News

Survey to collect data around learning from home

The following request/announcement comes from colleague and fellow Maine educator, Jim Moulton:

COVID-19 has dramatically altered school and learning around the world. In an effort to capture, reflect, and share the unique perspectives of students and parents as they experience learning from home in Spring 2020, two brief surveys have been created. Again – our intention is to capture, reflect, and share the unique perspectives of students and parents as they experience learning from home in Spring 2020.

The stories and experiences, collected anonymously through the surveys, will help to inform and improve current and future learning-from-home strategies. Furthermore, it is our hope that students and parents may appreciate having a place and opportunity to anonymously reflect and share their experiences during this unprecedented time.

Please share broadly with learners and families involved in learning from home due to COVID-19.

Schools and districts are encouraged to use these reflective surveys system-wide, but should contact us for best options for capturing and using the data with their local community.

If you have questions about the surveys or would like to reach out to discuss, please use the following contact information:

Jim Moulton – jim@jimmoulton.org

Jim Moulton is a former elementary educator who has been working in the field of educational technology since the mid-1990s. He has worked with educators around the world, contributed to Edutopia’s Spiral Notebook blog, and spent a decade as part of Apple’s Education Team.

Dr. Damian Bebell – bebell@bc.edu

Dr. Bebell is an educational researcher at Boston Colleges’s Lynch School of Education and Human Development. An example of his research can be seen at Drawing On Math and a current article Beyond Academics: Success and the Purpose of School.

eLearning Teaching Tips webinar from edWeb

The following announcement comes from edWeb  who is sponsoring this free webinar…

e-Learning Teaching Tips: Support for Educators During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Thursday, April 9, 2020
3:00 pm ET

Presenters

Candice Dodson, Executive Director, State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA)
Ashley Webb, Graphic Design Teacher and Instructional Coach, Mountain Heights Academy, UT

Program Description

In support of the SETDA Coalition for eLearning, SETDA will collaborate with teachers that have extensive experience teaching online to share tips for best practices for online learning. Teachers are being asked to transform the way they teach and to meet diverse learning needs, and they need support. Join this edWebinar to hear from experienced teachers, ask questions, and share your examples as we all work to support students in this time of need.

This edWebinar will be of interest to preK through high school teachers and school leaders. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.

Use this link to learn more about this event and to register…
 

AgrAbility Webinar: Smart technology in agriculture & the home

AgrAbility logo

Smart technology in agriculture & the home: what is it and what is its impact on safety and efficiency?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. EDT

Program Description

“Smart technology” is an umbrella term that encompasses many devices designed to make life easier for the user. Common types of smart technologies include watches, televisions, and a wide variety of other home devices (some that even respond to their own names). While marketed to the masses as the “next big thing,” for some individuals these devices can restore their independence and, in certain cases, even be life-saving. Whether the smart technologies are worn on the body or remain stationary, they can help prevent accidents from happening or assist in contacting emergency services if a crisis should occur. This webinar will discuss how smart technologies can benefit agricultural workers in the workplace and in the home.

Webinar topics include:

  • Types of smart technologies
  • Wearable devices
  • Home devices
  • Implications for agriculture
  • Implications for individuals with disabilities

Presenter

Luke Cain is a student from Indiana Wesleyan University’s occupational therapy doctorate (OTD) program. He is currently completing his residency project with AgrAbility with a focus on advocacy for the program and for agriculture workers with disabilities. He graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and will be graduating from OTD school in April 2020. Luke is passionate about helping individuals with disabilities receive the therapy, education, and any other services they may need to help them meet their goals and be as independent as possible.

A question & answer period will follow the presentation.

Registration

To participate in this free webinar, click here to access the online registration form by Friday, April 3. Instructions for accessing the session will be sent to registrants by Monday, April 6. Please pass on this invitation to others you believe may be interested. Contact AgrAbility at 800-825-4264 or email agrability@agrability.org if you have questions.

 

ATIA Offers Free Webinars

ATIA, the Assistive Technology Industry Association, has announced that because of the COVID-19 outbreak they will be offering a series of free webinars:

ATIA recognizes that you have questions regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and its implications on the assistive technology community. Below is an ongoing list of free webinars in the ATIA Learning Center and resources you can use to learn relevant information and insight from your peers.

This series is just one of the ways ATIA is sharing relevant educational content with our community. We’ll continue to update this page as new webinars are added. If you have a resource, tool or idea you would like to share as part of this webinar series, please fill out this form.

These live courses are presented by your AT community and are free for anyone and everyone. Each course will be recorded for you to access at any time.

Carefully Curating Apps and Software for Young Children-Managing Increased Screen Time
Tuesday, April 7 at 12:00pm CDT/1:00pm EDT
Beth Poss, Speech/Language Pathologist, AT Consultant
Presented by ATIA Member: LessonPix
This presentation will review popular apps and other digital resources using a checklist that outlines what makes an effective app based on research and guidance from respected authorities including the American Pediatric Association, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Supporting Remote Learning with Microsoft Learning Tools
Thursday, April 9 at 11:00am CDT/12:00pm EDT
Rachel Berger, AT Specialist
Presented by ATIA Member: Microsoft
This presentation will showcase Microsoft’s free Learning Tools that can be used to support student engagement and accessibility for users with learning differences.

Recording Online Content
Thursday, April 9 at 1:00pm CDT/2:00pm EDT
Liam Kelly, Manager of North American Sales, Note Taking Express
Presented by ATIA Member: Note Taking Express
This session explores the inbuilt features of Windows, iPhone, iPad and Macbooks that can capture the screens and audio, along with different ideas for recording content.

Supporting Students and Employees with Dyslexia at Home
Tuesday, April 14 at 11:00am CDT/12:00pm EDT
Chris Hughes, Founder, Present Pal; Cara Hunt, Head of Marketing, Present Pal; Euan Colley, Head of Product, Present Pal
Presented by ATIA Member: Present Pal
This course is an informal discussion about strategies and tools that students and employees with dyslexia can use to support themselves while working/studying from home.

AAC Language Lab Implementation Strategies
Wednesday, April 15 at 11:00am CDT/12:00pm EDT
Jane Odom, M.Ed
Presented by ATIA Member: PRC-Saltillo
The AAC Language Lab is now free. This session will dive into how to determine where to start, what is available and how to navigate all the lesson plans, activities and resources.

For more information, please visit the ATIA website…

Maine AgrAbility video highlights students’ learning on the farm

Buxton, Maine — Over the past year, Maine AgrAbility and partner Alpha One integrated agriculture into the curriculum of a peer mentoring program at Massabesic High School in York county. The program, funded by the Maine Department of Labor Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and supplemented with hands-on opportunities, culminated with summer work experiences on a local farm.

Sally Farrell, owner of Rummler Run farm in Buxton and former University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H professional in York County, agreed to introduce three of the students to daily life on her farm in summer 2019. The stories and experiences of those three students — practicing problem-solving, handling small livestock, helping ensure biosecurity practices — are told in the video “On the Farm.”

Maine AgrAbility, a collaborative project of UMaine Extension and Alpha One, is dedicated to helping farmers, fishermen and forest workers work safely and more productively. For more information, contact Leilani Carlson at 207.944.1533; leilani.carlson@maine.edu.

More information also is available on the UMaine Extension AgrAbility website.

About University of Maine Cooperative Extension:

As a trusted resource for over 100 years, University of Maine Cooperative Extension has supported UMaine’s land and sea grant public education role by conducting community-driven, research-based programs in every Maine county. UMaine Extension helps support, sustain and grow the food-based economy. It is the only entity in our state that touches every aspect of the Maine Food System, where policy, research, production, processing, commerce, nutrition, and food security and safety are integral and interrelated. UMaine Extension also conducts the most successful out-of-school youth educational program in Maine through 4-H.

Survey on Wireless Device User Experiences for People with Disabilities

The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Inclusive Technologies (Wireless RERC) announces the launch of its 2020 Survey of User Needs (SUN). The SUN is the Wireless RERC’s cornerstone survey on wireless technology use by people with disabilities. Over 8,000 consumers have completed it with disabilities since it was first launched in 2001.

This latest version has been updated in response to changes in technology. In addition to questions about cell phone and tablet use, this latest version of the SUN collects information about wearables, “smart” home technologies, and other next-generation wirelessly connected devices. User responses will help designers and engineers make new wireless devices and services for people with disabilities. Data from the SUN also provides important information to the wireless industry, government regulators, and other researchers to help them make wireless technology more accessible and more useful to people with all types of disabilities.

If you have a disability, please consider taking this survey. If you know someone who has a disability, please forward the survey to them. Thank you!

Select this link to take the 2020 Survey of User Needs

 

Voice-Assisted Coronavirus COVID-19 Screening

The following comes from Cool Blind Tech:

iPadApple also partnered with CDC on app and website for coronavirus triage

With voice-assisted tools released by Amazon and Apple, you can answer a few questions to figure out if you need further medical assistance for COVID-19.

Simply say, “Hey, Siri” for iPhones or “Alexa” for Amazon devices, and ask if you have the coronavirus.

These technologies are no replacement for professional medical advice, but they can help you figure out first steps at home when the health care system is overwhelmed with long wait times.

Amazon Echo

Amazon announced Thursday that it launched a screening tool for the United States that will talk you through some symptom-checkers.

“Ask, ‘Alexa, what do I do if I think I have COVID-19?” or “Alexa, what do I do if I think I have coronavirus?” and Alexa will ask a series of questions about your travel history, symptoms, and possible exposure. Based on your responses, Alexa will provide CDC guidance given your risk level and symptoms,” Amazon said in a statement.

Read the complete article on Cool Blind Tech

Read the news release from Apple

Read news release from Amazon

 

April 2020 Webinars

Maine CITE is offering the following webinars in April

Everyday Assistive Technology for People with Serious Mental Illness – Refresh

computer keyboardDate: April 1, 2020
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

This is an update and revision of a 2017 webinar of the same name. Dr. Gitlow was kind enough to return to discuss the latest information on this important topic.

People with serious mental illness often experience difficulties comprehending, processing new information and acting appropriately. Common issue include difficulty with attention, concentration, memory, and the ability to plan activities.

In this webinar, we Identify common psychosocial motor, cognitive, contextual, and environmental barriers which may interfere with the use of Assistive Technology (AT) and everyday technology (EDT) among individuals with SMI.

Presenter

  • Lynn Gitlow

Use this link for more information and to register for the Webinar: EveryDay Assistive Technology for people with Serious Mental Illness…


The following list of April 2020 webinars on the topic of assistive technology and accessibility is generated by the Accessible Technology Consortia funded by the Center for Accessible Technology. Thank you.

Creating High-Quality and Accessible Video from AEM
April 6, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

Learn AAC : AAC Resources in 4 Languages! From USSAAC
April 6, 2020 at 7:00 pm EST

We’re All in This Together: Four Cs for Supporting All Learners in the COVID-19 Crisis from AEM
April 7, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

Creating Accessible Documents and Slide Decks from AEM
April 13, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

Making Math Notation Accessible from AEM
April 21, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

Basics of Remediating an Inaccessible PDF from AT3
April 21, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

Aidan’s Path to Braille – An Alternative Approach to Literacy from TSBVI
April 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm EST

UDL in Action: Practical Ideas for the Classroom from SETC
April 2, 2020 at 6:30 pm EST

Learning Ally: Motivating Struggling Readers Through Literature from SETC
April 8, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

AAC Eval Genie: An Overview from SETC
April 9, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

GoTalkNow: A Tool for Literacy Instruction for all Learners from SETC
April 14, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

Unleashing the Power of UDL: Top Digital Tools for the Inclusive Classroom! From AbleNet
April 15, 2020 at 2:00 pm EST

AAC: Introduction to CoughDrop from SETC
April 21, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

Working w/Students Using Switches: New and Emerging Technologies! from SETC
April 22, 2020 at 6:30 pm EST

AAC: Introduction to Speak for Yourself from SETC
April 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm EST

 

Google Teach From Home

Google logoIn response to the rapidly changing educational landscape, Google has created a new resource for teachers Teach from Home. The new web resource is available in eleven languages and provides teachers with answers to many questions and links to make additional resources found on their Google in Education service. There is a complete section on accessibility that describes how to turn on and use access features in Chrome and on Chromebooks.

The Teach From Home resource is also available to download (in PDF) for teachers who have limited access to the internet.

Google has also created a complementary resources, Learn @ Home a guide for parents and guardians.  Google partnered with learning creators to bring parents and families meaningful resources and activities. These resources are not meant to replace homework assigned by teachers, but meant to complement that work.

Use this link to visit Teach From Home

 

Hotspot Donations and Wireless for Educators

ACTEM and all ISTE affiliates have been asked to pass along the following information from Digital Wish…

Hotspot Donations and $10/Month Wireless for Educators

With nationwide school closures due to COVID-19, nonprofits Mobile Beacon and Digital Wish have a major hotspot donation program available that can significantly increase remote connectivity for students and teachers. Visit digitalwish.org and get up to 11 donated hotspots per school. Discounted $10/month unlimited 4G LTE internet service is provided so that teachers and students can connect and learn from anywhere in the Mobile Beacon coverage area. With a lending pool of hotspots, students-in-need can access the internet to embark on a distance learning journey during isolation.

Each hotspot has unlimited, high-speed 4G LTE mobile broadband service, and can connect up to 10 people on the internet on only one plan.

This donation program is open to all public, private, and non-profit K-12 schools and universities. For higher-need schools that exceed the cap of 11 hotspots per school, behind the scenes Digital Wish is purchasing modems that will qualify for the subsidized $10/month broadband service. If you need more, please contact: Heather Chirtea 802-379-3000, heather@digitalwish.org.

Mobile Beacon is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and the second-largest Educational Broadband Service (EBS) provider in the United States. The nonprofit has been given an EBS spectrum license by the FCC, specifically to support broadband use in schools. Nonprofit Digital Wish teamed up to make the 4G LTE hotspot device donation program available to schools throughout the United States. If your schools have connectivity issues, this subsidized service will allow you to fill the gaps with wireless hotspot donations and equitably connect all students. Schools can easily create a Hotspot Lending Pool for students needing internet access at home.

Use this link to learn how to set up a lending pool...

Please share this announcement with your colleagues who are struggling to acquire access for remote students.