iPad: Communication Possibilities for Autism

App Review iPad2 tips

Sunday Sit, Sip, and “Sync” ~ 10-30-2011

I stumbled up on this article and video yesterday,
and knew I had to share.

Even though there is a touch of skepticism in the reporter,
you could hear the tears and the joy in Lesley Stahl’s voice as she witnesses the personal way the iPad has made a difference in the lives of individuals with autism.

Please take some time to watch this video,
and below you will find links to the apps that are mentioned in the story.

As a teacher, and possibly a parent, be sure to have a box of tissues close at hand…

Click her to watch CBS News ~ 60 Minutes





Look in My Eyes

Splitting the Text

SMARTBoard tips writing

Monday Morning Message ~ 1-24-2011

We have found a great hidden tool within the SMART Notebook 10 Lesson Activity Toolkit. Called the “Text Splitter”, it will split up sentences into words, or words into individual letters.

After you have placed this little tool onto a new page in your Notebook document, simply highlight text from a document or from the Internet, copy it, and paste it onto your page. Next, drag it into the text splitter window. Choose to split it into words or letters, and your text is instantly interactive.

Do you already have spelling lists typed in a Word document? Now you can drag each word into the “Splitter” to instantly separate it so your students can respell it.


For another idea on using this tool in a Language Arts lesson, watch this quick little video. To get the “big picture” we suggest you watch it in “Full Screen” mode.

We welcome any comments to share how you might use this new “BFF”.

“Old Dog (a.k.a. RecessTEC)” + “New Tricks” = “Something to Share”

SMARTBoard tips workshops

We were happy to be “On the Road, Again”…
and Jefferson School in Charleston was once again our point of destination yesterday morning.

“Advanced SMARTBoard” was the workshop for the morning, and we always look forward to working with Charleston teachers in a “hands-on” setting. It’s a special treat when Shannon’s “next-door neighbors”, The Pattenaudes, are our IT specialists, as well. They are very, very supportive and stay for the whole sessions.

We were in the middle of showing how to drag a slide from one Notebook file into another, when one of our participants showed us how to make the process easier!

But wait!
A picture, or three, is worth thousands of words…
The “Old Way” was to “restore down” each Notebook file and to stack the “source file” on top of the destination file.
Then we would drag the slide from the source slide-sorter into the slide-sorter of the destination file behind it.

The Old Way


The “New Way”:

Right click on your bottom “Task Bar” and choose the “Show Windows Stacked” option.

Show Windows Stacked


Now your files are stacked on top of each other, and it is much easier to drag the slides from one file and place it where you want into the destination file.

Easier Result!


Thank you, so much, Jan, for that “Tip”!

We Love Interactive WhiteBoards but a Wii IWB??

SMARTBoard workshops

Wii Remote

Ok…I was curious.  I have seen the YouTube video of Johnny Lee.  I have had a SMARTBoard in my classroom for 4 years.  I know about school budget crunches.  All three of those reasons combined led Mom and me to attend  a session at the East Central IL Tech Conference on Friday entitled “Interactive Whiteboard (aka “SMARTBoard”) for <$100″.

It seems like this $100 Wii IWB thing is really starting to become a reality.  There are quite a few places online where you can purchase the light pens, as well as accessories for the Wii Remote to make it stand on a tripod as a functional piece of classroom equipment.  Software is available as a free download to get your computer compatible with the hardware.

Any surface can be transformed into an IWB. 
Even a table top. 
And with Multi-touch capabilities if you have more than one light pen. 
Wow…the opportunity to have a multi-touch table in my classroom in 2009?

Well…I have to admit.  I was less than thrilled with the functionality of the Wii IWB as a suitable means within a classroom. 
Sure, it would work….if you were using your IWB as a game board, or to write and wipe. 
But I think there are many folks who are beyond the “glorified whiteboard” idea.  At least we hope they are.  And if they aren’t?  Well, we can certainly help with that!

We have a multitude of ways that the SMARTBoard can be used within the educational setting from small individualized center activities, to whole group lessons, to alternative assessment tools, to differentiated instruction. 

I could never go back to teaching without my board.  Ever!