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Making a Difference:
Educational Practices That Work!

February 29 - March 2 | Hershey Lodge and Convention Center

Strategies for Success – Or, I Didn’t Know I Could Do That For Free!

02/29/12, Hershey, PA


PRESENTER: It is my pleasure today to introduce Karen Janowski. The session is Strategies for Success, or I Didn't Know I Could Do that for Free. Karen is an assistive and education technology
consultant who maintains a private practice, consulting in the greater Boston area, and works part-time in the Newton, Massachusetts public schools. She presents locally and nationally, and
is an adjunct professor at Simmons College Graduate School of Education. For some of us, perhaps many of us in the room, we're familiar with Karen for her enormously useful wiki site,
Free UDL Tech Toolkit, which you'll be learning much more about this afternoon. Enjoy. It's my great pleasure to introduce Karen Janowski. KAREN JANOWSKI: Thank you so much for coming to this
session today. I really welcome all of you. This is my passion to share this information. I feel that once we get this into the hands of educators, then our students benefit, and that's what
it's all about. We want to reach every student in our classroom because we all work with struggling learners. One of the things, though, it's been a little bit -- I' m a chocoholic. I don't
know if anyone else is in this room. Did you notice -- I came in last night. Did you notice they have chocolate lotion? Unbelievable. I'm bathed in -- it's chocolate lotion, chocolate
shampoo, and chocolate conditioner. It's unbelievable. I can't wait to take it home and share it with my kids. But anyway, that aside, I've got chocolate here, everywhere. I'm trying not
to be distracted. I will be focused on what we all want to learn about today. But what we need to start with is we want to build a foundation. We're going to be looking at tools, but we need
to know why we're using the tools. It's not just about the tools. We need to understand the pedagogy behind them. So we want to promote success. And the big point is this is my whole reason
for being. I want to equip and empower every student for success. How many of you work with struggling learners? Anyone not? Okay. Oh, you don't? AUDIENCE MEMBER: I have a struggling
learner. KAREN JANOWSKI: You have a struggling learner, your child. Your child is -- yes, I did too. He's now 21 and doing well. But let me just get a sense of who the audience is as well.
How many of you are special educators? Okay, about half. How many of you are general educators? Oh, a very small percentage. How many of you are administrators? How many of you are assistive
technology consultants or specialists? How many of you are SLPs? Any OTs? Who am I missing? Parents. Oh, great, excellent. Parents, students? Any -- and who's the other? What are you
other? AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible] KAREN JANOWSKI: Mental health agency, great. Well, it's great to have all of you here, so it's a very mixed audience. The largest percentage were
special educators. How many of you have heard this definition of insanity by Albert Einstein? Doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. Well, I think that with the
things that we'll be going over today, you will learn some new ways to do traditional instruction and teaching. I shared with you what my passion is. I did have a Google doc because I was
really interested to know what all of your passions were. But since we don't have wi-fi, I wasn't able to do that. But let me just hear from you -- from some of you. What is your passion?
Can you describe your passion in just five words or less? Anyone want to start? And Bill, why don't I put you on the spot since you're right in front? BILL: Technology. KAREN
JANOWSKI: Technology, okay. BILL: iPhone, iPad. KAREN JANOWSKI: The iPad, MacBook, so you're Apple technology? Are you really excited about what they're announcing next week, March 7th,
10 o'clock? BILL: Somewhat. KAREN JANOWSKI: Yeah. Who else? What other -- what are your passions in the room? We all come to this session with a passion. What are your passions? Yes?
Thank you. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Children on the spectrum. KAREN JANOWSKI: Working with children on the spectrum, fantastic. Excellent. Who else? Susan? Universal design is a passion. I hope
that each one of you does have a passion about something, something that does motivate you to try to reach every learner in your classroom. Anyone else want to share a passion? Speak right
up. We've got a shy audience. Yes, thank you. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Getting kids to read. KAREN JANOWSKI: Getting kids to read. Fantastic passion. Other passions? See, this is a perfect example
of why universal design, which we will be talking about a little bit later, is so much -- is so important. The Google form would have allowed all of you to participate anonymously, whereas
now you have to raise your hand and speak publically. So it's that opportunity for an alternative method of demonstrating what you want to share and know. It's a perfect example. We only got
four people to raise their hands. Anyone else? Because you [inaudible] and we've got the same kids raising their hands too, right? Google forms, Google docs. There are other ways to include
all of our kids. Yes? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Including kids in their neighborhood school [inaudible]. KAREN JANOWSKI: So including kids in their neighborhood schools. Thank you, great passion.
Anyone else? This is your opportunity. We all have passions. I know you have yours. You'll keep it to yourself for now, but maybe later you'll share it with me. We're also going to
reflect on our practices today. We want to think about why we're doing what we're doing. Let's reflect on that. Do you have students who look like this in your classroom? I do. Students that
fall asleep. This is what they especially look like at high school. If those of you who work at the high school level, a lot of our students have given up by that time. How about this? Do you
have students whose handwriting looks like this? What grade is that student? 2nd grade? 12th grade? So yes, we do see that kind of output at all different levels. This actually is a
7th grade student who is on the autism spectrum. And if you notice this, my background is also as an OT. He tends to draw over his letters and reform them. How quickly is he working compared
to the rest of the class? How does he study that worksheet? That's a -- you know, that's a study guide. How does he study that? You probably have other students. This is actually a 5th
grader. So we see a lot of output issues. This is a student -- I included this particular slide because this is a 2nd or 3rd grader, I think, and this is his final copy. And how hard did he
have to work using handwriting without tiers, special lined paper? How hard did he have to work to make that legible? Are there other alternatives for our kids, and are we letting them use
those alternatives? We want to provide a foundation for why we're doing. And I would always question you, when we use paper, where is the disability? What grade is this student? You say 12th
again? It could be any grade. This particular worksheet is a graphic organizer. I see graphic organizer is written into many IEP accommodations. It's an allowable accommodation. This is a
5th grade student. How effective is that paper-based graphic organizer for him? So what alternatives do we have? We want to think about where is the decibility and can we get our students
away from that discouragement, that learned helplessness, into this? What are we seeing here? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Totally engaged. KAREN JANOWSKI: Totally engaged, absolutely. What
else do you notice? Excitement. Anything else you notice? Is an audience. It's not a solitary activity. What do we think about video games? What do we think? Are they okay? They're not
educational. Any other thoughts? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Violence. KAREN JANOWSKI: Violence, okay. They're addictive. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Kids spend too much time on them. KAREN JANOWSKI: Kids
spend too much time on them. Let me give you an alternative perspective because they don't all have to violent. The engagement that we see there, when a student is playing a video game and
they fail, what do they do? They immediately try again. They problem solve. They don't think about giving up. They don't think about repeating the activity that they just did. They do some
critical thinking and they try again immediately. Now let me ask you, when your kids in your classroom fail, what do they do? They give up. So how can we capture the excitement and that
motivation to succeed in our classrooms in the same way? So think about that. You know, yes, we can -- we can disparage video games, but there's power in using video games, or using the
ideas that engage kids with our own students. This is also what we want to see in our students. How many of our kids who are struggling readers have this level of content? This is what we
want. My own son, just to give a little sidebar, he was on an IEP from 2nd through 12th grade, struggling reader, classic language-based learning disability. When he graduated from high
school, he said, I will never read another book. Killed me as a parent who loves to read. But -- and he has read a few books, but audio versions. He used Bookshare all through high school
and he's now reading -- he actually works at the Apple Store. He's a perfect Apple Store employee. He's great. He always calls me and says, mom, what's that app for kids who can't read? Or
what's that app for kids who have executive function -- he's asking me all the time because he wants to help other people because he knows what it was like for himself. But it does -- you
know, this is what I want to see for every student, this level of contentment around reading. So let's just take a little moment to talk amongst ourselves at our tables. I want you to think,
what are you currently doing to reach all the needs of your struggling learners? And think about, is it working? So talk about what you're currently doing and we'll do a five-minute
discussion just at your tables, okay? And I'm going to set a five-minute timer. And begin. I didn't have to say a thing. You're a very compliant group. Do any of you use that particular
tool right now? Yes, it's a free online resource. Let's stop it. So that's called And so you can use that in your classrooms as well, and you can see how it silenced all
of you. Really effective. So who wants to share? Who -- let's talk about the things that -- anybody want to share things that you discussed at your table that are currently working
[inaudible]. We could also talk about things [inaudible]. Excellent. Can everybody hear? It worked a little bit. Oh, there's a problem with the microphone. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hello? I'll
stand like a statue. Safari montage, discovery learning, text to speech, speech to text, voice recordings with the iPad and others, the SMART Board and Livescribe pen. As someone in
secondary transition, just getting people to revisit that process, the set process, because sometimes we have kids who are at that level and they're not reading on a second grade level. And
we're just trying to encourage them, revisit, to look at AT as a way of being able to be included in the general education setting. Bookshare was another one we talked about. KAREN
JANOWSKI: [inaudible] And some of you, you may have heard terms that you never even heard of before. Did anyone hear things that she suggested that you haven't heard of before? A few of you,
yes. PRESENTER: I think we're going to have to -- is this working? Hand it to -- AUDIENCE MEMBER: Is it still on? Oh man, I promised not to sing. Well, my whole deal is that they
focused on the tools. And what we were focusing on -- oh, girls, boys. They were focusing on the tools, and it was great that you heard all of those, but what we were focusing on at our
table really was a sense of frustration because none of us here at the table are actually teachers. And I think part of our focus was how do we take this training and the knowledge of the
tools that were mentioned previously at this table to the general education classroom? And how many people raised their hands that said they were general educators? Raise them. One,
two, maybe three, four. And you know, that rocks that you're here because the special educators more so, not always, know about that bag of tricks. And what we talked about was that most
educators, especially if they've been in it for a long time, are sitting with a bag of 25 tricks. And when they get to number 26, they don't know where to go because they've gone through 25
and they might go back to number one, and that comes back to let's just do it over and over and over again. And it's still not working. And we have supervisors here, we have consultants
sitting at this table, and we have a parent sitting at this table. And there is a sense of kind of frustration that general educators and special educators tend to just run through the
typical list of things that they do. And when they don't work, they don't know where to go. And I think some of the solutions are realizing that you do have resources and that you do have
teams that can help you with that. So I'll stop talking. KAREN JANOWSKI: Thank you. And I think coming to a session like this, yes, it is a lot about tools and that's why it's so important, I
believe we have to [inaudible]. Should I use that one? Is it not working anymore? What? It was -- was it working okay before? Not really? Okay. Is that better? Okay, I'll try to speak a
little bit louder too so that you can hear me. Anybody else want to reflect on what you discussed at your table in terms of what you're currently doing? I know that the two groups that spoke, you
are the AT specialists and they are at the forefront. But some of you others may not have had a similar conversation. But we can -- so the big thing is, no matter what you do, is evaluate
what you're doing and is it working? Some of you may have seen this video, and I think that this is a good -- Joe's Non-Netbook. Who has seen this video already? Just a few of you.
What I want you to understand is it is a different world for our students. And so here we can watch this one. [VIDEO BEGINS] TEACHER: Joe, what are you doing there? JOE: [inaudible].
I don't know. TEACHER: What are you -- what's going on? JOE: Well, this is some -- like this is a fun tool. TEACHER: What was -- you said you were having a problem earlier? JOE: Oh
yeah. Wait, where's -- yeah. So I went to read more about Fredrick Douglass or maybe like see a larger image, so I double-clicked on the picture, but nothing's happening. And then I can't really
read the text because it's kind of small, so I'm looking for the system preferences so I can make the text bigger, but I can't find it. TEACHER: Laura, you said there was a problem
[inaudible]. LAURA: You can't double-click the image because it's not blue highlighted. And the words you don't know, they're not blue highlighted. JOE: Well, wait, cotton is king. That's
blue. TEACHER: What are you doing there? It's what? MALE: It might be a link. Joe, click on it. TEACHER: What's wrong, Joe? JOE: I don't know. MALE: Joe, drag that picture. You
could save it. That could be useful. JOE: I don't even have a folder anywhere to put it in. Like if I drag it, it would just be like right here. MALE: How are you doing that? You're like
changing pages. TEACHER: You're just clicking through? What's going on? JOE: It's like micro technology. No, I'm just turning [inaudible]. But it's like micro technology, so everything
is inside the page. TEACHER: Inside the page? That's insane. Well, we'll check back later, see if you fixed your problem. [VIDEO ENDS] KAREN JANOWSKI: So you get the point? What do you
think? Are we teaching to those students? I've shown this to a group of reading specialists. They were a little appalled because, you know, some people still like -- there are different
methods of presentation. But what do you think about this particular video? Does that resonate with you? It's funny, yesterday I visited -- I flew into Baltimore because it was easier to
fly into from Baltimore -- Boston to Baltimore. And I visited one of my college friends, and she's now a grandmother. She's with her two-year-old granddaughter and she has an iPad and I was
showing her my iPad. It was unbelievable. I was mesmerized watching this two-year-old girl using the iPad. She knew the closing swipe. She knew how to get in -- use the button at the bottom.
We gave an iPad to my 86-year-old grandfather, who is very tech proficient. He's just not having a good time with this. But she knew everything. She knew the on-off button. She knew how to
change the programs. She knew how to scan everything to find her preferred aps. It was unbelievable. And I think where those two-year-olds, in three and four years, they'll be in our
classrooms. And how are we preparing for them? It's unbelievable. So it is a different world for our kids. And I know that we know that. Here's another one. So are we taking these
things into consideration? I just want to take another little detour and talk for just a minute about what is AT because I think it's really important to understand about assistive
technology. This is the federal definition. So any item, whether commercially available or off the shelf, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a
student with disabilities. What is not AT? What? What is not AT? Pencil grip is AT. A speech generating device is AT. An iPad can be AT because that's off the shelf and it's used to
increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities. Specially lined paper can be AT. It's a whole range, low to high tech. What is not AT is an adult, an adult support. A
paraprofessional is not AT. Someone sitting next to a student, helping them edit their work, not AT. But can we use other tools that are AT that help that student to be successful? And it's
also any service that helps a student to benefit from AT. Let's take a minute to talk about universal design for learning. How many of you are familiar with the term UDL? Who wants to tell
us what it means? Susan -- I know it's Susan's passion, and I know many of you in the -- somebody here said -- Susan said it was her passion. It's an incredible passion because universal
design for learning is universal. We can meet 98% of the kids in our classrooms when we design our instructional methods using universal methods. Do you know what field it came from? Where
did the term universal design for learning come from? What field? Architecture. Completely unrelated to education. But for those of you who are new to the term universal design for learning,
let me just give you a little history about it. It came from the field of architecture. And when you think about universal design in architecture, what kinds of things do you think about?
What are examples of universal design in architecture? Curb cuts, classic example. They're put in place for people with disabilities. Who benefits from them? Everyone. Why? You could be pushing
someone on a stroller, rollerblading. I mean, everybody can benefit. How about those levered door handles? They're required in all new construction. Who benefits? Everyone. Do you ever
carry packages or a child, and you're opening the door with your elbow? Everybody benefits. That's universal design in architecture. Universal design in learning, again, it's put in place
for students with disabilities, but all students benefit. And there is main ideas behind it. It is based upon extensive brain research. And you can have a whole day session -- actually, CAST
up in Boston does do a whole week-long session, workshop just on understanding universal design for learning. But it also reframes -- we don't think about things as disability. We think
about things as having variability. Sometimes we -- we want to focus away from labels and think about variability. [VIDEO BEGINS] MAN: One of the changes in version 2.0 is a greater
emphasis on variability rather than disability. Both the field of disabilities studies and understanding of cognitive science have suggested that a much better use of a word would be
variability. It's not specifically about disability, although it includes that, but it's about how do we respond as an educational system to the variability in the students that we teach?
Learners of all ages, of all nationalities, of all types are highly variable. Whether they're disabled or not depends on their interaction with the context. So variability needs to be
emphasized, not disability. [VIDEO ENDS] KAREN JANOWSKI: That's David Rose. David Rose has spoken here at this conference before, and he is one of the leading founders of the concept of
universal design for learning. And that's how he's trying to reframe the whole conversation around UDL. The main ideas to understand about universal design for learning is to offer multiple
methods. So you want to opt for multiple methods of engagement. How can we engage kids into the process of learning? How can we engage kids and offer them multiple methods of presentation of
material? And then finally, are we offering multiple methods of expressing what they learned and what they know? I walk into many classrooms and I see a strong reliance on teacher at the
front of the board, a lot of lecture-based textbooks, a lot of worksheets. I see a ton of worksheets. Has anyone seen something different? Worksheets. Do you see a lot of worksheets? What
are our alternatives? We have to think of multiple methods of expression, other ways to help kids demonstrate their knowledge and what they know. One of the ways that it's different,
say, from differentiated instruction or from assistive technology is it's proactive. It's embedded. You think about what you're doing prior to presenting the unit to your students. you want
to reach all learners using universal design for learning concepts. And it's all about variability, not disability. And the final, huge thing is we offer kids choices. Are we doing that now?
Are we giving kids choices? So it's multiple methods. This is a nice summary too. We'll make real progress only when we realize that our problem in education is not one of performance, but
one of design. And when we use universal design for learning, we are considering the design at the outset. These are two great resources, the and Have any of you
explored those websites already? A few. Let me just take you then just for a second for those of you who this is new, because this is an incredible resource to really help you understand
universal design for learning. And here's a framework. And it's a quick and easy little handout right here. I mean, there's so many resources to use. UDL at a glance, UDL guidelines. They
have teacher-friendly UDL tools. This is really helpful to see. They also have a YouTube channel which helps you to understand. There's providing principles, providing multiple methods.
Oops, sorry. And it shows you how to do it. So it really breaks down the whole process of how you can use these principles in your classroom. Great resource to use. I do -- how many of you --
I know Susan said turn off your phones, your cell phones. I need you to take them out right now. Get out your smart -- get out your cell phones and text. I want to know the answer to this
question. Are you currently using online, free, interactive resources to meet the needs of your struggling learners? It's yes or no. Just yes or no. So you're going to text the code to 22333. And
then whether it's yes or no, you input this code. So we've got one response. We can see this is -- no one knows how you're answering it. I just want to get a sense of the room. Is anyone using
poll anywhere in their classrooms right now? Great. So all of -- just like that, we've got 29 results. 38 results. Oh, maximum number of votes. I'm sorry, I did the free version. I'm all
about free, so sorry. I hope that that's a reflection of the room. It seemed to be going that way. So we had about two-thirds of you are currently using free, online, interactive resources.
And about a third of you aren't at this point. Boy, that total is more than 100, 101%. That's weird, huh? So let -- what are some of the free, interactive, online resources, those of you - -
so that means about 25, 28 of you are using them. What free, online resources are you currently using? Yes. AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible]. We use Xtra Math. KAREN JANOWSKI: Xtra
Math? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, the letter X. KAREN JANOWSKI: Xtra Math. Okay, great. And that's an interactive website? Great, I don't know that one. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Feedback and
reports. KAREN JANOWSKI: Feedback and reports. Excellent. How about around reading? What interactive websites are you using for reading? ABC Mouse? Who said that? ABC Mouse? Tell us about
that one. AUDIENCE MEMBER: It's interactive and for each student using it individually [inaudible]. KAREN JANOWSKI: So ABC Mouse and you can set -- and it's free? And so that's free for
educators. Excellent. What other ones are you using around reading supports, literacy? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Starfall. KAREN JANOWSKI: Starfall, great, is a great one, yes. How about for
writing support? A free, online, interactive tool for writing? What are you using for writing? Anyone? Yes? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Read, Write, Think. KAREN JANOWSKI: Read, Write, Think.
Excellent student interactive resources. Anyone else? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Scholastic Story Starters. KAREN JANOWSKI: Scholastic Story Starters, great. Kids love it. We'll be looking at those. So
I think what we'll do -- I mean, some of you are already using these tools, which is great, but let's look at real quickly some guiding principles, needless to say. I like to take a little
detour on this particular slide as well. What do you notice here? Frustration. What else? Yes? AUDIENCE MEMBER: There's someone right there working. KAREN JANOWSKI: There's someone
working with him. He's not alone, and yet he's still that frustrated. What else? Paper and pencil. You can't really tell. Maybe those of you who are closer. There's also red marks on the
sheet. This kid is really frustrated and he's not learning independence. I always like to reference this article too because, again, I don't know how it is in Pennsylvania, but in Massachusetts,
we see a lot of paraprofessionals, instructional assistants being assigned to specific students as though that's a good thing. And this is a phenomenal article that I recommend to
everyone. I recommend it when I speak in parent groups as well. Be Careful What You Wish For, Five Reasons to be Concerned about the Assignment of Individual Paraprofessionals. It was
published I think in 2005 by the Council for Exceptional Children. And you can google it and find it. This is the -- I think we'll be able to get to the link, although there's a little bit
of a delay. Let's see. Well, if you google it, hopefully you will find it as well. If you need to get the resource, I can give you the link to it. But it's a great -- really important -- it's
really important for us to talk about as a team. Unexpected error has occurred. We always have unexpected errors, right? Especially in technology. So we'll just -- joyful learning. How
old is the student? Kindergarten. Does he look like that in five years? One size does not fit all. Toolbelt theory. Again, I want -- have any of you heard of Ira Socol's toolbelt theory?
Some of you have. It is a -- the concept that he created is the idea that it is imperative on us as special educators to equip our students for life beyond school. We've got to show them the
tools that will help them to be successful. We cannot limit it. We cannot bring in our own biases. We have to show them all of the possibilities. So again, if you google toolbelt theory and Ira
Socol, S-O-C-O-L, you'll get a link to this particular blog post. TTWWADI doesn't cut it anymore. Does anybody know what TTWWADI is? Look at the picture. You might get a hint from that.
What is TTWWADI anyone? That's the way we've always done it. Doesn't work for our kids anymore. That two-year-old, Jordon, who was using the iPad yesterday, the way she's always done it,
that's going to be the way she's always done it. It's going to be completely foreign to her to have to use the methods that we used traditionally. We want to model lifelong learning. Mistake
tolerant versus mistake intolerant to me is a crucial guiding principle. Do you -- have you heard that concept before? This is -- this was something that I learned in my graduate program
about 12 years ago. Richard Wanderman talked about this. Think about the tools we use. Are they mistake tolerant or mistake intolerant? So a great way to think about that is to picture a
mound of clay, and you're creating something with that clay. And you make a mistake, what do you do? You smush it back up, start all over again. Not an issue. It's mistake tolerant. How
about if you sculpt with stone and you make a mistake? You make another mistake, eventually you could end up with just a very small pebble left. That's an example of a mistake intolerant
tool. So think about the concept of mistake tolerance in the tools that you use with your students. So classic tool that we use in every classroom is paper and pencil. Is that a -- is that a
mistake tolerant tool? You say no? Why not? AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible]. If I watch them on the computer or something, they just -- KAREN JANOWSKI: So you see when students make mistakes
with paper and pencil and the erase, how many times have they erased and they've erased a hole right through that paper? So that's an example - - even though you can erase, is it really
mistake tolerant? So think about the tools that you're using in your classrooms. Think about those poster boards. We assign poster boards all the time. Is that a mistake tolerant tool? Very
basic principle for any of us as educators. We want to absolutely believe that we have a sound educational rationale for everything we do. We want to be innovative. And challenge
assumptions. We have to challenge assumptions. We've got to be there -- be the ones to challenge assumptions. So let's get into some specific tool ideas. Let's do some exploring. So what
we're going to be working off of primarily, and this is on your handout, this particular website, is the UDL Tech Toolkit wiki. And this was created by me and Joyce Valenza, who's a local library
media specialist here in Pennsylvania. She's got an international reputation. She's unbelievable. How many of you know Joyce? Just you, Susan? Wow. You live in her district. She is an
unbelievable resource. So we created this online tool, and we will go there. Actually, we'll talk about specific tools and that will get us there. So let's think about textbooks. What do we
think about textbooks? Do they -- do they meet the needs of all of our learners in our classroom? Who do they not meet the needs for? Struggling readers. In what way do they not meet the
reads -- needs? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Vocabulary. KAREN JANOWSKI: Vocabulary. AUDIENCE MEMBER: The text itself. KAREN JANOWSKI: The text itself. AUDIENCE MEMBER: It's all at a reading
level and the students may not be at that level. KAREN JANOWSKI: It's at a particular reading level and they may not be reading at that level. How many times do we have eighth graders who are
reading at a 5th grade level? Or a fifth grader reading at a third grade level? How are we helping them to access the text? What are we currently doing to help them access the text? And not
the AT specialists at this point. The rest of you, how are you helping your 5th grade struggling readers or your 8th grade or your 12th grade struggling readers access the text? What are you
currently doing? You're doing something. What are you -- how are you helping them access the text? Learning center people, let me put you on the spot over here. You're high school learning
center. AUDIENCE MEMBER: The text we use have audio. KAREN JANOWSKI: So they have audio textbooks. So how are they listening to them? AUDIENCE MEMBER: It's an individual assignment. They
have their headphones. They just plug into our computers in our classroom. KAREN JANOWSKI: Do you -- and so they've got the textbook version is in an audio format? Great. Do all of you
have that kind of option? Because we don't always have that option. So there is a tool for that. In fact, there are many tools that are free. And so what we'll do is right now I'm on the UDL Tech
Toolkit wiki, and this is the homepage. And I'm on the free text to speech page. So here are all different free text to speech options that we can show our students. How many of you
have -- how many of you are Mac districts? A few of you. Do you have the system preferences set up so that students can listen to any text? It's built into the Mac operating system. It's
already there. It's free. So the way to do that is -- it's described right here how to do that if you are in a Mac district and you don't have that already set up for your students. Show all of
your kids. This is universal design. This helps your struggling readers overcome that deficit. Those of you who are using iPads, do you know that you can listen -- it's built into the
operating system that you can listen to the selections read to you. Do you know about that? Does anybody not know about it? Do you know how -- you know what? I'm going to show you too
because this is -- this is phenomenal. And the iPad is coming out with a new version next month, so who knows what more is going to be added to it. You have to see this if you don't already
know. So many districts I know are buying like large numbers for whole classes or things, or doing pilot studies. Those of you who have access to this, you need to know about the ability to
speak a selection. So I'm going to open up my iBooks app and I will -- okay. I'm using 3G. Here we go. Okay, good. All right. This is a publication that Seth Godin just wrote about stop
stealing dreams, about education. So in any case, what I can do, I can go to any page and I can touch my finger until text is highlighted. And you see how it says speak? I can choose the
rest of the page and touch speak. COMPUTER: Back to the wrong school 150 years ago. Adults were incensed about child labor. Low-wage kids were taking jobs away from hard-working adults.
Sure, there was some moral outrage about seven- year-olds losing fingers and -- KAREN JANOWSKI: And I can pause it. That is built into the iPad operating system. It's already there. When
you're using the iPad, you can also get a definition of the word. You can also highlight and add a note. We can pay big money for that using something like Kurzweil, or you can use the speak
selection feature built into the iPad operating system. Unfortunately, by default Apple has it turned off. So those of you who have iPads, let me just show you. You go into Settings if
you're not familiar with this. So go into Settings. We go into General. We scroll up, down to Accessibility. And one of our options says Speak Selection. It's the fifth one down from the
top. It defaults to off. What we want to do, if any of your kids have iPads, we want to turn it from off to on. The other thing I notice is it's about at that level, which for many of our
kids it's too fast. So I always just slow down the speaking rate. COMPUTER: Speak selection reads selected content. KAREN JANOWSKI: And again, show your students how they can do that. This is
built into the iPad operating system. Phenomenal. So how many of you knew that and are showing that to students? That's part of toolbelt theory, showing them what's available. So we'll go
back. Sorry. Is that helpful information to know? Great. Okay, so there's our free, online text to speech. Some of them are downloads. Some of them you just copy and paste. Available to our
students. So let's -- oh, this is a brand new tool that just came out from Don Johnston. Do you know about this? Just was released. Actually, they -- so it's the PAR, the Protocol for
Accommodations in Reading. So we often, as special educators and assistive technology specialists, we often recommend text to speech. But Denise Decoste has come up with a system where you
can identify whether text to speech is actually going to be helpful for a student or not. And it's a free resource. It's absolutely tremendous. And the link to it, what you can do is you
can go into I recommend this to everybody that works in special ed. And actually, in general ed too because the thing -- I mean, any educator, everyone should know about
this. You don't have to be an AT specialist to use this. You don't have to be a special educator. Anyone can use this tool. And it doesn't even take long to use, and they've standardized
some reading passages that you use. So you have the student read silently to themselves. Then you have an adult read to them another passage. And then the third step is you have them use
text to speech and you see if there's any objective change in what they understood. And it's really -- so it helps us objectively analyze whether text to speech will be beneficial to a student or
not. So I think if we go to Our Products, if we go into Reading, it's somewhere -- it's in the Don Johnston -- here it is. If you go to Don Johnston and if you go into Products and then you
go into the Reading category, it is right here. This is definitely a tool that you want to use. So it's a systematic assessment for making database reading accommodation decisions for
students. Really helpful for us. Okay, how about those broken pencils? How about those writing issues? Guess what? There's a tool for that. So again, we go to the UDL Tech Toolkit wiki and
we go to the Writing Tools page. Now at the top of the Writing Tools page is some writing support tools. There's things like the text-- my study bar and text to speech. There's synonym support. How many
of you have shown your students how to use synonym support right in Microsoft Word? Do you know about that feature? We have to let our kids know. How many of you know about it? Okay. Oh,
you've got it. This is -- don't you use it all the time? This is something that you have to see. If you don't already know this -- you probably -- maybe you do, but you just didn't realize
what it's called. So I'm going to open up my Microsoft Word document and we'll say we are learning some great new tools. All right. Let's say we've got our 12th grader or even our 7th
grader, whatever. And we know their vocabulary is much higher than that, but they have spelling challenges so that they're not using the vocabulary that reflects their knowledge. So one of
the things that we can do is we can show them how to right-click, open up a new window, and scroll down to synonyms. Oh great, no synonym for new. That's surprising. Let's try great. So just
to give us an idea. I mean, maybe this isn't the best example. But once you click on synonyms, you see synonym choices. We've got to show our kids this. I show this to students all the time
and they love it. So let's see if we have another synonym for learning. So there's some other options. The other thing too is they have to know if it makes sense in the context of the
sentence. Another strategy that I show them too, so here's one that we might -- so let's say we want to come up with another word besides great. And we don't necessarily like the options, so
no, actually, let me put another, better word in there. So wonderful. So let's -- so we might want to -- we are learning some wonderful, some superb, some astonishing -- how many kids are
using that? They might know -- so maybe it's like, no, I didn't really mean to use astonishing. So now I can go in a few times until I find exactly the word that I need. So let's say maybe I
want to use amazing. Do you think that'll be helpful for your students? How about helpful for you? Use it all the time. I write reports all the time. I use this feature all the time. Do you
know what right-click is for the Mac for those of you who are Mac districts? You don't know? Control-click. Control-click is right-click for the Mac unless you've got your touchpad. But if you
don't, if you've got some older ones and you're using a desktop, control-click is right-click for the Mac. Helpful? Great. So at the top, there's another tool called Paper Rater. This
is cool. How many of you know about Paper Rater? So it is another free, online resource, great for middle school and high school. What you do is you copy and paste the text and you bring it
into this website. And it does free online spellchecking, grammar checking, vocabulary choice, word choice. It also detects plagiarism. So it's great to have your students bring it in. In
fact, I know I've heard of one teacher who requires her students to do it -- to run it through Paper Rater before they turn in their final product. So let's just see what it does. I want to
give you a sense. It does say pricing, but it is free. So I have a document on my desktop. Let me see if I can find it. Here, Paper Rater. So this was a document I did for submission for
something. So I'm just going to use it now for you just so you can see how it works. So it analyzes your paper and you give it a title. And we'll just say -- let me say protocol. And we'll
copy and paste it here. And you -- if it's a research project, you do need to put in the bibliography because it does want to -- it does do plagiarism detection. Select the education level
of this paper's author, so it goes from 6th grade to post-doctorate. So we'll just say this is a 12th grade sample. And select the type of paper you are submitting. And it gives us lots of
choices. I'm going to say it's an essay. And we have read -- you do have to read the terms of service. And then we will do the report. And just like that, we have a report. Now again, it is
a computer. It's just one step, but it helps remove us, as the adult, from the equation, and it gives the student a chance to work on editing their work themselves. So it does your title
checker. It does spell checking, grammar checking, word choice. So you can go step by step through and see what -- how it analyzed this. So we'll call it -- we'll look at the spelling.
So no spelling errors were found. So we'll go to the next one. No grammar errors. I did a great job with my bad phrase score. My score is above average. You know exactly which phrases to
avoid in your writing. My word usage, it gives me the number of words, word count, things like that, the types of words. So again, you could use this as an instructional tool as well. We'll
go, keep going. I did a good job with my transitional words. How many times are we struggling -- are we trying to help our kids use those transitional words? Sentence length. It also gives
me -- oh, I got an excellent score with my vocabulary. But it gave me a B. But it does say it's -- you know, the grade, it does talk -- a little caveat about the grade. But the big
thing is to show the student all of those features that can help them improve the quality of their writing without you needing to sit right next to them, which is how a lot of the editing
work is done. So that's -- anyone think that that's something that they might try with their students? Do you like it? So again, it's another tool just to know about, another tool to tell
our kids about. Whoops. We can also create templates. So here's -- this is free. So this is, I think, from the Empower program. And so that is a specific writing program. And what they do
is a lot of paper-based worksheets to help students to generate their writing. You know, as part of the writing process. So this now was -- what I just did was I took the format of the
paper-based product and I brought it into forms, and now a student can complete it all on the computer without having to worry about -- because the boxes on that worksheet are very small.
And some of our kids can't quite fit all of their writing within those boxes. Some of our kids are writing -- you know, their letter formation is too large. Now it doesn't matter about
that, so they can just tab through and answer the questions. How many of you are doing something like this already? A few, one of you. What are you using? So you're using Word forms.
Okay, so that's under the Forms toolbar. Yes? AUDIENCE MEMBER: I'm a little confused by your -- you're doing great, excellent, and everything up to now, but I'm a little confused on this one.
Can you give us an example, please, on how to use this? KAREN JANOWSKI: An example? So this is a student -- I mean, this is at -- at the Newton Public Schools, middle schools, this is a
classic sheet that the students have to do as part of the writing process. It's typically given to them as a paper product. So instead of having to worry about filling it in, because a lot
of the kids that I get referred to -- that are referred to me, they can't read the paper, what they've written. It's not working for them. So this is a way now that they can do this on the
computer. So it can be on the teacher's website, on the teacher's wiki. It can be available from the school website. Any student can access this from any computer, anywhere once it's
uploaded. Does that help? Does that help? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Basically you're saying instead of having a piece of paper, that's generated [inaudible]. KAREN JANOWSKI: So the question
-- he was confused about how to use this, but so this is instead of the paper-based. Because we've talked about how the paper is a disability for some of our kids and it's mistake
intolerant. This is now mistake tolerant. Yes? AUDIENCE MEMBER: How about kids -- how about the people teaching kids keyboarding? KAREN JANOWSKI: It's a great question. I'm sure we have -- so
the question is, what about keyboarding? What about it? What do we think about keyboarding? Yes? AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible]. We were asked to do it for all students to see when they should
remove from writing to keyboarding, and then is that -- is it appropriate for certain students to be keyboarding or should they still be writing? So we're actually using that document to
figure it out. And then we talk about -- KAREN JANOWSKI: So you're making a lot of decisions around -- she's talking about how they're making that determination for using
keyboarding. AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible]. KAREN JANOWSKI: Yeah, so they're showing a lot of the accessibility features built into the computers. AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible]. KAREN
JANOWSKI: Well, that's the other point. I know Susan and Bill have created a keyboarding program, which is great, Just My Type. Little plug for that. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Just My Type is what
we're using. KAREN JANOWSKI: That's great. So Susan and Bill are excellent resources because you can put in your own text. It doesn't have to be that whole ASDFG. You can practice anything.
But the other thing to keep in mind is what does keyboarding look like for our students? For some of our kids, it's the thumbs. It's that it's -- and it's speech recognition built into the
iPod Touch or the iPhone or the Android phone or the iPad. It's free built into those portable devices that they have in their pockets. Some kids are already creating papers, paragraphs
using those free tools that they have in their pockets. So what does keyboarding look like? I think it's a whole conversation. Does it look like touch typing, the conventional way? Does it
look like being able to thumb type? Because, again, one of the things, I don't know if you've seen it. Again, I'll show you on the iPad how you can separate the -- whoops, doing the wrong
thing. How we can separate the keyboard on the iPad. So instead of being -- we can just -- whoops. We can split it in half. Just give it a second. And so now what I can do -- whoops, we
don't want that. I can just go like this and split my keyboard in half and do it all with my thumbs. AUDIENCE MEMBER: How'd you do that? KAREN JANOWSKI: How'd I do that? AUDIENCE MEMBER:
How'd you do that? KAREN JANOWSKI: So it's built into the new operating -- the latest version. And you just go like this. So you've got to look here to see it. So I'm touching my keyboard and
I'm just separating it in half or bringing it back together. So that can be helpful. So that's what I say, what does keyboarding look like in the future? How many of you are using -- how
many of you are using the Dragon Dictation app? And show this to your students. If they have an iPod Touch or if they have, you know, an Android phone, whatever, there is a Dragon app that's
free. Let's let kids use it. Have you seen how it works? Has anybody not seen it? Let me just show you this. So -- oops. So I'm going to do a new note. What do I have to do? Tap and
dictate. So let me think what I want to say. So here we are in Pennsylvania, exploring Dragon recognition software, period. We want to try a variety of tools that will help our learners to
succeed, period. It's processing. And I might not have the best Internet connection. And if I don't, that's what's really important. So what do you notice? There's two -- that it'll help our
students, our students, that'll help -- so I can touch the word Mac and sometimes it gives me other choices. Or I can delete it. I can pull up the keyboard at the bottom. I have
to admit, oftentimes it's 100% accurate, but I did stumble on my word a little bit. But then once you correct it, you've got some options now. You can copy and paste it. You can email it. And you
can use this to help your students produce the written work. I did just have an 11th grade student who she tried this, and her speech I'd describe as very slushy, so her accuracy wasn't
great. But she has her own iPad. So what I suggest is how about you just speak the words that you aren't sure how to spell? And so she said, oh, okay. Pneumonia, biology, psychology, got all
of those words correct. So that was a way because she wouldn't try to write with those words. But now she could use her iPad and she also has an iPhone, and then she could have success
instead of depending on other adults. What do you think? What? The way it should be? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yeah, it should be using the strengths of the student. KAREN JANOWSKI: Absolutely. We
want to use the strengths of our students and show them the possibilities. Any questions? Any other questions at this point? Is this good information? Is this helpful? So there's iPad
resources. There are -- there are online resources. How about this kid? That whole -- again, that writing process. There's a tool for that. But oh, there's a -- so this -- so some kids, we want
to give them alternative methods of demonstrating their knowledge, right? So how do we do that? Using multimedia and digital storytelling tools. Phenomenal free resources. Any one of you
using VoiceThread currently? Tell us about it. You've -- AUDIENCE MEMBER: I work with students who are -- KAREN JANOWSKI: You want to use the microphone? Yeah, use the mic because I think
[inaudible] voice recognition software is the best. Everybody should be using it.
Oh, it can't use both? Oh, okay. Here, I'll turn it -- I'll turn off. AUDIENCE MEMBER: All right, I work with students who are deaf and hard of
hearing. And one of the wonderful aspects of VoiceThread is the response mode can be in text or it can be audio or it can be through webcam. So for students who are signers, they can respond
via webcam. Students who are non- signers can respond auditorially. Or all of them can respond text. So it's a way for a learning community to be able to have a dialogue asynchronously, but
also in whatever communication mode is appropriate for that student. KAREN JANOWSKI: [inaudible]. Everybody heard that? Does anybody -- you used it also? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Well, actually,
my daughter is in third grade and the teacher uses it probably biweekly. We get an email from the teacher saying, we just completed a VoiceThread. Go on and listen to your students. So they
did something on symmetry. And not only did I hear about my daughter, Becca, and the work that she did on symmetry, but I also heard all of the other third graders and saw their examples.
And she loves to show it to all -- her family so that we can see how we're compared to others and, you know, the progress over time. So there's a ton of VoiceThreads just for the
classroom. KAREN JANOWSKI: So that's excellent. So she's also pointing out one of the features of VoiceThread is the collaborative nature. What we see in this image is that one student
working alone. With VoiceThread, it can be collaborative. You can have multiple students leaving comments, using the webcam. I love that idea of -- because now using the webcam feature, the
video recording, now you can be using it for sign. So that makes it universal design. The students who are deaf and hard of hearing are now part of the process as well. How fantastic is
this? So it's highly recommend. It's free for educators, although to have it be a school district or the school itself or the district, there is commercial -- I mean, there is a paid
version. But there -- it is free for single educators to use. So, and you can go to the website. They really want you to understand how to use it. They've got great video tutorials. So what
do you think? Does this look like something you'll explore? Anyone? I really, highly recommend exploring VoiceThread. One of my friends is a 5th grade teacher in Long Island and she uses
VoiceThread to help generate -- she took a picture of Sign of the Beaver, the cover of the Sign -- of Sign of the Beaver. And she put it into VoiceThread and she had all of her students make
a prediction about what they thought the text would be based on the picture that was on the cover. And the way she could do that too is before -- they all recorded their responses before she
uploaded the responses so they could all listen to each other. So she could moderate those comments and then listen to what they all said, the predictions that they made. This is a way to
get all of your kids to participate. It's phenomenal. Great free resource. Poster boards. Yes, question? AUDIENCE MEMBER: You've mentioned a lot of things that are free for teachers. Are any
of these free for parents? KAREN JANOWSKI: VoiceThread allows you to make -- oh, I'm sorry, I have to repeat the question? Thanks, Susan. That's why she's sitting in the front. The
question is, a lot of these are free for teachers. Are any of them free for parents? You can make a Voice -- you can make up to three VoiceThreads at a time for free. Anyone can do them for
free. And so if you make more than that, then you'll have to delete them. But you can share them. There's also a free VoiceThread app for the iPad, which uses the built-in camera capability
so that you can bring -- easily bring in video and use this for video modeling for kids on the spectrum. They can watch themselves. They can be a social detective using VoiceThread. They can
be the one going out -- if you know Michelle Garcia Winters' terminology for being a social detective, they could go out and be the social detective in the school and create videos and
upload them to VoiceThread. Yes, Susan? AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible] KAREN JANOWSKI: That's a great point. Susan said inquire to see if your districts already have a membership to
VoiceThread. Okay. And the other thing too is there are resources in your district. Your library media specialist and your instructional technology specialist typically know how to use a tool
like VoiceThread. Your assistive technology specialist typically know how to use a lot of these tools. So use the resources that you have available. I'm just hoping to whet your appetite and
help you to identify at least one new tool that you want to target when you go back to working with your students. So here we have poster boards. How many of us assign posters? Often. We walk
the hallways, we see them. Are posters mistake tolerant? No. How many of our kids with visual-spatial issues, they can't quite figure out where to put things or line things up? Or they make
a mistake and they have to start all over again? So what's a poster alternative? Does anyone already use it? Glogster, absolutely. AUDIENCE MEMBER: What's that called again? KAREN
JANOWSKI: Glogster. Here's another example. So of course there's a tool alternative that is called Glogster. And what you do, go to the education version of Glogster. So it's Glogster. It's So this is -- edu.glog, G-L-O-G-S-T-E-R. And this is a glog. So here's an example of a glog that a student created about grizzly bears. What do you notice? It's
interactive. It can be easily customized, can bring in video. You can bring in audio. You can bring in graphics, text. Now would our kids rather do something like a Glogster, like a glog, or
would they rather do a poster? And that's the point. You give them a choice because some kids would still rather create that poster. And it's about choices. AUDIENCE MEMBER: Can you
print those out? KAREN JANOWSKI: Can you print them out? I think that you can, or at least you can take a screenshot. But the point is, why do you want to print it out? It's always available
online. They can share it with anyone. They can share it with their grandparents in Illinois or in India. You know, this is collaborative learning, not just an audience of one. You like
that? AUDIENCE MEMBER: I love it. AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible]. Can that be dropped into that teacher's share folder so they can see it? Or do they have to go to that website? KAREN
JANOWSKI: So the question is, can it be dropped into the teacher's share folder? You can always add the link. They could just drop the link into it so that you can then access it. Great question.
Any other questions? Does that look like a tool that you'll want to explore? It also has a free version for educators and a paid version for districts. But definitely another alternative
because we want to offer our kids choices to the traditional tools. TTWWADI doesn't cut it anymore. So again, our graphic organizers. We know that graphic organizer didn't work for that
student. So are there alternatives? Absolutely. There are -- so again, on the free UDL Tech Toolkit page, one of the pages is graphic organizers. So here are a number of free graphic
organizing tools. Tons of them. There's also -- those of you whose districts have invested in iPads, there's also some free graphic organizing apps. Popplet lite is one of them that I highly
recommend. It's a great, easy to use tool. P-O-P- P-L-E-T. I actually mention it on this page, Popplet, Popplet lite app. So that's a great -- another great tool. So there are alternatives
because graphic organizers, we're assigning those all the time, but some of our kids, they are mistake intolerant and we need to give them choices. Now I didn't -- I rushed kind of through
the writing tools. The writing tools page is one of my favorites. I just talked to you about the top of it, but if we scroll down, how many of you have kids who have great ideas up here and
they can't get them down on paper? Yeah. So VoiceThread is one of those ways. But how about the kids who are -- they've just checked out. They're done with writing. If they've written five
words, that's phenomenal. But how do you improve at writing? You have to write. So all of these tools here are engaging tools to reach your reluctant writers. Story Jumper, Little Bird
Tales, Storybird, one of my absolute favorites. Anyone using Storybird? Oh, this is excellent. Writing Fun, Kerpoof. Somebody mentioned Scholastic Story Starters. They're listed here. Wacky
Webtales. Do you use the Madlibs books? There's a free, online resource on that website, so you can work on parts of speech. But let me just show you because I love Storybird. Anyone using
this? No one is. All right, you have to see this. You can sign up and I'm logged in. Oh, so this gives -- oh, these are some that I started. We'll want to explore -- I just want you to see
what a Storybird is. We often -- one of the standards is that a student will be able to write creatively. So we can see what other people have written using Storybird, using this website.
Lots of books that other people have already created. Or -- so you can just watch them to get a sense. I definitely recommend that you watch the tour. But here, look at this art that other
people have made available for us to use. How phenomenal is this? You can look for themes. We can -- there's so much art in here. Let's look at more themes. Let's look at -- you know, one
of the things that I love is especially our boys who have checked out with writing. But look at some of the options that we have. Who -- you know, there's very -- you know, there's really
some wonderful things. So would that be engaging to some of our boys who are reluctant writers? So let's choose one. Here, we'll choose this pirate. So now what we can do is start a
Storybird with this art. This is a pretty intuitive website. And this works, if you use word prediction software, this works with word prediction software, which is really great. So now we
can start writing here. We can add a page. So we'll just add another page. We can drag and drop any of those images into our -- we'll grab this one, bring it in. we can work on sequencing.
Here's -- you know, we can -- whatever one we want to bring in, we can just drag and drop it and add text. And again, often the question is, can you print it? My understanding is yes, but I
say, why would you want to? You can share the link and other people can comment on what you've done. There's a great article by a parent whose son was in 2nd grade, hated to write, found it
-- it was just a horrible process. He struggled so much with the whole mechanics of writing. She went in as a parent and taught the whole class how to use Storybird. And so the whole class,
universal design, learned how to -- she did it specifically for her son, but the whole class learned how to use it. And as a result, the writing products were dramatically improved because
of using a tool like this. Great, great option. What do you think? So again, there are free, online spellcheckers. Oftentimes when I work with a student, I'll ask them, you know, how's your
spelling? Oh, it's okay. Do you use the spellcheck in Word or Pages? Yeah. Does it always find and correct your errors? Well, no. So our students who they're so off that they need more help
than what Microsoft Word or Pages can offer, this is an online tool that they can use. It can be a download, or you can copy and paste the text and bring it right into the website. Another
product is Ginger Software, and that's free for parents. So let's just go to Ginger Software. And they just got $6.3 million funding. Did you see that? And they got a new CEO. They were big
out at ATIA. This is, again, another great tool for our students to know about. So it's Sorry, it's just taking a little bit of time to get there. And so, again, you can copy
and paste. It's -- so get Ginger, it's free. Or I don't know why they have this. It's pretty much an educational website, but maybe this is a reflection of their new CEO. So instead of let's
grab a bear, it's let's grab a beer. I mean, the new CEO is trying to expand who it's going out to. So I can put in a sentence right here, and this is a sentence that I use often because one
of the students -- one of my students wrote the sentence this way. There was confusion on the mountain when the train suddenly stopped. Okay, so you can see there's lots of errors in there.
And Microsoft Word would not find and correct all of those errors. So what we want to do is we want to ginger it. Somebody said wow. So there it is. Found every single one of those errors.
It's a contextual, phonetic spellchecker. Is that something that our kids need to know about? You have a responsibility now to make sure your students know about a tool like
this. AUDIENCE MEMBER: You know what I like is before and after, and the students can analyze their own mistakes by looking on the screen. KAREN JANOWSKI: So he said he likes the before
and after so that students can analyze their mistakes on the screen. So it can be a teaching tool. How awesome is that? Great, great idea. Any other thoughts? Do you -- will you use this
with your kids? Great. All right, so that's Ginger Software. So participation. We talked about that at the beginning because some of you were reluctant to offer your thoughts. So again, for
our kids in our classrooms, how do they all get to participate? And this is something I'm very sensitive about because I remember my son when he was in 10th grade, he said -- one day he came
home from school and he said, mom, I'm praying every day that my English teacher doesn't call on me. Because it takes him time to process his thoughts and he was so worried about having to
speak in front of the whole class. So how much learning did he do that year even though he had a lot to say? But he prayed that his teacher would never call on him. So let's give our kids other
options and other choices. So of course there's a tool for that. And there's actually a few tools, but one of my favorite ones is something like Google Docs or TitanPad. Are any of you
using TitanPads already? You are, Susan? Awesome. So let me show you this. This is -- and actually I do have a few TitanPads. So what does it look like? It looks like a word document. It
looks like a word processing tool. Absolutely that's what it is. You can -- on the free version, you can have up to 15 people at a time synchronously, all at once. You don't all have to be
in there at the same time. So you can invite others. Or as you learn -- as I share this website with you, then you would all show up over here. You can also do a chat on the side. But now
people can create -- can respond to something, a question that you've asked them in class. And let me show you an example because one of the features in this is so cute -- cool. So here's
one that I created. How do iPads in the classroom change teaching and learning? So I used this during another professional development session that I did. This feature right here, the time
slider, watch this. Watch what this does. Tell me what you think about this. So this took 14, almost 15 minutes to create. It has the date on it as well. Now if I press play, watch what
happens. So I can go up ahead to here. So what do you notice? What? AUDIENCE MEMBER: It's building the document. KAREN JANOWSKI: It's building the document. You can watch the way the
document evolved. How cool is that? The other thing -- what? AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible]. KAREN JANOWSKI: Every time somebody is adding something new, it's -- that's a new version right
here. So every time there's a new -- something new added, that's considered to be a version. One of the things too is that I want to point out is, as students create this, they can either be
anonymous or they can be who they are. And that can -- again, you can use that capability in very powerful ways too. But it's a way to get all our kids to participate and make the
contributions that they have. You know it's the same in class. It's, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh. But other kids sit quietly, but they have things that they want to contribute. So this is a time
they can go back asynchronously and work on it. What do you think? Another great tool to know about. It's -- now that's listed on the UDL Tech Toolkit wiki under collaborative tools. So
there's also other options if we go to the collaborative tools page. TitanPad, Primary Pad, Type With Me, Sync, Nota. There's also other options as well. You don't even have to be limited to
one or two. But again, how powerful is that for our kids? Organization. Well, guess what? There's a tool for that too. There's a few tools. TrackClass is one of them. So your students
can sign up, can have a membership. Everything can be all in one place for them to keep track of. Edmodo is a teacher tool that also -- that allows you as the teacher to create an online
repository for all of the worksheets, all of the resources, all of the wiki pages, all of the websites right here in one place for your students to access. Using wikis is another way. The less
paper we have for our students to manage, the fewer organizational issues we will see in our classrooms. It's the paper that's creating the disability. Think about going
paperless. Studying is boring. Well, guess what? There are alternatives to that. So lots of electronic study skills tools. Are any of you using some already? Flashcard Machine. One that a lot
of teachers really like is this one called Quizlet. A lot of teachers like that. It's free. They also have some apps, some -- once you create it online, you can also access them through
different apps on the iPad or on your iTouch if your students have iTouchs. Another really engaging way to work on study skills. Because, again, how often are we asking kids to create
notecards or study guides on the notecards? And we saw the handwriting for some of those students. How did they ever read their own writing? Do you have kids who you have them create
notecards for? And then what do they do when they get home? So is this a tool you think you'll use? Some of you? Again, show your students. Let them decide what works best for
them. Word problems. Guess what? There's a tool for that. It helps break down the whole word problem. So it's an interactive tool and it compares the traditional approach
to the model and same approach, which is the thinking blocks interactive tool. So again, a great tool to show our students. Checklists. Again, you can use a paper-based one. You can do
it on a dry erase board. You can do it on the board. But there's a really cool tool that is part of the website if any of you are using that website. So what you can do, this
is really cool. So we can create a writing checklist. What grade do we want to go after? AUDIENCE MEMBER: 6th. KAREN JANOWSKI: 6th grade, okay. So we'll go the grade five through eight.
And again, we want our kids to be engaged, so we can create customized checklists for each one of them. So we'll put in our name and project title. But now if I go to this down arrow, these
are the six areas that we want to target for this particular writing assignment. So if we want to target capitalization, we'll open it up. And it gives us some choices that we can easily
just check off. I've capitalized the first word. I've capitalized the names of people. And we'll just add those to the list. If we make it too long, it can get overwhelming. Which category do
we want to go to next? Conventions, fluency, ideas, organization, word choice? Organization. Okay, so let's look at the options. Open. My report is -- my introduction is exciting. I have a
-- my ideas flow well. So we'll add those. The other thing that's very nice, see how they added here? I can also add my own. I don't have to use the ones they have. So then you can go through
each category and then we'll scroll down to the bottom. And it says Create Printable Checklist. Click here to view your checklist. Just like that, it's all ready for us to use. And again, so
we can print this off. But if we save this URL, we can open it up at any time and reuse it again. And we can also -- you asked about can you share things? Save this on your wiki page or your
online teacher resource that you've created for your class, and then they can always come back to it. And then they can also open it up on the iPad or an iTouch or any portable device and
check it off as they complete each step. Quick and easy to use, customized for the students. So let's stop for a minute. What do you think about these tools? Okay, helpful? Helpful for your
students? Which ones do you see yourselves using? I'm all about -- okay, yeah, like you brought up before, yeah, we learn about these tools. Yeah, great, wonderful. But the difference is
what do we do with this information. Which one will you target and use with your students next week? I'd love to hear from you. I actually do still have a couple more. Assignment notebooks.
How many times the student will organize their assignment notebook into a document? You know, some sort of -- it's always written into an IEP goal and objective, but what do we think about
assignment notebooks? Are they mistake tolerant? No. Is there a better alternative? Yes. There's a lot of alternatives, but one of -- I mean, what are you using for alternatives to
assignment notebooks? Because there's so many. Yes? AUDIENCE MEMBER: The iTouch. KAREN JANOWSKI: You're using an iTouch. How are you using the iTouch? AUDIENCE MEMBER:
[inaudible]. KAREN JANOWSKI: So it's one student using the iTouch to create -- to keep track of their own assignments. AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible]. KAREN JANOWSKI: So it's a tool
that's being used between the parent and the teacher. So that's an individual use. There are many apps for the iTouch or for mobile devices or the iPad that help our students stay organized
in terms of homework. There's lots of apps. But how about if we want to do it for the whole class? How do we -- what can we use? Or what are you currently using? How are you bypassing that
assignment notebook challenge? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Edline. KAREN JANOWSKI: Edline. Okay, but that's not free. But Edline. Yeah, some of the schools have invested in Edline. That's a way. So
you have to log into your Edline account to access that, but yes, absolutely. What? Google Docs is another way. You can keep track. You can use your Google Calendar for your class so that
the student can access the Google Calendar and then they can see what the homework assignment is. Who is the one recording the homework assignment on the Google doc or on the Google
Calendar on Edline? Do we ever let students do that? We could have a student be the homework assignment historian of the day or of the week. So the students then would be responsible to make
sure. I love Fotobabble. Do any of you use Fotobabble? It's great for homeschool collaboration, communication. It's a free app for the iPad, but it's also a free -- and it's also a free
online tool. And what you can do is you can take any picture and add audio to it. So it can be a talking picture. So that could be the way that the students are accessing the homework
assignment for the day. You can link that to the school -- to your school -- to your class website. So there's lots of alternatives. We don't have to be stuck into TTWWADI. So let's talk
about ideas. Yes? AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible]. KAREN JANOWSKI: Who's currently using wikis as a classroom resource? Okay. Do you know what wikis are? What? AUDIENCE MEMBER: I don't
use it as a classroom resource, but I use it to share information. KAREN JANOWSKI: So those of us in the consulting or specialty, we use them as resources, like my UDL Tech Toolkit wiki is a
wiki resource. It's interesting because just yesterday I read somebody did a study. They evaluated like random wikis to see if they are in fact being used as student tools. And the large
percentage of them was no. We're talking about using social media tools to help our students learn. And yet, we're not using them to the capability. So what's a wiki? It's an online,
free resource, easily created, free for educators, which means no ads. If you want to learn about wikis, I would go to google Wikispaces in education if you want to learn about wikis. And so
here's the -- Wikispaces is dedicated to education and teachers. And they are all about helping you be successful. There are a ton of YouTube videos and a ton of educational wikis currently
being used. And what it does, when we think about before, you used to have to know HTML to create a website. You don't have to do that anymore with a wiki. So you can go in and sign up and start
your wiki. And if you sign up, make sure you use your school website so that -- I mean your school email address so that you'll be seen as an educator. And here's Wikispaces for schools and
districts. It's online collaboration. There's so many ways. You can embed a lot of the things that we talked about. We talked about VoiceThreads. You can embed a VoiceThread into a
wiki. Students who create a VoiceThread, they can now embed it into their class wiki. You can embed YouTube videos that they've made. You can embed graphics. You can embed documents. Lots of
ways to use it to meet all the needs of our learners. So do we have to do things the traditional way? Did we learn about some new -- oh, I did want to take another poll. Okay, here we go.
Let's take out those smart phones again. I would love to know, I'd love to hear you be accountable and to make a decision to try at least one new tool when you go back to school next week.
So you're sending it to 22333 and you're going to text 28887. It's what? It says it's closed? Did anybody get in? Oh yeah, some people got in. This is another way to use those devices that
our kids have in their pockets. They know how to text like that. So you could use a Poll Anywhere tool. This is another free tool to get kids to respond to different questions that you're
asking them. You can give them multiple choice. You can give them the opportunity -- uh oh. Are we done? Okay, thanks. So some of you like -- so Paper Rater looks pretty -- so you must be
working at the middle school, high school level, those of you who are saying Paper Rater. So this is great. What do you think about using a tool like this as a tool in your classrooms? This
is free. Poll Anywhere, this is Poll Anywhere. It's free. Poll Everywhere. I'm sorry, somebody had another question? AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible]. KAREN JANOWSKI: It does -- it is a text
message, yes. AUDIENCE MEMBER: [inaudible]. KAREN JANOWSKI: So the question is, you know, do you have to have access to text messaging; free, unlimited data? Typically a lot of the
students do, but not everyone does. And not everyone has a smart phone too. So you want to have them -- they could go online. You see on the right side it has -- you can just do -- complete
it online as well. So you don't have to use an iPhone -- I mean a phone. Great. Lots of -- you're all choosing something. I would love to know -- I'd love to hear back from you how it worked
with your students and what their response was. Great. Because this is what we want to avoid. This is what we want to see instead. So again, I challenge you. What are you currently doing,
and is it working? This is what we want our kids to do. We want them to soar to success. So thank you all. Thank you. So questions? Questions, thoughts, feedback? Helpful? Is it just
blah blah? I mean, because I'm very sensitive to what that woman said earlier. You know, we hear this a lot. I'm very sensitive to the fact, yeah, with the great ideas, you know, yeah, great
tools, but that's why I want to encourage you to start with one tool. Target one tool. Target one area that you want to reach with your students, the area that they are struggling the most
with. Take them to the UDL Tech Toolkit wiki and see. You know, let's look at this together. What do you think? What do you want to try? Are there any thoughts? AUDIENCE MEMBER: How do
you get past a school board policy that [inaudible]? KAREN JANOWSKI: So the question is, how do we get past school board policy that says these tools must be locked up? Interesting you should
say that because I'm on my school board and that's why I'm on my school board. And fortunately, fortunately we have open policy. But you go and you -- you know, what is locked in your
district? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Any of them. I mean, phones, iTouchs, anything. KAREN JANOWSKI: That's -- okay. So you're saying that they can't use their devices? AUDIENCE MEMBER: Right. They
can use the ones provided by the school district [inaudible]. KAREN JANOWSKI: Okay, so maybe that's not the place to start is with their devices, but you start with some of these other tools.
But you also -- there's so many connected -- if any of you are on Twitter, there's a great hash tag to follow called cpchat, connected principals chat. So you look at what the connected
principals are saying and they will show you a lot of -- they'll link you to a lot of documents that will support making devices in the pockets of kids available to them in school. It's a great
-- or you google that too, but there's a lot of -- is anybody on Twitter? The best professional development you can get. Highly recommended. Actually, on Wednesday nights we have what's
called the AT chat. It's the atchat hash tag. I started it. I'll be on the plane tonight, I hope. So, but I think other people will be running the atchat. So it's real online
collaboration. So I don't know if that answers your question. It is an obstacle, but many more principals and school board members and superintendents are saying we need to let our kids use
these tools. Anything else? Thank you all so very much for coming. I really appreciate you being here. Thank you.