March 2015 
Newsletter banner

Article Links




Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)

Universal Design for Learning - Danielson Framework for Teaching Crosswalk

Parenting Coach





Algebra Homework Helper

Android Graphing Calculators




Virtual Science Exploration


iStabilizer tabArm

Doceri Interactive Whiteboard




Touchfire Keyboard


There is an App for That! A Focus on Fitness


Our Partners






Technology & Learning Connections Regional Meetings


Region 1

April 23-24


Region 2

April 30-May 1

Region 3

April 16-17

Region 4

April 9-10


Region 5

Fall 2015


Statewide Trainings


Environmental Communication Teaching (ECT) 



April 16, 2015


Ft. Lauderdale

April 23, 2015



Orlando, FL
June 5-7

Philadelphia, PA 
June 28-July 1



Technology & Learning Connections Website  


Florida's MTSS Technical Assistance Contacts 




AT & UDL Loan Library 


Exploring Technology & Learning Connections 


2014-2015 Florida Assessment Schedule Update


FSA Portal


FSA Resources


Accommodations for Florida's Statewide Student Assessments


FLDOE Accessible Instructional Materials Memorandum


Florida Electronic Library




Learning Ally


National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC)

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

Danielson Framework for Teaching

Universal Design for Learning - Danielson Framework for Teaching Crosswalk

Parenting Coach

Livescribe Smartpens


Algebra Homework Helper

Android Graphing Calculators



Piiig Labs

3D Virtual Laboratory. Biology

Chemist Virtual Chem Lab

Discovery Education: Science Fair Central


iStabilizer tabArm

Doceri Interactive Whiteboard


Touchfire Keyboard

Awesome Eats




Max's Plate


Eat & Move-O-Matic


NFL Play 60





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." 
Join Our Mailing List
  • The FSA ELA Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-10 writing training tests, with the accommodations of text-to-speech and masking, are now available for practice. These accommodations can be selected by either the test administrator (TA) or student for training tests, but for the operational tests these accommodations will need to be set ahead of time for each student in TIDE and cannot be altered by TAs or students in the testing room. Additional information and training test materials are available at
  • Scripts for both the accommodated writing training test and the accommodated computer-based FSA ELA writing component are available on the FSA Portal. Additional information for paper-based accommodated scripts is available in the Spring 2015 FSA ELA Writing Manual. 
  • The Florida Department of Education released a new publication, Accommodations for Florida's Statewide Student Assessments. This manual updates the Guide to FCAT and FCAT 2.0 Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (2010) and the Guide to Accommodations for Computer-Based FCAT, FCAT 2.0, and End of Course (EOC) Assessments (Spring, 2012). 
aimAccessible Instructional Materials (AIM)

The Florida Department of Education has released a memorandum regarding school district flexibility when acquiring accessible instructional materials and resources. Included are resource information about the Florida Electronic Library, Learning Ally , National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC), and eligibility requirements. The complete memorandum and resources can be viewed at


Accessible instructional materials are instructional materials and print instructional materials that have been formatted or adapted to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities. There are three aspects of instructional materials to consider when determining what appropriate and accessible instructional materials are needed for a student.

Content: Is the information and language appropriate for this student? This may also include the grade level of the reading material.


Structure: Is the flow of information appropriate for this student? Some students may be unable to handle large chapters of text successfully and need to work with the information in smaller chunks or in an outline form. This can include adapting the layout of the information.


Presentation: Is the sensory aspect of the format appropriate for this student? Does the student need a larger print, an audio file, Braille, graphic enhanced text, colored overlays, etc.?


Additional resources can be found on the Technology & Learning Connections 

AIM Resource Page

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is
a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone, not a single, one-size-fits-all solution, but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs. The ultimate goal of applying UDL to instruction is to develop all students into expert learners. 

The Danielson Framework for Teaching is a research-based set of instructional components that are aligned to the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium Standards (InTASC) and based on a constructivist view of learning and teaching.  The Danielson Framework is recommended as a foundation for conversations and skill development in teaching including mentoring, coaching, professional development, and the teacher evaluation process. The framework seeks to define what teachers know and do as they become expert practitioners. 


The crosswalk between UDL and the Danielson Framework is a tool that provides teachers with the critical connections between the infusion of UDL principles and the enhancement of planning and instruction within the Danielson Framework.  Working together,  UDL and Danielson provide professionals the necessary guidance to support the growth of all students in becoming expert learners.
The complete crosswalk can be viewed at
Parenting Coach is a component of the Parent Toolkit provided by and provides information, advice, and activities for parents on a wide rage of challenging behaviors and situations. The topics are based on research and information gathered from parents and include organization, task completion, frustration, anxiety, social skills, self-advocacy, and more. Resources are categorized by topic and grade level and are provided by expert practitioners including educators, physicians, and psychologists. 

Access the Parent Coach directly at
Students with learning disabilities and attention disorders sometimes struggle to keep up with note- taking during classroom lectures. For some students, in the time it takes to hear, process, and write down information, the teacher has already moved on to the next point.  Smartpens provide an independent solution for students to take accurate digitized notes that are easy to store, organize, search, and share. Smartpens are ballpoint pens with an embedded computer and digital audio recorder that are used to record spoken words and synchronize them with notes users write on special paper. During the lecture students can create outlines, concept maps, diagrams, or even doodles. Entire lectures or specific sections can be replayed by simply tapping the pen's tip on words or pictures written by the student. 

For more features, including the ability to stream written notes directly to an iOS device,  please visit the Livescribe homepage at
ThinkCERCA is an online reading program with an emphasis to support individualized instruction in critical thinking for students in grades 4-12 and is anchored by high-interest texts. The CERCA acronym (Claims, Evidence, Reasoning, Counterarguments, Audience) represents the site's approach in a structured manner to teaching critical thinking and argumentation. ThinkCERCA can be beneficial for teachers integrating CCSS-aligned instruction, cross-disciplinary reading and writing in their classrooms.  The basic free version of the program offers leveled science and social studies text, CCSS-aligned close reading assessments, and student and class data collection.  The readings can serve as support for thematic units in language arts, social studies, or science and can be a spring-board for supporting whole-class debates or small-group discussions. The paid program provides additional materials and also includes an argument-organizer tool to guide students through the CERCA format. 

Additional information on the program can be found at

yHomework - Math Solver is an app for Apple and Android devices that provides step-by-step solutions for equations, inequalities, and graphs. This powerful tool is great for students who want to check their work or need extra help completing a homework assignment.  The app provides solutions for simplification, single unknown equations, 2-equation sets, quadratic equations, inequalities, and function graphs. 


screen shots of solutions for equations and a graph

graphAndroid Graphing Calculators

Graphing calculators are powerful tools that are designed to help students visualize and better understand concepts in math and science. Available in Google Play, Wabbitmu, is a collection of Texas Instruments graphing calculator emulators providing full function capabilities on Android supported devices. The app provides emulation for the TI-73, TI-81, TI-82, TI-83, TI-83 Plus, TI-83 Plus Silver Edition, TI-84 Plus, TI-84 Plus Silver Edition, TI-85, and TI-86. The Texas Instruments feature comparison chart "Which Calculator is Right for Me?" is a good starting point for students to determine which calculator best meets their needs.

PhotoMath is an app the uses a mobile device's built-in camera to scan math problems and generate answers as well as step-by-step solutions. Available for Apple and Windows mobile platforms, this app is useful for self-checking or as a tool when stuck on a problem. PhotoMath is able to solve basic arithmetic involving integers, fractions, and decimal numbers. Users are also able to solve linear equations. The student simply points, scans, and receives real-time solutions. Handwritten text is not supported.

screen shots showing captured problem and solution


For more information visit 


BetterLesson is a lesson plan sharing website created by the NEA Master Teacher Project, including more than 130 highly qualified ELA and Math classroom teachers from across the country. The project's goal is to create and share exemplary lessons and resources for Common Core implementation. The resource is available to all teachers and they can filter through the lessons by standard, subject, or grade level. All lessons are developed using a consistent structure and include a title, objective, big idea, links to standards, suggested timing, detailed procedures, resources, related lessons, and user feedback. Many of the exemplar lessons are interdisciplinary and encourage critical thinking even though they center on ELA and Math. Teachers using BetterClassroom can search for lessons by specific topic, standard, unit, or individual master teacher. The BetterClassroom infrastructure provides space to plan, create, and upload lessons, as well as ask questions of the community. The contributing teachers often leave feedback on what worked and what didn't work and they encourage others to do so as well. 



To learn more or see sample lessons please visit

scienceVirtual Science Exploration

Piiig Labs: Science Experiments for Kids - Designed for younger children this app features 12 interactive kits including building a circuit with a light bulb, assembling a radio, creating an erupting volcano, and growing a Venus flytrap.



screen shot of a animated science lab with different learning stations


3D Virtual Laboratory. Biology - Users travel around the laboratory and complete lab work through 3D models, electronic microscopes, magnifiers, and scientific experiments.



Chemist Virtual Chem Lab - Users explore chemical reactions with all the tools available in a physical lab. Includes more than 200 chemical reagents, chemical information, formulas, beakers, and other tools. Student exploration is automatically catalogued into step-by-step procedures. 


Discovery Education: Science Fair Central - Web-based Garden and Critter virtual labs that explore the scientific process and include a section for collecting and sharing data.


ASK (Autism Solution for Kids) NAO is an interactive robot that is designed to act as a bridge between human and technological worlds. There are numerous applications to help students reach learning goals that are fun and educational. ASK NAO has an online interface that allows teachers to customize the learning experience for students, track progress, and provide communication for other teachers, parents, and therapists. The ASK NAO robot is predictable and therefore reduces natural anxiety. It is able to persistently teach, prompt, and encourage students in an interactive style. Applications can be customized based on each child's needs and are grounded on various teaching models. The tailored library of applications aids in developing social and learning skills by stimulating the child's interests with changing applications.


More information is available at 

tabarmiStablizer tabArm


The iStabilizer tabArm is a device for mounting mobile tablets to sturdy surfaces. The articulating arm can be affixed to a variety of objects such as ledges, countertops, desks, bedroom furniture, and classroom furniture such as tables, desks, and chairs. The iStabilizer tabArm can also be attached to some wheelchairs or bed rails allowing ease of access to the mounted device.  

 For more information visit

doceriDoceri Interactive Whiteboard

Doceri is an interactive whiteboard and tetherless teaching system that incorporates creating, controlling, presenting, and sharing into a single app. Through an Internet connection, an iPad or Windows-based tablet can be used for remote desktop access. The Doceri remote access features full control including launching, opening, editing, and saving presentations and other content, even content outside of the Doceri program. Users are able to hand-write or draw projects on an iPad or Windows tablet directly to the Doceri project or presentation they are working on using built-in writing and drawing tools. Presentations and content can be shared as PDFs, videos, pictures, and as content from other apps. It also features a screencast option that includes timeline-based editing. In this format lessons are always saved, even after a screencast recording is created.  All drawing strokes, photos, or hand-drawn objects can be cut, pasted, or resized at any point in the timeline. This enables easy creation and reuse of presentations. 


For more information visit, Windows Mobile, or iTunes.


Flipboard is a combination social-networking and newsfeed app by which internet content is chosen and subscribed to by the user. Once content is identified, copied, pasted, or gathered from a variety of sources it can be displayed as stories, articles, blog posts, videos, or other styles and is displayed in a magazine style format that the user "flips" through. Flipboard provides a single source to view specific content or genres that interest the users including over 30,000 topics. In addition to a wide range of topics users can also subscribe to other member's magazines, publish their own, or keep it private. The Flipboard app is available on multiple operating systems and devices, including smartphones and tablets and in a web browsers. 


To learn more about Flipboard please visit

touchTouchfire Keyboard

The Touchfire keyboard is a transparent keyboard that attaches over the screen of an iPad leaving the iPad's on-screen keys fully visible underneath. The Touchfire provides the needed tactile feedback for accuracy, speed, and comfort without adding the bulk of an add-on keyboard. The keyboard is compatible with most cases and is made of a soft durable material.


To learn more about the Touchfire please visit


appsThere is an App for That! (Android/Apple)

Awesome Eats introduces the user to new foods and interesting information about the foods to encourage healthy eating habits. The Player must sort and order healthy foods to score points and win stars while trying to stop thieving birds. This app is available for Android and Apple devices.


Max's Plate teaches users about the five food groups as they play with their food. Players match foods to one of the five food groups and earn points for speed and accuracy. Included is a feature to track how many servings of each food group the user consumes throughout the day. This app is available for Apple devices.

Eat & Move-O-Matic is an app that provides calorie information for foods and the corresponding length of time for specific exercise to burn off the calories. This app also provides tips on how small changes can make big differences in healthy eating choices.  This app is available for Apple devices.

NFL Play 60 is an interactive app that responds to the user's movements. Players run, jump, and move side-to-side while holding the device and the onscreen character mimics the movements. Players collect coins to purchase NFL team gear and unlock new characters. This app is available for Android and Apple devices.

MotionMaze is a puzzle game in which the user must help the captain find the hidden treasure.  Users walk or jog in place to navigate the maze and the onscreen character mimics the movement. A variety of mazes are available and users try to beat their best time. This app is available for Apple devices.

partnersOur Partners
The Technology & Learning Connections Team is a part of the Problem Solving/ Response to Intervention Project. 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 Child Find, 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 Florida 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.