Guided Access

Although an oldie still a goodie. There are still many out there that are not familiar with this wonderful apple feature.

Online Testing

 Feeling a little panicked about the upcoming online testing? It is just another phase in societal development. We often forget that at one time overhead projectors, old rizo copiers, film projectors, and ballpoint pens were cutting edge technology. At the time they seemed daunting as well. Today however they are old obsolete beasts. History repeats itself. We are in a constant influx of learning both in content and in technology, and really would we want it any other way. After all who doesn't like Candy Crush and without the continual evolution of technologies our entertainment is also diminished. Fear not because our students are digital natives and what is change for us is all they have ever known. Our students dive into these technologies with excitement and vigor.

 There are lots of resources developing to tackle this new wave.

Online test prep sites
PARCC - This site is sponsored by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. MCAS 2.0 testing will follow this format.
Learnosity - This site models its online testing practice to simulate PARCC testing environments Tenmark - This site is specifically Math testing. It utilizes tools such as drop downs, input boxes, drag and drop, and check boxes. It supports the students with hints and videos. Students can earn coins and characters upon completion of assignments.
Edcite - This offers premade question in various subject areas and grades as well as the ability to create questions.

 Additional Sites
Prodigy - interactive math games that adapt to a students abilities.
Adapted Mind - provides pre-test, customization according to ability, and on-going assessment.
Newsela - Current events articles with options to level text to the readers ability and provides some comprehension questions.

Call Scotland

The site Call Scotland may have been developed to assist those is Scotland with disabilities but we can sure take advantage from across the pond as well. The site offers a wealth of information.
You can

  1. Attend and View Webinars
  2. Information and Resources on Specific Disabilities
  3. Download
  • Books
  • Reports
  • Papers
  • Posters
  • Leaflets
  • Info Cards
  • Quick Guides
  • Newsletters 
  • Presentations
Here is just one sample of the downloads available

Now if only I can find a way to attend courses offered by Call Scotland at the University of Edinburgh!

Robotic Arm

Shelly Terrell's 30 Goals

Our Assistant Principal at Northbridge High School, Jeff Lizotte, continually adds great information, articles and videos to his weekly newsletter/ blog. This one was included this week and I thought it was worth passing on.

Dwell Buddy for Windows OS

DwellBuddy uses intelligent analysis of your mouse movements. If DwellBuddy detects that you are pointing at a target where a click is the only good choice, then DwellBuddy will just click for you. However, if there are other reasonable possibilities - like dragging or double clicking, then a menu is displayed where you can dwell on the kind of mouse operation you want.

TotalTalk AAC - Writing

This AAC app has a nice pictorial writing feature that allows editing. Another great feature is the easy ability to communicate via texting to friends in noisy places, and they can text back. I would be remiss in not mentioning that it does back-ups to Google Drive or Dropbox. Take a look at the presentation below for more insight into TotalTalker.

Enhance the Classroom with Chrome Extensions

Mobile Classroom Tech

Enhance the Classroom with Chrome Extensions

With the rise of Chromebooks in schools, more student-friendly, classroom-ready Chrome extensions are popping up in the Chrome store. These clever tools can enhance students' and teachers' online activities by connecting to useful utilities or providing powerful features within the browser window itself. From bookmarking and citation plug-ins to collaboration tools, Chrome extensions can boost student learning and offer teachers easy new ways to plan lessons, manage student work and more.
Take a look at three of our current favorite Chrome extensions for students and teachers. Have an extension you can't teach without? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Price: Free for 1,000 bookmarks/year; $20-$40/year for unlimited bookmarks 
Platforms: Android, Chrome, Firefox, IE, iOS, Mac and Web 
Grades: 7–12 

Diigo has evolved from a simple bookmarking tool into a collaborative destination for collecting, commenting on and sharing information online. Students add the Diigo bookmarklet (Diigolet) to the browser's bookmark bar and then use it to save pages to a personal library section on Diigo. They can search for, bookmark, organize, annotate, collaborate, and share resources they find online. Diigo also gives teachers a way to share relevant, prescreened web content, with notes to reinforce any lessons in the text. 

Price: Free; premium version $12-$30/month
Platforms: Chrome and Web
Grades: 6–12

Grammarly is a website and Chrome extension geared toward helping writers craft their very best work. On the site, writers can cut and paste or upload work they'd like to edit. Once it's uploaded, users can get feedback and suggestions with hints to understand why they should change or improve certain aspects of their writing. The browser extension automatically proofreads as you compose on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and nearly anywhere else on the web, offering spelling, grammar and style suggestions.
Price: Free 
Platforms: Chrome and web
Grades: 7–12

Kaizena is a Google Chrome add-on used in conjunction with Google Drive. If you're looking to ditch your red pen and grade digitally, this is your tool. On Kaizena, you can review and edit student papers that students drop into your inbox or request that you review. Teachers can provide feedback in three ways: Use the microphone to record audio feedback, use the text option to type feedback, or link a resource such as a YouTube video or website for students to review. There's also a Kaizena Mini version, which opens right in your Google Doc rather than in a new window.
Wilkey, Erin. "Enhance the Classroom with Chrome Extensions." TIHIE Journal. Public Sector Media Group, 25 May 2016. Web. 25 May 2016. <>.

UDL Webinars

CAST, one of the leading organization in UDL, offers free webinars. These are previous live webinars, so direct interaction and questioning are not available but it is a great way to get information. Additionally they offer some free resources and tips. This is a great place to start and many opportunities available to advance your knowledge.

Epic Fail or Win? Gamifying Learning in My Classroom

Liz Kolb, Professor in Teacher Education at the University of Michigan, the benefits of gamifying learning. Her article explains her journey in changing mindsets. Her steps the Gamify Learning are:

 1. Use gamification software 
2. Prepare quests 
3. Be generous with experience points
4. Provide choices 
5. Encouraging modding
6. Make badges 
7. Foster Collaboration 
8. Create opt-into leaderboards 
9. Include Easter eggs 
10. Redefine failure 
11. Reward mastery 

  Click here to view the full article 

 Kolb, Liz. "Epic Fail or Win? Gamifying Learning in My Classroom." Edutopia. George Lucas Educational Foundation, 20 Mar. 2015. Web. 25 May 2016. .

UDL from Alberta Schools

This video explains UDL in way that relates to the practical life in the classroom. It shows easy to understand applications.

At a Glance: How the IEP Team Decides on Assistive Technology


WEO is a website that allows teachers to create and discover activities for the classroom that can be assigned to students.

Robust Literacy Instruction for People Who Use AAC

If you have not yet visited the PrAACtical AAC website, it is well worth the trip! This link will take you to an article on Literacy for People using AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication). It focuses on the use of The Four Black Model (Cunningham, Hall, & Sigmon, 1999; Koppenhaver & Erickson, 2008)

Getting PDFs into Blogger

App Smashing

What is app smashing? Well the short of it is using more than one app to create a final product
Beth Holland and Greg Kulowiec from EdTechTeacher have created a fantastic resources called Toolkit for App Smashing – keep it simple! to explain the concept including videos! image from -




When you are preparing to introduce your young students or child to that amazing website for kids that you found there is something to check for. Look for something on the page that indicates that the site is COPPA compliant. COPPA ( Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) was established in 1998 to protect children under the age of 13 while online. It requires sites that market to the under 13 population to get parental permission to collect data and the site is required to protect that data from being used or seen by others.

BEWARE - there are many sites that make the product attractive to children under thirteen but the terms and agreements will indicate that you must be over thirteen to use the product.


Battle Ship

PowerPoint is more than just a presentation software. The example below shows how Sara Grabowski used her creativity to turn presentation software into an engaging interactive game.

Bloom's Digital Taxonomy

One of the most common question I get as an Instructional Technology Specialist how do I make using the iPad worthwhile in the classroom. The first thing I always tell them is that an iPad by itself does almost nothing. It's all about the apps and there are plenty of those. So, how do you find the ones worth buying or even taking up space on your ipad? Educators are all familiar with Bloom's Taxonomy but not all know that there is a version of that for apps. The Bloom's Taxonomy wheel below is from It illustrates the rational and purpose behind using some of the best apps available today.
Education Technology and Mobile Leaning has a great cheat sheet that covers apps not only for iPads but for Andriod's and Web Tools as well.


It's glasses - no it's a mouse - It's both! Fairly new to the market this innovative product allows the user to control a device using eye movement and a bite click. It connects utilizing bluetooth technology and can hold a charge for 7-10 days. It's 1.6 ounces weight makes it light and comfortable for the user. Currently there are two options for getting the device. The first is the direct purchase method which cost $149 plus 30 shipping. The second it when someone donates $70 the company will donate a device through partnered non-profit organizations such as Center for Independent Living or Our Voice.
Glassouse Indiegogo campaign video from Meltpartners on Vimeo.

Free Stuff Presented with Emaze

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Go Animate

Another way to grab student attention and get yourself off the "stage" is Go Animate. With this program you can create custom animated cartoons like the one below. Syllables by Lori Hippert on GoAnimate
This video incorporates principles taught in Project Read and Wilson Reading.


If you have not checked out this math site, you should. It is educational, free and engaging. They even have a Chrome extension.

Chromebooks Overview

Jamie Martin in conjunction with does a great job of explaining what a Chromebook does and does not do compared to a traditional laptop. He then goes into its assistive technology uses.

Determining the Best Switch Type and Location For Clients With Muscle Weakness

When conducting assessments the starting place is to determine what areas of movement the client displays. Once those are determined there are additional factors to consider; which are the muscle strength, the amount of force presented, and the client’s endurance level. Another consideration is ensuring the proper supports to limit weakness and fatigue which can affect accuracy and speed. The client also needs to be able to consistently release the switch and not utilize it for stabilization.

Switches are broken into two main categories mechanical or electrical. Where electrical requires little to no pressure and little travel while mechanical requires more pressure and travel. Switches such as the spec, jellybean and light touch plates fall under the mechanical category.  There are five sub-categories of electrical switches; proximity, fiberoptic, infrared, sensor, and piezo electric film. Proximity switches like the candy corn tend to be more effective when using the hand to activate. Fiberoptic switches work well for smaller finger movements since they are often smaller than a pencil eraser. Infrareds are switches such as eye blink, while sensors pick up muscle movement and Piezo electrical film activate with vibrations. Typically switches for the feet require too much movement. Knees are also difficult with medial knee movement being a little easier.

Click here or on the title to view the full presentation from Ablenet