on the site. The Animoto video player has also been improved for ease of use.

Applications for Education
For some ideas about using Animoto in your classroom please read any of the blog posts listed below.
Animoto in the Special Education Classroom
Using Animoto (and Glogster and Wordle) to LEARN
Where I Live... Another Use for Animoto
New Use for a Favorite Resource
Animoto for Education - The End of Boring Slide Shows

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tenement Museum - Ellis Island to Orchard Street

Tenement Museum is a resource for US History teachers that I've seen on a number of blogs and in Twitter posts recently. Since I am soon to be teaching immigration and urbanization in one of my classes I thought that it was time for me to check out the Tenement Museum.

The Tenement Museum can best be described as an interactive virtual museum. Students select a male or female character for their passport from Europe to Ellis Island. Once at Ellis Island students learn about the process of legal immigration. Eventually students make it to the Orchard Street tenement where they have to choose an occupation as well as make choices regarding living conditions. At the very end of the exhibit, students can write a post card to their friends and family back in Europe. Throughout the journey, students see short video clips featuring "Victoria Confino" who explains to students what they are seeing and reading.

Applications for Education
The Tenement Museum is a great resource for teaching elementary and middle school students about life as an immigrant living in turn-of-the-20th century United States cities. The language and format may seem a little "too childish" for most high school students, but I am going to give it a try with one my special education class.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Free Boardmaker Boards, Activities, and Tutorials

I've previously shared that the excellent blog Teaching Learners with Multiple Special Needs is one of the best blogs for special education teachers to subscribe to. Today, Kate posted an update to the list of Free Boardmaker Boards, Activities, and Tutorials. The list now includes more than 60 free resources. If you use a Boardmaker Board, check out the list.

Friday, December 19, 2008

If You're a Special Education Teacher...

If you're a special education teacher with an interest in integrating technology into your instruction, there are two blogs that you should visit. Paul Hamilton's Free Resources From The Net For Special Education, is one blog that I've been following for about eight months. Teaching Learners With Multiple Special Needs is a blog that I've been following since Paul Hamilton recommended it on his blog. Both of these blogs offer great strategies for using technology in the special education classroom. What I like about both of these blogs is that even when they write about the same resources that I find, they offer a different perspective, a perspective that only a special education teacher can offer.