Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas!

I just want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Executive Function Skills at Work (and School)

The Center on Technology and Disability (https://www.ctdinstitute.org/)(CTD) has a wonderful library of family and student supports that include both low and high tech options.  They have paired with the PACER Center (https://www.pacer.org/), Champions for Children with Disabilities, to create a quick guide of Executive Functioning tools and strategies to help at work (and at school).
According to the description on the website:
"This step-by-step guide provides an overview of tools and strategies for executive function skills used in the work place such as time management, motivation, following directions, organizing work space and information, remembering appointments and tasks, and focus and attention."
Click on the link on the right of the screen (see image below) for the PDF download to see what this guide has to offer.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

4 “Crazy” Ways to Inspire Your Uninspired Student Readers

For students that read below grade level, especially if they are significantly below grade level, reading is a chore. Many of these students have become uninspired to read, with good cause. We have to work to help heal their relationship with books and reading by providing alternative opportunities.

The Bookshare Blog often has great posts and the one titled 4 “Crazy” Ways to Inspire Your Uninspired Student Readers from November 5, 2018 is no different. Please take the time to read the short post and watch the 4 short embedded videos. I think they will inspire you as well.

4 “Crazy” Ways to Inspire Your Uninspired Student Readers

And remember, 
Read in whichever way is best for you!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Seeing AI

Seeing AI is a talking camera app for the blind, built by Microsoft.

According to the app description:
Seeing AI is a free app that narrates the world around you. Designed for the blind and low vision community, this ongoing research project harnesses the power of AI to open up the visual world and describe nearby people, text and objects.

Among some of the options offered through the app:
• Speak short text as soon as it appears in front of the camera
• Capture a printed page while recognizing the text and original formatting
• Scan barcodes to provide product information
• Read people’s faces, providing an estimate of their age, gender, and emotions. Also allows you to save faces for easier recognition in the future.
• Hear an overall description of a room
• Recognize currency
• Identify colors
• Read handwritten text

Check out tutorials with this YouTube playlist: http://aka.ms/SeeingAIPlaylist

Visit http://SeeingAI.com for more details

Get the app in the Apple App Store for your iPhone iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 10.0 or later.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

EDU in 90

Google for Education has created a video series called EDU in 90.  Each episode is under 4 minutes in length and focuses on product updates, new programs, and helpful resources for the classroom.   New episodes are released three times a month and are important topics for educators, administrators, and school leaders.

The videos are available on the Google for Education YouTube Channel (https://goo.gl/HzLhdx).

Subscribe to the Google for Education YouTube channel so don't miss an episode!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A Teacher's View of Assistive Technology

The Center on Technology and Disability 

In this video, teachers of students with a variety of learning needs and challenges discuss ways in which assistive technology can help. The teachers in the video provide examples of low-tech and high-tech tools that can be easily integrated into a classroom environment.

A Teacher's View of Assistive Technology 

Included in the the above link is an  option to watch the video in Spanish.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Assistive Technology and the IEP - Tips for General Education Teachers

Last week I posted a short video from The Center on Technology and Disability (https://www.ctdinstitute.org) and Chris Bugaj (https://attipscast.com/) defining Assistive Technology Devices, Assistive Technology Services and Assistive Technology Consideration. This week I have another resource to share from the CTD.

Assistive Technology and the IEP - Tips for General Education Teachers (https://www.ctdinstitute.org/library/2017-11-13/assistive-technology-and-iep-tips-general-ed-teachers) is a one page infographic with steps a general education teacher should take to help with the IEP process.  This infographic is a good reminder for special education teachers and staff as well.

Please print the infographic, linked above, as a reminder for yourself or to share with other staff in your building or district.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Introduction to Assistive Technology with Chris Bugaj

The Center on Technology and Disability (https://www.ctdinstitute.org) is a great Assistive Technology resource.  Chris Bugaj is an Assistive Technology Expert, author, as well as host and producer of the ATTipsCast (https://attipscast.com/). Together the CTD and Chris Bugaj have crated a short, 5 minute video overview defining Assistive Technology Devices, Assistive Technology Services and Assistive Technology Consideration.

To watch this video, please click the link below to be redirected to the CTD website.

Introduction to Assistive Technology with Chris Bugaj

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Enabling Restrictions in iOS 12

Apple released iOS 12 at the beginning of September.  With this update there are quite a few changes in the settings menu.  In this blog I am including a tutorial on how to Enable Restriction in iOS 12.  I hope you find this helpful.

Enabling Restrictions on an iPad running iOS 12 or newer (https://goo.gl/699tQj)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Case Crusaders Presents "M.A.R.K."

As I mentioned last week,
Not all assistive technology options are high-tech.  Some are low-tech and some are incorporated into UDL strategies.  The Case Crusaders present short videos on strategies for working on positive social-emotional health.

The Case Crusaders Presents "M.A.R.K" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWk9rpFhZyY) is a short YouTube video about setting goals.  Learning how to set goals is a strategy that can help students in all areas of their life.

The link here (https://goo.gl/aJFKme) is a replica of the "M.A.R.K" format used in the video, that can be copied and used in your classroom.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Case Crusaders Presents "I Messages"

Not all assistive technology options are high-tech.  Some are low-tech and some are incorporated into UDL strategies.  The Case Crusaders present short videos on strategies for working on positive social-emotional health.  

The Case Crusaders Presents "I Messages" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYf3H70qldI) is a short YouTube video on how to use "I Messages" to talk with friends and classmates.  

The link here (https://goo.gl/rf9YZH) is a replica of the "I Message" format used in the video, that can be copied and used in your classroom.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Epidemic Sound

When creating presentations for class or work it is fun to add sound to enhance your presentation. 

In my Blog post from May 15, 2018 I shared a link to some Free Sound Effects (https://at-udl.blogspot.com/2018/05/free-sound-effects.html) provided by BBC (http://www.bbc.com/). 

Sound effects are great but sometimes we want a song or a portion of a song. Check out Free Copyrighted Songs at Epidemic Sound 
(https://www.epidemicsound.com/).  This site has tracks recorded by independent musicians and that are made available for the general public to use. Now you most likely will not find a song by your favorite artist or a group in main stream music right now but, you might be able to locate something in the same or similar style.

Check out Epidemic Sound 
(https://www.epidemicsound.com/) and see what you can find for yourself.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


Most students (and some adults) need reminders on how to do different school tasks.  I was never taught how to annotate a text or how to properly study for an exam.  

SchoolHabits.com is a great website that has habits and hacks to help you get through school.  This site contains tons of video tutorials that can be found on the SchoolHabits channel.
(https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCif2xthZcmDp2NxvG56Gdlg).  Each video covers a different hack or habit and most mention ways to use them for a variety of learners.  

I like the "How to annotate while reading" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5Mz4nwciWc) video and "How to take notes in a lecture class" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yx_R2kh16c) video also.  Check out these and some of the others that might help you or your students!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


TeachingChannel.org is a website that highlights inspiring and effective teaching practices in America's schools.  According to the website, "Teaching Channel is a thriving online community where teachers can watch, share, and learn diverse techniques to help every student grow."

They have over 1,200 short videos containing tips and information about classroom teaching strategies and classroom management.  You can watch a 1 minute 35 second video on "Writing in Math" or a 1 minutes 44 second video titled "Say It with Your Hands".  They also have an approximately 1 hour  "New Teacher Survival Guide" video (https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/tch-presents-new-teacher-survival-guide) that contains some great information, even for veteran teachers.  

You can sort through the videos by Subject, Grade or Topic.


Check out TeachingChannel.org today.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Iris Center: Classroom Management (Part 1&2)

Classroom Management (Part 1): Learning the Components of a Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan

This Module—a revision of Who's In Charge? Developing a Comprehensive Behavior Management System—highlights the importance of establishing a comprehensive classroom behavior management system composed of a statement of purpose, rules, procedures, consequences, and an action plan. It also provides information about how culture, classroom factors, and teacher actions can influence student behavior (est. completion time: 1 hour).

Classroom Management (Part 2): Developing Your Own Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan

This Module—a revision of You're in Charge! Developing Your Own Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan—reviews the major components of classroom management (including rules, procedures, and consequences) and guides users through the steps of creating their own comprehensive behavior plan. The module is a companion to Classroom Management (Part 1): Learning the Components of a Comprehensive Behavior Management Plan (est. completion time: 2 hours).

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Iris Center: Secondary Transition

Secondary Transition: Student-Centered Transition Planning

This Module will help users to better understand the benefits of student-centered transition planning, identify ways to involve students in collecting assessment information and developing goals, and be able to prepare students to actively participate in their own IEP meetings (est. completion time: 2 hours).

Secondary Transition: Helping Students with Disabilities Plan for Post-High School Settings

This Module focuses on the transition process from high school to post-secondary settings. Among other topics, it discusses IEP planning, engaging students in the process so as to become better advocates for their own needs, and the importance of outside agencies such as vocational rehabilitation (est. completion time: 1 hour).

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Iris Center: MTSS/RTI

MTSS/RTI: Mathematics

This Module describes the MTSS, or RTI, framework as applied to mathematics. It includes discussions of how MTSS and RTI are related, as well as a description of instruction, assessment, and data-based decision making at each level of intensity: Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 (est. completion time: 2.5 hours).

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Iris Center: RTI (Parts 1-5)

RTI (Part 1): An Overview

This Module outlines the differences between the IQ-achievement discrepancy model and the Response-to-Intervention (RTI) approach. It also offers a brief overview of each tier in the RTI model and explains its benefits (est. completion time: 1 hour).

If you would like more information about RTI, please view Part 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the RTI series from The Iris Center.  Additional information can be found at the links listed below.


RTI (Part 2): Assessment
(est. completion time: 2 hours).

RTI (Part 3): Reading Instruction
(est. completion time: 1.5 hours).

RTI (Part 4): Putting It All Together
(est. completion time: 3 hours).

RTI (Part 5): A Closer Look at Tier 3
(est. completion time: 2 hours).

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Iris Center: Functional Behavioral Assessment

Functional Behavioral Assessment: Identifying the Reasons for Problem Behavior and Developing a Behavior Plan

This Module explores the basic principles of behavior and the importance of discovering the reasons that students engage in problem behavior. The steps to conducting a functional behavioral assessment and developing a behavior plan are described (est. completion time: 2 hours).

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Iris Center: Addressing Disruptive and Noncompliant Behaviors (Part 1&2)

Addressing Disruptive and Noncompliant Behaviors (Part 1): Understanding the Acting-Out Cycle

The first in a two-part series, this Module discusses problem behavior in terms of the stages of the acting-out cycle and suggests ways to respond to students in the cycle's different phases (est. completion time: 1 hour).

Addressing Disruptive and Noncompliant Behaviors (Part 2): Behavioral Interventions

The second in a two-part series, this Module describes interventions that can increase initial compliance to teacher requests as well as interventions that can be implemented to decrease disruptive and noncompliant behaviors
(est. completion time: 1 hour).

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Iris Center: Autism Spectrum Disorder (Part 2)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (Part 2): Evidence-Based Practices

This Module, second in a two-part series, highlights strategies that have been shown to be effective in teaching appropriate behaviors and skills and decreasing inappropriate behaviors with children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It next explores several strategies that are particularly effective with young children, elementary and middle school students, and high school students (est. completion time: 3 hours).

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The Iris Center: Autism Spectrum Disorder (Part 1)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (Part 1): An Overview for Educators

This Module, first in a two-part series, provides information on the early signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), as well as an overview of the difference between a medical diagnosis and an educational determination of ASD. Resources include notes on instructional considerations for teachers who have children and students with ASD in their classrooms, as well as things to keep in mind when working with the families of those children and students (est. completion time: 2 hours).

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Iris Center: What Do You See? Perceptions of Disability

What Do You See? Perceptions of Disability

This Module encourages students to explore their own attitudes and beliefs about people with disabilities. It highlights the abilities of students with disabilities (est. completion time: 1 hour).

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Iris Center: Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated Instruction: Maximizing the Learning of All Students

This Module discusses the importance of differentiating three aspects of instruction: content, process (instructional methods), and product (assessment). It explores the student traits—readiness level, interest, and learning preferences—that influence learning (est. completion time: 3 hours).

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

The Iris Center: Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning: Creating a Learning Environment that Challenges and Engages All Students 

This Module examines the three principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and discusses how to apply these principles to the four curricular components (i.e., goals, instructional materials, instructional methods, and assessments) (est. completion time: 2.5 hours).

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Iris Center: Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology: An Overview 

This Module offers an overview of assistive technology (AT) and explores ways to expand students' access to it in the classroom (est. completion time: 2 hours).

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Summer vacation had finally arrived! YEAH!! Teachers everywhere are prepared to rest and recharge.

All to soon though, we will be back at it, planning, prepping, and preparing for next school year.  

This summer I want to provide you with some learning opportunities that are sure to help you next school year, and beyond.  I have learned about some great modules that will help give you some information on a variety of school and special education based topics including UDL, AT, and even some on RTI.

Each week I will post a new module from The Iris Center at Vanderbilt Peabody College  (https://iris.peabody.vanderbilt.edu/).  Each module will contain between 1 and 3 hours worth of readings and video watching and will have great information to help you in your classroom next school year.  

I hope you enjoy them and get as much information out of them as I did.  

I will post the first module link next week.  This week rest, relax, recharge, enjoy your time off!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


InsertLearning (https://goo.gl/wpKi1a) is a Google Extension that lets you transform any webpage into an interactive lesson.  You can highlight text, insert post-its, ask questions, insert videos and so much more.  It also integrates with Google Classroom directly from the Toolbar.

This extension was designed by two high school teachers who were looking for a way to let teachers turn the internet into interactive learning experiences for their students.  

Download the Google Extension and go through the Tutorial today!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

QR Codes

What is a QR code?  

QR stands for Quick Response.  According to Wikipedia, a QR code is  "a specific matrix bar code (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR bar code readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL, or other data."

QR Codes have a large number of educational options available through the platform.  It can be a great way to share information with your student as well as an interactive way for students to complete assignments.  

Below is a link to a YouTube video on how to create Audio QR codes for classroom use.  

Creat Audio QR Codes (http://bit.ly/audioqrcodevideo)

The following link contains some fun math techniques and strategies using QR codes.
Math QR Codes (https://goo.gl/iMny4a)

Check out the sites and explore the use of QR Codes for your classroom use.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Math Is Fun!

Are you looking for some supplemental activities for your schools math program? How about something engaging, with web based activities and printable worksheets?

Check out MathIsFun.com (https://www.mathsisfun.com/).

MathIsFun.com offers interactive lessons that cover skills such as numbers, algebra, geometry, data and measurement. The site contains lessons, puzzles, games and worksheets.

MathIsFun.com would also be a great site to share with your student's family. All of the activities and lessons could be a great way for students to practice over the summer.

Check it out for yourself today.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Finance Activities for the Classroom

Learning money skills can be difficult for some students. I am continually looking for ways to help teachers teach money skills to their students, in meaningful and entertaining ways.

Practical Money Skills (practicalmoneyskills.com) is a website that offers fun interactive activities to help your students learn about money and finance.


  • Financial Football is an advanced financial trivia game embedded in a Madden-type football game. You can play as a single player or go head-to-head (maybe as review, in 2 teams, as a class). 
  • Cash Puzzler is puzzles from US currency; $1, $5, $10, $20, $50 & $100 bills.
  • Pete's Pig's Money Counter is a beginner level activity that introduces money skills.  

All of these different activities can be done as a whole group or a single player. They can be used as a lesson, classwork, or review for students. There are so many ways these activities can be used in the classroom. How will you use them with your students?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Free Sound Effects

Are you planning a filming assignment for your students? Are you working in class on a project that could use some sound effects?

BBC has recently released just over 16,000 sound effects for FREE. The Sound Effects are BBC copyright, but they may be used for personal, educational or research purposes, as detailed in the RemArc License.

Check out bbcsfx.acropolis.org.uk for the extensive list of sounds and download a few today.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


Last week I shared an article about using social media with parents, written by Clark Rodeffer.  At times this is also appropriate for in the classroom.  At other times we want class discussions and comments less public, but possibly still electronic.  

Have you been looking for a way for students to ask questions or make comments without interrupting the lecture, movie or presentation?  Do your students have access to an electronic device?

TodaysMeet (https://todaysmeet.com/) may be the answer you are looking for.  TodaysMeet is a chat room, a meeting space, a platform for learning.  Each post is limited to 140 characters to help keeps comments and questions concise.  

TodaysMeet is free and does not require a log in.  This is a great way to share information that can be referenced at a later time as well.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Social Networking for Parent Contact - Guest Writer

If you are considering using social media in your classroom, read through the 2016 article "Social Networking for Parent Contact" by Clark Rodeffer.

Clark does a nice written comparison of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and provides a few reminders in terms of COPPA and FERPA guidelines.  For a quick overview, there is a nice Feature Comparison chart at the end of the article.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


The best time to check your paper for errors is before you turn it in.  

PaperRater.com uses artificial intelligence to detect grammar errors, punctuation issues, and spelling mistakes as well as give you tips to help make you a better writer. You can use the free features without having to signup, login, or download anything.

PaperRater.com also offers FREE plagiarism detection.  Simply upload or copy and paste your paper into the box.  Select your education level, 1st grade through Doctorate.   Enable Plagiarism detection and select continue.  

The free version does have some limitations: 
Maximum 5 pages per paper (longer papers can be broken up into separate submissions)
Maximum 50 submissions per month
Maximum 10 plagiarism checks per month

Despite these limitations, it is a great tool for writers of all ages.  Try it out for yourself the next time you have a paper to write.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Do you have students with never ending questions?
Are you looking for an alternative way to present information to your students?
Do you want to provide your students with alternative ways to learn?

Curiosity drives exploration.
Exploration drives innovation.

HowStuffWorks got its start in 1998 and has grown into a website, series of audio podcasts, and videos that cover a wide range of topics. Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, super volcanoes, empathy, and everything in between. The

Check out their website HowStuffWorks.com. Search for topics in categories such as Health, Auto, Entertainment or even Animals. Look in the about section (https://www.howstuffworks.com/about-hsw.htm) for links to audio podcasts and videos. Use all of these wonderful sections as alternatives to lectures or even as a "Flip-Your-Classroom" alternative.

"I have no special talents, I am only passionately curios."
- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Free Audiobooks for Teens is back!

Overdrive has again paired with SYNC to offer 13 weeks of Free Audiobooks for Teens!  
Individuals will have the opportunity to download 2 FREE audiobooks each week, starting April 26th and running through July 25th!
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.  The app is available for iPhone®, iPad®, Android, Chromebook, Windows 8 & 10 and Kindle Fire HD.

Check out the SUMMER 2018 SYNC TITLE PAIRINGS (https://audiobooksync.com/2018-sync-titles/) page for the list of available books this summer.

For younger students have them 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)

This is a great opportunity to provide some fun summer reading for our students!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Google Sheets Add-on: Save as Doc

There are a number of reasons data may be saved as a Google Sheet.  Maybe you created a Google Form for a quiz or maybe a Sheet was the easiest way to input the information from a paper-based survey.  What ever the reason, there are just as many reasons why you might want to view the information in a Google Doc as well.  

'Save as Doc' allows you to do this very thing.  'Save as Doc' allows you to take information in a Google Sheets spreadsheet and view it as a Google Document. This is a great tool for making lengthy cell text readable.  This can be a great way to sort out individual responses to a quiz or a survey.

For quick instructions on how to use 'Save as Doc' please follow the instructions in the link below.

'Save as Doc' instructions.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


Have you been looking for a way to save and tag your online resources for easy access anytime?
How about a way for your students to annotate web pages and PDF's online?
What about a way to share your research with students, classmates, or colleagues?
Diigo (https://www.diigo.com/), a Google Extension (https://goo.gl/9GB7eu), lets you bookmark, tag, highlight, add sticky notes and share information with a group.


You might want to consider creating a group with your colleagues.  Share resources that you find useful.  Book mark and tag the site with keywords to help locate it later.  
How could this help your students, in your classroom?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

YouTube "Read Aloud" Book Videos for Kids

I follow a blog called "Control Alt Achieve: transforming education with technology" (http://www.controlaltachieve.com/).  In December of 2016 they posted an article about Video Books.  The post includes a list of suggested YouTube channels and playlists for a variety of book titles.  

Please take a look at the blog post from their sight titled "YouTube 'Reading Aloud' Books Videos for Kids (http://www.controlaltachieve.com/2016/12/youtube-read-aloud.html)"

Consider pairing these videos with EDpuzzle 
(https://at-udl.blogspot.com/2018/03/edpuzzle-guest-writers.html) for an enriching experience.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

BeeLine Reader

Do you have a lot of reading to do? Do some of your students struggle with tracking?
Make reading easier and faster using BeeLine Reader!

BeeLine Reader is backed by research.  It is a tool that improves reading ability for individuals of all ages and skill levels. BeeLine Reader displays text using color gradients that wrap from the end of one line to the beginning of the next.  It facilitates visual tracking which allows a reader to focus on decoding and comprehension.

You can download BeeLine Reader in the Chrome Web Store and try it out for yourself.

The BeeLine extension works on millions of news websites and blogs, Kindle books, Google Docs, and even G-Mail.
BeeLine has been adopted by the California Public Library System (http://www.publiclibraries.com/california.htm), Bookshare.org (bookshare.org) and Reading Is Fundamental (RIF.org). 

With the extension, you can read as much as you want for two weeks. After the trial period, you can use BeeLine up to 5 times every day for free.  For more reading freedom, subscribe to BeeLine Reader Pro for just $2/month (or less if you subscribe annually). Students and teachers can also apply on our website for our free Student Pass (certain limitations apply).

Please check out BeeLineReader.com (BeeLineReader.com) for more information.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

EDpuzzle - Guest Writers

EDpuzzle is an online tool to use in the classroom that lets you embed information and quizzes into videos.  See the information provided by both Jerilyn Lynn and Clark Rodeffer in the links below.  

EDpuzzle - Clark Rodeffer

EDpuzzle - Jerilyn Lynn

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Clutter-free reading in Safari

Do you prefer using Safari on your Mac?  Have friends told you about the Google Extension TLDR or Mercury Reader?

Safari has its own feature to clear the clutter and make articles easier to read.

Reader is a Safari feature that allows users to read online articles in a continuous, clutter-free view, with no ads or visual distractions.
Reader turns multi-page articles into a single scrolling pane.

Reader is available on the right side of the URL bar.  It turns blue if it is available.  If you are a Safari user, try it out for yourself.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Google Keep

Google Keep is a helpful tool that can be used for taking quick notes or making lists. You can save notes on the Google Keep dashboard or export them to Google Drive.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 8.19.47 AM.png

You can quickly capture notes, lists, documents and photos to Google Keep.  You can also record a voice memo in Google Keep.  

Google Keep notes can be shared with others for easy collaboration on any activity.

Keep notes can be color coded or labeled for easy organization.  

Google Keep is available as:
a Chrome Extension,
(https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-keep-chrome-extens/lpcaedmchfhocbbapmcbpinfpgnhiddi?hl=en_ )
a Google App,
an iOS app 
and on the Google Play Store

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.

See how to read with Word.