LRE: Using Mobile Devices

Accessing Ability and Empowering Students with Disabilities

Session Focus:

We will look at technology and how we can use it to assist students of all levels succeed with learning. In today's session, we will explore free, built-in accessibility features for the Ipad and other web 2.0 tools.

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Accessibility Features

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13 iOS Features Worth Exploring...


  1. Siri
  2. Dictation
  3. Speak Selection
  4. Guided Access
  5. Dictionary
  6. Safari Reader
  7. Zoom
  8. VoiceOver
  9. Font Adjustments
  10. Invert Colors
  11. Closed Captions
  12. Assistive Touch
  13. Switch Control
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7 Ways to Use Siri in the Classroom

1. Word Definitions: Not only will Siri give you a definition of a word, but she'll provide you with the spelling of the word too. This is a useful trick when you know how to pronounce something but aren't sure how to spell it!

2. Mathematical calculations and real world statistics: Siri uses the Wolfram Alpha computational knowledge engine to perform calculations and/or work with statistical data. You can ask Siri questions like “what is 18% of 934?" or "plot 4x + 12". You can also ask things like “compare the GDP of Canada vs. Sweden” , “what is 4.2kg in pounds?” or “what is the boiling point of lithium?”. WOW!

3. Images and Geometric Shapes: How many times have you found yourself thinking; "If I just had a quick way to "show" this to them!"... why not ask Siri for help! You can ask Siri to show you an isosceles triangle, a circle, or even a velociraptor. Siri will show you an image along with other pertinent information. Try it; ask Siri: “what is an isosceles triangle” or “what does a velociraptor look like?”

4. Translate individual words from English into any other language: This can be extremely helpful with students and possibly parents! Siri can act as your virtual translator. You can ask her to translate basic words or phrases. Ask her "what is breakfast in French?”, or “how do I say hello in Japanese?"

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5. Problems with Homework: There are few things computers are better at than math, being based entirely on algorithms themselves. This makes them an incredibly useful tool for helping students learn about everything from basic addition to calculus. Help empower students who would otherwise struggle or give up by teaching them to use Siri as a homework assistant. Students can use Siri as a reference tool for finding help with a particularly troublesome question. Practice makes permanent so it's imperative students have success with homework and practice problems! Siri can help with this!


6. Reminders and Reinforcing Learning: Trying to learn some new vocab for class or a big test? Learners could use a program like Siri to remind them to think about certain words or define them throughout the day. If students forget, they can easily ask for a definition from Siri. And Siri won't let you forget the important events in your life. With multiple reminders for upcoming tests, projects, and homework assignments, the tried and true excuse of not realizing the test was today simply won't fly.

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7. The Ultimate Teacher's Edition: As educators we strive to encourage students to be independent thinkers and work hard to engage their minds, but frequently we find ourselves having to dismiss authentic and inquisitive thoughts from our students because it would derail the the lesson... because there's just not enough time... because we might not even know the answer! For whatever reason, Siri is like the ultimate teacher's edition. It is quick and easy to find the answer to all those powerful thought provoking questions we might have otherwise missed the opportunity to engage and reinforce in our students!
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Chrome Store

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Chrome Store Apps we LOVE for Education

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Reading is a really BIG deal when it comes to Access....

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The best part is, it's all FREE!

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Wikipedia "Simple English" Search

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For MORE Resources...

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Catherine Wilson

Access to General Curriclum

Educational Specialist

Educational Service Center Region 20