Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Installing Google Extensions, Apps and Add-ons

Google has a variety of "add-on" features, many of which are free. They have Google Extensions, Google Apps and Google Add-ons. I review a number of these great features as a part of this Blog. Attached below are instructions for how to add these wonderful features for use in your Google browser or with the G-Suite of applications.

Install a Google Extension or Google App 


Install a Google Add-on 


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text

Besides getting questions about restricting iPads (https://at-udl.blogspot.com/2019/09/restrictions-guided-access-time-limits.html), I also get questions about using text-to-speech and speech-to-text on a variety of devices.
Speech to Text is a tool, Accessibility feature built into most computers today, that can help these students and many others. It allows a writer to dictate their thoughts and ideas into a document. Many Speech to Text options also allow you to speak the punctuation and a multitude of voice commands for editing purposes.

Google Docs has a built in Speech to Text option called Voice Typing (https://tinyurl.com/y3bmq2pc).

Google offers a fairly comprehensive instructional guide (https://tinyurl.com/y2kgqprh) for Voice Typing. The guide includes a list of languages supported by Voice Typing as well as a list of punctuation that can be voice enabled. The guide also includes a list of voice commands for formatting or editing your document in the sections under “Voice commands”. There are also some troubleshooting tips located near the end of the guide.

Because Google is available across platforms (Mac, PC...) I suggest using Voice Typing to anyone needing Speech to Text.


Text to Speech can be used to help with reading and writing. Text to Speech can be a useful tool for struggling readers, English language learners, or readers with dyslexia as well. It can be used by students and teachers.

On a Mac, follow these directions (https://tinyurl.com/y2nkcety) to enable Text to Speech.

PC's currently do not have a text reader, only a screen reader. This can also be used to listen back to text but is designed to help visually impaired individuals navigate a computer and is therefore less "user friendly".

Chromebooks now have a built in text reader that they call select-to-speak. This can be found in the Accessibility Features of the device, if yours is compatible. I have found 2 tutorials to help you enable this feature.
Turn on Chromebook accessibility features (https://tinyurl.com/n8yk4zq) will take you to written instructions.
How to use Select-to-Speak on your Chromebook (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gz4lXWDzTQ) will take you to a video tutorial.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Restrictions, Guided Access, Time Limits, Oh My!

Every year I get questions about restricting the iPads used in the classroom. The use of restrictions on the iPad is a classroom management decision that teachers can make but that is not done at a district level. Below I will be attaching some links to quick tutorials for the use of enabling restrictions, using guided access and setting time limits on an iPad, running iOS 12 or newer.

Guided Access (https://tinyurl.com/y4uy596e)

Enabling Restrictions (https://tinyurl.com/y2tfrnx5)

Setting a Time Limit (https://tinyurl.com/y2svrxzr)

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Welcome Back!

Welcome back!  I hope you had a wonderful summer vacation!  If you did not have a chance to keep up with my Blog this summer please take a look back at the summer posts and catch up on some of the wonderful modules I shared.

As a general reminder, with this Blog, I (with some help from the YCS Instructional Technology team) will be posting useful Tips and Tricks for our Staff and Students to use in the classroom and for assignments.  We will highlight Google Apps, Extensions and Add-Ons as well as useful websites and iPad apps.

In case you were wondering about the name of the blog...

AT / UDL Tips & Tricks for Everyone...

What does AT stand for?

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology consists of DEVICES and SERVICES that help children 
with disabilities carry out a functional activity in their environment.

What is the meaning behind UDL?

Universal Design for Learning

U.D.L. Technology consists of DEVICES and SERVICES that help children
carry out a functional activity in their environment.

Truthfully AT and UDL go hand-in-hand.

I hope you have a wonderful school year and look forward to share new information with you!