A New Look at Accessible Instructional Materials in Higher Ed

This week’s post comes from Marvin Williams, Assistive Technology Coordinator in the Services for Students with Disabilities department at California State University, Fresno. Marvin, myself, and Fresno State’s Alternative Media Coordinator Rima Maldonado will be presenting later this week at the 30th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference in San Diego, CA. I’ve asked Marvin if he could provide some insight on Accessible Instructional Materials here prior to our session. You can read more about this below. Thanks Marvin!

Educational materials are important. It’s the stuff we use to teach, and we use a lot of them. As we move through school, we continue to use them, but the types may change. Educational materials can be textbooks, workbooks, websites, audio clips, video clips, movies, and most anything that you would use in teaching material to students. For now, we’ll look at text-based materials.

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Digital Supports for English Language Learners

The number of English Language Learners in the US today continues to increase rapidly. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an average of just over 10% of students in developed countries are learning in their second language. The US has almost double this number however. The disparity is even greater in many US schools where over 30% of the population is learning in a second language.

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Give Customized Feedback Using Google Forms

Last week I spent some time with a colleague showing teachers how to provide customize feedback to students using Google Forms. Typically Google Forms are used to create simple surveys or quizzes. The form results are then dumped into a spreadsheet that can be reviewed anytime. However, with just a few additional tweaks you can really take advantage of what Google Forms can do in the classroom.

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3 Tips for Using Google Drive More Effectively

If you are a teacher or student using Google Apps for Education, you are likely spending a significant amount of time in Google Drive. The new Google Drive was launched over the Summer of 2014 and has slowly been rolled out to users (including Google Apps for Education users) over the last few months.

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5 Tools to Help Create a Distraction Free Environment

The ability for students (and teachers) to be productive in the classroom, at home, or anywhere in between is no easy task. At any given time phones ring, emails chime, people interrupt you, or other disruptions occur. Unfortunately, aside from locking yourself in a soundproof technology free room, there isn’t a simple solution that will work for everyone. However, there are some tools that can help. I’ve listed five of my favorites below.

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TeacherCast - Great Online EdTech Resource for Educators

Last month, we stumbled upon a funny little excerpt from a podcast that one of Texthelp’s products was mentioned in. In the excerpt, a guest of the show said that if she could only bring one Chrome extension on a deserted island, she would take Read&Write for Google Chrome with the Word Prediction tool [see video below]. What struck us wasn’t that we were mentioned, while we were honored that we made Samantha’s island choice, it was the quality of the show’s resourcefulness, the beat of the conversations and the manner of how the host ran the show. It was informative while still fun to watch. It had some laugh out loud moments and was really professionally put together. I wanted to watch more and I just had to get in touch with the creator and host.

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