Arkansas Transition Summit
October 22, 2014
Using technology no longer requires sitting at a desk. Laptops, tablets, phones, and the “cloud” have made us mobile. Students and teachers have a wide-range of tools to help them be creative and productive, and technology is more accessible than ever. Every individual is different, so it’s great to know that there’s such a large variety of websites and apps that can amplify our interests and help us reach our goals. Technology can engage and empower students in classrooms, and that same technology might help develop an individual’s transition plan. Let’s take a look at websites and apps that can help with college, careers, and adult living–technology that can help us make the most of our strengths and support our needs.
How does technology make you feel? See some of our expressive photos on this Padlet wall: padlet.com/tonyv/summit. Padlet is a free website where you can create walls. You can post text, images, videos, and files to the wall. And, you can invite others to also post to a wall. You can learn a lot more about collaborative sticky note walls in my video.
Judith Newman writes To Siri, With Love: How One Boy With Autism Became BFF With Apple’s Siri
Technology can be used to amplify interests dreams, desires, and abilities. Technology can help make learning enjoyable, memorable, and worthwhile.
- Record audio! Radio WillowWeb is a podcast by elementary students. Using GarageBand for Mac or iOS is a great way to edit audio without having to record the whole thing. There's also AudioBoo and RecordMP3.org for recording simplified audio.
- Create talking photos with Funny Movie Maker for iOS or Blabberize.com.
- Make animations using Puppet Pals HD for iPad or wideo.co.
- Create digital books using Book Creator (there's a free version) or Zooburst.com.
- Make zooming presentations with Prezi.com or the Prezi iPad app.
- Technology can also help students by giving them a safe, consistent, and digital place to store notes, photos, observations, and personal knowledge. Read more.
- I've put together a document called Show What You Know Using Web and Mobile Apps. It has different end products that students and teachers can make. For each kind of product I've listed two web-based tools and two iPad apps that can be used to create such a product. Most all are free or have free versions.
Technology can be used to support our needs.
- Simply having a camera is powerful. Instead of handwriting lots of notes, snap a photo. Take a picture of how a workstation needs to be arranged. Take a video of a teacher or supervisor giving important directions. You can refer to all of this whenever you need it in your camera library!
- Google's Chrome web browser has extensions, which are little programs that add features. If you're logged into Chrome, then your extensions follow you on any computer. Unfortunately extensions don't work on tablets and phones.
- Some useful Chrome extensions include: Readability, MagicScroll Web Reader, SpeakIt!, Clipped, Super Simple Highlighter, and StayFocused.
- Interested in more extensions? Check out this Symbaloo, the Chrome Toolbox website, and the Chrome Web Store.
- Tony' Quick Tip: Since you see your Lock Screen or desktop wallpaper each time you wake up your device, it is handy to use that as a place to put things you want to see at a glance, like a schedule, handwritten reminders. I simply wrote “Remember Permission Slip” in Skitch, saved it to the Photo Library on my iPad, and open the Photos app to make it the wallpaper.
- Games can make learning more accessible to students because they can turn ordinary content into something engaging. Check out CrossWordLabs to make online crosswords with your very own vocabulary terms. Kahoot is a game-based classroom response system. The teacher can create quizzes and surveys on getkahoot.com. Students join in on any device or computer by entering the game-pin at kahoot.it. Read more about using games to study.
Technology can help teachers be more productive and creative.
- Siri or Google Now can be your handy assistant, especially for reminders. Just ask to be reminded at a specific time or place.
- Find easily recognizable symbols and icons at The Noun Project. You can use any image for free, as long as you credit the designer. You must sign in to download images. The download is a .zip file, so getting to the .png image inside can sometimes be challenge. Watch my video Free Images for Your Projects to learn more about The Noun Project and two other sources of free images.
- Remind is a free website and app that enables teachers to send messages to groups of students. You can schedule text message and emails to be delivered a specific time, making them great for reminders. Don't worry, your phone number is never shared with students (and theirs is never shared with you).
- Doodle can simply your scheduling. Instead of sending emails back and forth, you send out one link where everyone indicates when they are available. A quick look at the results can tell you when the perfect time to hold that meeting would be.
- Post-it Plus is a free iOS app. Did you brainstorm at a meeting? Want to continue later or organize the ideas? Use the app to quickly snap an image of the Post-it notes (or any brand of sticky note). The app then lets you organize the notes on your device and easily share them.
- Songify turns speech into music automatically. Perhaps Signify can help make what you have to say more catchy and memorable. It's available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire.
Poll Everywhere is a web service where you can ask multiple choice and open-ended questions. You're limited to 40 responses per poll with the free version, but you can make as many polls as you'd like. Here are the results from our polls: