May 2015 
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Summer Fun & Learning!


Schneider Book Awards


Animated Story Telling




Sight Words


Scan and Read


Bluetooth Speaker


Creative Ideas


Physics Sandbox








Beamz Music Player


Skoog Music Player




Virtual Pottery


Drawing and Painting


There is an App for That: Creativity


Our Partners






Technology & Learning Connections Regional Meetings


Region 1

Sept 16, 2015

May 5-6, 2016


Region 2

Sept 18, 2015

April 27-28, 2016

Region 3

Sept 4, 2015

April 7-8, 2016

Region 4

Sept 23-24, 2015

April 20-21, 2016


Region 5

Oct 9, 2015

April 7-8, 2016


Technology Advisory Committee Meetings


Sept 25, 2015



Nov 9-10, 2015



March 7-8, 2016



May 24, 2016



AT in the Classroom Train the Trainer



Nov 5-6, 2015


Environmental Communication Training (ECT)


ECT One Day Overview



April 7, 2016



April 21, 2016


ECT Team Training & Facilitator Days



Oct 20, 2015

Dec 3-4, 2015

March 3-4, 2016

April 14-15, 2016


Ft. Lauderdale

Oct 27, 2015

Dec 10-11, 2015

Feb 18-19, 2016

May 2-3, 2016



Nov 5, 2015

Dec 14-15, 2015

Feb 25-26, 2016

April 25-26, 2016



Sept 20-23, 2015
Daytona Beach

October 1-3, 2015

Oct 14-16, 2015

Nov 9-10, 2015

Jan 13-15, 2016

Feb 2-6, 2016



Technology & Learning Connections Website  


Florida's MTSS Technical Assistance Contacts 




AT & UDL Loan Library 


Exploring Technology & Learning Connections 


Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Program


Calculation Nation




Schneider Family Book Awards

A Boy and a Jaguar

Rain Reign

Girls Like Us
Zimmer Twins


ClaroSpeak Plus



Creative Ideas


Super Contraption












Beamz Music Player


Skoog Music Player




Let's Create! Pottery


Autodesk SketchBook


Sock Puppets

Toca Tea Party

My Singing Monsters

Big Fish

Kid Creation

Action Movie FX
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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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summerSummer Fun & Learning!

yellow sun with smiling face in upper right. sand castle with green shovel in foreground As summer is fast approaching many students are anticipating the days of carefree play, family vacations, and the endless days of no homework. On the other hand, parents and teachers are dreading the "Summer Slide", that period of time during the summer break that students become rusty or forget essential skills learned over the past academic school year. By some estimates students can lose up to two months of knowledge in math and reading. While it might not be essential to provide the same rigorous instruction they receive throughout the school year, it is crucial to provide plenty of learning and maintenance activities and to encourage creativity during this period. Below are some great resources and activities.

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading - read eight books, record them in the printable PDF, and bring the completed form to Barnes & Noble to receive a free book.


Calculation Nation - collection oonlinegraphic-rich, interactive math games covering a variety of math topics. Site also includes resources for parents and educators.


Writing - Ten Fun Summer Time Writing Activities and Summer Writing provide a wide variety of engaging activities to keep students writing, publishing, and sharing their creative works throughout the summer.


Edutopia - fun and free summer resources including a collection of math and reading games, articles, videos, and parent resources.

schniederSchneider Book Awards

The Schneider Family Book Awards are presented annually by the American Library Association to authors or illustrators for the "artistic expression of the disability experience." One award is given for works aimed at each of three audiences. This year's winners include:


book cover showing the title a boy and a jaguar over a forest background with a small boy peaking behind one tree and a jaguar peaking from another  

A Boy and a Jaguar  (kids up to age 8) written by Alan Rabinowitz and illustrated by Catia Chien is about a young boy who stutters uncontrollably. While visiting the Bronx Zoo he is saddened to see that all of the animals are alone in empty cages. He wants to be their champion and their voice. Alan discovers that when he talks to the animals his stutter is completely gone and he is fluent.


book cover with title Rain Reign printed over a nightfall background with a girl chasing a dog in the foreground


Rain Reign (ages 9 to 13) by Ann M. Martin is a story of girl with Asperger syndrome who struggles to fit in. Her teachers, other kids, and her own father don't understand her many peculiar habits and rules including an obsession with homonyms. During a violent storm her dog, Rain Reign, goes missing and it is up to Rose to lead the rescue. In order to find her dog she must leave her own safe world of routines and rituals.  


book cover showing the title girls like us with a aqua and yellow background and white sketch drawing of two girls facing in opposite directions

Girls Like Us  (teens) by Gail Giles, follows the lives of two girls with special needs who have recently graduated from high school and are placed together as roommates in their first "real world" apartment. The girls' challenging and sometimes cruel pasts have molded them into two very different young adults who must now face new adult challenges as well as revisit old ghosts from the past. Quincy is the suspicious type and always ready for a fight, while Biddy is fearful and shy. They wonder why they were placed together, but as the story progresses they discover just how similar they are as they learn to support one another in life's challenges.


animatedAnimated Story Telling
screen shot showing a large picture of a boy with a thought bubble and the phrase think of all the stories i can tell in the upper left. on the right side of the screen is a variety of picture icons with descriptions including agrees, angry, bored, calls, confused, disagrees, dizzy,examines, and more. on the bottom of the image is the story board where individual tiles can be dragged and dropped.
The Zimmer Twins is a creative storytelling site for children. This program has eliminated the process of Importing photos and videos that can sometimes prove difficult for younger and inexperienced moviemakers. Instead this program relies on a set of editable drag and drop animations. The three main characters, Eva, Edgar, and their cat, are available in a variety of social situations that can be used as learning tools for students. Once the scene and action are set the student can set the mood with various facial expressions and speech bubbles.  Editable transition slides are available such as a newspaper headline or fortune cookie foretelling upcoming or past events. Finished stories can be saved for future viewing. An easy to follow video tutorial is available for new users. 
group of 5 plush looking characters. from left to right in the front row is a skinny blue one, a red squat one, a small yellow one, and a medium green one. in the back row is a large purple one.


StoryBots, by the creators of JibJab, are curious little creatures that live behind our screens. The StoryBots help children 3-8 explore a collection of iOS apps and web content including interactive books, music, games, and more featuring the child's picture and name. Curriculum content includes creative arts, academics, and practical life lessons. Books that are downloaded to the StoryBots book app are available even when the device is offline, enabling students to take their personalized books anywhere.


screen shot showing 3 titles. on left is purple covered digital book with 2 faceless characters and 1 with a child's face. in the middle is green digital book with the title ABC Videos, on the right is a orange digital book titled memory match showing 2 faceless characters is a resource page that provides parents and teachers with a variety of materials and activities to help build early childhood literacy using sight words as a foundation. The site includes a detailed curriculum outline, lesson integration, and resource directions. Resources include: 

  • Flash cards - parents and teachers are able to print Dolch, Fry, and custom sight word flash cards available in various sizes.
  • Sight word games - a collection of games based on sight words including Bingo, Fly Swat, Snakes & Ladders, Go Fish, Beanbag Toss, and more.
  • Teaching strategies - a program overview including prerequisites for students, how to introduce new words, how to review old words, corrections procedures, and learning games.
4 flash cards from left to right they re red, blue, green, and orange. Typed on the cards from left to right are the words i like to read
scanScan and Read

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the process that allows documents, PDF files, or images captured by a digital camera to be converted to digital text. Prizmo and ClaroSpeak Plus are two Apple apps that integrate OCR with the mobile device camera and text-to-speech capabilities. This combination allows a student to take a picture of anything with typed text and have it read aloud. Spoken words can be highlighted and the language, voice, and rate of the speaker are adjustable. Users can also edit text, save, and upload the digital text to other programs such as Dropbox or Google Drive. 

prizmo icon showing the letters abc icon for claro speak plus. red background with clip art character wearing headphones  

speakerBluetooth Speaker

from left to right shows a hand holding a small orange speaker and then clipped together 5 speakers that are black, orange, blue, green, and purple

The Clipster is a Bluetooth Speaker that is small, lightweight, and features a built-in clip. The small speaker can be clipped to a student's backpack or belt loop to play music or other spoken audio from the paired device. It features oversized volume buttons, rechargeable batteries, and is available in black, red, blue, pink, purple, orange, and green. The speaker is compatible with iPad, iPhone, iPod, Android, and other Bluetooth capable devices. 


For more information visit

creativeCreative Ideas

shows a phone with an image on it of a plastic bottle  

Creative Ideas is an app for Android devices that enables inventors to share their ideas with others. Users put together step-by-step picture and text directions showing the process to recreate their invention. They can then post the idea to Facebook through the app. Designers receive feedback through the built in "like" and "comment" features in Facebook. The Creative Ideas Facebook page is also a great location for the exploration of other hands-on activities. The ideas shared on the Facebook page are intended to be replicated and in addition to pictures and step-by-step directions include a materials list. The example pictured explains the process for creating an environmental friendly light bulb replacement utilizing a plastic soda bottle and the sun.

physicsPhysics Sandbox

Super Contraption is a physics sandbox game designed for building and testing real or imaginary machines. The app includes a variety of tools and objects to help foster creativity with everything from wheels and springs to cupcake cannons. Projects could include random machines, simple and custom vehicles, complex Rube Goldberg Machines, or even pretend play in different worlds. Players can explore how their contraptions work in other environments such as the moon or under water by manipulating gravity, air resistance, magnetism, and other properties. This app is available for Android devices.

ipad with screen showing a calculator and writing on a chalkboard

Mathboard is customizable math app for Windows tablets, laptops, and desktops and Mac and iOS devices. Mathematical operations include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, squares, cubes, and square root problems. Problem solving tools including step-by-step solution guides, quick reference tables, and a scratchboard area. The app supports multiple users with editable profiles. Activity results and quizzes can be reviewed, saved, and shared with others.

ipad with picture of fraction circles

Mathboard Fractions for Mac and iOS features activities with proper and improper fractions. Lessons include matching fractions to quantities, simplifying, comparing, and ordering. The lessons are applied to additional activities involving adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing proper and improper fractions. Step-by-step instructions are provided for simplification, finding common factors, common denominators, prime factorization, and more.

ipad with image of calculator

The Fraction Calculator can be used to add, subtract, multiply, and divide both positive and negative fractions. Results are displayed as both the fraction and decimal equivalent. Additional calculator tools are available for simplification, and finding reciprocals, squares, and square roots. The Fraction Calculator is compatible with the Apple iOS VoiceOver feature.


ipad with screen showing a math problem and the words incorrect

MathBoard Challenge for Mac and iOS is a fast paced head-to-head math competition played against the clock or other players. Users compete to solve problems using addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, squares, cubes, and square roots. To discourage guessing, players are penalized and docked points for incorrect answers. Game settings, including the skill level and problem type are set by the user.


ipad screen showing unrecognizable writing

SpellBoard is a fun and engaging study tool that allows students to type and record spelling words and definitions in any language. SpellBoard generates activities and quizzes which can be shared with other SpellBoard users through email, iCloud, or Dropbox. SpellBoard provides users with multiple profiles, individual student data, and comparison data for shared quizzes. 


For more information on these resources please visit


Osmo is an iPad accessory that encourages social skills and creative thinking with its unique interactive components and apps. The Osmo is comprised of a specialized reflector and stand that works on all iPads and integrates with four interactive bundles listed below.

image of ipad with tangrams on screen and tangrams sitting in front of the ipad  

Masterpiece - An image from the device camera, web, or Osmo gallery is displayed on the screen as an easy-to-follow drawing outline. The user follows the directions on paper to recreate the image and his or her drawing movement is captured and can be viewed or replayed as a time-lapse video drawing.


Words - Players toss down colored lettered tiles to spell a mystery word. As tiles are tossed down, correct choices appear on the device screen. Users are given an on-screen picture clue.


Newton - Balls fall from the top of the screen and must be guided to targets at the bottom. Students draw objects such as baskets, ramps, ledges, or even silly items like a lamp or chair to deflect the ball to the goal.


Tangram - With colored tangram tiles users try to recreate the tangram puzzle presented on the device screen. Users can advance through levels and challenge others.

More information is available at

picture of the Parthenon
Photosynth is a software application by Microsoft that analyzes digital photographs and generates a 3D model of the photos. Digital photos can be uploaded to the app from a computer or through companion apps on Windows or Apple phones. The 3D photos are created by blending panoramic pictures and can be viewed by walking, running, or flying into the photo from any angle. Geotagging allows easy identification of photos featuring the same landmarks and Photosynth features thousands of photos from around the world that can be used for exploring different people, places, and objects.  
The Beamz is a laser-based musical instrument and is played by interrupting one to four laser beams that are each associated with a specific instrument or sound. Users are able to choose from a selection of genres and sound tracks and then match specific instruments or other sounds to a particular beam. As the user breaks one or more beams the sounds are blended into a harmonious rift, regardless of the user's musical experience and background. Beamz can also be played by selecting corresponding laser beams on a computer screen with the mouse pointer or by using the touch screen of an iPad. The Beamz is switch accessible with the Beamz Universal Switch Interface and up to four switches can be connected. Individual students can be assigned different switches or one user can play them all. The new Tobii Edition integrates with the i-series communication devices or can be played on a laptop utilizing Tobii PCEYe Go.
collection of images from left to right showing a headpointer, center front, 4 switches that are green, blue, red, and yellow, center rear is the Beamz, and on the right is a Tobii device  
More information on Beamz products is available at
skoogSkoog Music Player

image of skoog device. large white cube with a green button protruding from the left, a orange button protruding from the top, a blue button protruding from the right, and a yellow button protruding from the front.  

The Skoog Music Player is a customizable and accessible music player made of soft foam that plays through a computer. Skoog was designed for special needs education and music therapy applications for students who have difficulty playing conventional musical instruments. The Skoog touch sensitivity is adjustable and it can be played by pressing, squeezing, rubbing, stroking, tilting or shaking the device. There are over twenty instruments to choose from including a selection of stringed, brass, and percussion instruments. The musician can play and record individual instruments as well as record and layer multiple instruments to create their own unique tracks. The Skoog is compatible with GarageBand.

collection of 3 screen shots. from left to right are a man playing a guitar, a virtual drum set, and a closeup piano keys

GarageBand for Apple iOS and Mac platforms features a recording studio with access to virtual and real musical instruments. Beginning artists can explore the virtual piano, organ, guitar, or drums and take advantage of the built-in lesson tutorials for piano and guitar. More experienced musicians may prefer to plug their microphone or guitar directly into the program and start adding voice and realistic amp effects. Aspiring guitar players and singers can put together jam sessions and play along with virtual drummers covering a range of genres and styles. Regardless of the skill level, the app makes it easy to mix and share musical creations. Performances can be shared by email, Facebook, or YouTube. They can also be loaded into iTunes and played back as songs or set as a ringtone. 

potteryVirtual Pottery

image shows a brown pot sitting in a brown bowl Let's Create! Pottery provides an opportunity for ceramic creativity for all skill levels and is available for Apple and Android mobile devices. The virtual process begins with spinning the clay and then moves to glazing and firing in the oven. The designer is able to choose from dozens of materials to create very unique projects. The artist can choose to save designs on their device, share it with friends, or display it in the Let's Create! Pottery community. Designs in the pottery community are voted on and daily and weekly winners are chosen. Gameplay is available to challenge the potter with a variety of quests that must be completed. Additionally, virtual pottery creations can be converted to real objects that can be ordered and 3D printed from the app. 

Drawing and Painting

screen shot showing the back side of a car. the car is green and looks airbrushed. Autodesk SketchBook is a professional-grade painting and drawing application designed for mobile devices. Using the screen as a canvas, the artist is able to use a variety of tools including brushes, pencils, pens, and markers. Each brush has adjustable features including the radius, opacity, rotation, and more. It features realistic stroke movement as well as synthetic pressure-sensitivity and zoom control to 2500%. Premium features include layering, additional brushes, a full Copic Color Library, and more. Artwork can be stored in the apps gallery with multiple view options, albums, and a customizable ordering system. Artwork can also be saved to the user's iCloud or Dropbox account. Multiple languages are supported, including English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese. This app is available for Apple and Android devices as well as Kindle devices in the Amazon store.

appsThere is an App for That!
icon showing a sock puppet with fuzzy hair

Sock Puppets are the stars of user created and narrated video skits. Puppets, props, scenery, and backgrounds are all adjustable by the user. Multiple students can create characters and interact on one device. Videos are easily exported to Facebook or YouTube. This app is available for Apple devices.

icon showing a teacup and cookie

Toca Tea Party provides a platform for pretend play with imaginary friends, stuffed animals, or classmates. The virtual tea party is customizable with a variety of cakes, cookies, and tableware. Guests drink and eat by touching the items, which are accompanied by fun sounds. When the party is all over even the dishes must be washed. This app is available for Apple devices.

icon showing a pink and green monster that are not scary looking

My Singing Monsters live in an imaginary world where music is created by turning off and on the songs of individual monsters. Monsters hatch in the island's special incubator and they must be named and fed or they will become unhappy. As the population grows, so does the variety of sounds. This app is available for Apple, Android, Kindle, and Nook devices and is available for computers on Big Fish

icon showing a red and pink dinosaur
Kid Creation provides a canvas and tools for students to create a variety of story scenes. The student chooses from various backgrounds including the sea, jungles, or a farm and adds characters including animals and people. Decorations and call out bubbles can also be added to create unique picture stories. This app is available for Android devices.
icon showing a car flying through the air and on fire

Action Movie FX adds Hollywood style effects to short movie clips. Effects include giant spiders, avalanches, car crashes and more that appear with the subject being filmed. The seamless integration produces high quality video clips that can be combined with other videos to create action packed movies. 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.