Assuring we “catch” all of our kids!

Keeping our “school of fish” together

This week I had the fantastic opportunity to attend the MASSCUE SIG SLP/SPED group meeting hosted by Kim Zajac of the Norton Public Schools and led by John F. O’Sullivan, the Educational App Guide! John has published 5 books on UDL and Assistive Technology Tools. He has so many options in his toolbox it is AMAZING!  I learned so much at this meeting, and it was great to talk to teachers from other schools about what they’re using as well to remove the barriers.  John really hit home with his focus: How can we remove the barrier so the student can reach the goal? What different paths can students take to show they’ve met the goal?

Take a look below for some great tools that will assist ALL of our learners, help remove the barriers, and keep our “fish” swimming!

UDL TECHNOLOGY  💌 🆓 📑

First up on the blog, is a FREE resource from John: UDL Technology.  This is actually a section of his book that he posts online, free! Chapter 17 has many great, free, tools you can use with all students. Just to entice you even more, take a look at some of the topics below he has posted on this great resource.  I was lucky enough to win a copy of one of his books at the workshop, so if you’d like to borrow it, let me know! His books are also available for purchase on Amazon.

My Favorite Tools for Reading Online  📖 💻

Reading text online can be a challenge. We could easily use a text-to-speech tool like Select and Speak or Read and Write, however, with MCAS and many other texts moving online, it is now a reality that all students will need to learn how to decipher text on the screen. There are many great tools to assist when reading online.  The video below shows a few of my favorites that assist with screen reading. These tools are free and available for all students.  The extension Mercury Reader clears the clutter, inverts the page coloring, changes the font and overall can clean up the page when reading online.  BeeLine Reader is another great extension that changes the font and alters the color of the text on the page. This extension has been shown to greatly assist those with dyslexia. Font changer is an extension that will allow you to customize the font, and size of the font, for all sites you visit.  Line Height Adjuster allows you to put more spacing between lines of text on the page and Visor provides a masking tool when reading online.  It is important to note that the online MCAS does provide similar tools for all students when taking the exam. Allowing students to utilize these tools when reading online may greatly aide in their success when it comes to reading text online!

 Accessibility Settings in Chrome 🔎 👍

Did you know that the Chromebook has many accessibility settings already built in? There are many beneficial settings for students, even more than just the popular ones you may see such as inverting the contrast, bigger mouse arrow, or magnification.  The video below shows many of the lesser known accessibility features within the Chrome settings.

Assistive Tech Presentation  📽️

Below, is the presentation I gave at Medfield Digital Learning day that contains ALL of my favorite AT tools. It also includes an example Assistive Technology Evaluation that I conducted, if you wish to see it.  New tools come out at such a rapid pace, there are probably even better ones now that are on this month-old presentation!

I hope you’re able to find the tools you need to assist every student in his or her success. If you ever want help finding a tech tool, feel free to reach out!

oFISHally Yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟

Pescado Navidad 🐟 🎄

I hope you are all having  a great week!  Shout Out to Kim Parsloe this week, who got me thinking about all sorts of tools to assist students with language translation. Imagine coming to our school, from another country, and not understanding any English – what a challenge for both student and teacher! Technology, luckily, can help!  Check out some tips and tricks below (I also updated my Holiday Tech Doc found at the end of the post):

Translating Tech Tools 

Google Translate has both a website and extension that make it easy to copy and paste language into a platform and have it translated into a variety of languages.

website: https://translate.google.com/

Extension: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-translate/aapbdbdomjkkjkaonfhkkikfgjllcleb?hl=en

Website Translator  

If you have a website you like to use, that is able to be translated, Google Website Translator is a great tool.  Simply paste the URL into the translator and it will turn the site into the language chosen (if possible). Unfortunately, not all sites can be translated.

http://itools.com/tool/google-translate-web-page-translator

Learn a new language 

DuoLingo is a program that will help students learn a new language!  It’s cute and fun and may assist your English speaking students communication with new friends!

Website: https://www.duolingo.com/

Extension: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/duolingo-on-the-web/aiahmijlpehemcpleichkcokhegllfjl?hl=en

Translating Docs into other Languages 

Another reason to work in Docs! Any Google Doc can be translated into a variety of languages.  Take a look at the GIF below. Simply go to Tools and choose Translate Document. It will not be a perfect translation, but it should help!

 

Audio Translator 

The extension Select and Speak will translate any text into another language and read it aloud.  Take a look at the video below. Like Docs, this translation will not be perfect, but it will assist in understanding. Not all languages are available, but there are over 30 to choose from.

Holiday Tech 

To make sure we get the latest HOLIDAY activities ….

My favorite Blogger – Eric Curts – put out the 12 days of Techmas (click here)…Guess what is Day #1….PEAR DECK and the new add-on for Slides. This is AMAZING.  I’m sure the rest of his days will be great too, check out his holiday tech by clicking each day available on the image I linked above.

You can also click here for my Google Doc of Holiday Tech that spans PreK-12. I’ve added a few items to it this week, like Magnetic Poetry!

 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

oFISHally yours,

Erin Fisher 🐟 🐟 🐟