Inclusive Learning Network
Winter Newsletter, 2018-2019
This year we have chosen to explore Design Thinking and UDL as two lenses we can use to build on those technology innovations in order to create meaningful learning experiences for all students. Our World Usability Day webinar on November 8th was a great start to that exploration (see the Professional Learning section). Over the next few weeks we will start planning for our events at the ISTE conference in Philadelphia, including our always awesome Inclusive Learning Playground. We always welcome volunteers to help with the planning and present a station - let us know if you are interested!
This is an exciting time of year, and I want to wish you all a happy holiday season and a great start to your 2019!
Tool Spotlight - EquatIO
EquatIO lets everyone create mathematical equations, formulas, Desmos graphs, and more on their computer or Chromebook. It provides a number of supports to let a students enter math equations in the way that works best for them: they can type, handwrite, or dictate any expression. EquatIO includes a library of ready-made expressions to save students time, from simple formulas to complex functions. With the EquatIO Screenshot Reader students can capture math anywhere on the web (even if it is from a screen grab of a video!) and have it read aloud by text to speech in the correct order. EquatIO is free for teachers!
Inclusive Educator Spotlight - Hillary Goldthwait Fowles
Hillary Goldthwait- Fowles, PhD. is a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP), who specializes in breaking barriers to learning through the use of Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning.
Hillary is a certified Special Education Consultant in the State of Maine, serving as a consultant for students in grades K-12 to promote access to learning, employment, and life through the use of Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning. She is an educator with over 20 years of experience as a teacher of children with Autism and other disabilities including Developmental Disabilities, ADHD, and Dyslexia.
Professional Learning Update
On Thursday, November 8th, 2018 the Inclusive Learning Network celebrated World Usability Day with a webinar focusing on UX (user experience), LX (learner experience) and Accessibility. In addition to ILN members Kendra Grant and Luis Perez, the webinar featured Alesha Arp (@AleshaArp), a senior UX researcher at the Mind Institute.
A number of new books were released this fall that focus on inclusive learning in a variety of contexts. Check out the following titles to keep your learning going over the holiday break:
- Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone, from Thomas Tobin and Kirsten T. Behling, focusing on UDL and accessibility best practices for higher education institutions.
- Engage the Brain, from Allison Posey, focusing on the role of emotions in learning.
- Art for All: Planning for Variability in the Arts Classroom, from Liz Byron, is the second title in the Skinny Book series from CAST (Learning on the Go, from Luis Perez was the first).
With the signing of the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act on October 10, 2018, the U.S. joined other nations that have adopted the Marrakesh Treaty. The treaty will make it easier for books in accessible formats to be exchanged across borders in order to address the “global book famine.” Its adoption will require some changes to be made to U.S. copyright law. More specifically, Section 121 of the copyright act (the Chafee Amendment), which allows the creation of specialized formats for people who are blind or other persons with disabilities” will need to be amended. Stay tuned as these changes go into effect in the next few months!
To learn more about the Marrakesh Treaty, check out the following resources:
The Inclusive Learning and the Digital Equity Network (DEN) will be presenting a joint webinar on Thursday, January 24th at 7PM ET focusing on inclusive practices for ISTE PLN Leaders. Look for more details and a link to register following the holidays!
International Committee Update
The International Committee within the Inclusive Learning Network aims to bring together educators from around the world to share the diverse ways that individuals are working to promote accessibility and inclusivity in their corners of the globe. The committee is co-led by Cindy Anderson and Susie Gronseth and welcomes new members throughout the year. Contact Cindy Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about engaging with the ILN International Committee. There are several upcoming opportunities to expand your global worldview!
Universal Access Through Inclusive Instructional Design: International Perspectives on UDL is a forthcoming book that will feature educators, designers, and researchers from over fifteen countries. Edited by Susie Gronseth and Elizabeth (Betsy) Dalton, the book will give voice to the variety of international perspectives on policies, design approaches, technology applications, accessibility challenges, and other inclusive learning issues. The book will be published by Routledge and is scheduled for release in Fall 2019. Visit the book website for more information.
There will be a symposium at the Society for Information Technology in Teacher Education (SITE) Conference in Las Vegas, NV that will spotlight some of the Universal Access Through Inclusive Instructional Design chapter authors. The session is scheduled to be held on Mar. 20, 10:15am-12:15pm (Pacific Time). The International Committee is also co-leading a roundtable session at SITE on Mar. 20, 3-4PM (Pacific Time) entitled “Inclusive Instructional Design Efforts Around the World.” This roundtable session will be a wonderful opportunity for international connection and conversation around, “What can we learn, and what do we need to learn from each other in order to move toward a global implementation of inclusion for all?” If you will be attending the SITE Conference, join us! If you would like to attend one or both of these sessions virtually, contact Susie Gronseth (email@example.com) for the Zoom meeting link.
Opportunity to Participate in Teacher Preparation Research
To participate, follow the link to a survey which explains the study in more detail. Should you have any questions about the study, contact Jennifer Courduff.
- Instagram just became more accessible with support for alternative text. Automatic alternative text uses object recognition technology to generate a description of an uploaded image for screen reader users. There is also an option to add custom alternative text for any image on Instagram, even after it has been posted.
- Immersive Reader Comes to Flipgrid: Immersive Reader is part of Microsoft’s Learning Tools available in applications such as OneNote, Word, and now Flipgrid. With Immersive Reader, learners can have the text for any Flipgrid topic read aloud with high quality text to speech.
- FaceTime has long been a great way to participate in video chats using sign language, thanks to its high frame rates. Now with Group FaceTime in iOS 12.1 it is possible to do so with up to 32 people, which increases its potential for collaboration.
- Google announced real-time captioning support in Slides this fall. The feature works for a single user presenting in U.S. English on a laptop or desktop computer, using the Chrome browser.
- Not to be outdone, Microsoft recently announced that its real time captioning will roll out as a built-in feature of PowerPoint early next year, starting with the Office 365 version of the application in later January. Currently, real time captions for PowerPoint are only available as an add-in called Presentation Translator. The live captions for PowerPoint will be available in 12 spoken languages.