Fall 2017 Newsletter

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[Image: ISTE Inclusive Learning Network logo]

President's Message

[Image: Photo of Jennifer Edge-Savage, ISTE ILN President]


Greetings Inclusive Learning Network Colleagues,

I am honored and delighted to step into the role of President of the Inclusive Learning Network. Our theme this year is all about Maker Spaces! This includes identifying ways of ensuring access to Maker Spaces for ALL students as well as connecting Maker groups with Assistive Technology users to solve real world problems. I am looking forward to an exciting year of professional learning and discovery, are you?

Your Inclusive Learning Network team has already been busy at work this Fall!

  • In August, we partnered with the Digital Equity Network to cohost an #ISTEchat focused on Inclusion and Equity.

  • In September, we developed our Annual plan of Inclusive Learning Network Activities.

  • In October, we reviewed dozens of proposals for the ISTE2018 Conference in Chicago and we are looking forward to a great show! AND, incase you missed ISTE2017, we have posted the amazing resources from our Inclusive Learning Playground. The focus was on Accessible STEAM!

  • In November, The Inclusive Learning Network celebrated World Usability Day with a panel of ILN members who came together to discuss the impact of usability and accessibility on all aspects of their lives – from accessing information for learning to daily living and meaningful employment. Keep an eye out on our Professional Learning Page for captioned videos. It was touching to hear such personal and powerful stories from the panel of adult users of Assistive Technology.

We have some exciting upcoming events in line with our AT MakerSpace theme. In the coming months we will continue to roll out exciting opportunities to learn together. This includes ongoing webinars, a book study, collaborations with other PLNs, maybe even another SOOC! We will also be busily preparing for ISTE2018. If you are interested in AT Maker Spaces and want to join our efforts, please let us know!

Be sure to stay connected with the Inclusive Learning Network via Twitter, ISTE Connect and Facebook!

I must take a moment to be thankful for this opportunity to work with such a talented group of Inclusive Learning Professionals on our Board! These are the folks that enthusiastically volunteer to provide such great information and professional development opportunities for our Inclusive Learning Network Membership:


Name & Role


ILN Board (participate in monthly virtual meetings and leads initiatives)


Jennifer Edge-Savage (President; ILN Award Co-Chair; Panel Co-Chair)


Luis Pérez (President-Elect; Playground Co-Chair; ILN Award Co-Chair)


Susie Gronseth (Past President)


Rhianon Gutierrez (Playground Co-Chair)


Kendra Grant (Professional Learning Co-Chair)


Helen DeWaard (Professional Learning Co-Chair; Proposal Co-Chair)


Tim Frey (Proposal Co-Chair)


Cindy Anderson (International Co-Chair)


Susie Gronseth (International Co-Chair)


Julie Crowe (Advocacy Co-Chair)


Kristin Soroko (Advocacy Co-Chair)


Mindy Johnson (Communications Co-Chair)


Mike Marotta (Communications Co-Chair)


Sara Frey (Leadership Officer (year 1))


Andrea Cook (Leadership Officer (year 1))


Megan Shulman (Leadership Officer (year 1))


Kimberly Coy (Leadership Officer (Year 1))


I look forward to learning with all of you this year.


Kindest Regards,

Jennifer Edge-Savage

Inclusive Learning Network President

Using Voice Assistants in Education

[Image: Young girl holding two voice assistants, Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini]


Do you have an Amazon Echo? How about a Google Home? What about using these tools in the classroom to support all learners? The features of these tools can really be beneficial in the classroom. In fact, ISTE ILN President Jennifer Edge-Savage says, "Amazon’s Echo Dot is my go-to Teacher Gift this Holiday Season! Alexa is an amazing addition to any classroom!"


The functionality of the Amazon Echo can be increased by the use of skills. According to Voicebot, there are now over 15,000 skills available! Check out the Skills page from Amazon.


For ideas on how to use Voice Assistants in the classroom, check out:


Coming Soon

Join us at ISTE 2018 for the ILN Playground

[Image: ISTE 2018 Chicago. June 24-27 logo]


The ILN Playground will offer participants opportunities to learn how to create Makerspaces that are accessible for all learners, use Makerspaces to create assistive technology solutions and connect makers with AT users to solve meaningful real-world problems.

New Books!

Watch for some exciting publications in the next several months.


  • Dive into UDL: Immersive Practices to Develop Expert Learners by Kendra Grant and Luis Perez
  • Learning on the Go: How to Personalize Learning with the iPad by Luis Perez
  • The New Assistive Technology: Making Learning Awesome for All! by Chris Bugaj. For more info: bit.ly/newat4all

Updated CAST UDL Guidelines!

[Image: UDL Guidelines logo with text "New Look, Same barrier-busters. CAST Until Learning Has No Limits]


Coming soon from CAST, an updated look and feel for the UDL Guidelines. Same barrier-busters, new website. Stay tuned for more information in January 2018!

Upcoming Events

FETC 2018 (Orlando, FL) January 23-26, 2018

According to the website, "The 38th National Future of Education Technology Conference features industry experts and unrivaled agenda content, an Expo Hall filled with the latest and greatest solutions, and a community of thousands eager to network with like-minded peers."

Check out the Future of Special Education Technology Track

ATIA 2018 (Orlando, FL) January 30-February 3, 2018

The Assistive Technology Industry Association international conference returns with two full days of pre-conference sessions as well as hundreds of concurrent sessions focused on assistive technology. In addition to the conference proceeding, two exciting events will happen during the conference which do not require registration to the conference

  • edcampAccess International: Back for its 4th annual event, this will be an unconference devoted to k-12 special education issues and ideas with a focus on teaching all struggling learners and the use of assistive technology.
  • ATIA Makers Day (powered by ATMakers.org): From low-tech solutions to modified technology solutions, there is a wide range of creations that have solved challenges in Assistive Technology, made by a community of makers with the goal to help others!

UDL-IRN 2018 International Summit (Orlando, FL) April 25-27, 2018

According to the website, "The fifth annual UDL-IRN International Summit will continue the tradition of bringing together UDL leaders from around the globe to participate in UDL Talks, Breakout Sessions, Pre-Conferences, and a new UDL Interactive Learning Village. Join us in Orlando, Florida for three days of UDL!"

Best Wishes for a Wonderful Holiday Season! See you in the New Year!