Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Stuff You Missed In History Class

Are you looking for something fun and educational to listen to this summer?  

Check out the podcast "Stuff You Missed in History Class"  (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/stuff-you-missed-in-history/id283605519?mt=2)".  

In this podcast by HowStuffWorks, you will join Holly and Tracy as they bring you the greatest and strangest Stuff You Missed In History Class.  They post new podcasts every few days and with 300 current episodes there is surely something for everyone.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Article: What Teachers Need to Know About Students With ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder)

This does not necessarily fall under AT or UDL but it does contains some great information that I wanted to share.

Oppositional defiant disorder, commonly known as ODD, is a behavioral disorder in which children are—as the name suggests—defiant to the degree that it interferes with their daily lives.

Between 2–16 percent of the population may have ODD, and we’re not entirely sure of the causes.

For more information please read the article written by WeAreTeacher Staff on April 2, 2019:

What Teachers Need to Know About Students With ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) (https://rebrand.ly/e23f1)

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

SlideShare by LinkedIn - Guest Informer

LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com) has a new section called SlideShare (https://www.slideshare.net/).  I learned about this new feature from our district Technology Resource Specialist, Jerilyn Lynn.

In this section you can discover, share and learn new things.  It is a place to "share what you know and love through presentations, infographics, documents and more".

Some individuals have used this section to make slide shows of picture books.  They are simply a scan of the books, no attached audio that I have found yet.  These are a nice quick way to project a book to read to your class, that is already flat and doesn't require you to use (or have) a document camera.   Some are of higher quality than others but most that I have looked at so far are good.

Please keep in mind that these digital copies of books are not necessarily accessible materials compliant, just simply the book available in a non-paper format.

A few favorite titles that I have come across in my quick search are:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (https://www.slideshare.net/samanthamorris211/the-very-hungry-caterpillar-7574597)

If You Give a Moose A Muffin by by Laura Numeroff (https://www.slideshare.net/mol_by/if-you-give-a-moose-a-muffin-presentation

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Grackle Accessibility Checker - Guest Writer

Grackle Accessibility Checker (https://goo.gl/EdxT9Z)

On January 18, 2017 (amended January 22, 2018), the United States Access Board (https://www.access-board.gov/) updated their Section 508 Standards (https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/communications-and-it/about-the-section-508-standards) as it applies to information and communications technology (https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/communications-and-it) used by or provided by government agencies, including public schools. To help all of us navigate the requirements, GrackleDocs, Inc. (https://www.grackledocs.com/) has a tool we can use to check accessibility for free, either as an add-on to our Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, or as a Chrome extension for other web content. Sounds great! How do I get it?

Chrome Extension

While logged into your district Google account, browse to the following link, then click the blue Add to Chrome button, and accept the terms:


Click Add to Chrome
When Grackle is active on a tab with editable G-Suite content, there will be an icon that looks like a bird in silhouette against a dark blue background near the right end of the URL bar. Click the icon to grade the accessibility of the current browser tab. If the current tab is not editable G-Suite content, the bird silhouette will appear against gray.

Click to grade the accessibility of the current page.

indicates that this page cannot be graded for accessibility

Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Within an open Doc, Sheet, or Slides file, click Add-ons → Get add-ons… in the menu. In the Add-ons search box, type grackle, then click the blue +FREE button, and accept the terms.

Get add-ons

Add-on for Grackle

To use Grackle to analyze your file for accessibility, click Add-ons → Grackle [Docs / Sheets / Slides] → Launch. A window will appear on the right side of the screen that will contain, within moments, an accessibility analysis of your file. Welcome to the world of accessibility!

Note that with the free version of Grackle, the tagged PDF export feature from within the analysis window is limited to the first 30 days of use. However, you can still export PDF files from the menu using File → Download as → PDF Document (.pdf). Some features of the reports, such as suggestions for remediation, may also be limited in the free version.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Free Audiobooks for Teens is back, again!

Overdrive has paired with SYNC to offer 14 weeks of Free Audiobooks for Teens for the third year in a row!
Individuals will have the opportunity to download 2 FREE audiobooks each week, starting April 25th and running through August 1st!
You can register and sign up for e-mail reminders or text reminders at http://www.audiobooksync.com/.

Listen to the books by downloading the Overdrive app (https://rebrand.ly/overdrive).  The app is available for iPhone®, iPad®, Android, Chromebook, Windows 8 & 10 and Kindle Fire HD.

Check out the SUMMER 2019 SYNC TITLE PAIRINGS (https://www.audiobooksync.com/2019-sync-titles/) page for the list of available books this summer.

This is a great opportunity to provide some fun summer reading for our students!
For younger students, check out the audio book options I discussed in a previous blog post,
Audio books (https://at-udl.blogspot.com/2016/12/audio-books.html)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


Kiddle (https://www.kiddle.co/)  is a kid friendly, safe search engine powered by Google Safe Search (but is not affiliated with Google Inc).  Kiddle search results satisfy family friendly requirements, such as filtering out explicit or deceptive content. The search results are kid-oriented, sites and pages are written specifically for kids.  Kiddle has safe, trusted sites that are not written specifically for kids, but that have content written in language that is easy for kids to understand.  

Kiddle makes scanning through most results easier by providing big thumbnails.  Big thumbnails are great visual cues that helps differentiate between results and help more easily locate the results you are looking for.  Kiddle uses a slightly larger font than the standard Google search engine does which also helps with readability of results.

Kiddle does not collect any personally identifiable information and logs are deleted every 24 hours. 

Next time your class is doing research have them use https://www.kiddle.co/ as a safer, more kid friendly search engine.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Apps for Complex Needs: Emergent Numeracy

The Learners with Complex App Wheel (https://www.callscotland.org.uk/common-assets/cm-files/posters/ipad-apps-for-learners-with-complex-additional-support-needs.pdf) from CALL Scotland (https://www.callscotland.org.uk/home/) is divided into 6 large sections, each of which may have smaller sections as well.  The 6 larger sections are:
  • Cognition
  • Self-Regulation
  • Creativity
  • Communication
  • Emergent Literacy
  • Emergent Numeracy
Each section has a minimum of one app that is free.  This week I am going to briefly talk about the free apps in the Emergent Numeracy section.

Under the Emergent Numeracy section of the App Wheel, seven of the apps are free.

Create a Series  (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/create-a-series-arrange-items-in-a-sequence/id1135867219?mt=8): Arrange items in a sequence.  Help students develop visual perception skills, and primary math concepts. Full version, no in-app purchases, no ads.  

RelationShapes (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/relationshapes/id1143015542): Strengthen visual-spatial reasoning and creative expression.

Same Same  (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/same-same-match-identical-items/id1135853830?mt=8): Match identical items.  Children can learn to match identical items while developing visual perception skills, language skills, and fine motor skills. Full version, no in-app purchases, no ads.

Cash Machine ATM  (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/cash-machine-atm/id1234617785?mt=8): A simple cause and effect activity with simple clear graphics designed to provide an opportunity for discussion and the development of everyday day vocabulary associated with using an ATM.

Self Service Checkout  (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/self-service-checkout/id1234619083?mt=8): A simple cause and effect activity with simple clear graphics to provide a great opportunity for discussion and the development of everyday day vocabulary associated with using a self-service checkout.

Mosaics  (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/mosaics-arrange-colorful-pieces-to-form-a-mosaic/id1186205878?mt=8): Arrange colorful pieces to form a mosaic. Children can learn to copy patterns while working to develop hand eye coordination, perseverance and accuracy. Full version, no in-app purchases, no ads.

Stack Up  (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/stack-up-stack-items-bottom-up-to-build-a-tower/id1135865797?mt=8): Stack items bottom-up to build a tower.  Children can learn to arrange items bottom-up according to their width while developing visual perception skills, and primary math concepts. Full version, no in-app purchases, no ads.