December 2015 Newsletter

ISTE Inclusive Learning Network

President's Message

It's difficult to imagine that a third of the school year is already gone! Where did the time go?


To my mind "ends" are perfect opportunities to reflect and renew. Applying "metateaching" principles, a type of professional metacognition if you will, to our teaching helps us critically examine our practice, consider new ways to improve and grow professionally, and recognize and celebrate the many excellent things we do for our learners.


While it is impossible to keep up to date with everything or snap our fingers and immediately transform our practice (nor should we try), we can challenge ourselves this holiday to take some time to discover a new resource or strategy, explore a new technology tool or remove one ineffective practice as we strive to create a more inclusive classroom. With that in mind we hope you'll discover a new tool, a new idea or a new person in this month's (or the pervious month's) Inclusive LN newsletters.


Besides reading our newsletter :) I hope you take time to relax and enjoy the moment with family and friends. Thank you for all you do to make learning more accessible and inclusive for all learners.


Inclusively Yours,

Kendra Grant

Build Your PLN!

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Check out these #inclusive learning superstars on Twitter!

  • Luis Pérez - Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Teacher, mobile learning and accessibility advocate.
  • Mindy Johnson - Instructional designer, gamer, educator,#edtech junkie & #UDL advocate.
  • Karen Janowski - Passionate about helping struggling learners through the use of technology.
  • Mike Marrotta - Assistive Technology Consultant & Trainer.
  • Jackie Gerstein - I don't do teaching for a living, I live teaching as my doing, and technology has AMPLIFIED the passion.
  • Think Inclusive - Where education and advocacy meet... Dedicated to inclusive schools and communities for all.
  • The Inclusive Class - Information, tips & solutions for including kids with special needs in the classroom.

And don't forget these great hashtags:

Inclusive Learning Thought Leader Spotlight: Luis Pérez

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There are many amazing people that are a part of the ISTE Inclusive Learning Network, and we would like to highlight one such individual. Dr. Luis Pérez is an expert educator, author, presenter, and consultant. He is also the Professional Learning Committee Chair for the Inclusive Learning Network. His specialty areas include mobile learning, accessibility, and universal design. Luis is an active blogger and is a regular contributor to #ATchat and #UDLchat. He is legally blind and works to educate others about accessibility features of the iPhone that enable individuals with visual impairments to engage with photography. Check out his photos on Instagram (@lfp1211) and his free e-book A Touch of Light: Photography for All Abilities on iTunes. You can meet Luis at the upcoming Inclusive Learning Network webinar, “Apple Watch as a Tool for Access and Inclusion” on Dec. 10 at 7PM (ET).


Follow Luis on Twitter at @_luisfperez.

Spotlight: Momentous Institute Tools

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In the last year, the Momentous Institute, based in Dallas Texas, released a set of three great assistive technology tools geared toward helping students regulate their emotions. Settle Your Glitter is a virtual snow globe that helps kids identify their emotion and then determine the intensity of those emotions. Pass the Drop helps groups of students focus on one specific task and to focus their self control to keep a virtual drop within the target circle. Breathing Bubbles asks students to write down a joy or worry, which then either grows larger or smaller based on its contents. All of the apps are especially empowering for students with expressive language challenges who might benefit from extra practice identifying and regulating their emotions.


For more information, visit Social-Emotional Regulation Tools from Momentous Institute.
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[image: Graphic of two overlapping circles with curved arrows pointing from one circle to the other. The two circles are labeled "UDL (Universal Design for Learning)" and "A.T. (Assistive Technology)". In the UDL circle are the words "universal, inclusive, accommodating, diversity". In the A.T. circle are the words "unique, personal, customized, dedicated". Above both circles is the word "different". Below both circles is the word "complimentary". Source: How sharp is the distinction between Universal Design for Learning and Assistive Technology?]

World Usability Day 2015

On November 12, the Inclusive Learning Network International Committee led three Google Hangouts On Air as part of World Usability Day. Inclusive Learning Network members from Canada, New Zealand, S. Africa, and the US discussed issues of accessibility and usability within a variety of educational settings and provided practical examples from around the globe for how to design instruction and materials for all learners. Recordings of the three hour-long Hangouts is available on this Inclusive Learning Network YouTube playlist. If you are interested in joining the ISTE Inclusive Learning Network International Committee for future such events, contact Cindy Anderson.

Latest News in Inclusive Learning

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Google Pledges Funds for Special Education

Google announced that it will donate $1 for every purchase made through Android Pay through December 31, 2015. The money will be dispersed to special education programs across the country.


3D Printed Assistive Technology Gets Boost from UC Berkeley Designathon

Recently, 27 teams participated in UC Berkeley’s Designathon to design and produce assistive technology through the use of 3D printers. The event doubled in size from last year, showing the increasing interest in using 3D printing for AT prototypes.

ISTE Inclusive Learning Network

We love to hear from you! Connect with us on social media and join us on ISTE Connects for more about inclusive learning.


[image: ISTE Inclusive Learning Network logo]