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For Dyslexic and Visually Impaired Students, a Free High-Tech Solution

For Dyslexic and Visually Impaired Students, a Free High-Tech Solution
Digital Tools Teaching Strategies Thinkstock By Lillian Mongeau Elizabeth is a college freshman who has severe dyslexia that makes it impossible for her to decipher printed materials. But a few months before starting college, Elizabeth discovered an online library called Bookshare.org, run by a small non-profit called Benetech. “My life changed as I entered the world of accessible literature,” Elizabeth wrote on Bookshare’s blog. For Elizabeth and the millions of students who are “print disabled” — meaning they have trouble reading because of dyslexia or vision impairment — many textbooks are not available in an audio format or in any other format that’s easily accessible. “I would hear about a book and remember thinking, ‘I wish I could read that,’ knowing it might be available in a year and a half. It’s not that Benetech invented accessible literature. “We want books in a format everyone can use,” said Betsy Beaumon, vice president of Benetech. “Now is the opportune moment,” she said. Related:  Reading Problems

Excellent Speech to Text Tools for Teachers June 11, 2014 In a recent post I shared here a few days ago, I featured a list of three good text to speech tools for teachers. Today, I am sharing with you another list of handy tools but this time it is the other way around: speech to text. These tools will enable you to transcribe oral speech into text which you can then copy and use anywhere you want. 1- Online Dictation This is a great tool that lets you transcribe speech as you talk. Dictanote is an advanced text editor with an integrated speech recognizer which lets you transcribe your speech. 3- VoiceNote VoiceNote is a notepad that allows you to type with your voice.

Using Dropbox in the Classroom When I mention Dropbox to friends and colleagues, I usually get one of two responses – a knowing smile and nod, or a puzzled and quizzical look. Whether you know what the program is, you have likely heard the name. But really, what is Dropbox? Dropbox is many things — a multifaceted tool that’s so powerful, you’ll continue to discover new ways to use it. How Dropbox works So, how can you use Dropbox as an educator? Additionally, many applications that you likely use (Evernote, Things, 1Password, Elements, to name a few) have a Dropbox sync option. Using Dropbox with students In addition to making your life a lot easier, Dropbox can be a great teaching/learning tool – and this is why I introduce it to my students. You can call this folder anything. Next step: Put your mouse over the folder and click on the arrow to the right – a drop-down menu will appear. Next, you will get the window shown below. Once you have invited students, this becomes a “Shared Folder.” Students catch on quickly

Special Education Law & the IEP special education laws give children with disabilities and their parents important rights. Specifically, the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) gives families of special education children the right to: have their child assessed or tested to determine special education eligibility and needsinspect and review school records relating to their childattend an annual "individualized education program" (IEP) meeting and develop a written IEP plan with representatives of the local school district, andresolve disputes with the school district through an impartial administrative and legal process. Eligibility Under IDEA Every school district is legally required to identify, locate, and evaluate children with disabilities (20 U.S.C. §1412(a)(3)). After the evaluation, the district may provide the child with specific programs and services to address special needs. For your child to qualify for special education under IDEA, it is not enough to have one of these disabilities.

SuperSpeed: Game of Champ Readers! Improving student reading speed, of all serious educational problems, is one of the easiest to solve. Only 100 words, sight words, make up over 50% of the words students will ever read. Many of these words cannot be sounded out phonetically and thus must be known at sight, instantly. The more quickly students can read sight words, the faster they will read. Superspeed reading games developed by Whole Brain Teachers of America and classroom tested by hundreds of educators, provide a simple, extremely entertaining way to help K-12 students improve their reading speed. SuperSpeed Letters and Phonics teaches K-2 students the alphabet and letter sounds; SuperSpeed 100 helps K-3 (and remedial) students master the 100 most common sight words; SuperSpeed 1000, designed for 3rd-high school students, teaches the 1,000 most common sight words. SuperSpeed is played as follows: For more information, contact Chris Biffle.

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: Teachers Easy Guide to The Most Important Web Tools in Education When it comes to using web resources with our students, time plays a decisive role.It is next to impossible for a busy teacher restricted by curriculum constraints, day to day lesson preparations, assignment corrections, to mention but a few of his chores, to effectively search the web and find the adequate resources to share with his/ her students. Most people just do not have the time to learn all these technologies and some educators pick just one or two websites of interest and start exploring them. This is definitely not the right thing to do particularly if you want to leverage the huge potential of technology into your classroom.There is, however, a simple roudabout to this problem. Look for educational technology blogs ( such as the one you are reading now ) and subscribe to their feeds to stay updated about the latest web tools to use in your instruction. 1- A List of The Best Video Editing Tools for Teachers 2- A List of The Best Digital Story Telling Tools for Teachers

UDL Toolkits: Teaching Every Student The Planning for All Learners (PAL) process builds upon two prerequisites: A basic understanding of Universal Design for Learning, andCommitment of participating educators to make the curriculum and learning accessible for all learners. The PAL process begins with the formation of the PAL team, comprised of general education and special education teachers and other appropriate educational specialists at one grade level or with a content specific focus. The team meets regularly during the school year to focus on the foundation of instruction — the curriculum. The PAL process includes four steps, based upon the principles and concepts of UDL, proven professional development strategies, and effective teaching practices. Goal setting is essential to ensure that all learners have access to the goals; be sure to separate means from goals. Establish a context - Provide background information regarding the content and topic for the lesson. TeachEvaluate lesson/unitRevise lesson/unit

Best iPad Apps for Dyslexia | ForDyslexia In a recent webinar from Dyslexic Advantage, which we have recommended previously, Jamie Martin from the Kildonan School reviewed his picks for the best iPad apps for dyslexia. Jamie talks about activating built-in speech-to-text features of the iPad, reading, literature, phonics apps, apps for taking notes and study skills, and math. He walks through the apps showing you how to use them and how they are useful in the classroom. To watch the webinar follow this link: Jamie Martin’s webinar Best iPad Apps for Dyslexia. 5 Ways You Should Integrate Digital Citizenship Into Your Classes Recently, I was told by a teacher that she doesn’t have time to teach digital citizenship because she has to cover too many other content-specific standards. I get it... the Common Core-state tests-AP/IB/SAT/ACT madness eats up so much of our time. Still, there is no excuse for allowing students to enter into the digital world without a toolkit for not only safety but also success. Beyond that, there is such a wide range of options for truly integrating digital citizenship objectives that the argument given by teachers who claim a lack of time is simply unfounded. Here are a few ways we all can bring digital citizenship to our classrooms seamlessly. Digital Teaching Tip 1: Use an LMS Edmodo and Schoology are free learning management systems which provide teachers with platforms for discussions, resource sharing, grading, messaging and networking. Helping students develop their technology in the classroom Internet search... Here's how to motivate students by giving them choices.

The 20+ Apps To Know About In 2013 Education got a lot more mobile in 2012 as in-school iPad initiatives , the iPhone 5 launch and online learning providers in general made classroom experiences more interesting—and don’t expect to see teaching head back to desktop PC’s in 2013. In fact, as MOOCs and hybrid programs continue to evolve, mobile should have an ever more significant role to play. Looking back at some of 2012′s most significant app launches and updates, Education Dive assembled a list of a few of the best apps on iOS and Android devices that we think educators should know about for 2013. Some of these are already out in the wild, and some are still twinkles in their developers’ eyes. All of 23 of them stand to be important, however, in the new year: 1. Spin is bringing interactive learning into the 21st century—the TogetherLearn mobile app allows online learners to virtually recreate traditional classroom elements. 2. 3. Desire2Learn’s suite of options for its campus apps is always evolving. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

What Every Teacher Needs to Know | ForDyslexia The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) has recently published a booklet for schools called “Dyslexia in the Classroom: What Every Teacher Needs to Know.” They sent every public elementary school in the US this resource booklet. Ask your child’s school if they received it. Below is the content of that booklet in its entirety. 1 Introduction 2 About IDA 3 What is Dyslexia? 4 Signs and Symptoms of Dyslexia 5 Social and Emotional Connection 6 Classroom Strategies, Tips, and Tools 7 Multisensory Structured Language Teaching 8 Screening, Evaluation, and Diagnosis 9 Additional Resources and Further Reading 10 References © Copyright 2013, The International Dyslexia Association (IDA). IDA encourages the reproduction and distribution of this resource kit. The degree of difficulty a child with dyslexia has with reading, spelling, and/or speaking varies from person to person due to inherited differences in brain development, as well as the type of teaching the person receives. What causes dyslexia?

Using @Evernoteschools for Lesson Planning Since I started this Experiment to use Evernote in every aspect of my classroom, I wasn't really sure what I was going to discover. I was sure there would be some way that Evernote was not going to meet my needs and I would be forced to add another tool to my chest while I continue the experiment for the school year. One way I was weary of was lesson planning. I have used the the traditional planner book for years and it has always been very good to me. I could easily flip back and see what I what I did the year before as I planned the upcoming school year. I'm not a big fan of trying to fix things that are not broken, but I figured I needed to give it a try in the name of the Experiment. Here is a shot of my desktop version of Evernote. Within the notebooks for the specific classes, I have scanned and uploaded various assignments I had in paper form only and added them to new notes. I have also created notebooks that contain notes on tech tips for using the various tools.

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