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…
 

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.

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.

 

AEM Center offers series of training on accessibility in distance learning

The AEM Center at CAST is offering free webinars on access and distance education for educators, parents, and those involved in remote instruction.

The series of six webinar, beginning on March 30, 2020 are designed to help educators who are now offering all of their lessons online – and parents – to support learners with disabilities, particularly those who use Assistive Technology (AT) and need Accessible Educational Materials (AEM).

Topics and dates are as follows:

Webinar 1: Personalizing the Reading Experience 
Monday, March 30, 2020 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM ET

Webinar 2: Creating High-Quality and Accessible Video
Monday, April 6, 2020 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM ET

Webinar 3: We’re All in This Together: Four Cs for Supporting All Learners in the COVID-19 Crisis 
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM ET

Webinar 4: Creating Accessible Documents and Slide Decks
Monday, April 13, 2020 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM ET

Webinar 5: We’re All in this Together: Communication and Collaboration In-the-Trenches
Tuesday, April 14, 2020 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM ET

Webinar 6: Making Math Notation Accessible
Tuesday, April 21, 2020 from 3:00 – 4:00 PM ET

For those unable to attend the live sessions, all webinars will be recorded and archived.

Use this link to read complete program descriptions and sign up…

Supporting Students with IEPs During eLearning Days

With schools across the country forced into the situation of closing and providing services to students via distance education, this webinar focused on the specific educational and technical needs of students with IEPs. Particular emphasis was paid to supporting students who use Assistive Technologies (AT) and Accessible Educational Materials (AEM) and the importance of ensuring distance learning systems work effectively with these. Resources and offers for technical assistance were described.

Due to high demand and a tremendous turn out, the live session on March 23rd was not available to most who registered for the event.

The recording from edWeb is now available to view at this link

Supporting Students with IEPs During eLearning Days was presented by Christine Fox, Deputy Executive Director, SETDA; Cynthia Curry, Director, National Center on Accessible Educational Materials and the Center on Inclusive Technology & Education Systems (CITES) at CAST; and Luis Perez, Technical Assistance Specialist, National Center on Accessible Educational Materials at CAST –

“Study from Car” Initiative Starts in Maine

Network Maine logoNetworkmaine is a unit of the University of Maine System providing Maine’s Research & Education (R&E) community with access to high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity and complimentary services that enhance their ability to successfully deliver on their missions. Founded in 2009 Networkmaine provides K-12 schools and public libraries in the state with Internet connectivity at little or no cost through the Maine School Library Network – MSLN project.

The following announcement comes from Networkmaine:

Study-From-Car Initiative

With the closure of public schools and the subsequent transition to remote learning, many schools have identified a lack of adequate Internet access in the homes of some of their students, limiting the ability of those students to participate in online learning opportunities.

Networkmaine has offered assistance to the roughly 140 local schools that have their WiFi networks provided through the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) in creating an additional “guest” WiFi network.  This additional WiFi network will be completely segregated from any existing network(s) at the school.  The hope is that the MLTI wireless service currently bleeds out of the building to the extent that someone could park in the parking lot and obtain service, allowing them to participate in online learning while maintaining the social distancing that the school closures are intended to facilitate. We have already heard from schools that are re-positioning their WiFi access points near exterior wall and windows to help extend the outside coverage.

We have dubbed this effort Study-From-Car as a play on the phrase work-from-home that has become so prevalent in the media.

We encourage participating schools to use the hashtag #studyfromcar if they make any announcements on social media.

Use this link for more information – and to see an interactive map where Study from Car schools are located