Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Happy Holidays!

I would like to wish everyone the warmest holiday wishes!  I look forward to posting new Blogs for you in the new year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

SignUp Captioning

Do you know some who is hearing impaired and could use sign language when watching shows and movies?
Are you trying to learn or improve your sign language skills?

The SignUp Google Chrome Extension overlays sign language (both American and British) interpretation on streaming platforms, such as Disney+ and Netflix, for more accessible captioning.

To learn about SignUp visit their website at https://www.signupcaptions.com/

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Google Slides: Closed Captions

Google Slides offers a Closed Captions option.  This can help anyone read what is being said by the presenter.  If the microphone is good enough it will also pick up any questions asked by audience members.  

To use Closed Captions in Google Slides check out this easy to follow tutorial.

Google Slides - Closed Captions

Tuesday, November 29, 2022


Remove.bg (https://www.remove.bg/) is an easy way to remove the background from a picture. You could use this to make visuals for a classroom, or icons for an AAC device. It is very fast and no account needed.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Add a Quick Access World Language Keyboard on an iPad

Do you have students in you classroom in which English is not his/her first language?

You can update the settings on an iPad to a variety of world languages, allowing students to type on the keyboard in his/her native language.

Follow this tutorial to Add a Quick Access World Language Keyboard on an iPad.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Add a Quick Access World Language Keyboard on a Chromebook

Do you have students in you classroom in which English is not his/her first language?

You can update the settings on a Chromebook to a variety of world languages, allowing students to type on the keyboard in his/her native language.

Follow this tutorial to Add a Quick Access World Language Keyboard on a Chromebook.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Enabling and Using Dictation

 Take a moment to consider your students. 

Think about the ones who struggle to get their ideas onto paper. How about the students who struggle with spelling or have fine motor control issues.  Do you have students in which English is not their first language?

Speech to Text is a tool that can help these students and many others. It is an Accessibility feature built into most devices today. Speech to Text is a tool that allows a writer to dictate their thoughts and ideas into a document. 

Speech to Text, also known as Dictation, is available on Chromebooks and iPads.  To enable and use dictation on these devices follow the instructions in the tutorials below.

Enabling and Using Dictation on a Chromebook (http://bit.ly/3GobetQ)

Enabling and Using Dictation on an iPad (http://bit.ly/3MntMLC)

Give it a try! Your students will love it (and so will you)!

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Enabling and Using Text to Speech

Text to Speech is a tool that has multiple uses. It can be used to help with reading and writing.  It can be a useful tool for struggling readers, English language learners, and readers with dyslexia as well. It can be used by students and teachers. Text to Speech is an available accessibility feature on both iPads and Chromebooks. Attached below are tutorials on how to enable and use them on these devices.

Enabling and Using Select-to-Speak on a Chromebook 

Enable Speak Selection on an iPad   (https://bit.ly/iPadSpeakSelection)

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

New School Year - New Adventure

 Welcome Back!

I hope the start of the school year went well for everyone.  I started this school year in a new position.  I am an Instructional Technology Specialist with the Washtenaw Intermediate School District.  It has been a busy start of the year for me, learning a new job.  I hope it is starting to slow down a little for everyone.

Starting next week I will again be back to posting a weekly blog with an Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning Tip or Trick.  I look forward to providing updates to old tips and tricks and providing new ones as well!

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

End of the Year - See you in the Fall

Hello Blog Readers!  I hope you had a wonderful school year and that you were able to learn some fun things from my posts.  

Although, in the past, I have continued to post during the summer, this year I am taking a break.  It has been a crazy year and I am going to take this time to get relevant posts prepared for the 2022-2023 school year. 

I hope you have a wonderful summer break and I will see you again in the Fall.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Visual Recipes

Are you looking for a fun, end of the year activity to do with your students? 
Have you thought about cooking with your class? 
Everyone can create delicious food with picture recipes.  Picture recipes are great for all ages and abilities because they don't rely on reading abilities. 
Check out these great recipe options from Able2Learn: https://able2learn.com/categories/visual-recipes

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Tar Heel Gameplay

Tar Heel Gameplay (https://tarheelgameplay.org/) is a collection of free, easy-to-play, and accessible games. Each game is speech enabled and may be accessed using multiple interfaces, including touch screens and up to 3 switches.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022


Classroomscreen.com is a simple website that offers easy access to tools for face-to-face or virtual teaching sessions. It contains 16 different widgets, such as a timer, random name picker and work time visuals, to support all your classroom activities and help students get to work.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Apple Live Listen

Have you ever had a hard time having a conversation in a noisy environment?

With Live Listen (https://apple.co/3Nnnj2U) by Apple, you can use your iPad and AirPods to magnify the sound of the person you are talking with.

Live Listen allows sound captured by an iPad to be magnified and sent wirelessly to AirPods or Beats headphones (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT2a09082). In a classroom setting, students can use this feature to hear a teacher louder from a distance. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Free Teen Audiobooks

Sora by Overdrive has paired with SYNC to offer 16 weeks of Free Audiobooks aimed at teens 13+!

You can download 2 FREE audiobooks each week, starting April 28th and running through August 17th!
Register and sign up for e-mail reminders or text reminders at http://www.audiobooksync.com/.

Check out the SUMMER 2022 SYNC TITLE PAIRINGS (https://bit.ly/3K0cZf1) page for the list of available books this summer.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Note Anywhere

Have you ever wanted to leave a note on a webpage? Are you looking for a tool to leave some thoughts while doing some research?

I have a great option for you to try, Note Anywhere.

Note Anywhere is a Google Extension. It allows you to add Post-it type notes to almost any web page.
The notes stay on the page until you delete them and load auto-magically when you open the web page. The extension icon tells you how many post-its you have on a page when you are on the page.

If you right click on the Note Anywhere icon in your extensions tool bar, you can open the options menu. Within options you can change the color of the post-it note. You can also view a summary of where you have notes. It will provide you with a list of URL links to the articles with notes on them.

Note Anywhere can be a useful research tool for both teachers and students.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Free to anyone books in Bookshare

Bookshare.org is a program that makes reading easier. People with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers can customize their experience to suit their learning style and find virtually any book they need for school, work, or the joy of reading.

Although Bookshare is designed for students with reading struggles, it has over 10,000 freely available books published under the public domain or creative commons license. These books can be read by anyone and are useful for conducting demonstrations and trainings. check out the free book at the links below.

Demo Books - https://www.bookshare.org/browse/collection/353677

Ebook Sources - https://www.bookshare.org/cms/help-center/learning-center/learning-at-home/more-ebooks

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Assignment Calculator

Are you looking for a way to help your students manage his/her time with a big writing project?

The University of Minnesota has created an Assignment Calculator (https://www.lib.umn.edu/services/ac) that helps break down large writing projects into manageable chunks. You can set a timeline for a research paper, speech or lab report.

The timeline provided is broken down into small, daily steps. The timeline of steps can even be added into your Google Calendar to help you stay on track.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022


Knowt (https://knowt.io/) allows you to make flashcards and quizzes directly from your class notes. Teachers can use this to make class assignments and students can use it to study for tests.

You can also search for other people's notes on the same subject area. They are continuously working to add notes based on school textbooks. Students can apply to become a KnowtTaker and earn volunteer hours for writing notes that students around the world can study from.  Teachers can get paid for writing notes for Knowt.

Knowt was created by 3 high school kids who were bored with regular note taking. All three now all attend MIT.

Teachers can share notes with students via Google Classroom as well.

Did you zone out during the lecture? Did you miss something the teacher said? Was the teacher talking too fast, you couldn't keep up? You can use Knowt to immediately check to see if your class notes make sense. If the quiz doesn't make any sense you may have missed some important information. Re-read you notes and fill in what you remember or talk with a classmate or your teacher to fill it in.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022


Are you looking for a fun way to assing work to your students? How about a fun whole group activity?

Check out Blooket (https://www.blooket.com/)!

Blooket is a new take on trivia and review games.  Blooket offer a variety of games to keep students engaged and excited. There are whole group games as well as one person games, great for homework or building skills independently. Blooket is motiviating and easily customizeable.

They have a couple of easy to follow YouTube tutorials available. There is a teacher tutorial (https://bit.ly/3ts1lER), student tutorial (https://bit.ly/3JzpjDF) and tutorial on how to create a Blooket question set (https://bit.ly/3KWiVqi).

Tuesday, March 15, 2022


BigReveal is an iPad app that lets you create personalized scratch cards. You use the app to hide a picture under a silver coating, just like a scratch-off lottery ticket.
This app can be highly motivating to students. For teacher and staff, it can help evaluate how well students can swipe up, down, right or left and if they can access all areas of the screen, which can be helpful when trying out a new stylus or mouse.
This app is not free, but only cost $1.99. It might be a good investment for use with your students.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022


Visor (https://bit.ly/3KVq0b7) is a Google Chrome extension that is a screen dimmer and reading aid. Visor may also help with fluency, eye-strain, concentration and comprehension whilst reading.
Visor offers overlays and point of focus features that may assist users with visual perceptual difficulties such as Dyslexia, Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome and Visual Stress. 

Visor also uses a point of focus feature, designed to help further reduce visual confusions and the tendency to skip lines. Visors horizontal focal point tracks your mouse, giving you full focus to the content being read, while reducing the visual noise of the surrounding page.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022


Are you looking for free picture symbols to use in your classroom?

OpenSymbols (https://www.opensymbols.org/) is a collection of creative commons picture symbols that can be used for augmentative communication. The collection pulls from multiple sources and currently includes access to more than 50,000 symbols and icons!

Tuesday, February 22, 2022


Would you like to collaborate with your students, using an online whiteboard?

Whiteboard.chat is a free interactive online whiteboard for teachers and students to collaborate digitally.  You can easily observe all of your students, on individual whiteboards or demonstrate something to the whole class on a single board.  

Although it is free for educators, there are some limitations.  You can have up to 10 class boards.  If you don't touch a board for 7 days, it will be deleted.

Whether you are creating individual student boards or one class board, inviting student is as easy as sharing the board specific code.  

Although it takes a little exploring to figure out how to navigate at first, there are some really COOL features in whiteboard.chat! 

Do you want to show your kids how to break down money, give change?

Open a new board.  

On the right open Gizmos: 

In the menu find US Currency:

Add some different denominations of money to the board.

On the left go to Tools, Break Down:

With the crosshairs, click on any of the bills or coins (larger than a penny) you added!

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Pattern Shapes

Pattern Shapes helps students explore geometry. It helps students think about angles, investigate symmetry, and compose and decompose larger shapes.

Pattern Shapes is a virtual version of the 7 familiar classroom shapes
yellow hexagons, orange squares, green triangles, red trapezoids, blue parallelograms, and tan rhombuses

Check out their great tutorials (https://bit.ly/36kEF0i).

Number Line is available as a
web app (https://bit.ly/3IrYdNA), for iOS (https://apple.co/3ubFUqN), or for Chrome (https://bit.ly/3N1vMt8).

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Money Pieces

Money Pieces helps students visualize and understand its values and relationships. There are two versions of coins and bills in the app. The currency pieces mimick the appearance and size of U.S. coins and the dollar bill.

Check out their great tutorials (https://bit.ly/3uyacG2).

Money Pieces is available as a web link (https://bit.ly/3gtgGxt), iOS app (https://apple.co/3uBxXNh), or for Google Chrome (https://bit.ly/3GAbbI6).

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Math Vocabulary Cards

Math Vocabulary Cards helps students better understand key terms in mathematics. Each card has three sections: a math term, a model, and an easy to understand definition. Each section can be hidden or revealed, providing multiple options for practice. Vocabulary cards can be selected one by one or by category.  They are available in both English and Spanish.

Math Vocabulary Cards is available as a web app 
(https://bit.ly/3uqP4kG), for iOS  
(https://apple.co/3L2l0Sw), or for Chrome 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022


Geoboard is a tool that lets learners stretch virtual rubberbands around pegs to form line segments and polygons. Creating these shapes help learners make discoveries about perimeter, area, angles, congruence, fractions, and more.

Geoboard is a virtual version of the rubberbands and peg/nail board we all grew up with. Learners can fill individual shapes with color and display grid lines with or without numbering to more easily calculate area and identify shape locations. 

Check out their great tutorials (https://bit.ly/3FYCFXl).

Geoboard is available as a web app (https://bit.ly/3KGUfTq), for iOS (https://apple.co/3tWZuZ8), or for Chrome (https://bit.ly/343icDE).

Tuesday, January 18, 2022


Fractions is and app that lets students create and use bars or circles to represent, compare, and perform operations with fractions using denominators from 1 to 100.
Fractions is a virtual manipulative. It is an open-ended educational tool, ideal for elementary classrooms and other learning environments that use laptops, iPads, or Chromebooks.

Check out their great tutorials (https://bit.ly/3p319K5).

Fractions is available as a web app (https://bit.ly/3yulVFv), for iOS (https://apple.co/329ScFv), or for Chrome (https://bit.ly/3F7bJVR).

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Number Rack

Number Rack has rows of movable, colored beads that help encourage learners to think in groups of 5s and 10s.

Number Rack is a virtual version of an abacus.  This virtual version can contain up to 10 rows of 10 beads so students can work with numbers up to 100.

It is an open-ended educational tool, ideal for elementary classrooms and other learning environments that use laptops, iPads, or Chromebooks.

Check out their great tutorials (https://bit.ly/3dOpjRZ

Number Rack is available as a web link (https://bit.ly/3yoRe4m
), iOS app (https://apple.co/3dOpyMT), or for Google Chrome  (https://bit.ly/3m3TKrX).

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Number Pieces

Number Pieces is a virtual set of base ten pieces. The pieces can be used to represent single-, double-, and triple-digit numbers. The pieces can be joined together or broken apart to visualize regrouping.

Number Pieces is a virtual version of the manipulative. Number lines can be labeled with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, or negative numbers. It is an open-ended educational tool, ideal for elementary classrooms and other learning environments that use laptops, iPads, or Chromebooks.

Check out their great tutorials (https://bit.ly/3IPNYDZ

Number Pieces is available as a web link (https://bit.ly/3EY32wX
), iOS app (https://apple.co/30qGqX3), or for Google Chrome (https://bit.ly/3dRgeYG).