March 2014 
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The Myth of Average  


Helping At-Risk Students Develop Literacy Skills 

Teacher Confidence in Using Technology


Ido in Autismland 


Flipping Web Content into Video Lessons   


Robotic Learning Platform 


Tips and Tricks: Making Google Work for You  


Sensory Distraction 

ChatterPix Kids


Hands-Free Music Mixer   


Coding by Cause and Effect: Step-by-Step Tutorial  


21st Century Skills: SOLE   


Math and Science Simulations     


Math Fact Fluency  


Switch Accessible Apps

There is an App for That! 


Our Partners 


2013-2014 Events



WWE for Speech Language Pathologists Leaders Event
March 7, 2014
Contact: Dr. Alice Kay

WWE for Occupational and Physical Therapists Leaders Event
March 7, 2014
Contact: Peg Sullivan  239-590-7747
Karen Hallinan

March 17-22, 2014
San Diego

CAST UDL Institute
March 27-28, 2014

April 9-12, 2014

Family Cafe
June 6-8, 2014

CASE Summer Leadership Institute
June 9-11, 2014
Contact: Dr. Rosalind Hall 352-486-5240

June 28-July 1, 2014

AG Bell LOFT Sessions
July 1-5, 2014
July 7 -11, 2014
Contact: Wendy Will

TLC Regional Meetings

Region 1 
May 2, 2014

Region 2 
May 9, 2014

Region 3 
April 11, 2014

Region 4 
April 25, 2014

Technology Advisory Committee

March 13, 2014

May 8, 2014 

PDA Modules

Language Development and Communication Skills
February 6- April 3, 2014 



Technology & Learning Connections Website  


Florida's MTSS Technical Assistance Contacts 




AT & UDL Loan Library 


Exploring Technology & Learning Connections 


The Myth of Average 






Ed Tech Coaching 






Google Drive Guide 






iPad Apps for School 






Explore Learning 







Voice Dream Reader

iVisual Info Touch

Animoto Video Maker

ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard

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

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 mythThe Myth of Average

In the video, The Myth of Average, Todd Rose from the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), describes how we live in a world where variability is the rule rather than the exception. Yet when it comes to design we still aim for average. He explores the concept of a jagged learning profile, illustrating the wide variability of skill levels between students. Designing learning tools and a curriculum for the "average" student results in a learning environment that doesn't actually match any student, since no student is truly average. As a result we are losing great talent at all levels in the educational system. 


What is exciting is that we now have the technology and the means to move beyond designing for the average and start designing for diversity; creating adjustable learning tools and a flexible curriculum. Think about your students as you watch this video, then explore ways to use some of the technologies and resources in this newsletter to help all of your students achieve the Florida Standards.

atrisk  Helping At-Risk Students Develop Literacy Skills
Peggy Coyne, a research scientist at CAST and Lori DiGisi, a STEM coordinator for Framingham Public Schools in Massachusetts will present a FREE webinar to discuss teaching strategies and additional scaffolding that can be used to help at-risk students reach their full potential. Topics will include differentiated instruction, universal design for learning, and assistive technologies that help struggling readers at all levels.

Helping At-Risk Students Develop Literacy Skills
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
2:00-3:00pm EST
 confidenceTeacher Confidence in Using Technology
The rapid growth of technology in education continues to introduce new software applications and hardware devices for the classroom. Learning these new technologies and keeping up with these innovations can be a challenge, especially for those of us who are digital immigrants and whose primary background is in content areas and methodologies, not technology. One suggestion by blogger Mark Anderson explores using digital leaders to help narrow the technology gap. He believes this approach is more effective than online courses and can produce a climate of collaborative learning. His complete blog can be found at Based on a review of research by Mandinach and Cline in educational technology he produced the illustration below that depicts various levels of technology use and comfort.  
Infographic showing levels of confidence from survival to innovation  
  idoIdo in Autismland
Picture of book cover of Ido in Autismland

From being diagnosed with autism in preschool to being told he would never graduate, and finally to speaking at commencement for graduates from the department of Special Education at Cal State Northridge at North Cal,  the journey has not been easy for Ido Kedar. Because of his limited communication, assumptions were made about his comprehension. Knowing that his mind was intact and that he understand the world, Ido began a quest find a system of communication that would allow him to fully express himself. And he did just that. With the use of a letter board and an iPad, Ido's ability to communicate with people in his life allowed him to flourish in school. At age 16 he wrote a book described as part memoir and part protest detailing his struggles. The title of his book, Ido in Autismland (2012), was coined as a reference to Alice in Wonderland. As he explores his symptoms he tells readers, "My dogs bark like shotguns. The gardeners mow with tanks and blow leaves with hurricanes." From an article in the Los Angeles Times, he describes how he can see auras, which are emanations of color around people that help him gauge their temperaments. His mother is blue, his sister is green and his father is greenish-yellow. Purple, he says, is the most open-minded color, brown the most closed off. "Brown is the color of my ABA teachers." He challenges the shortcomings of educators and ineffective methods in a collection of what not to dos. "They have to let go of their love of power." He also talks about the strategies that teachers used that worked and helped him to be successful.


Click one of the links for more information:

Link to the book on Amazon, Ido in Autismland.

Los Angeles Times Article about Ido and his book. 

 mettaFlipping Web Content into Video Lessons

The simple to use interface of Edpuzzle allows teachers to turn Internet videos into interactive classroom lessons. The interactive videos are ideal for enhancing instruction or making the flipped classroom more effective. Users can select from a large variety of teacher-made instructional videos or upload their own teacher-created project. Videos can also be imported directly into Edpuzzle's search field from Youtube, Khan Academy, LearnZillion, Crash Course, and more. Users have the options of cropping videos, adding voice over, and embedding quizzes and comments. Edpuzzle includes a classroom feature that allows teachers to assign videos and then monitor if students are viewing the videos and see the results from embedded quizzes. In an article posted to Ed Tech Coaching, flipped classrooms are often described as digitized versions of the lecture-driven classroom model and the delivery becomes impersonal and passive. Edpuzzle is a useful tool in making the flipped classroom more effective. Instead of generic videos, these are customizable to the audience and the teacher's familiar voice can be overlaid. With the added interactive content students can't merely let videos play through, but must be active participants and teachers are able to use individual data tracking and group analytics to ensure learning is taking place.



Metta reduces multimedia storytelling and polling to its simplest form: drag and drop. Teachers or students can create videos by dragging and dropping pictures, videos , and audio from the desktop or web onto the storyboard. Voice over using the computer's microphone and text can be used for narration. As an added feature, polls with realtime results, can be inserted anywhere in the video.  Teachers can produce lessons on the fly in as little time as it takes to find the content and students have a platform to present their thoughts and knowledge.   

swivlRobotic Learning Platform

Swivl is the ideal tool to capture lectures and presentations and broadcast them. It is a multipurpose motion and tracking platform for imaging and teleconferencing that works with iPads, iPhones, DSLRs and Android devices. The system includes tracking controls that automatically follow the user for self-captured video, a wireless microphone system, and built in speakers. This system is also ideal for enhancing sessions in Skype and Facetime. Compliments include the Swivl app that acts as the control center for the robot base and the Swivl cloud that allows users to create, manage, and privately share videos. Utilizing Swivl cloud allows users to enhance videos by easily embedding images and slides directly into videos. For more information visit
 googlesearchTips and Tricks: Making Google Work for You

The Google Drive Guide for Teachers and Students provides a wealth of information and step-by step directions for navigating:
  • Google Forms
  • Google Docs
  • Google Drawing
  • Google Slides
  • Google Sheets
  • Working on Google Drive Offline 

The guide provides information on everything from creating a document to adding animations, publishing and sharing. For more information visit   



Knowing the built-in features of Google Search can dramatically increase the accuracy and speed of searches and create a whole new experience for users. Some of these features include:
  • Searching within a specific site that doesn't have a search feature 
  • Finding web pages with the same content and format as a favorite site 
  • Measurement and currency conversion
  • Reverse image searches
For more Google search tips go to 
  noisliSensory Distraction
Noisli is a web-based distraction tool that provides a variety of background noises and a series of rotating colors, called chromotherapy, to help users simply relax or work without distraction. Background noises include white noise, a crowded coffee shop, rain, thunder, wind, water, nature, fire, and more. Noises can be played simultaneously such as combining rain, thunder, and wind to create a stormy backdrop. Users also have the option of using the distraction-free text editor. In this mode users are able to type and save plain text as the effects of chromotherapy and sound distraction play in the background. For more information or to start using go to
 chatterpixChatterPix Kids

icon for chatterpix   

ChatterPix Kids by Duck Duck Moose Inc., is a free iOs app that allows users to create animated talking photos. After taking a photo users are prompted to draw a mouth on the photo and then add up to 30 seconds of audio. Text can be added that might describe the photo or even what is being spoken. Other features include the ability to add stickers or filters to enhance the photo. This app is currently featured on Richard Byrne's iPad Apps for School webpage. His site includes many similar apps and houses a wide selection of educator and student apps ranging in level from Pre-K through post-secondary.         

iringHands-Free Music Mixer
image showing an iRing maniuplating an ipod screen with a music app

iRing is a wearable motion controller for iOS devices that allows the user to create and mix electronic, dance, and hip-hop tracks in real time much like a professional DJ would. While typical apps require the user to drag fingers across the screen to set the different parameters the iRing allows for interaction by simply moving the hand in space to control mixing input.
crunchzillaCoding by Cause and Effect: Step-by-Step Tutorial is a web-based coding application designed for preteens through adult age users. The beginning programmers are given a workspace that is prepopulated with one to several lines of code and an output space that displays real time changes. The beginning level introduces the Code Monster avatar that prompts the user to make specific changes such as changing size input variables to see what happens to a rectangle in a code program.  At the more difficult level students work the Game Mavis avatar who shows users multiple lines of code. Through the same sequence of cause and effect, Game Mavis coaches the now intermediate programmers towards the path of writing their own gaming programs.
sole21st Century Skills: SOLE
Self Organized Learning Environments (SOLEs) are created when educators and parents encourage kids to work as a community to answer their own vibrant questions by using the internet. The SOLE method is based on research by Sugata Mitra and his colleagues in New Delhi. It begin as a pursuit to inspire children to get curious and work together. Sugata and his colleagues dug a hole in a wall bordering a slum and installed an internet-connected PC. For the next 13 years experiments were carried out on the nature of self-organized learning and the role of adults. The end result is the SOLE Toolkit that outlines the steps for setting one up in your own community that will fosters children's natural abilities to be collaborative, curious, patient, open-minded, and transformative. For more information on the research and setting up a SOLE please visit 
 gizmosMath and Science Simulations
three math and science widgets

Gizmos by Explore Learning is web-based collection of more than 450 interactive online simulations for students grades 3-12.  The math and science simulations are designed to give students a deeper understanding of concepts through inquiry and exploration. They can be used in small groups, with individuals, or even as whole class exploration with a projector or interactive whiteboard. 

Math Topics 3-12 include:    
  • Number & Operations math and science gizmo example
  • Algebra 
  • Geometry 
  • Measurement
  • Data Analysis & Probability  

Science Topics 3-12 include: 
  • Earth and Space 
  • Life   
  • Physical   
  • Measurement
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics 
Gizmos can be searched by grade, topic, textbook, and even Florida specific grade level standards.  For more information visit them on the web 

gizmos app icon

Gizmos is also available as an app.

 reflexMath Fact Fluency
Logo for Reflex math fact fluency

Research has consistently shown the critical role of math fact fluency as a variable in determining student success in elementary mathematics and beyond, and as a predictor of performance on standardized tests.


Reflex is a web-based math fact fluency program that delivers content in a game-based format. Reflex is designed for students in grades 2 and up and who have a basic understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.


The reflex system:

  • Based on a fact-family approach that builds on and reinforces important mathematical concepts such as the commutative property and the relationship between the operations.
  • Highly adaptive and individualized so that students of all ability levels have early and ongoing success. Additionally, the system consistently rewards students for both their effort and progress toward automaticity.
  • Offers fluency development games that require students to engage in increasingly complex and fast-paced decision-making.
  • Continually improving based on detailed analysis of student response patterns. Hundreds of thousands of students have become fluent with tens of millions of new facts and Explore Learning's researchers continuously comb that data to uncover opportunities to further optimize the system.


A complete overview of the program can be found at 

farrallSwitch Accessible Apps
Searching the Web or the App store to find apps with specific user features can be challenging.  Jane Farrall, in collaboration with Alex Dunn, have made looking for switch accessible apps a much simpler process with their switch accessible app list found at The overall list is comprised of three categories. The first two sections are dedicated to apps belonging to one of two groups, non-AAC or AAC. Within each group, apps are listed  alphabetically and additional information is provided on device compatibility, cost, features and purpose, and keystrokes and switch access information.     

A table showing an example of how the list is maintained. From left to right the column headings are app, device, about the app, keystrokes, and switch access. Two examples are provided.


The third category of provides users with information on switch interface systems and links.  

Table showing switches. Columns from left to right are picture, switch interface and links, and cost. Two examples are shown.  

Jane Farrall is a speech pathologist with over 20 years of experience working with literacy, augmentative and alternative communication and assistive technology. More information on her work can be found at


appsThere is An App for That!
icon for Brain Parade app

See.Touch.Learn is a visual learning and assessment system designed for professionals working students with special needs to provide picture card instruction and track results. It includes more than 4,400 pictures, 2,000 professionally designed exercises and access to an online community containing thousands of lessons shared by fellow professionals. Quickly and easily create highly effective custom instruction using pictures taken with the iPad or those included with the app.

app icon showing a talking face

Voice Dream Reader Is a text-to-speech app that is compatible with PDF and Word Documents, DRM-free eBooks, articles, and Web pages. Documents can be imported from Dropbox, G-Drive, Evernote, Instapaper, and Bookshare. The user is able to control how text looks on the screen from completely auditory to completely visual or a synchronized combination of both. The user is able to choose from 78 voices in 20 different languages.

app logo showing a red, blue, and green circle overlapping
iVisual Info Touch is an infographic creator specifically designed for the iPad. Users can select a variety of backgrounds, shapes, and colors and import photos or objects from the app or device photo library. Finished infographics are saved as photos in the device's library and can be easily exported.
blue background with white triangles
Animoto Video Maker allows users to create flipped classroom content from a mobile device with videos, photos, and sound. Videos are shareable via email, messaging, Facebook, or twitter. Features include the ability to caption photos, trim videos, and create title cards. Users can select from 50 different video styles and choose from hundreds of songs built in to the app.
screen with phrase show me written on it
ShowMe Interactive Whiteboard turns the iPad into a personal interactive whiteboard perfect for creating tutorials that can be shared online. Users are able to drop images onto the whiteboard from the photo library, built-in camera or web image search. Drawings can be added and audio added to each slide. Users can choose posted tutorials from the ShowMe video community or upload their own creations.

partnersOur Partners
The TLC Team includes 5 Regional Technology Coordinators, 5 Regional Technology Specialists, and 5 Regional Local Assistive Technology Specialists (RLATS). Services include the alignment of accessible instructional materials, assistive technology, and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in a multi-tiered system of supports.

FDLRS logo
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.

LATS logo
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 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.