Posts Tagged ‘udl’

Accessibility of Instructional Media for Students with Disabilities and English Learners (December 15)

December 12th, 2011 Comments off
Students with laptops, one confusing AIM with AOL Instant Messenger

Illustration by Andrew Greenstone

Many materials used for classroom and online instruction present barriers to learning for students with disabilities and English learners. This is typically inadvertent and can be corrected with basic awareness and skills. This webinar will introduce participants to strategies and resources for selecting and creating media that are accessible, resulting in improved learning opportunities for all students. Topics include accessible instructional materials (AIM), closed captioning and audio description of video, and accessible web sites.

Please join us this Thursday at 3:15 pm or 7:15 pm. For more information about accessing our MLTI webinars and to register, please click on the Webcasts tab at the top of this page.


December 8 webinar: Universal Design for Learning Across the Curriculum

December 6th, 2011 Comments off
A montage of students from different cultural backgrounds

CC BY 2.0 Vox Efx

UDL is an educational framework for developing curriculum, selecting instructional strategies, and designing assessments that work for all learners. Serving as a guide for reducing barriers to learning, UDL supports diverse students’ needs for understanding information, expressing knowledge, and activating engagement. Referenced throughout the National Education Technology Plan 2010, which guides the use of information and communication technologies in transforming American education, UDL is essential to successful technology use in the content areas. This webinar will introduce and provide demonstrations of UDL.

Please join us this Thursday at 3:15 pm or 7:15 pm. For more information about accessing our MLTI webinars or to register, please click on the Webcasts tab at the top of this page.


AIMing for Accessible Curriculum: Notes from the June 8th webinar

June 9th, 2011 2 comments
Student wearing headphones


This webinar offered an introduction to Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM), a complex but necessary component of any curriculum. It is the first in a series of Maine AIM webinars that will continue in the fall. The objectives were that participants will understand the:

  • Barriers presented by standard print materials to some students
  • Definition of AIM
  • Relevant legislation
  • Steps to successful AIM implementation
  • Sources for more information

For the sake of simplicity, the focus of this first webinar was the common inaccessibility of standard print materials to some students. It’s important to recognize, however, that materials in electronic format can also present barriers (e.g., PDFs, podcasts, video, web sites, even word processed documents). Steps to making such media accessible for all learners will be the topic of future webinars in this series.

At the beginning of the webinar, we brainstormed and discussed the abilities needed to learn from standard print materials (this same conversation applies to electronic media). We then transitioned into the reality of copyright restrictions that interfere with our ability to convert many standard print books to other formats, such as digital text or audio. So we delved into the history of copyright exemption to come to the current-day Chafee Amendment, which is the foundation of the right to convert copyrighted material to specialized formats for students with print disabilities, such as specific learning disabilities, blindness or low vision, or physical disabilities. That’s AIM: “Specialized formats of curricular content that can be used by and with learners who are unable to read or use standard print materials.” Specialized formats are defined as:

  • Braille
  • Audio
  • Large print
  • Digital text

AIM is a legal mandate. A provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004), it requires schools to provide textbooks and related print materials in specialized formats to students with print disabilities — in a timely manner. In Maine, “timely manner” is defined as “at the same time as their peers.” Read more…

An Introduction to Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) for All Maine Learners (June 8, 2011 at 3:15pm)

June 1st, 2011 Comments off

Image of the Maine AIM project logoThis MLTI – Maine CITE joint webinar will introduce participants to accessible instructional materials (AIM), which enable students with print disabilities to access curricular materials in specialized formats, including digital text, audio, large print, and braille. This is important information for all educators who teach students with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and blindness. Topics include barriers presented by standard print materials, relevant legislation, and steps to successful AIM implementation in schools.

Please join us on June 8th at 3:15. To register for this webinar, select the Webcasts tab at the top of the page and select the time to be directed to online registration.

April 27th – Myths, Legends, and Facts About Speech Recognition Software: A Demonstration and Discussion of Dragon Dictate

April 15th, 2011 8 comments

Speech recognition software converts spoken words to text and has been increasingly used in educational settings by students with varied needs and preferences. But what makes speech recognition a good match for a student? What are the situations and conditions under which students experience the most success? Join us as Ryan DeLone of Nuance Communications ( demonstrates, discusses, and answers questions about Dragon Speech Recognition.

Please join us on Wednesday, April 27th, at 3:15 PM. To register, click on the Webcasts tab at the top of this page and navigate to the calendar. This webinar will be recorded and archived.


Notes about the Maine Starter Program

March 31st, 2011 Comments off

Thanks to our presenters from Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (RFB&D) for giving us a tour of their service, as well as outlining the details of the Maine Starter Program. This service will improve access to human-narrated audio books, including textbooks, for Maine students with print disabilities. The program includes:

  • A full access landing page for Maine
  • One level 3 membership for the state, which includes 100 books
  • 25 licenses for RFB&D ReadHear for Mac by gh
  • 5 training webinars
  • 1 professional development webinar

Please be sure to watch the recording to learn the details of the program (should be available sometime on 3/31). Contacts for more information include Jenn Dougherty ( and Jayme Cagliuso ( Jenn and Jayme welcome feedback on the program and how to support the unique needs of your school.

Going Multimodal: Notes from the March 17 Webinar

March 18th, 2011 Comments off

Concept map of North American trees - ConiferousMany thanks to the good folks who came out for yesterday’s webinar, “Multimodal Strategies for Communication & Expression.” Ann Marie and I appreciated the contributions made, which I’ve incorporated into our notes below.

The content of the webinar was based on a 2008 white paper that was commissioned by Cisco and written by the Metiri Group, titled Multimodal Learning through Media: What the Research Says. I liked this report when it was published and decided to resurrect it as the subject of a webinar because, at just 24 pages (including appendices), it’s a bite size synthesis of the research behind multimodal learning and how it can inform the use of multimedia for instruction. The framework of the paper centers on three key aspects of multimodal learning:

  • The physical functioning of the brain (neuroscience)
  • The implications for learning (cognitive science)
  • What the above means for the use of multimedia

So, we set out to define multimodal learning, to summarize the research behind it and, most enjoyably, demonstrate and provide examples of how it can be accomplished through multimedia applications on the MLTI MacBooks. Read more…

March 17 Webinar: Multimodal Strategies for Communication and Expression

March 14th, 2011 Comments off
Cartoon image of left brain-right brain concept

Image by vaXzine, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license

Multimodal strategies can be used by teachers and students alike to convey information, ideas, and concepts, as well as to express knowledge and understanding. Because each individual student effectively responds to unique inputs, such as text, audio, and visual (among others), combinations are essential to successful teaching and learning experiences.  In this webinar, we’ll review the research behind the need for multiple modes (multimodal) learning, as well as examine applications on the MLTI MacBooks that support related strategies. Comic Life, Freemind, GarageBand, iPhoto, OmniGraffle, and Photo Booth will be featured.

Please join Cynthia Curry and Ann Marie Quirion Hutton on Thursday, March 17, at 3:15 or 7:15 PM. To register, click on the Webcasts tab at the top of this page and navigate to the calendar of webinars.


January 27 Webinar: Responding to Students of Diverse Cultures

January 21st, 2011 Comments off

As schools across Maine welcome increasing populations of students from other countries, educators need to be prepared to respond to their cultural and linguistic differences. For many students who are newcomers to the U.S. and learning the English language, or whose home cultures vary from the majority of  their peers, challenges to learning can be unique and isolating. At the same time, we have a responsibility to ensure that students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds are making progress in meeting standards of the curriculum.

This webinar will introduce participants to the intricacies of teaching students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds in general education classrooms. We will be joined in conversation by Maureen Fox and Tom Talarico, both teachers of English Language Learners in the Portland Public Schools. They will share their knowledge and expertise, drawing on personal experience, to provide a background and understanding of the issues facing English Language Learners in our classrooms. We will also look at how technology, specifically applications on the MLTI devices, can be used to support multilingual and multicultural learners.

The webinar presenters will be Jim Wells and Cynthia Curry.

Image from the Kentucky County Day School on Flickr, used with an Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license.

December 16 Webinar Notes – Journaling Across the Curriculum

December 20th, 2010 Comments off
light bulb image

*Who Else Has a Bright Idea?

I hope everyone who attended Thursday’s webinar came away with a few ideas for students’ journals. We began with a discussion of what journals are and some of the advantages that digital journals have over the traditional paper notebook journals students have kept in the past. We looked at some reasons for including journaling in any content area including how journal writing encourages reasoning, problem solving, and metacognition.

I demonstrated some of the features of NoteShare that make it such an effective journaling tool and shared a template for creating a math journal in Pages. You can download that file from the archived recording of either the afternoon or evening session. Blogging can also be a way for students to keep journals if each student is given a personal blog, and I shared three blogging resources that allow teachers to create individual blogs for students. The discussion then turned to ideas for journal entries and prompts and some suggestions for ways students can create entries that include audio and visual media as well as text. We ended with some suggestions for giving students feedback and assessing their journals.

Resources I shared:

As usual, participants in both webinar sessions offered their ideas and resources for student journaling:

  • Teaching teams can choose to do journaling as a joint process so journaling time and monitoring can be a shared responsibility.
  • Question: Are there issues with students sharing too much personal information in their journals?
  • Students can easily save a copy and paste a journal entry or save it as a PDF to include in a portfolio.
  • Students can use iWeb for journaling or blogging and even add a NoteShare notebook to an existed iWeb page.
  • Rick Wormeli’s Metaphors & Analogies: Power Tools for Teaching any Subject is a great resource for journaling.
  • A good resource for metacognition –  How People Learn (Chapters 2 and 3)
  • Video Journal Prompts from Ted Talks and Pop!Tech
  • Having students just write reflections makes them complacent about the process, so mixing them with other prompts can help keep them engaged.

Thanks to everyone who attended these webinars. Don’t forget that you can review the recordings of the online sessions by following the links in the Archives section of this blog.

*Image: Some Rights Reserved by nhuisman