Free and Low-cost Strategies to Improve Reading and Writing

Reading and Writing Strategies with AT Specialist Chris Bugaj, focuses on web-based free and low-cost strategies to improve reading and writing. This presentation, in a Jeopardy format, gives participants questions on 5 categories: providing structure, verbal as a strength, fun with text, promoting literacy, and potpourri. He addresses tools and strategies to help structure the writing process, practice reading fluency, teach spelling, and improve overall literacy. Download the PowerPoint.
 

 

 

 

Transcript: 

- [Voiceover] In the cafe here at the Center on Technology and Disability, my name is John Newman, I'm an assistant technology specialist with Pacer Center, one of the partners on CTD, and I'd just like to take a quick moment to introduce the star of the show today, who is Christopher Bugaj, there's so much to talk about with this man, he is an author, a podcast host, and most of all he is an assistant technology specialist who he's brilliant voice his job, and today he's gonna introduce us to some free and low cost strategies to increase reading and writing, so Chris, thank you so much for your time, and we'll turn things over to you and start this game.

- [Chris] Alright, thank you so much John, can everybody hear me? If you can please just type it into the chat, yeah Chris we can hear you fine, everything's great. Perfect, perfect, good good good, looks like it's all coming in positive. Alright, so, first thing we have to explain are some of the logistics, if this is your first CTD event you should know that these things are sort of done in a set of three, so you can participate in any one, two or three any part of the event that you want, so part one here is this webinar, and immediately following this webinar we're going to have a weeklong discussion forum and at the very end of this webinar I'll jump over there and I'll actually show you how to get the discussion forum, but if you found the link to register for this the discussion forum's off that same link. And then the third part is a twitter chat that we'll have just as like an hour-long followup and so what's really great about that platform for this sort of event is that what you're going to see here today during our jeopardy webinar is a whole bunch of tools and strategy and you're going to have a week to go off and kind of, anything that like really appeals to you and kinda sings to you, you can go over and try it, and then ask me questions during that discussion forum, and not just me but anyone else who's participating in the discussion forum, saying, yeah, I tried that webtool, Chris, I don't get it, or, yeah I tried it and it was great, that's exactly what I'm looking for, or you can give some feedback, or, you know what I like this one, not that one so much.

You know, this sort of webinar really lends itself to having a follow-up discussion afterwards so it's not just a one-and-done, you know, come in, do the webinar and then never use any of the tools that you learned during the webinar. This gives you an opportunity to actually play with it. So that's how this webinar is gonna run, that's how the CTD events sort of run, the next thing you need to know is that this webinar is not your typical webinar, if you've done webinars before and chances are you have, the idea is that, you know, you come and you sit and you listen to somebody talk for an hour, maybe there's some questions at the end, that's not how this is gonna work at all. Because every time I've done a webinar like that, I find that sometimes people kind of drift off, they go check their e-mail, or they get up and they kinda wander around and they in the room as their participant, and so I wanted to really kinda change it up and see if we could get some active participation so John said that I'm sorta the star of the show but not really, really you're the stars of the show, it's gonna work in Jeopardy, where, I sort of pose the question and then you write your answers over in the chat, and I'll question you guys, it doesn't have to be in the form of a question, it'll be sort of informal we won't be sticklers for the rules.

And then I'm gonna take a moment to elaborate on why I think it's important, that tool's important I might even jump over to a website and show you one or two things, and then we'll jump back into the presentation and we'll do it again, we'll ask the next question. And if you're the first person to answer it right, then you get to choose the next category and the next dollar amount. And if you want, just for fun, if you have a little note next to you, or you have some sort of device next to you, feel free to keep score and see how well you do, I'd love to know how much money you earned at the end even though there's no real money. Ok, I wanna be real clear, there's no real money Ok, and the last thing you need to know before we jump into Jeopardy is that many of these, many of what I'm gonna show you have, are tools that you can use to help with reading and writing, and most of them are.

But I don't want you to get caught up in the minutiae of, well what's the specific tool here, I want you to think of them more like word families, you know, like think back to if, well, if you're a teacher, you're in the elementary grades, or if you think back to when you were in the elementary grades, or maybe when your kids were in the elementary grades, you know how you learned the word families, you know, there's the A Y family, like bay and clay and day, right, and then there's the next word family and that's how you learned to spell words, and you learned to write and to read words, right, these word families. I want you to think of these tools in that sort of context, in that it's not really important what specific tool but what family do they belong to, what's the overall point of the tool in general. And I think that'll become more and more clear as we start looking at some of the tools, don't get hung up in the specific tool, what's the function of the tool, that's the mainly what I want you to walk away from.

Because, you'll find that depending on where you, your neck of the woods, some of you will have PCs that you use primarily, and others will have Chromebooks that they use primarily and others will have iPads, and so the tools, are not even getting into specific tools, well, how does that work on an iPad, and how does that work on a Chromebook, and how does that work on a PC, and how does that work on a Mac, and so on and so forth, it's what's the idea, so I can find that same idea, that same sort of tool, that word family, that tool family, that works on my system, whichever one I happen to be using. So are you ready for some Jeopardy, let me see it in the chat so I know that you're all ready to play. Excellent, excellent, ok, here are the learning objectives, just so you know the, as we jump over there, all of these are, the top one is, if you look at this really it's about universal design for learning, it's how to help students express what they know, how to help teachers represent content in different ways, and then how to increase engagement all with the idea of reading and writing as the backdrop.

Alright, here we go, the very person to log in today, who got here so early she was so excited, was Rochelle, she logged in like four hours early, no I'm just kidding she was here like, what, 30 minutes early? So Rochelle, if you'd like to choose, you see there's five different categories here, we have "Providing Structure, "Verbal As A Strength," "Fun With Text," "Promoting Literacy," and "Potpourri." Where should we start, Rochelle? Rochelle's typing, I can see that she's typing, and she said "Verbal As A Strength," for 100. Yeah, how many students do we know who are verbal and then, but have trouble expressing what they know through writing, alright, so "Verbal As A Strength" for 100, click on it. A way for students to express what they know without having to generate, handwrite, type, dictate, etc., text without the use of pictures or video. What are people putting as the response, Lori's typing... speech to text, interesting, Tracy, Lori says speech to text, Tracy says Audacity, what is recording,, John you did have access to this presentation ahead of time, But I'm guessing you're not cheating, some say word prediction, audio recording, ok, so Lori, Lori put speech-to-text, notice that I wrote specifically without having to dictate, which is sort of like speech-to-text, you know, it's not exactly, but that's sort of what I'm getting at there, so let's take a look.

There's a little girl,SmartPen. What is voice recording, exactly, what is recording, audio recording, voice recording of some sort. So, the point behind this is that for ages, right, we've just, most of you, as I went to school the way we had to express what we knew was through handwriting because there wasn't another way, there wasn't, I mean, if the student had trouble handwriting maybe the teacher would pull them to the back of the room, and they would talk for a second about ok, you just took the test on George Washington, that last part of the test on George Washington was an essay question, I know you have trouble handwriting, so why don't you tell me the answer, ok that's right, right, we're talking about how him chopping down the cherry tree was just a story, yep, you got it, ok I know you know it because they have a little conversation in the back of the room. And that's how we used to do it, and that's actually still how a lot of people do it, but we have the technology now where students can record their own voice and turn in the audio file as opposed to text, there is no reason we have to rely, necessarily, there is no reason we have to rely on text as the ultimate form of students expressing what they know.

So it doesn't necessarily have to be speech to text, where I have to record my voice and it comes out in text and now the teacher reads it, instead I could just record my voice and the teacher could then listen to it, so that they know what I know, and so that's the very first facet helping with writing is reducing the stress of having to write by just recording your voice. So that's step number one. Alright, so give yourself a hundred if you got audio recording, and who was the first person to put audio recording there? I think, I guess that would be John. So John, you want to choose the next... the next category? Next one, I knew you didn't cheat, I was just teasing. John is choosing the next, let's do "Fun With Text" for 300, yes, let's have some fun with some text. A tool used to create visualizations from blocks of text useful to help students vary word choice in their own writing or to highlight themes in text. Anyone have an idea of what this tool used to create visualizations from blocks of text useful to help students vary their word choice in their own writing or to highlight themes in text? I bet you, you've all seen them.

I don't see anybody typing. I'm gonna give you a hint, if you are struggling, oh, wait, yeah, robot number is doing it... Multiple attendees, bolding, interesting, when I mean blocks of text I mean big, so blocks, interesting, yes. Word maps, interesting Bridget, that's, I wonder if you're saying the same thing I'm saying, just using a different term. Highlighting, ok, here are the pictures. There's one, there's another, any ideas now? Word clouds, exactly, word clouds. Ok, so here's the deal, here are a couple tools that you can use to make word clouds, the most popular is probably wordle.net, but there are other ones, and they have different uses, like tagxedo allows you to add like little pictures, like, wordle doesn't allow you to have that little face, that picture that I have in there in the top right, about professional development, but tagxedo does. So that's my favorite, my favorite is probably wordle.net, only because it's so easy for educators, but I like all of them, you know, depending on the, like if I wanted to make some sort of image in the background then maybe I'd use one of the other ones.

But here's the point, why am I showing this? So often I'll see this used in schools right, you walk around the hallways, you might see this up, and the way it's used by educators is sometimes, like, tell me all about yourself, so students will write in a bunch of words about themself, and then they'll have their word cloud, or let's so our school pride, and there's a whole bunch of words about pride and it goes up on the wall. But it can really be used as a reading and writing strategy, so take Dr. Martin Luther King's famous speech, and you take that block of text, right, there's the block of text. And you paste it into the word cloud, what does the word cloud do? How do those words become bigger? So it's the words that are repeated the most frequently that are larger. So what happens is, you take Dr. Martin Luther King's speech, you pop it into a word cloud generator, and the words that are repeated the most frequently become larger so the students can immediately see, what's the point of this block of text, oh, it's freedom, it's choice, it's equality, right? Whatever the block of text is, you get the themes out of them.

So Maureen did it, yeah and how was it, Maureen? Did people love it? Did it really help? Maureen's typing, as she's typing, let me tell you about the other use for it, and that would be writing, right? So you get the student, remember, what did you do over the snow day, that's the essay you have to write, well, my snow days were very good, I went sledding a lot, it was very cold out and it was, I was very thirsty when I was done sledding, and my coat, my coat got very wet, and whatever they do they keep using the word very, very, very, very, very over, so to vary word choice, you take that student's text, and you ask them to pop it into a wordcloud generator, and then the word very, V-E-R-R, V-E-R-Y, would pop out huge and so they would see, oh yeah I'm using that word, is that the theme I want from my snow day essay, is very? Or do I want the theme to be snow and cold, and you know bitter and something like that. Ok, so wordclouds, the first, and just, ah, Bridget, is that what you meant by word map? Is that the same thing? Curious, if that's, or if that's another tool that I don't know about. The first person for wordcloud looks like it was... Janet, so Janet... Janet, can you go ahead and choose the next category for us? What appeals to you?

Janet's choosing, she's reading carefully, does she want Providing Structure or Promoting Literacy, does she want maybe more Fun With Text, cause that was a good one... Potpourri for 100, right, my favorite category in all of Jeopardy. Bitstrips.com, pixton.com, toondoo.com, the Lego website and the Marvel website allow users to create this form of representation and expression. Maureen jumps in with cartoons, right, exactly, cartoons or comic strips, yeah, our judges say cartoons are comic strips, so yeah. Yes, I love using comics, and teachers, whenever they do, ah, I've shown this, and then they do it, all the students always seem to have fun. But the reason, besides the engagement factor, the reason I really like comic strips are the ability to scaffold them up and down. So you could give one student a, say, just turn 'em loose, like, go to toondoo and create me a four-cell comic expressing what you know about George Washington and the cherry tree, right, and they can go over and do that.

For a different student, you might give them four panels and have characters, and you leave the text bubbles blank, but they have to fill in the text bubbles. And then another student you fill in three of the text bubbles and leave the fourth one blank, and they just have to fill in the fourth one. And any range in there, in between, because this way, students are all sort of kinda doing the same activity, but there's different levels of how they can complete it, so that they, you know, they're writing to their level, their ability. The reason I include, you'll notice that there's bitstrips and pixton and toondoo, those allow you to create these sort of generic characters, so this one over here on the left, with the big guy with the big chin, and the girl in the front, that's made in bitstrips, and then, yes, and Storyboard That, my son just used that, nice Maureen, my son just used that the other day, so that's another one that's good, another free one, too.

This one over here, is, on the right hand side, the four panel one, is made using toondoo, and those you'll notice are sort of generic characters, right, so the teacher can create the generic characters, and like they can put, instead of the, instead of the instructions, they could make a cartoon with the instructions, they could make caricatures, but what I really want to point out is the difference that these are sort of generic characters, versus the Lego website or the Marvel website, where students would actually know those characters, you know what I mean? So it'd be like, when you're trying to find a voice for a character, they're trying to write about a character, well, what would Captain America say in this situation? What would Hulk say, Hulk need new form of expression, Hulk smash, you know, you know those characters so you can write about what those characters would say in a certain situation, as opposed to these generic characters where some students are like, eh, I don't know who that character is, I don't know their voice, you know?

So Lego website's the same thing, you have Lego Star Wars, so you have Yoda, you know, well how would Yoda word this, you know, and that takes it to a whole new level or it helps students understand how they should write it because they know that character's voice. Alright, so, that was, who jumped in there first? As the first person to say cartoons, Maureen? And if there's any questions in there, please. Please feel free to ask. Alright Maureen, what's next? Maureen's typing, and yes, thank you all of you for putting in the, like Storyboard That, if you know of any other tools iOS devices, chrome apps, whatever that you like, feel free to put them in the chat, like I said, you guys are the stars, you have concepts you know as well. Alright, Providing Structure for 200, yeah, structure, we all need structure, it's the one thing almost every student craves, is structure. Alright, a visual tool to segment, chunk, or otherwise define a chronological sequence of events created using tools like timetoast.com and dipity.com.

Maureen jumps in again with timelines, that's right. Leandra just a few seconds behind her, so close. Ok, and so... Here's an example of a timeline, what are timeline generators, that one happens to be created using dipity, and that one, actually, is one my son, who's in fourth grade, it's one that he actually made. So the idea here is that he read a book, and in fact I think maybe I'll jump over and show it to you real quick, over in, on the actual web, so let me jump over and show it to you. You know, back in the day, we would go, we'd have to do book reports, well, every month, he has a different project that he has to do, where he has to read a book, on a different genre, so in this particular book, it was historical fiction, and so he read the bombing of Pearl Harbor, I can't believe I survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, that was the name of the book. And so then, you know, back in the day when we did our book reports, we would read a book and then write an essay on the book, you know, telling all the points about the book. Well, and then what would happen is that essay would go to the teacher, the teacher would grade it, and we would get it back, we'd say we feel good about ourselves, thanks teacher for reading my essay on this book that I read.

But now, what my son does, is he does the same sort of thing but he puts pictures, he puts a sentence or two describing the sequence of events, and then you'll notice down here at the bottom, all of this, this block of text down here, that is what he generated as he did each of these cells, right? So as he wrote one cell, and then he moved on to the next cell, and he's telling the story one cell at a time, so he's not overwhelmed, one cell at a time, and then when he's all done, bring a picture with each one that he just finds in Google, puts it in a nice little, nice little timeline for him, and then the teacher has different ways that she can look at it, she can look at that timeline, or she can look at it in a more chronological, or I guess, essay fashion, more traditional to the book report style, and what's so cool about this is that students can, he's publishing it to the world, so up here at the top, you'll see that he has created, 136 people have viewed this particular timeline. So here he's actually maybe teaching somebody about this book, you know, it's actually making something authentic, so. Alright, so that is timeline generators, I really like it for story sequencing, I really like it for students doing something chronological, I also really like it if you're a speech therapist that happened to log in, for the before and after sort of concepts, teaching the temporal concepts, the language concepts, great for that.

Ok, let me jump back over to the presentation. Alright Maureen, Maureen it sounds like you maybe have used some timeline generators too, so feel free to type in there what would you use. Oh, read write think, I see that. But ok Maureen, I think you said timelines, so you maintain control, what is next? Promoting literacy for 400, alright, let's see what people know about this. A proven methodology to improve the reading abilities of students that is a function of a device found almost ubiquitously in every home in the United States. It's a proven methodology, there's research behind this one. Janet jumps in really quick with captioning. Ah, Kimberly, a book, I love that. But Janet is right, it is captioning, there you go, there's Dora the Explorer, and you can see that the captions are on, and there the little CCTV, and that what is closed captioning, and if you're interested in reading the research, that's the hyperlink you go to, bit.ly slash caption research. So tons of research has been done that shows that just turning the captions on helps students become better readers. So what's the takeaway from that? The takeaway is that any time you are watching a video, you turn the captions on in your classroom, right? Second, any time, so if you're a teacher, you make your classroom a captions-on classroom.

If you're a principal, you make your school a captions-on school, any time there's a video on, the captions are on. And then, if you're a parent, make your home a captions-on home, right? And teachers, that is the easiest homework assignment you can give to parents, is say, hey, you want your kids to become better readers, turn the captions on, because chances are they're watching TV at least some part of the day, and so whether they're watching Teen Titans or Mythbusters, if you turn the captions on it'll help them become better readers. One other thing to note, is that if you are using iOS devices, there's a feature of the, when I say iOS I mean iPads, iPod Touch, that sorta stuff, right? There's a feature in the accessibility features where you can turn the captions on universally, on the device, so that most movies, if they have captions will automatically come on, right?

So we have that set for, my kids here, my own personal kids, have iPads, we have that set so when they turn on, my daughter was watching Powerpuff Girls the other day, through, you know, she turned that on, and the captions are there and at least I don't feel so bad she's watching a 30-minute show on Powerpuff Girls, because I know at least she's getting, seeing the text, exposure to the text, exposure to the words, so. Ok, everyone gonna turn the captions on? Yes Chris, we're turning the captions on, ah, we should have done that all the time. Yes, exactly, turn those on. Alright, Janet... where are we going next? Janet's choosing, other people are flipping over to their accessibility features on their iPad, trying to find out how to turn on the captions, alright. Verbal As A Strength, 400. A free, open-sourced software which allows users to record long tracks of audio useful for practicing reading fluency. Now, some have mentioned this earlier, so who's jumping in with the answer?

Maureen again jumps in with Audacity, exactly. Audacity is the free, is the free open-source software, of course, tell me, there must be other software's that you use out there, software titles that you use to record audio, like what, what do you have on your devices? Oh, Maureen says vocaroo, interesting. That's a web-based software, One Note is a way to record your voice, absolutely, way to go, Tracy, One Note is Microsoft, Microsoft product. Sort of like Evernote, except it's Microsoft product. Soundcloud, great. So, of course, there's GarageBand, if you're a Mac user, right, so the idea here is that you take your recording software, and Audacity allows you to create these outer limits sort of wavelengths, wavelength visualizations, you know, as you're recording you can actually see your voice go up and down, right. So, again, if you're a speech therapist and you're like wow, I got a student that's always talking too loud, well, record 'em in Audacity and they can actually see how loud they're talking and you can give them the model.

But this is about reading and writing, right? So what's the idea here with using Audacity is that you record a student reading their stuff in September, at the beginning of school, and their reading will no doubt sound choppy, right? And it won't sound clear at all. And they'll get better, right? 'Cause you're practicing reading smoothly, they're practicing reading throughout the course of the year. But they won't know they're getting better, right? Because it happens so incrementally that they don't really notice it. So by recording it, they'll have a recording in September that you can play later in let's say October or November, and then you compare the two and you're like, oh, you don't think you're getting better? Listen, listen to how much better you sound. And if there's one thing our students need more than anything, and I say our students, I mean students in general, it's, ah, encouragement that yes, I'm the struggling, you know, they know, they know that they're not good at it, right? I'm not a good reader, I'm not a good writer. This is not coming easy to me and I look at my neighbor next door and it's coming easy to them, but it's not good for me, I'm struggling, here, let me show you some confidence. If there's one thing they needed, confidence, so here, listen to this.

Here's your recording two months ago, here's your recording now, which one sounds better buddy? Oh yeah, you sound better right, you're improving. Plus, Audacity has the, has built-in timeframes, so you can actually see, look, you recorded this in 45 seconds, back in September, and now you record it in 30 seconds, not that speed is the only thing, but you can see, there's an actual marker, a quantifiable marker that could show you read the same passage faster. You're reading faster, you're reading more fluidly, it sounds better, right? Cool, that's Audacity, alright Maureen, think you got that one, right? So, where are we going next? Yes, Maureen's mentioning fluency tutor for Google, which is a text-help product, which you might see later, not fluency tutor, but, depending on what gets chosen here we might look at a text-help product. Text-help is the name of the company that makes Fluency Tutor. Alright, Potpourri for 500, whoa, ok. Going for big money. The best way to adapt a worksheet. The best way to adapt a worksheet.

Janet says PDF escape, Maureen says not to use it, Becca says, what is not to have it, Becca! Hey Becca. Smiley face, smiley face highlights, yes. The answer is not to have a worksheet. Yes, it is a trick, is a trick, what is a Google spreadsheet, yes, some people might say you could adapt a worksheet by taking a picture of it or scanning it in, I definitely show teachers that way too much, you could take a picture of a document put it in Microsoft Word, put, you know, turn it into a picture, put it in Microsoft Word, put a text box over it so students can write on top of it, you could take that same picture if you're a google user and put it into Google drawing, put text box over it, you could do all of that, but all of that you're doing it for a worksheet. And so, let me phrase this in a different way.

I live in Virginia, here in Virginia our school district is probably closing in on its 10th or 11th snow day, we had a two hour delay today, and what do students say every single time there's a snow day? What do they say every time there's a snow day? Yay, yay it's a snow day, woohoo, I don't want to go to school because school sucks. Now what do teachers say when there's a snow day? Same thing, yay, I don't have to go to school today, and I think, why does it have to be that way? If we designed lessons that were more engaging than a worksheet, then maybe I would feel like, oh man, I really wanted to go to school today, whether I was the teacher or the student, because I was gonna do this cool thing, I was gonna learn about, or I was gonna do this lesson on, no one jumps out of bed going yes, I can't wait to go to school today doing my worksheet, I can't wait to go to school so I can fill out this worksheet on Pocahontas, or this worksheet on the eight planets, those are the two that are, yes they are actual worksheets that have come home with my student, with my son, so cross them out, the idea is not to do a worksheet, design a lesson that's more engaging so that you don't have to use a worksheet, and then, so much of us that work in assistant technologies, right John, so many of us that work in assistant technologies won't have to help you figure out how to adapt that worksheet, I would much rather spend the time with that teacher saying how can I help you design a lesson so you don't have to use the worksheet in the first place.

Alright, who said don't have to use a worksheet, who was first, I missed it, I forgot. Oh, it was Maureen, yes, excellent, alright Maureen. And Becca, you got it too, but Maureen, you jumped in with not to use it, what are we picking? Maureen's choosing... Providing structure for 300, alright, we came back to the structure. A way to provide tactile and visual prompts to help segment, tell, and or retell a story to include such important aspects such as setting, characters, conflict, events and conclusion. Yes, notice it says tactile. Liz thinks she has an answer... Storyboard, interesting, yes, storyboard is close, story grammar marker, story grammar marker, interesting, is that a website that I don't know about? Five finger retell, a number person comes in, yes. So, the five finger retell is very similar to what I'm thinking here, this is kind of a, you haven't seen one before or maybe you think of it but you just haven't thought of it in these terms, this is definitely a low-tech strategy, not a computer-based one. It's called a story rope, right? Or, really, anything that is tactile, that you can use to touch to tell a story.

So, let's take a look at this story rope here for instance. Right, you're retelling a story. So, you've read the text, and now how do you tell it, tell that text back in a linear format, maybe you'll be writing it later, but you're just retelling it back. Well that story rope, if you can see up there at the top, there's the setting, it's a picture of a house and you can touch it and hold it, then you move on to the little deer icons, I don't know if you can see that, but the little characters, right, so then you tell about the characters, and then this guy, with the little thing, pushing on that circle, right, he's got some, there's a conflict there, so what's the fight, and then you've got the person at the starting line, the person running and the person finishing, so the beginning, the middle and the end, and then some sort of conclusion, yeah, like a funk board Maureen, perfect.

Any way that you can make students touch the stuff, you know, they said Legos is another great way, where you have setting might be, ah, one Lego color, and then you connect all the Legos together and you build like a pyramid, with the setting at the bottom, and then characters are the little guys you put on top, and then on top of them might be a red brick that means the conflict, or you can print out words and put them on the Lego blocks, you know, but some way that students can actually touch the material, it'll help them remember the content as they're retelling the story. So alright, number person, you know, 7 8 9, 5 9 4 8 2 4 9, you came the closest with five finger retell, right, so go ahead, you get to choose the next one. Alright Heather. What are you choosing Heather? Ah, so the story grammar marker is a story rope, alright Ann, sorry, I didn't know that, cool, I'm learning, see? Fun with text for 100.

A visual tool. used to segment, chunk, or otherwise define areas in which to write created using tools like mindmeister, mindomo, lucidchart, mind42, cacoo, or kay-co, I don't know how to say it, gliffy, and spiderscribe.net. Mind map? Heather says graphic organizer. Janet says, let's see what Janet comes in with, information graphic, oh infographic that's cool, that's different, Janet, these tools don't necessarily make infographics though I do love that whole idea of making infographics, so it is, you got it right, it's a graphic organizer. Or a mind map. A mind map I think is a specific type of graphic organizer, at least that's how I think of it, ask Maureen who says inspiration and kidspiration, those ones you pay for, right? These that I've mentioned here are web-based ones. The point that I think Maureen is making and that I'm trying to make is that you see teachers a lot use graphic organizers. That's kind of a known tool to use. Except what I don't normally see them use is a digital one, it's usually some paper-based one.

So, you know, like my son came home with one of his projects, and fill out this graphic organizer and it's like these, you know, write a paragraph, or write a two sentences in these little bubbles that are, you know, you can't even fit a couple words in there, let alone a sentence, you know, you don't really think about laying it out. By having a digital version, you have all the other tools at your disposal that you can use, like moving them around, moving the shapes around, and adding audio content and adding pictures, and adding hyperlinks on to more text, or onto a website or something, or to a video, to further explain it, and you can't do any of that with a paper-based graphic organizer. Well, not as easily, anyway. So that's why I recommend using these graphic organizers that are web-based, or at least digital in some way. So let me jump over and show you one, real quick, I'm gonna show you mindomo, we drop a, this one, here's mindomo, and so this is one I made in mindomo, usually these free ones allow you to, create an account, and then you get to make like three for free and then you have to start paying for more, right? And so here you can see, why do I use mind-mapping, why do I use graphic organizer?

Well, because I can move things around if I want, right, I can move this around if I want, I can link to websites, I can put visuals, I can link to a video, I can teach a new word this way, and then notice this one, it says, option as a final product, so, check this out. As opposed to writing something like this and this being the final product, there's a presenter feature up here, mindmeister has one, mindomo has one. So I'm gonna jump over into presenter mode, and now, check it out. Now, sort of like prezi without the seasickness, right, I can just jump to the next, you know, stop all the spinny, roller-coaster motion. I'm just zooming in and out, not that I don't like prezi, I like prezi too. But yeah, it's just like that way. Right, so you get the idea, cool? Alright Maureen, you jumped in with mind-map, which I think people use synonymously with graphic organizer, so, like I said, the idea is to use a digital version, so, let's jump back over to our powerpoint, and maximize the screen again. Ok, what are we using, what are we going to next, Maureen. Potpourri for 300, we are jumping all over, awesome, love it. A function built into MS Word that provides data about the reading level and complexity of the text. Leandra jumps in with readability, exactly.

You know, Anjeanette says word count, which, it does do word count as well, and Google docs will do word count as well, but Microsoft word specifically has a readability feature that Google docs doesn't. And so that's what this picture, that's what this picture shows, right, if you were to look in Google docs, for instance, it has word count, and like you said Anjeanette, there is word count here as well, right, so whatever block of text I had when I made this screenshot, that's how many characters and words there were. But notice down here at the bottom it gives the readability statistics. So, why, why is that important? Well, ok, so I have this block of text that I want students to read, I know I have students that have trouble reading, or reading at a certain grade level, or reading level, so I take that block of text, I pop it into Microsoft Word, or maybe it's already in Microsoft Word, I go through, I turn on the readability statistics, which is, it happens through spell-check, right, you turn it on through those, or how I said here to enable it, file options proofing, you click on the checkbox to enable readability statistics, and then you hit spellcheck, and when you do the spellcheck, at the end, this pops up, this window pops up.

And so now you can see, oh geez, I've got a student with a second-grade reading level or third-grade reading level and I'm asking them to read a block of text that is at a seventh-grade reading level. Eh, I've got a disconnect there, I've got some problems. So now I've gotta do something to modify that text, so that the student can read it, and of course, we'll have some other tools that we'll get to that'll help us even do that. The other way you can do it, and the other way students use this, is that once a student has written a block of text, you know, I've written my essay, well, ok, let me do my spellcheck, and have the readability statistics pop up, and then let me look at this grade level.

Well let's see, I'm a, I'm a third-grader, fourth-grader, and what is my readability? Uh, grade level one comes up? Maybe I could do something to this block of text, maybe I could challenge myself, to go in and make my sentences a little bit longer, or add some details, or add some description, let me see if I can up my score from a, you know, grade level one, to a grade level three, or something. Now it's not a perfect science, because the way the readability statistics work is that it's based on how long your sentences are, how long your words are, and so, you know, it's a tool you can use, but it's not, you know, a student might write a really good sentence that's short, you know, things went awry, you know, and they're like, awry is gonna be a short sentence, if I did the readability statistic on that sentence it's gonna come out relatively low, although awry is a pretty good word, you know, someone used that, it'd be like yes, you know.

So the idea is that it's a tool that they can use, it's a metric they can use, that they can try to adjust, but it's not at the end-all be-all. So, cool, readability statistics. Cool different features. Alright, Leandra, where are we going? Promoting literacy for 100. This function allows a user to hear digital text read aloud which may be useful for listening to questions, understanding vocabulary, processing information, and editing written work. Haha. Oh, Anjeanette, so close. Liz, I think, Liz is the first one to get it, definitely speech-to-text, ok? Janet says read and write gold, which is a specific tool that does, does text-to-speech, sorry not speech-to-text, that's the confusing part, speech-to-text is when I talk, and the text comes out, and read write gold does that as well. But what I'm specifically looking for here is text-to-speech, where I see a block of text, and I hit a play button, and I listen to it, right? So, there's a toolbar, what I'm gonna show you right now is Read&Write for Google, Read&Write Gold is a software package that you, a software product that you can install on your computer, you have to pay for it, and you install, and you, it puts a toolbar on your screen. I'm sure you've heard of the Don Johnson suite of products, thesuite, there are tons of free text-to-speech out there, again, let's not get wrapped around what's the best text-to-speech tool, just the fact that you need to have one. Every school needs to have one, in fact, I say to teachers all the time, I'll say, alright, what's two plus two? In fact go ahead, type it in, what's two plus two?

Go ahead and type it in, what's two plus two? Four, yeah Liz, thank you. What's four plus four? Eight, eight yes thank you for participating. Yes, exactly, right, everyone knows that it's just something you just know because it's been ingrained in you since kindergarten. So as a teacher, I ask you, what's your text-to-speech tool, same question, go ahead and type it in, what is your specific text-to-speech tool? Every teacher, especially general education teachers, but every teacher needs to know what their text-to-speech tool is, yeah, so many people know, they're using Read&Write, using Read&Write, exactly, Tracy's got PDF reader. It doesn't really matter to me, yes, Kurzweil, great, it doesn't matter to me what your text to speech tool is, as long as you have one and you know how to use it. Alright, so here are the two ways you really use text-to-speech. You jump over to my essay I'm gonna write called the ferret.

You see how it's called the ferret up here at the top, I don't know if you can see, that it's called the ferret there, ok, so I'm gonna, first I'm going to do my sentence here, ok so here's my sentence everybody. The ferret slept on the bed. Type that in, good sentence? You think that's a good sentence? The ferret slept on the bed? Has a subject, the ferret, the ferret's doing something, he's sleeping, right, good sentence, so here we go. The ferret slept on the bed. Perfect, right, did I do it right? The ferret slept on the bed? I did that, right? Anna says no, Laurie says no, Alice says no. Laurie, Anna, Alice, Tracy, Tracy says missing on, no it's right there, the ferret slept on the bed, you don't see it? All you guys are wrong, wrong, you're all wrong. Nope, you're wrong. The ferret slept on the bed, it's right there, I read it over, oh, you're saying I messed it up. I should check, you should use my editing checklist, that I learned in third grade, the editing checklist every teacher gave me, oh, let me do that, let me check for capitalization, did I check for capitalization? Yep, I've capitalized. Did I check for punctuation? Yep, I've got a punctuation there, I've got a period. Do I see any little red squigglies underneath my line, saying I spelled something wrong? Nope, no little red squigglies, so what should I do, I should add something at the bottom because you're all telling me I got it wrong, but I'm telling you I think I got it right, I should listen to it, and so, in this particular tool, I am using Google Chrome, I have Read&Write for Google installed, and we won't go through how I actually did that, you can get it for free, Read&Write for Google, it's free for educators, Now I'm just gonna hit the play button, and when i listen to it, I hear that I made the mistake.

My ear catches the mistake that my eyes missed, and then I can go back and fix it. Same deal over here, let me, the point, the takeaway there, is every editing checklist, the very last thing you should have on your editing checklist, is did I listen to it, not did I read it over, which is what ends on most people's editing checklists right now, but did I listen to it. So that's one way to use text-to-speech and why it's so important, but the other way, is here I've come to this great website, right? And this website is the website of all websites on teaching, whatever. It's the George Washington website, maybe it's the polar bear website. Whatever it is, teachers use websites to teach content, right? And so remember our student that we talked about earlier, that has a second-grade reading level, but the website, when I ran it through the readability statistics it said that it was a grade level seven point two, and I got that disconnect?

Well now that student, all they have to do, is here's Read&Write, come on open up, whoops, there we go, the toolbar opened up, I have, this is Read&Write for Google, again, this is with the text-to-speech feature it's free for everybody, right, some of the other features are greyed out, you have to pay for them, and I guess some of them are free for teachers as well, but the text-to-speech feature, which we've been talking about here, is completely free for everybody, so anyone can have it. And so all I do now is move my cursor over the words, and it starts reading it aloud. And so, now my student that is struggling with reading doesn't have to rely on his reading ability to understand that content, he can use his reading ability paired with his auditory comprehension ability to understand that content. As long as he can listen to it, he can get the content, cool. Alright, again, thank you all for sharing your text-to-speech tools, that is great, it seems like everybody is on board that's participating is on board, knows text-to-speech and that is a wonderful thing. I think that's, if there's one tool that we need to champion the most, that might be it. Ok, who put text-to-speech first? I forget, that's way back up there, so...

Can someone remind me who said first? Was it Liz, alright Liz, excellent. Liz, what's next, well we, we still have so much to go, excellent. Promoting literacy for 200, alright. A method for teaching literacy skills by way of adjusting narratives through the inclusion of additional textures, audio, additional pictures, moveable objects, rebus text, and or other media formats. A method for teaching literacy skills. Bye Janet, thanks for playing. Multimedia, sort of, multimedia could be an aspect of it, hypermedia might be an aspect,'cause you can include audio that way, but moveable objects, yeah I guess you could move it around with multimedia, rebus text, yeah, you could have pictures in there, so yeah, totally.

Ah, Alice jumps in with adapted books, that's the word I was looking for, right, these other things aren't wrong, but that's exactly what I was looking for, is taking a book and adapting it, changing the book from being just an experience where you read a book and look at the pictures, to it being an experience where you read the book and you look at the pictures, and you move the pictures, and you interact with the book, by making it tactile in some way. Or adapting it in some way to meet the needs of the learner, right. So the picture you might see behind there there's like a wikki sticks, and there's some leaves, right and this one over here there's the kid that's velcroed on so you can rip him off, and you can actually have him jump into the pile of leaves, and underneath that there's some Mayer-Johnson symbols that go over the text, in the foreground picture up here, you have students that are learning the sequencing, associating withdevices, with minspeak, right, and so teachers have gone in and said hey, we're teaching minspeak, we're teaching them how to find these icons on their device, so I'm gonna adapt this book by putting those down there at the bottom, right, of the books that we're reading.

So some ways of adapting books, then you make it, you change the activity of just reading to experiencing the book. Ok. Whoops, oh no, I screwed it up. That was promoting literacy for 200. Ok, what's next. Alice, Alice what are we choosing? She says providing structure for 500. A free website where students can Drag 'N Drop or type text over images to create poems, posters or pictures by describing what they see. And there's an example of one down below. Now this is kind of an obscure website, I will be shocked if any of you know it. Anjeanette, typing, she thinks she might know it, doodle buddy, ok, excellent, that is an excellent tool, that's not the one that's here, but I like doodle buddy because you can provide stamps, right, yes.

This is a different website, haiku deck, oh another good one, that's a great way to make presentations, right, where you can just put in pictures and make presentations, like an alternative to powerpoint, this particular tool, like I said, I'd be shocked if anyone knew it, is called piclit, piclit. The point, again, remember how I talked about those word families at the beginning, how I didn't want you to get wrapped around specific tools, but I wanted you to talk about the feature of the tool, or what's the point? The point behind piclit is the drag 'n drop component. But the idea is that many tools that we use, like those graphic organizers we looked at, or like Microsoft Word, or Chrome, you know, Google docs or whatever, any of those, haiku deck, they ask you to type in text, you have to type in text. But so many students have trouble typing in text, so what I'm really going for here is the idea that the text is already available and they just drag the text around the screen putting it in order for them to make their sentences, so I'm gonna jump over and show that to you real quick, since most of you are probably unfamiliar with that particular tool, here's piclits, right, and you can't upload your own pictures, there'spictures you can use, so I'm only just gonna pick this one with the, you know, dandelion over here, right, and you'll see that there's a word bank down below that I can just click and drag on.

So I wanna make a sentence, how about, and I can scroll down a little bit to see some more words, I left forever uh, blow, or wait a second, blowing, blowing, I left forever, blowing in, the has to be here somewhere, yup, in the wind. I'm gonna add my punctuation at the end, what's the point of me showing this to you? Again, it's the drag 'n drop component. So maybe you don't like piclits, maybe this doesn't work for you because the words are too small. The menu which you use is inspiration, or you can use text boxes, in Microsoft Word, where you put the, make a word bank and students drag the words around. Or maybe you do it in, maybe you have, maybe your school district, will it read the word if you hover over it? No, it won't, EH, but other tools will, you know, like some of the other ones I'm mentioning. Like, inspiration would definitely have that feature built into it, of course that's not free, but many school districts have interactive whiteboard software, maybe your smart notebook or maybe your promethean, you're using active inspire, those you can create text boxes and have a word bank and you can drag 'em around, so lots of different ways to do the same feature, which is drag and drop.

That's what I want you to walk away from. Anjeanette, I'm gonna let you guys try that, alright? Ok, let me jump back over to the presentation. Alright, so I think Liz, you still have control, right? Do I have that right? So let me get back to the main screen, whoops, come on. There we go, ok, sorry. How about Promoting Literacy for 300. A website from the University of North Carolina with an enormous library of digital books with pictures which also allows users to generate and add to that library by authoring their own books. Yes, some people have used it before, oh, these are some people who know their stuff, exactly, awesome guys, so, it's Tar Heel Reader, if you have not seen it, you need to check it out, right? Everyone who's seen it and used it, yes, you have to use it? Definitely go check it out, bump it to the top of your list, Tar Heel Reader, these, what you're looking at here, this picture is books that I've made, if you haven't seen Tar Heel Reader, I'm gonna jump over and I'm gonna show it to you real quick, right, these are some of my books, and, I dunno, someone wanna see one?

Which one, which one do you wanna look at real quick, just as an example. Steve's Life in Minecraft, a Glomby Gloomy Halloween, Restaurant Duty, whoever types it in first gets their, the dishwasher one, excellent, alright Rochelle. Alright, so, this is Chris, he has a job to do. Now I'm reading this, right? But back here our settings, and I could actually have it be read aloud to me, I could download it as a powerpoint, right, so if I didn't want to do it online, if I wanted to take it with me, there's lots of different options. This one is, obviously I can upload my own pictures, right, like I said it can be read aloud, you know, you can make your own story, I've tried to keep this relatively simple, where the, there's only one or two sentences per...

Per, ooh, Chris is careful with the knives, right, so, this is just one example of books. At the end you can rate the books, you can find more books. You can also write a book, and so if I wanted to write a book about a dog, I can find all these pictures of dogs, and then I can choose a picture, and I can add it to my book, right, and then I can fill in the details, and that's my dog, and that's my book, right, ok. And so on and so forth I can make my own book, I can type in my text. I'm not gonna spend any more time showing you the specifics of Tar Heel Reader, just the idea though, the idea behind it, is that students not only can read acceptable books on any sort of content, right, if you had to teach the bombing of Pearl Harbor, you could go over and you could search Tar Heel Reader and look for books that students have made, or other teachers have made, about the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and it's made in an acceptable format so students can access it with switches, they can listen to it, usually it's something that they can, better reading ability, or reading level, so that's one aspect, and the other aspect is students writing their own books so that they're not just writing something for the teacher's eyes, they're publishing it to the world so that I can enjoy their writing.

I, me, here in Virginia, or you wherever you are can enjoy their writing, and other students can benefit from other students' writing. So that is Tar Heel Reader, I'm gonna leave this page, I didn't finish it. Ok. Something similar to Tar Heel Reader too, I guess, would be CAST book builder, that would be another way to make acceptable books. Alright, who said Tar Heel Reader first? Looks like it was Anjeanette, Anjeanette, you get to choose. It is seven o'clock, so we've been doing this for an hour, it ends at 7:30 and we've got still a handful to get to, that's good. Fun With Text for 500, exactly, alright, awesome, let's have some fun with text. A method for improving writing performance which includes the author generating text for the purpose of impacting slash influencing others in the world such as writing a blog post, commenting on another's blog post, commenting on another person's work, posting or commenting on social media, etc. Whoops. Maybe sort of gave that one away, yup, what is writing for an authentic purpose.

So here's the idea behind this, I sort of alluded to this earlier, but let me just call it right out. Do you remember how you would write essays in school and it actually hasn't changed much, I think a lot of classrooms are very similar, where you would get your writing assignment, you write the assignment, you give it to the teacher, the teacher looks at it, she checks it over, says yep, you did a good job, it comes home, your parents look at it, and then it gets thrown in the trash. Hopefully when the student's not looking, but that's what ends up happening to it. It gets pitched, right? And so, if the student happens to see that happening, see that their work gets thrown out, it's like not really motivating for them to do their writing assignment in the first place, and they get this whole foul taste in their mouth about writing, they're like, eh, why am I doing this, why am I working so hard on writing when it's just gonna get thrown out.

So, the idea is, you make the making the writing something authentic, right, make it something that they can, when I say authentic meaning something that they can publish to the world, right, like my son did with his timeline generator, right? And so today, in 2015, it is so easy to do. There are so many authors out there that have blogs that you can comment on. Even if they don't, right, if you're reading someone who's super popular that doesn't have a blog, that they manage, well, then you could, you could facebook them, or tweet them, or you could write a review on iTunes, or write a review of a place that you go to, if you go to community based instruction, write a yelp review. There's amazon reviews, there's tons of ways of writing something that actually means something to the world, as opposed to just writing something for the teacher's eyes, so, and one example of that, I'm just gonna throw this out here is Eliza Anderson, Eliza Anderson is the editor for a website called AT Program News, it's a free newsletter that you can get, you can sign up there, and get, it's free, you know, free e-mails sent to you whenever there's a new publication.

But she's doing something called generation tech articles, and she's out there recruiting right now, looking for students who use technology, primarily students with disabilities, that use technology to support their learning, and that write about it, and so she has a number of these generation tech articles, already published over at AT Program News, but she's always looking for more students who wanna write about that process. So if you're looking for, if you know a student that jumps to your mind as like, yeah, I've got a student that, she's really rockin' and rollin' with, I dunno, Kurzweil, Read&Write Gold, or one of these web-based solutions that we've been looking at or something, contact Eliza, she would love to hear from you, she might work with you and that student to do some sort of authentic writing activity that you could then publish in this generation tech article.

I've worked with Eliza twice now, two students that I've worked with who have done it, and they feel so awesome about their writing, you know, like, they produced something that other people use, and they feel like, you know, they've impacted the world, man, you know what I mean, they changed the world. So it wasn't just something that they did for the teacher's eyes only. Ok. Authentic writing, Becca, you get to choose. What is next? What is Becca gonna choose, she chooses... Choosing Fun With Text for 100, alright, more fun with text. The simple English language of Wikipedia, summary.com, tools4noobs.com/summarize, freesummarizer.com, testcompactor.com, and TLDR extension in Chrome are all examples of websites or tools that help a user perform this task. Simplify, sort of, it doesn't really, it sorta simplifies, Anjeanette, yes, that's what I'm going for Becca, summarize, right, it summarizes a text. It simplifies the text too, Anjeanette. But simplify might think you're reducing the reading level, and you don't always reduce the reading level when you summarize texts, it's just less you have to read.

Like, that TLDR is too long, didn't read, right? So it takes it and makes it shorter. So the simple English language of Wikipedia is one most people don't know about, I'm not gonna take the time to jump over there and show you, but notice, when you go to Wikipedia, which many, many, many students use, there's the different languages on the side, and as many of the, so you can immediately translate it to a different language, and many of the posts, there is something called simple English, when you click on that, it summarizes it for you, it makes it much easier to read, so. So that is that feature, it's the summarizing feature. Alright Becca. What are we doing next? John's typing in too, Becca? Potpourri for 400, alright. A practice or initiative of selecting only materials that are born accessible, or at least digital. Oh man, keep losing my text box. Yes,John, that's a good tool.

Becca says UDL, can anyone see the, I hope not. People are too busy typing to see my snafu. Not exactly UDL, Becca, but not exactly UDL, Anjeanette, Maureen, no it's exactly AIM either, right? Cause AIM is sort of different, right? Yes, Liz, it's the PALM initiative, right? So let's tease that out for a second, alright? The idea is that school districts buy stuff, right, and when they buy stuff, one of the things that they should, one of the criteria they should, they should use, when considering what stuff to buy, is, is it accessible, so lemme give you this example. Loudoun county public schools, my school district, the school district that I work for, the school district that my kids go to, they use a tool called dream box, right? And dream box is something they purchase, and it's a math, web-based math application that my daughter signs into, and she does 20 minutes of it, you know, and they go to the computer lab, and they do 20 minutes of it in the computer lab, right, and they practice their math facts and stuff, and there's like, there's games that go along with practicing these math facts, right, and we pay for it.

So my daughter's showing this to me, and what happens is, she plays one of the dream box games, and she learns the math facts, and at the end, she succeeds, and a video comes up, and the video's of this like, you know, little character congratulating her on what a great job she did, and keyboarding or whatnot, right, and the character's talking to her, and I say to my daughter, hey, what if I, what about your friend, in your class, who has a hearing impairment, are they gonna be able to hear what this character is saying? And they, she says, no I can't, they can't. And so, that's happening, and then it comes to us, as the assistant technology person, and says, hey, I've got a student with a disability, they have trouble listening to this video because there's no text, right, how can we adapt it for them? Instead of, what to really drive change, is if Loudoun county public schools, before buying dream box, asked the question hey, dream box, lemme see those videos.

Oh, are they accessible to everybody? No they're not accessible to everybody, well then I'm not buying your product. Because that way, we're forcing the vendor to say, oh my gosh, I have to make my product accessible, otherwise, I'm going to lose out on all of that money that Loudoun county public schools would have paid me to be their person, their math app person, know what I mean? And so you, as teachers, and depending on what your role is, I don't know what your role is, can have a seat at the table when those decisions are being made, you truck in and be a, someone that influences those decisions, so that before you go out and buy something for my classroom, for my school district, I need to know that these are the questions you need to ask, and the PALM initiative, if you have a whole series of questions that ask, helps people ask those questions of vendors, what you're driving the vendor to make more accessible. Otherwise we will always, always always be chasing our tail.

So that's all the pie in the sky dream that I and a bunch of other people share, that we can make change by forcing people to, forcing vendors to make their products accessible, but, I think it's a noble one that we should be shooting for. So that is the PALM initiative. And who said the PALM initiative first? Liz, alright Liz. Yes, buy accessible learning materials, perfect John, exactly. Whatever acronyms you want to use. They did that to have that concept, but people who hold the purse strings need to ask the question before they make the purchase. Yes, there is. I'll type it in as, I think Liz you get to choose the next one. I think that's right, check that hyperlink and see if that's I'm doing that from memory, but, alright, Liz says Verbal as a Strength for 200, ok. Vocaroo.com, oh Maureen mentioned this one earlier. Vocaroo.com is a web-based method for a user to record audio, which is useful as an alternative to writing as a form of expression, which produces this as an image, that can be quickly scanned by a web-enabled device resulting in a response that plays the recorded audio. Aha, Anjeanette jumps in first with QR code. That's exactly right, so, vocaroo.com, I'm gonna jump over and show it to you real quick, so you can see exactly what this is, it is an online way to record your voice.

So, let me just, break out a new one here, I really love vocaroo because you can't get lost here, right, students, there's not a lot of places for them to click on stuff and get lost. So I click to hit record, it might pop up and say, hey Chris, you gotta use your microphone, and I say yes, ok, and now it's recording, right? So I can record my sentence, hurricanes are windy. Hit stop, are you happy with this recording, wanna listen to it, yes, ok, and now I'm recording, right? And I can record my sentence: hurricanes are windy. Ok, and then if I like my recording I can click here to save, and it gives me a website, right, that hyperlink will take me to that recording, but notice down here in the bottom right hand side, it says QR code, so I can click on that QR code, and it gives me a QR code that if I were to use my QR code reader I could scan that and it would automatically come up on my device, and I could listen to it. So what's the point, why am I showing you vocaroo, why am I so excited about this? Well, you can take these hyperlinks, and you could past it into your Word processing doc, let's say... right, I'm in the top Word, I'm gonna insert a table. There's my table, we'll just make it a little bigger, right? You know what I'm making here? This is a four square graphic organizer, right?

And so, here I could type in, I could've recorded my voice, and said, hurricanes are windy, and then I jump back over here, and I record my voice again, and I say, blizzards are dangerous snowstorms. And we take that new hyperlink that I get, and I paste it over here, and then I can go back over to vocaroo and record my voice again and get another hyperlink, and I paste it over here, when I record my voice, my sentence is, let's see, earthquakes shake the ground, right, and I paste that in, right, and so you know I'm getting different URLs each time, right, these are different URLs as I recorded my voice each time and so on and so forth, the idea being, that I've recorded my entire essay and I've never typed a single word. I've never expected my student to know how to dictate their speech, I've just strictly recorded audio. Now I go back, and they double click on this, and they listen to it, and it says, what was hurricanes? Hurricanes are windy? That was my sentence? Alright, how do I spell hurricanes, they work through how to spell hurry-cane, oh that's not right, how do I spell hurricane, oh, finally I get hurricane spelled right, what was the rest of my sentence? I just click on the link, I listen to it again, and I say, hurricanes are windy.

Oh, what was my next sentence? I can't remember, was it on earthquakes, or what'd I say about earthquakes, oh, let me just click on it and listen to it, oh yeah, earthquakes, I said snowstorms, blizzards, how do I spell blizzard, you get what I'm saying? Over and over, I can just listen, then type. Listen, then type. Why? Why, why would you do this, instead of, instead of speech-to-text? Because when you're using speech-to-text, you're often not keyboarding. And keyboarding is a lifelong skill students need to learn and practice, right? So picture the student that's using speech-to-text, and they've been practicing speech-to-text, you only have so much time in the day, so they're, at school, they're practicing speech-to-text. Ok, go on to the back of the room, use your dragon app and use speech-to-text, use a different app, there's Chrome extensions like talk-typer, or Read&Write Gold does it as well, or you can do speech-to-text, and you're practicing that, right? And all that time that they're practicing recording their voice and it coming out as text, they're not practicing the motor plans of keyboarding.

And so what happens when they go and they sit in the classroom, like maybe college, or maybe they're in a seminar, picture me at the front of the room right now and all of you in, sitting in class, could you be using speech-to-text as a way of taking notes? You couldn't, because that would be very rude for you to be talking over me as I'm speaking in the front of the room, right? So this way, they practice, they still get their verbal as a strength, right, they're using their verbal abilities to get their words out, then they go back and they do a typing activity, and if they never get to finish typing it, typing it in, building those motor plans of keyboarding, the teacher would still know what they wanted to write for that essay, right, by just clicking on these hyperlinks. Ok, so that's the point behind the audio, there are many different ways of inserting audio, we talked about those first, right, it doesn't have to be vocaroo, it could be audacity, it could be the sound record feature of Microsoft office, right, there's one note that does it, right? We talked about those earlier, so as a call back, there's all those other ways to record audio, but it's recording audio for that specific purpose to help with their writing. Right, I see, good? Ok, good, I see some aha moments here happening in the chat, which is great, and I hope there's even more aha moments happening that aren't in the chat.

One last thing with QR codes, if you are adapting text that's a great way to adapt text, meaning, you get the test questions, right, you know, so let me just delete this, here real quick, and this is my test question, and I have an accommodation that this test question better be read aloud, or instructions will be read aloud, well, I can jump over to vocaroo, the teacher can record it, record that test question, and then they copy that image, and they paste it into here next to the test question, right, and now they're listening to their test question, they can scan their QR code, the audio would come up on their phone, or on their iPad, or whatever the device they're using, and that would read the test question aloud. And they can listen to that over and over and over again, without having to, without having to rely on a human person next to them, reading the test questions out, right? Of course if they're using a digital device already, maybe they'll be using text-to-speech, and that's a way they can have test questions read aloud to them as well, so, cool? Ok, how am I doing on time? Ten minutes, alright, so, let's do at least one more question, cause then I wanna show you, kinda wrap it up, let's jump over to, who got that one right, who said QR code first? Was it Anjeanette, was that you? I thought it was Anjeanette.

Wanna finish theone, there''s a handful we didn't get to, I knew we wouldn't get to them all, but you'll have the entire presentation, so you can check those out for yourself. Ah, thank you Alice. Vocal as a Strength for 500, alright, going 500, big money at the end. Fotobabble.com, voki.com, blabberize.com, and photopeach.com provide a user with a way to upload or create one of these and add corresponding audio, which is useful as a way of giving directions, demonstrating knowledge, or telling a story. Maureen says image, exactly. Right, Maureen jumps in with image, there's a lovely picture of my wife, and you notice that her bottom jaw is distended and horribly disfigured, because I cut her jaw off, that's horrible, I can't believe I'm saying that, but that's blabberize, right? So the idea here is that I take a picture of my wife, I upload it to blabberize, and then I can record my voice, or her voice, or anyone, the user can record the voice, and the voice, the little distended jaw you see there go up and down, will go up and down, right, it'll move up and down with the audio, right?

So the idea here, like let's take Presidents Day, right, students had to write essays, I'm sure students all over the country had to write essays on, or write sentences, or fill out a worksheet on who the two presidents, Washington and Lincoln, right? But what if you took a picture of Washington or Lincoln, you put it into blabberize, and you cut out Lincoln's mouth, and it moved up and down and the student said, you know, I am the one who composed the Gettysburg Address, you know, or if it was Washington, I didn't chop down the cherry tree, right? You can't see my hand but it's moving up and down in front of my jaw, right, cause that's how their voices would, that's how the picture would look. So all of these tools are different ways you can upload pictures, add audio, upload pictures or create a picture, add audio behind it to make things much more interesting for students, and engaging. I've seen teachers use these tools to give directions this way, ok, here's how we're doing this lesson, guys, click on this link and listen to my little voki, my little character, give the instruction for the lesson. Yeah, thank you Jackie, that's my wife puts up with a lot, if you have seen the promotional video you'll know for the next webinar, you'll know that.

So, let's see, it's 7:23, and I want to see what did we miss, there's a handful we missed, I'm sure there's some other good strategies in here, but we're running out of time, so I'm gonna let you go back and finish up these handful of ones that we didn't get to look at, one two three four five six pieces of content there to talk about, I hope you got a lot out of it, and as we wrap up, I just wanna kinda promote what's happening next at CTD, and show you how to participate in the discussion forum, that is happening, that's surrounding this particular webinar, alright? So, let me close vocaroo, we never got to spell with slicker, oh, you gotta look at spell with slicker.

We never got to final Jeopardy, which is my, the blog, the podcast and blog, you gotta check out the AT Tips Cast, that's my blog and podcast, I've described most of the stuff in audio format before, try and make it fun for you, so it's not so boring, but here is the CTD website, so I wanted you to check this out real quick, you, if you go, the CT institute dot org, lemme just start there, right, this is the main website CTD institute dot org, you click on events, here is our particular event, that's the one you're in right now, and you'll notice right below it, it says discussion forum, yes, thank you Anna Marie for putting the link in there, but here, if you forget that link, or, here is how you get to it, and there you see the discussion forum, you'll notice that I have already posted in there, kind of welcoming you, scroll down, there I am, giving you a little welcome message, the idea is, it's for you to go in, just like I said at the beginning, go in, play with some of these tools that you just saw, and leave some feedback here in the discussion forum saying yeah ok, so here is why, I never recognized I should use text-to-speech that way before, or yeah, ok, I started playing with the QR codes Chris, and I didn't really understand how to put it into work, whatever your questions are, you post 'em here, and not only myself but anyone participating in the discussion forum can give feedback, right, I mean, we already saw that most of you know so much information, you were answering those questions correctly, so... Mary, defiitely don't feel intimidated, pick one to start with, right, just pick one tool and say that's what I'll start with, that's how we all started, right?

And try it, and then come to the discussion forum, and say hey, ok Chris, I picked one tool and I tried it and here's how I'm gonna use it with my students. And everyone else will give their feedback as well, right? That's the real power behind the discussion forum, just like the real power behind this jeopardy webinar, it could have bombed, it could have been a super-duper failure, except you all participated in it, so, please, just like the discussion forum, I mean just like you participated in the jeopardy format webinar, please, please please participate in the discussion forum, we will continue to learn all week long. I'm trying to keep up with what people are reading here, too.

Oh, Anne, speaking of, if you had to pick one to look at first, I dunno crew, what do you all think, participants, give Mary some advice, which would you have her look at first. My advice, my advice, would be to look at text-to-speech, if you're not using text-to-speech you gotta start there. But anyone else, where do you think you would start, yeah, Leandra says text-to-speech, you gotta know what your text-to-speech tool is too. Alright, finally, lemme jump back over to the presentation, is there is a link to the surveymonkey, the evaluation, I think I saw Anna post it here in the chat as well, we need to have your feedback on this, how to make it better, right? Did you like this Jeopardy style format, was it something that kept you engaged, did it stop you from checking your email, were you constantly guessing what the next tool was, did you feel like it was too much, it was too overwhelming, did I speed up at the end, was I trying to fit too much in, all that stuff is great feedback for how we can make these events better, and how we can customize them for your next experience of CTD.

So please go ahead and fill out the survey monkey form, and let us know your thoughts. Any other questions before we wrap it up here, we've got like two minutes left, I'm happy to hang out and just answer anything you have. Of course, we have the discussion forum following that up too, so put your questions there. Great, awesome and fun, thanks Tammy. Thanks Heather, thanks Tiffany, Alice, excellent. Thank you all, guys, that's really, I hope you had as much fun as I did, you know it's fun to play with all of you, and challenge... Cool, thanks Denise, yeah. The whole, the session'll be there for you to go back and check it out. Interesting question Elizabeth, definitely post that question over on the discussion forum, we'll have some questions for you back about how, what he wrote, and how he wrote it, and we'll talk to you about how we can add some pictures to it, and publish it to the web, so that can get some feedback on it, right? Totally, we'll give you some ideas. Put that over in the discussion forum. Anna says she's gonna e-mail out the survey link as well, great. Ah, Anjeanette, in the room, awesome. That's awesome. Yeah, I like Bridget's idea of trying Tar Heel Reader. Alright everybody. I will see you over in the discussion forums, ask your questions there, and I'll be checking it frequently for the next week, and hopefully all of you will as well, don't feel free to wait for me to respond, all of you should jump in and respond as well, we'll all learn from each other. What this is all about is building a community.