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Our Focus for January/February 2014...
Technology Supporting Inclusion

What amazing progress we are seeing in our world of education! This is particularly true as we look at the impact of technology in the classroom on students with disabilities. We see an explosion of new instructional solutions in digitized text and mobile devices and new software applications increasing access to the general curriculum.

Billions of dollars and tremendous talent are combined to realize the potential of educational technology. The Inclusive Schools Network has created this issue to spotlight a new vocabulary and the many new possibilities now available. We hope you enjoy the numerous websites and applications highlighted in the Resource sections below.
  • To learn more about the accessibility guidelines (Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act) and a renewed focus on equality through technology, visit Section508.gov.
  • Created after IDEA 2004, the National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials is tasked with improving opportunities for students with print-related disabilities. Visit this site and others included in the Featured Categories of this newsletter to learn more about implementing the use of Accessible Instructional Materials(AIM).
  • Not to be overlooked is the continuing work toward accessible facilities for all individuals, with a special focus on children with disabilities. To learn more about Universal Design for Learning (UDL) resources, implementation ideas and guidelines, visit the National Center on Universal Design for Learning.
Through technology, new doors to learning are opening every day but we must integrate wise choices, instructionally relevant strategies, and individualized solutions into our decisions to achieve optimal educational impact. We hope this edition of the ISN Newsletter assists your efforts to enhance inclusive practices with new technology.
TechMatrix
TechMatrix allows you to search a database of over 400 products using extensive criteria tailored to assistive and educational technologies. It also features research articles on theory and practice of using technology to improve student learning.

Merlot II
MERLOT is a free and open peer reviewed collection of online teaching and learning materials and faculty-developed services contributed and used by an international education community.

AbilityHub
AbilityHub directs you to adaptive equipment and alternative methods for accessing computers. 
 
Sounding Board
An iPad/iPod Touch app that allows students to turn their device into a story board communicator. Students with writing disabilities and communication disorders can use the symbols to create their own messages in the same way that traditional symbol boards work.

Apps for Children with Special Needs
A large list of educational apps for children with special needs including app reviews demonstration videos. 

Bookshare: Free Cloud Library for Students with Disabilities 
Bookshare is a  provider of digital accessible materials to students with print disabilities. 
 
Learn NC
This website provides several resources for integrating technology into teaching.

Technology in Special Education 
A collection of tools, hardware, and applications available for the enhancement of technology in education with an emphasis on special education.

Edutecher
A vast array of web 2.0 tools, app recommendations, and general technology information. Sortable by content, grade level, and available in the form of an iPhone/iPad app. Created by a teacher and geared toward teachers.
Inclusion in the 21st Century classroom: Differentiating with Technology

UDL Unplugged: The Role of Technology in UDL

CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) Learning Tools is a nonprofit research and development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals, especially those with disabilities, through Universal Design for Learning. 


 
Leadership Fusion Summit
One day Conference at Region 4 with three national speakers addressing Closing Performance Gaps, At-Risk Students, Resilience, Relationships, Relevance, Motivation, Rigor & Standards, and Emotional Security/Safety.                                                                                   
Session ID 987976
Region 4 Education Service Center, Houston, TX
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
8:30 AM – 3:30 PM  Lunch included
"What's Trending in Special Education?"
Dr. Frances Stetson joined a panel of experts to present emerging trends in special education during this year's Pre-Conference session. Download our handouts and resources to compare what is trending in your own district!
HANDOUTS  |  RESOURCES

VoiceThread: Featured Web 2.0 Tool
VoiceThread is a free software program that captures student voices and photos allowing collaboration on a topic. It is a technological substitute for written papers and allows students freedom to narrate their own projects.   

 
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