Posted April 17, 2017 By Lee Learson
Many of us use Microsoft Office products on a daily basis. Writing documents, creating spreadsheets, sending and receiving emails, and creating and presenting presentations is a part of everyone’s life. Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint makes things easier for us!
Although it is important that we present good content in attractive, easy, and readable formats, it is equally important to make our content accessible for people with disabilities.
Fortunately, all Microsoft Office products have built in capabilities to make our content accessible. In addition, Microsoft also provides rules and best practices, and helps us check our content with the Accessibility Checker and other tools (like Color Contrast Analyzer) to ensure content follows accessibility guidelines.
Below you will find four different links that will show you how to create accessible content with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. They are short, and easy to read but give a plethora of information on how content can be made accessible with just a few clicks.
Direct links to accessibility guides:
Posted April 15, 2017 By Lee Learson
ShortcutWorld.com is an open, wiki-style Reference Database for Keyboard Shortcuts. Using Keyboard Shortcuts on a daily basis is the mother of all productivity techniques. With this project, ShortcutWorld.com is building an open Hotkey Reference Database with the goal to cover as many Applications on as many Platforms and in as many Languages as possible.
Their goal is to get millions of users out there to be more productive. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions to learn more how the site works and how you can contribute.
Here’s an example of what’s available on the site… Read the remainder of this entry »
Posted March 20, 2017 By Lee Learson
Written by Keith Lambert, Education World Associate Contributing Editor. Lambert is an English / Language Arts teacher in Connecticut (Reprint from Education World)
In the new age of technology and the push for 21st century skills in our classrooms, it’s easy for teachers to feel intimidated. New tech appears every day, but “new” tech doesn’t always mean “better” tech. How do we sort through it all? On top of that, much of this new tech requires resources and funding that might not yet be available to school districts. Math teachers, in particular, face a challenging task of wanting to integrate computer literacy, while still teaching and supporting many of the foundational skills for math work. Students often need to show their work, which, without tablets, can be a challenge on a digital forum. The wide variety of math software available on the market today tends to require a separate type of literacy altogether, which can be both tough to learn and time-intensive. Khan has been revolutionary in differentiating math learning, supplying both video lessons and a vast amount of practice for students, easily monitored and facilitated by teachers.
However, what about interactive, manipulatable math tools that support learning? Where are the digital math support programs that can assist in math learning, as opposed to outsourcing the direct teaching to the device? More importantly, can our students access them without pricey licensing fees, new hardware, or complicated apps? Today, Education World shares three free easy-to-use sites that assist math learning in the teacher-facilitated modern classroom.
Not only does Desmos provide free online four-function, scientific, and graphing calculators for student use (no more losing your calculator), it carries a wide variety of full interactive—almost game-like—lessons. Providing nothing more than your email, Desmos allows teachers to Read the remainder of this entry »
Posted March 10, 2017 By Lee Learson
by Todd & Alex from AppEdReview (reprint from EmergingEdTech)
Open Your Students up to a new Perspective With These Multicultural App Experiences
Multicultural EdTech may not get as much attention as some other topics in the field, but developers have created some really innovative apps and websites to engage students in this topic. In our communities, we have so much diversity and recognizing it in our classroom can be a powerful learning experience for our students. The challenge, however, can be that teachers may need support regarding how to use EdTech for those purposes. With that in mind, we sorted through our review database and identified three apps and a website that directly engage this topic and that teachers can use easily! Read the remainder of this entry »
Posted February 13, 2017 By Lee Learson
Cooking is a fun and practical activity for everyone and an opportunity to not only increase independence, but also to put basic academic skills to use in a functional way. Determining what is needed, obtaining the ingredients and following directions to put it together are all important steps.
It not only allows individuals to be more independent, it also gives them an opportunity to put other skills like shopping and basic math to practical use. Using these skills in a real life situation, like cooking, can build self-confidence and self-reliance. And it’s fun! There will be spills and general messiness but the end result is worth it (and tasty too!).
The following are some wonderful visual and audio cookbooks and links to on-line recipes to help you get you started. Read the remainder of this entry »
Posted January 27, 2017 By Lee Learson
If you, a family member or someone you know is considering hearing aids, where to start is often daunting. Consumer Affairs* (www.consumeraffairs.com ) has recently published a consumer resource about the Best Hearing Aids for 2017. The guide includes brand comparisons, important features, different types and hundreds of verified consumer reviews.
Over 36 million Americans experience some degree of hearing loss, and hearing aids – small sound amplification devices worn inside or around a person’s ear – are one of the most common ways people manage it. Today, the need for hearing aids is growing as more people are diagnosed with hearing loss each year.
While there are many types of hearing aids and many causes of hearing loss, the purpose of a hearing aid is always the same: to amplify sound and improve the wearer’s quality of life. Hearing aids can vary in placement, features and pricing. The guide does a good job of comparing these products. The reviews from consumers and experts are useful, informative and a good resource as you begin to investigate the possibilities in this expanding market.
*Please note that Consumer Affairs is not a government agency and charges a fee to companies to become accredited.
Posted October 19, 2016 By Lee Learson
Mathematica Builds Resources for Educators! With teachers and students back in school, finding educational interventions that help students succeed just got easier with the redesigned What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) website. Mathematica developed key features of the new site, a trusted source of evidence for educators, including a tool that lets users Find What Works. Find What Works helps identify programs, products, practices, and policies, and with the strongest evidence of effectiveness positively affecting student outcomes—an increasingly important goal in the era of evidence-based decision making. The powerful search function allows users to sort and filter their searches by gender, race and ethnicity, school setting, and grade level, and to compare interventions to find the right fit for their students. Read the remainder of this entry »
Posted September 27, 2016 By Lee Learson
CAST has announced it’s new publication of “Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology: A Comprehensive Guide to AT Services” by CAST Professional Publishing. The book contains much of the information provided on the QIAT website in a comprehensive, concise format with everything in one place. Other benefits are the inclusion of a research base for the Read the remainder of this entry »
Posted September 9, 2016 By Lee Learson
App Ed Review was born when Dr. Todd Cherner was teaching a graduate-level literacy class at Coastal Carolina University. As part of that class, Todd set aside time for “app-etizers” that were mini-lessons about apps. Because the school district where the majority of his students worked provided each of them an iPad to use in their classroom, Todd’s students were very interested in these mini-lessons. Then, during one of these app-etizers, a student asked him, “What makes an app good to use in the classroom?” Read the remainder of this entry »