May 2014 
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Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice   


Microsoft OneNote

Read& Write for Google 




Puffin Browser: Flash Support for Mobile Devices   


Classroom Management Software 


Educational Games (v.3.0) 

Arguot Academy


Khan Academy's Math for the Common Core 

Graphic Organizers




Google Add-Ons for Documents and Sheets  


Adobe Connect Custom Meeting Pods  


ESE Math & Science Practices      


The 21st Century Skills Educator's Guide  


Ablenet University

There is an App for That! 


Our Partners 





August 2014

CAST UDL Summer Institute
Wakefield, MA
November 13-14

September 2014

Orlando, FL
September 21-24   

October 2014

Minneapolis, MN
October 13-17

Florida CEC

Orlando, FL
October 16-18   

November 2014

CAST UDL Fall Institute
Wakefield, MA
November 13-14 

January 2015

Orlando, FL
January 20-23

Orlando, FL
January 27-31

March 2015 

San Diego, CA
March 2-7  

April 2015 

San Diego, CA

April 8-11   

June/July 2015 

Philadelphia, PA
June 28-July 1



Technology & Learning Connections Website  


Florida's MTSS Technical Assistance Contacts 




AT & UDL Loan Library 


Exploring Technology & Learning Connections 


Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice (Print)


Universal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice (FREE online)  


Microsoft OneNote 






Puffin Browser 


Smart Sync 






GameMaker: Studio  


Argubot Academy 


Khan Academy


Khan Academy: Common Core Math  







Track Changes 


Pro Writing Aid 


Easy Bib 




Chrome Web Store 


National Education Association (NEA) 


The 21st Century Skills Educator's Guide


Ablenet University           



Microsoft OneNote for iPhone


Animoto Video Maker


Firefly K3000

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"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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UDLUniversal Design for Learning: Theory and Practice

This comprehensive collection of UDL principles and practices is an invaluable tool for any school or district working towards implementation of UDL. Contributors include research and implementation teams from CAST and their collaborators in schools, universities, and research settings. The book is available online for FREE, in print at Amazon, and soon, as an accessible EPUB version.    


The book includes:

  • New insights from research on learner differences and how human variability plays out in  learning environments
  • Research-based discussions of what it means to become expert at learning
  • First-hand accounts and exemplars of how to implement UDL at all levels and across subjects using the UDL Guidelines
  • "Dig Deeper" segments that enrich the main content
  • Dozens of original illustrations and access to videos and other online features at
  • Opportunities to participate in a UDL community

By creating a member account with CAST at users will receive full access to the online edition as well as full access to the following sites:

 To see a sample or purchase a printed copy of the book please visit 

onenoteMicrosoft OneNote
onenote screen shot showing an open notebook with tabs and pages and a student's biology notes Microsoft OneNote is a free-form information- gathering electronic notebook that is ideal for collaborative projects, journaling, and note taking. Microsoft OneNote canvas has the appearance of Microsoft Office and includes the familiar tool bars and formatting tools. However, it is a limitless canvas that allows users to type or create notes in any location on the page. Users can even include handwritten or typed notes, drawings, screen clippings, and audio commentaries. OneNote is organized by a tab system that includes options for multiple notebooks and multiple pages for each notebook. OneNote is available as a part of Microsoft Office and is now available as a free stand-alone app for Windows, Mac, Windows RT, Windows Phone, iOS, and android. Through OneDrive or Office Online, users are able to edit notes via a web browser. This also allows access across a single user's devices or sharing ideas with others. For more information visit OneNote on the web at
 readwriteRead&Write for Google
In honor of teachers and coinciding with Teacher Appreciation Week, Texthelp recently announced that Read&Write for Google is now free for teachers. Read&Write is a customizable toolbar that integrates reading, writing, studying, and research support tools with common applications. The Chrome extension offers many supports including:
  • read and write google logo Reading aloud with dual-color highlighting
  • Word prediction
  • Translation
  • Talking and picture dictionaries
  • Fact finder
  • Highlighters and collection tools for highlighted content
  • Vocabulary builder
  • Annotations for PDF and ePub
  • Navigational tools

Directions for accessing the free copy can be at or you can go directly to the registration page.   



Loomio is decision-making software to assist groups with collaborative decision-making. To use the program, a member of a decision-making team identifies a topic and posts a description on their Loomio page, sets a time frame, and invites participants. Participants do not need a Loomio account to contribute and discussions can be public or private. Participants have the opportunity to state their position on the topic, review other participants' opinions, and vote on the current topic. Results are continuously displayed on the page. The layout of the page creates a nice summary of main points that allows users to review content or get caught up. As more discussion points are added, participants can change their mind. Once consensus has been reached or the the proposal time has expired the whole group is notified of the outcome. Loomio archives past discussions and is ideal for reviewing past decisions. Loomio is also developing an App version that is not yet available. More information is available at 
puffinPuffin Browser: Flash Support for Mobile Devices
Many mobile devices cannot support, display, or handle the burden of Adobe Flash content. Through cloud computing, Puffin Browser is able to deliver Adobe Flash content to mobile devices. With Adobe Flash enabled, users are finally able to watch videos, play games, and browse Flash rich content on their mobile devices. The Puffin Browser is available for both iOS and Android devices. Also available is Puffin Academy. This K-12 version enforces site filtering by only allowing whitelisted educational websites to be viewed.

Puffin logo  
The Puffin web browser includes features and ad-on functions such as Evernote, Pocket, Facebook, and Translation Integration.   


View in App Store

View in Google Play  





To view current whitelisted websites visit the Puffin Academy Class Portal.

View in App Store
View in Google Play

*Note: Puffin Browser is only for mobile devices.
manageClassroom Management Software

SMART Sync is a classroom management software program. Smart Sync was developed to keep students focused while working in a computer-based environment and allows teachers to remove barriers and facilitate learning.  Some key features include:


Screen Monitoring: With Screen Monitoring, the students' screens appear as thumbnail images on the teacher's computer and are refreshed every few seconds. Each time the screen is refreshed, the current application being used by the student is displayed.


Screen Broadcasting: Screen Broadcasting allows the teacher's computer to be shared with individual students, small groups, or the entire class. Teachers can use Screen Broadcasting to help communicate an idea or offer further explanation. The screen image can also be sent as a window that allows the student to keep working in other programs or as a full screen that disables other student applications.


Screen Capturing: From the teacher station, snapshots of students' screens can be gathered with time and date stamps.


Collaboration: The software can be used to randomly assign groups who can share their screens and use chat sessions. Students can send their completed collaborative projects digitally back to the teacher.


There are a range of security features that allow the teacher to restrict applications, control online access, and even manage power functions of the computers.


For a full listing of features and to learn more about the program please visit 


A 30-day trial of the program is available at 

edgamesEducational Games (version 3.0)
Version 1.0 educational games, much like Web 1.0, begin with users as consumers of the technology. The flow of information was one-directional and there were no opportunities for collaboration and creativity. Dr. Jackie Gerstein describes version 1.0 games in an article for Educational Technology and Mobile Learning as basic electronic worksheets with only one correct way to play the game. Version 2.0 saw the rise of games such as SIMs, World of Warcraft, and Portal. Similar to Web 2.0, Version 2.0 educational games allowed users more opportunities to become a collaborative producer and dictate different outcomes. With Version 3.0 educational games, students are provided with the opportunity to become the educational game creator. In the article, Dr. Gerstein discusses some of the popular web tools students can use to create educational games:

Scratch: Scratch allows the to create interactive stories, games, and animations. Creations can be shared with others in the online community.

JeopardyLabs: With JeopardLabs users create customized templates that can be played from anywhere online.

GameMaker Studio: For novices using a drag and drop interface to experienced creators using IDEs and flexible, built-in scripting language, GameMaker Studio provides an opportunity to create cross-platform games without the time and financial investment.

To learn about more resources for creating educational games and read the full article follow this link:  

argubotArgubot Academy
screen shot showing headsup display for game Argubot Academy is a futuristic adventure game developed with NASA and the National Writing Project for grades 6-8. Students assume the role of the first humans on Mars and must use persuasion and reasoning skills to help determine the future of life on Mars. Students equip Argubots with evidence and claims to support valid arguments for survival and then send their Argubots to the persuasion battlefield. The action is set in the year 2054 and is infused with robust STEM content from NASA. By using their 21st Century leadership and literacy skills students learn first-hand what it takes to survive and thrive in the first civilization of Mars.

To learn more visit or Argubot Academy in the App store. 
khanKhan Academy's Math for the Common Core

screen shot showing high school number of skills and questions by subject area

Khan Academy, in addition to its already robust selection of subject areas, has now created a section dedicated to Common Core Math Standards. This new section has over 50,000 questions broken down by grade level, standard, and skill within the standard. The content covers grades K-8 as well as the high school subject areas of number and quantity, algebra, functions, geometry, and statistics and probability. 

At all grade levels questions are presented singularly as sets of exercises. As students complete exercises they are able to progress to more difficult question sets. Each question page provides the student with the option to complete the exercise independently, select hints, or even watch a short tutorial video.  As students progress they are given instant feedback and earn badges.  


For more information and a complete listing go to:      

graphicGraphic Organizers
graphic organizer of graphic organizers
Graphic organizers are great instructional scaffolds that help reduce barriers for students. They can be used for ordering and sequencing information, organizing and relating thoughts and relationships between ideas, and as a communication tool to help express knowledge, concepts, or understanding. Graphic organizers are also a great strategy for reading comprehension. The Vermilion Parish School Board of Louisiana Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center has created an Internet Resource Database which includes a vast collection of both interactive and blackline graphic organizers. These are available at  
cartoon character taking a picture of his computer with a camera

A screenshot, also known as screen capture, screen-cap, screen dump, or screengrab is an image that is recorded from a device's monitor. Screenshots can be used to demonstrate programs, error messages, and capture text and images that could not otherwise be copied. The buttons and sequences to take screenshots vary by device. Take-a-screenshot provides detailed directions for gathering screenshots from Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, KDE, and GNOME. Additionally they provide information on screenshot extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

googleGoogle Add-Ons for Documents and Sheets

Doctopus is a Google Sheets Ad-on that was created by a teacher as a tool to scaffold, manage, organize, and assess student projects in Google Drive. With Doctopus, the class roster can be used to create and manage student copies of a master document. Documents can be configured and shared four ways:

  • Individual: Creates the same separate, individual document for each student in the class.
  • Differentiated: Creates one copy of a document for each student based on his or her level.
  • Project Groups: Creates one shared copy of a document for each student group.
  • Whole Class: Creates a single shared copy of a document for the whole class.

Some other features of Doctopus include:

  • Creating standardized folder structures for the class or importing existing folder structures from Classfolders or Hapara.
  • Manage a single assignment for your class from one spreadsheet.
  • Edit cycles can be monitored to help determine when students are off track.
  • Student editing rights can be suspended during grading and revision cycles.
  • Grades and feedback can be sent via email.
With the Goobric chrome extension, the teacher can attach a rubric to the Doctopus assignment spreadsheet to enable a rubric-based grading widget right in the browser.

*Goobric is only compatible with Doctopus.

Some additional and easy to install Google add-ons that are accessible directly from the menu toolbar include:

Track Changes: Color coded tracking allows the user to see his/her edits or know who is making edits in shared documents. The author has the ability to accept or reject changes.

Pro Writing Aid: Checks documents for grammar and spelling errors and identifies overused words, repeated words and phrases, and vague or abstract phrases. It also has the ability to check for unoriginal content and plagiarism.

Easy Bib: Allows for the easy creation of MLA, APA, or Chicago style bibliographies by entering the URL for a particular source.

LucidChart: The user can create collaborative mind-maps, Venn diagrams, unit maps, flow charts, organizational charts, or other visual representations. The charts can be inserted into a document, embedded in a website, or exported as a PDF, PNG, or JPG.

For additional add-ons check out the Chrome Web Store.
adobeAdobe Connect Custom Meeting Pods

The suite of Adobe Connect meeting pods provides a variety of useful tools that help to improve productivity, increase accessibility, and promote engagement. Some of these pods include:


LoungePod: This extension displays a countdown timer to the meeting start time and allows the host to stream music into the meeting room. Participants are provided with their own set of music controls that control the output on their individual computers.


LocationMap: This icebreaker pod allows users to pin their location to a world map and zoom and scroll the map independently to locate other participants.


Closed Captioning: This feature displays a real-time captioning pod when paired with professional captioning services.


ConnectTube YouTube Viewer: This pod allows the host to search for YouTube content and play back the results for all participants while in Adobe Connect.


Task List: Provides a workspace pod to create collaborative agendas or task lists while in the Adobe Connect room. A perfect tool for planning next steps.


For more information and a listing of other custom pods please visit: 

FDLRSESE Math & Science Practices
ESE Math & Science Practices is a public Wiki created by the FDLRS Math & Science Workgroup. It was created to help teachers working with students with disabilities in math and science classroom settings. A variety of free downloadable resources are available covering apps, assessments, best practices, differentiated instruction, interventions, state standards, and Universal Design for Learning. Also included is a section for technology for math and science.
twentyoneThe 21st Century Skills Educator's Guide

The National Education Association (NEA) has released a publication, Preparing 21st Century Students for a Global Society: An Educator's Guide to the "Four Cs". This guide introduces readers to the role and importance of 21st Century skills as well as educators' responsibilities in teaching critical components to students. The guide covers the essential "Four Cs" including the definition, resources and information on the importance, how it is related to other skills, and how to integrate it in the classroom.


Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Students reason effectively, use systems thinking, make judgments and decisions, and solves problems.


Communication: Students articulate thoughts and ideas effectively, listen effectively to decipher meaning, use communication for a range of purposes, use multiple media and technologies, and communicate effectively in diverse environments.


Collaboration: Students demonstrate the ability to work effectively and respectfully with diverse teams, exercise flexibility and a willingness to make comprises to achieve a common goal, and assume a shared responsibility for collaborative work.

Creativity and Innovation
: Students think and work creatively with others and practice innovation by acting on creative ideas to make tangible and useful contributions.

The complete guide is available online at 
ablenetAbleNet University Professional Development

One of the most common issues raised by professionals today is the lack of time to keep current with assistive technology solutions. In an effort to make professional development easy, AbleNet has created an On-line Professional Development webinar program to assist with keeping up to date on knowledge and skills in the field of assistive technology. The program is called AbleNet University and offers live FREE Educational webinars. The goal of AbleNet University is to bring in key leaders in the field of assistive technology who can assist in maintaining and improving professional competence. Presenters that work within the field of special education and assistive technology provide these webinars.


NEW webinars are offered each month and all of them are recorded and archived for individual or group professional development opportunities. Upon request, participants attending AbleNet Professional Development webinars will earn a Certificate of Attendance after completion.   


Visit to get started with your continuing education today!


appsThere is An App for That!
Multicolored brain made of squares

Abilipad is a customizable keyboard and adaptive notepad with word prediction and text-to-speech. The keyboard editor allows the user to create customized keyboard layouts such as assigning each key any letter, word, sentence, or picture. The notepad is a distraction free workspace with built in text-to-speech and word prediction. Files can easily be shared by email or Dropbox.       

OneNote app logo

Microsoft OneNote for iPhone is the mobile version of the popular digital notebook. Ideas, pictures, to-do's, and more are easily created, edited, and synced across devices.  

videoscribe logo showing a pen writing

VideoScribe is a whiteboard animation program that allows the user to create scribe videos that show a hand drawing created story. Users can import images and logos or create their own and add text, voiceover, and soundtracks. Finished videos can be exported to YouTube, Facebook, Dropbox, or shared with desktop versions of VideoScribe. 

nearpod logo
Nearpod enables teachers to use their iPads to manage content on students' iPads, iPhones, or iPods. Teachers are able to manage multimedia discussions and lessons, collaboraton, and real-time assessment. 
firefly logo

Firefly K3000 is a mobile extension to the Kurzweil 3000 Firefly Web License educational program. The app provides anytime and anywhere access to key reading supports. It includes core text-to-speech reading functions with speed, voice, and pacing as well as accommodations and access to the shared Universal Library content available to Kurzweil 3000 Firefly Web License customers.


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.