April, 2013

Assistive technology & universal design for learning news

Article Links


Student Engagement and Technology 


Virtual Math Manipulatives for the Common Core  


Math Tools and Classroom Resources   


PARCC Update    



Upcoming Events




DCDT Vision XX and NSTTAC Institute  

Transitioning Students to Life in the 21st Century  

May 15-17, Tampa    


The Family Cafe

June 7-9, Orlando




Florida Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) Summer Leadership Institute  

June 10-12, Deerfield Beach 


"Successfully Accessible"

Webinar Series by The Division of Cultural Affairs in partnership with VSA Florida 
April 24, How to Plan a Successful Visit for the Sight Impaired

May 22,  Planning a Successful Visit for Wheelchair Users and Mobility Issues

June 26, Training Your Staff: Dos and Don'ts

Summer Training

Common Core State Standards for Students with a Significant Cognitive Disability Community of Practice 

June 18-19, Pensacola Beach

June 25-26, St. Petersburg 

July 16-17, Boynton Beach 

July 23-24, Jacksonville  





Technology & Learning Connections Website  


Florida's MTSS Technical Assistance Contacts 




AT & UDL Loan Library 




3D Protractor


Math Solver    


Panther Math Paper    




Khan Academy  


Exploring Technology & Learning Connections 

people with gears
"Technology & Learning Connections - MTSS: Increasing student 
achievement through the systemic alignment of technology, policies, 
and curriculum in a multi-tiered system of supports." 

Join Our Mailing List
engagement Student Engagement is defined by the degree to which students participate in all aspects of the school environment (academic and social) and assume the appropriate level of responsibility for their own learning and behavior. Student attitudes, beliefs and behaviors can be influenced and taught and these factors influence their affiliation, academic goal setting and performance and can either promote or hinder the assumption of responsibility for learning outcomes. When students are engaged they learn at high levels and have a profound grasp of what they learn, are more likely to retain what they learn, and can transfer what they learn to new contexts.

Technology can be an important component of student engagement. Many students use technology in their everyday lives and it is important to understand how they are using technology. Students are using mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, they email and use social websites, they blog and have personal websites. They are no longer just consumers of information, but have morphed into producers as well. As a result many students are very tech savvy and are already finding ways to incorporate technology within their studies.

For many, technology stimulates an interest and motivation for learning. It provides multiple means of engagement. The proliferation of mobile devices allows students access to technology supports in almost any environment, school to home. It also provides a certain level of independence that allows students to take responsibility for their own learning and behavior.


"Learning and understanding mathematics, at every level, requires student engagement. Mathematics is not, as has been said, a spectator sport. Too much of current instruction fails to actively involve students. One way to address the problem is through the use of manipulatives, physical objects that help students visualize relationships and applications (http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/siteinfo.html)." The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM) is a project that began in 1999 to develop a library of uniquely interactive, web-based virtual manipulatives in the form of Java applets for K-12 mathematics instruction. The areas of focus include number & operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, and data analysis & probablility. Below are some examples of the large assortment of virtual manipluatives that are related to commom core standards and available as free trial downloads: http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/vlibrary.html


To view the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives, you must use a Java-enabled web browser.  


 Common Core Math 9-12 Algebra (eg. MACC.912.A) 


tiles NLVM
Algebra Tiles - Visualize multiplying and factoring algebraic expressions using tiles. 

algebra balance

Algebra Balance Scales - Solve simple linear equations using a balance beam representation. 



Common Core Math 6-8
(eg. MACC.7.G, MACC.7.SP)

boxmodel Box Model - Randomly selects and displays draws from a box.

boxplotBox Plot - Use this tool to summarize data using a box plot graph.



Common Core Elementary Math
(eg. MACC.2.NBT)


baseblockBase Blocks - Illustrate addition and subtraction in a variety of bases.




   thinking about math

There are some incredible math tools and instructional resources available online that teachers can use in the classroom and students can use at school and at home. Below are just a few examples.



Clips Calculator - Simple online calculator that can be set as a four function, scientific, or graphing calculator. The FLASH file can be downloaded and added to a local web site.

Moffsoft Calculator - Free Windows calculator that includes a "paper" history of the calculations.

Holt Online Graphing Calculator - Free online calculator that can be used to graph up to four equations simultaneously.

Chart Tools

Ambleside Primary School - Grapher - Free online tool for making bar charts.


NCES - Create a Graph - Free online tool for creating bar, line, area, pie, and xy graphs.


ChartGo - Online graphing tool that is fast, easy, and can be set for English, French, or Spanish. 




conceptuaFRACTIONS - Great online curriculum on fractions with free access to some of the fraction visualization tools. You will need to select a tool from the tool library, then after you click on "try this tool" you will have the opportunity to sign up for a free account.  


Fraction Bars - Quick and easy online fraction bars.


Illuminations Fraction Models - Super easy tool to visualize fractions, improper fractions, mixed numbers, decimals, and percentages. 


Homework Helpers


Incompetech Online Graph Paper - Free downloadable pdfs of almost every type of graph paper.


A Maths Dictionary for Kids - Online, animated, interactive math dictionary.


WebMath - Online problem solving tool that shows the answer as well as the steps to solve the problem.



The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) recently released several tools that will help schools and districts get ready for new computer-based assessments in the 2014-2015 school year.


The Capacity Planning tool provides schools and districts with a calculator that supports local technology budgeting and decision-making in preparation for computer-based administration of the tests in the 2014-2015 school year.  


The PARCC Assessment Administration Guidance tool provides schools and districts with more information about the design of the PARCC assessments in English language arts/literacy and mathematics, as well as the number of testing sessions and the approximate time it will take students to complete the assessments. 


The  Anticipated Schedule for Release of Future Guidance document provides a detailed schedule of proposed benchmarks and release dates of guidance information for schools and districts.


These tools, information and other resources can be found at: 



Access to the Common Core for Exceptional Student Success (ACCESS), in partnership with the Florida Inclusion Network (FIN), are hosting training opportunities for teachers and therapists of students with a significant cognitive disability. The Bureau, ACCESS, and FIN request your assistance in distributing the information to the teachers and therapists in your district. Registration will be accepted from this target audience to participate in a CoP on a first-come, first-served basis until the slots are full. All associated costs, including travel and substitutes, will be covered by the ACCESS project. There is no financial obligation required of school districts. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Randy LaRusso:

(321) 242-6400, ext. 5115
June 18-19, Pensacola Beach
June 25-26, St. Petersburg
July 16-17, Boynton Beach
July 23-24, Jacksonville, FL 32202
GeoBoard: Geoboard is a tool for exploring a variety of mathematical topics introduced in the elementary and middle grades. Learners stretch bands around pegs to form line segments and polygons and make discoveries about perimeter, area, angles, congruence, fractions, and more.
3D Protractor Free: 3D Protractor is a super tool for you to measure all kinds of angles in the 3D space by moving and rotating your iOS device or using the camera. It is able to measure the angle of any two lines in the space, slope angle measurement, dihedral angle measurement, line-face angle measurement, and camera angle measurement.  Additional measurements can be added with in-app purchases or the full version can be purchased for $2.99.
Math Solver: Math Solver helps you solve mathematical equations including linear equations and quadratic equations. It shows you the answer to the problem, simplifies expressions, and solves literal and radical equations, factors, and graphs equations as well as shows the steps used in the solution.
panther math

Panther Math Paper: The principles of UDL are integrated into this interface to allow people to work independently on "digital paper", especially those individuals with motor challenges. Includes foundations to learn simple arithmetic, and the power to do complicated equations. Includes capability to save and email work.


MathBoard: This configurable math app focuses on the four basic operations. It encourages students to solve problems by providing multiple answer styles, as well as a scratchboard area where problems can be worked out by hand. It also has a Problem Solver feature, which walks students through the steps required to solve problems.



The Kahn Academy is a free online resource for students, teachers, parents, and anyone else that has an interest in learning. The resources consist primarily of a library of over 4,000 videos covering K-12 topics in math, science, biology, chemistry, physics, the humanities, finance, and history. Students can access interactive challenges and assessments from any computer with access to the web. Students complete a self-paced learning tool and can earn points and badges to measure progress. Coaches, parents, and teachers have the ability to see what their students are learning and doing, to see any student in detail, and access real-time class reports for all students.

Our Partners

The TLC Team includes 5 Regional Technology Coordinators, 5 Regional Technology Specialists, and 5 Regional Local Assistive Technology Specialists (RLATS).  


Our local service partners include:  


The Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System (FDLRS): providing services in the areas of Childfind, HRD, Parent Services, and Technology; including local TA&D, professional development, and capacity building in the areas

of accessible instructional materials, assistive & Instructional

 technologies, UDL, and virtual learning.


Local Assistive Technology Specialists (LATS): providing local support for assistive technology assessments, evaluations, and related assistive technology services.



Together we are working to help all schools implement a universal, differentiated core curriculum based on the Common Core State Standards.   

This Semester
Event Day - Event Name, Event description
Event Day - Event Name, Event description
Event Day - Event Name, Event description
(Add a link to your Event description to provide additional event information and to drive traffic to your website)
This newsletter was funded by the Florida Department of Education Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services through federal assistance under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), Part B funds. The information included does not reflect any specific endorsement by any parties involved. Please email Gary Pearcy for further information.