Tuesday, February 13, 2018

AMMR: Accessible Materials Made Right

In October 2017 I attended the Alt+Shift AMMR 2-day conference with Peter Schaafsma. I left the conference with an increased awareness of the need for making documents accessible for the visually impaired as well as some cursory knowledge on how to begin making documents accessible.

What have I done to help promote this need since the conference you ask?
The true answer is, not as much as I had hoped.
I have started by working to create my correspondence and my presentations accessible, based on a few simple to follow standards. This has not gone as smoothly or quickly as I would have liked but I am still plugging along.

How does this apply to you? How can you help?
The Washtenaw Intermediate School district has posted a PDF document on their website "Making Accessible Word Documents" (https://goo.gl/x93NxC). This PDF walks you through some of the steps that need to be taken in order to create an accessible Microsoft Word document for individuals with vision impairments.

Many of the steps listed are the same for Google Office Suite as they are for Microsoft, but not all. If we can all start consistently following the steps in the "Before Beginning Your Document, Keep the Basics in Mind" section we will be one step closer to having accessible documents.

I will continue to work towards making all of my materials accessible and I hope you will work on this journey with me.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Sudoku Sheets

Need a break from your work? 
Want to put some fun, easy to create puzzles in your math centers?

Sudoku Sheets may be the answer you are looking for.  You can quickly and easily create Sudoku puzzles using Sudoku Sheets.  This Add-on lets you create a Sudoku puzzle in Easy, Medium, Hard, or Insane.  You can also use this Add-on to create our own Sudoku.  The add-on will let you check the puzzle as well as solve it, right in Google Sheets.  As a teacher this would allow you to make the puzzle and the answer key (but wouldn't it me more fun to solve it yourself 😊 ). 

It is cold and snowy here in Michigan.  Let's warm up the classroom with some fun with Sudoku!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Cite This for Me: Web Citer

Do you need to cite a website for your research paper?  How about do an inline citation for your literature review?  

What format is required by your teacher?  How do you know you have used the correct citing?

Cite This for Me: Web Citer (https://goo.gl/TVqfrt)

Cite This for Me is a Google extension that can create APA, MLA, Chicago, or Harvard referencing styles for your bibliography.  You can use it to create citations for websites, books, journals, newspapers, and so much more.

Quickly add a reference,

Then choose a style.

Cite This for Me provides you with both the in-text citation as well as your bibliography information.  The information below is for a website in Harvard format.

  • In-text: (Roling, 2018)
  • Your Bibliography: Roling, C. (2018). The Best Super Bowl Commercials of All Time. [online] Bleacher Report. Available at: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2755254-the-best-super-bowl-commercials-of-all-time [Accessed 29 Jan. 2018].
There is a paid for version that will directly download your bibliography to Microsoft Word, but with the free version you can still copy and paste the citation into your document.  

Give Cite This for Me a try.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

keyboard shortcuts

I love keyboard shortcuts.  They make my life so much easier at times.  

In the article "35 Keyboard Combinations For Windows And Mac That Will Change How You Use Your Computer
there are some keyboard shortcuts that I did not know about and thought I would share.  

I hope you find them as useful as I did.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tar Heel Reader

Tar Heel Reader is a collection of free, easy-to-read, and accessible books on a wide range of topics, started by the University of North Carolina. Each book can be speech enabled and accessed using multiple interfaces.

You can write your own books at Tar Heel Reader too.  You can use pictures from the huge collection at Flickr or upload your own pictures. All books should be complete, edited, and revised to the best of your ability before publishing them to the site. While you are working on them, please save them as drafts.

Creating a book on Tar Heel Reader could be a great class project or individualized learning experience.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Print Friendly & PDF

Print Friendly & PDF is a Google Extension that lets you remove ads, clutter, and navigation junk from pages you want to print. The extension allows you to simply click to delete any content before printing. Pages can be also be saved as PDFs. 

To use Print Friendly, after you have installed the extension, you simply navigate to the webpage you need to clean up and click on the extension.  The pop up starts by cleaning up some of the mess for you and lets you make additional edits yourself.  For some additional support using this extension please watch this PrintFriendly.com video tutorial.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Bookshare update

Bookshare has issued another exciting update.  You can now download books and convert them into Microsoft Word and Google Docs documents.  This will allow students to use different tools and strategies to read books from Bookshare.  Below is the announcement directly from the Holiday Newsletter.


Read Books in Word

Books in Word are coming! We are converting books to Word, giving you another great book format to read. Members will be able to download and read books using common tools like Microsoft Word and Google Docs. You will be able to see the text, customize fonts, take notes, and more. Audio may not be available for all devices, but if you use the latest 2016 version of Microsoft Word or a compatible reading application, you can also listen to words read aloud.